Spinergy Z Lite Disc Wheels Reviewed | SoCal Cyclist
Spinergy is—and will most likely always be—remembered for their wheels made famous by 90's era riders like Mario Cipollini. Spinergy was ahead of the technology curve with the Rev X wheel with distinct bladed spokes. Fast forward to today and Spinergy is working to get back at the top of the cycling pecking order. While the majority of Spinergy's sales are in the wheelchair market, Spinergy wants to win back cyclists and carry the same magic that it had decades ago.
Enter the Z Lite Disc. The application is up to the rider. While not road or gravel specific, with changing brake standards—this wheel can do either. For this review, we tested it on a gravel bike and took it out on sandy, rocky and dry SoCal trails throughout a few months. One of the most striking features of the wheel is its appearance. Spinergy outfitted us with orange spokes (custom option) that would match well with a Cannondale SuperX Gravel bike. The wheels run on a tubeless setup, the rear wheel was dished 5mm to accommodate Cannondale's asymmetric rear stays. Spinergy's PBO spokes are tensioned enough to keep things stable but forgiving enough to have a plush ride. The spokes themselves are incredibly high in strength. However, when they’re not tensioned to a nipple, they look like a loose guitar string.
According to Rene Leyva at Spinergy, the spokes are incredibly strong. Even if there is a tear in the spoke, the individual fibers within the housing will still hold. During our testing, the spokes held up, and the wheels stayed true. Upon looking closely at the rim, it seems traditionally road centric. Right now they have the offering in 700C with a brake track on the rim, which is peculiar for a disc-specific version. Also by today's standards, the rim width is a bit narrow for the gravel scene sitting at 18mm wide. The tires mounted are 36mm (IRC Boken) which causes the tire to have a bulbous shape rather than more flush with the wider rim—the new standard for wheels.
The ability to customize Spinergy wheels adds to their appeal and 'bling factor'.
In terms of compatibility, the rear hub is able to be converted to an XD style hub that can accommodate a wider standard of cassettes. In our case, we ran a 10X42 in our Sram 1X setup. The freewheel sounds incredibly smooth, spot-on in terms of hub noise. The wheels are standard in terms of depth and do not offer much of an aero advantage over other standard depth aluminum rims. They are at a 24mm depth. For gravel, aero can be an afterthought. In terms of weight, the "Lite" in their name is accurate. They’re 1487 grams for the pair, which makes the already light SuperX even lighter at 17.25 pounds—epic for a gravel machine. The lacing pattern for front and rear is 24, radial for front and radial 2-cross for the rear.
In terms of performance, these wheels felt fast and light. It held on the really tight corners, both road and dirt, and was very stable on the off camber portions. The wheels did not experience any massive give on some of the more technical sections, and they climb pretty flawlessly. On just about every ride that involved more than two people, there were plenty of positive comments made about the bike and wheel combo. The orange is eye-catching and turned quite a few heads as we zipped in and out of local trails. These wheels are great for a diverse terrain of cycling. A good way for Spinergy to head back into the peloton, or in this case, the dirt.
Product Tested: Spinergy Z Lite Disc
Price: $849 Per Pair
• Eye catching wheels/ability to customize
• Light weight and very responsive
• Unique spoke design
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• Narrower rim width
• Brake track on rim on disc wheel