Protens is the official German Distributor for all Pillar Spokes
So the world of spokes was for a long period of time quite overlooked and calm environment but the wheels bikes and the wheels changed! First in MTB, now about twenty years later, disc breaks are wideley adopted and are even used in TT.
In a disc whee situation the break-force is created at the hub and is transmitted through the spokes to the rim. So basically from the inside to the outside of the wheel. Because there is rotation happening, the break-force turns into torque which is transmitted from the hub to the rim by the spokes. This is why you see a lot of disc-break-wheels, even the deep-section aero-wheels, are build with non-aero round spokes, which is kind of paradox and slow. Existing lightweight bladed aero spokes are to weak, simply too thin to handle those torque loads sufficient enaugh!
There is only one option going faster on disc regarding spokes.
The Wing Spoke now solves this problem in an elegant way by choosing an elliptical shape from the flat, light and aerodynamically more favourable but "weak" shape and the stronger but less aerodynamic and heavy classic round spoke!
Wing Spoke has the necessary diameter for torque transmission and at the same time has favourable and superior aerodynamic properties and at a low weight!
Almost a Year ago Nippelshop partnered with GRS Service & Engineering, run by a dutch Engineer with the clear target to measure and picture the advantage of Wing Spoke over traditional aero spokes that had been in the market since 20yrs.
It turned out as a quite complex project as the mechanical advantage in theory is most significant when the wheel is actually mounted in a bike and the bike is ridden.
GRS developed a completley unique wheel stiffness testing machine doing it all, radial and laterlal loads attacking the wheel at the same time simulating very realistically the dynamic loading applied to the wheel when sprinting and cornering. This makes it possible for the first time to measure wheel stiffness under realistic conditions and exceeds any wheel stiffness test done so far!
As an excerpt, we want to present Test 3 at our website and the full test report can be requested by email.
Wing20 was put to test against the existing "gold standard" of bladed aero spokes.
Have a look at the results:
Two identical rear wheels had been built to highest artisinal wheelbuilding standards possible. Homogeneous Spoke Tension, Identical Carbon Rims selected out of our stock for same weight. Identical hubs and spoke tension is obvious to isolate and measure the impact of the spoke on stiffness and overall wheel performance!
Wing20 is 13.21% stiffer on this test than the conventional bladed spoke!
Also, spoke tension drop or increase is measured. This visualizes the dynamic behavior of the spokes during loads. Visualizing these behavior can be useful for example to improve spoke fatigue failure resistance and many more abilities such as remaining stiffness and wheel characteristics in general!
Wing20 achieves 6,54% (DS) and 3,38% (NDS) less spoke tension loss than the competitior
Those values are valid for the tested rear wheel, front wheel savings have not been tested yet but do exist as the front wheel also deforms under load!
Power (W) is related to total consumption of energy the wheel consumes when forced to spin.
This loss is determined mechanically by the total stiffness of the wheel and refers to the fact that all "Pulling-Spoke-Wheel-Designs" in general are torsional springs.
The calculation is based on hypothetical test parameters, that can be filled in according customer preference.
To put those test results more into perspective a valid calculaton on energy consumption of the tested rear wheels had been made had been made showing that Wing20 outperforms in terms of efficency the competitior by 4,05 Watts in a 20 seconds long Sprint effort!
You can easily imagine that in competition with lots of repeated sprints like Crit-Racing or MTB (some of them 200 Sprints+(Crit)) this is a game changer.
Conventional bladed spokes are flat and wide following the model of laminar air flow happening in a windtunnel; yet in the real world air-flow is different. It's a giant vortex, like a swirl!
In this fully turbulent environment you need a spoke profile handling multiple yaw- angles better thus still having lowest drag.
Prooven through research, the design of a missile cone head is most efficient. The shade of the all new developed Wing Spoke directly derives from this design. Its fully ovalized shape has been tested in some of the industries leading windtunnels resulting in ~3 Watts saving per wheelset compared to the best conventional 0,9*2.2mm bladed spoke.
When selecting the right spoke, weight plays a major role, as it allows direct conclusions to be drawn about the tensile strength to be expected. The fact that a massive spoke results in a stiff wheel is no secret (with a suitable rim!).
On the other hand, the weight of the wheel quickly adds up into disadvantageous areas if the spoke is just too heavy.
Already 1g more weight per spoke makes a normal road wheel 44g heavier and it needs more energy to be accelerated.