BERD HAWK30 WHEEL REVIEW – SUPERIOR SPOKES WITH ONE WEAKNESS

They're not stringing you along.

BERD HAWK30 WHEEL REVIEW

Tech features:

These trail bike-focused wheels are completely made in North America with We Are One carbon rims, Industry Nine hubs, and Berd’s own Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) spokes that they make in Hopkins, Minnesota. According to Berd, UHMWPE has 12 times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, floats on water, and is the lightest, strongest and most durable spoke ever invented. They also claim the spokes have an improved fatigue life over steel and are impervious to the elements.

 

Hawk30 wheelset specifications include an internal rim width of 30mm, a wide 3.75mm rim lip for tire protection, and a spoke count of 28 for both the front and rear wheels. They use Industry Nine Hydra hubs in Boost or Super Boost rear widths and utilized Centerlock-style brake rotors, but can also be ordered with Berd’s new Talon or Onyx hubs. Berd says the wheelset is compatible with tires ranging from 2.3 to 2.7 inches wide. The rims are tubeless-ready, equipped with Yellow Berd rim tape and Stan’s NoTubes valves. Berd’s suggested weight limit for users is 280 pounds.

 


Field test results:

After hearing positive feedback from various riders over the last few years about Berd’s spokes, we were eager to give them a try for ourselves. The first thing we noticed is just how light these wheels are in hand. That sensation carries over on the trail with sharp acceleration and a nimble feel. The spokes seem to deliver a unique sensation. It’s as if the edge is taken off of impacts both vertically and horizontally, and overall vibration is reduced. As light and vibration-damping as they are, the Hawk30s still feel precise and solid under hard riders.

Any doubts about the spoke’s durability were erased after riding these wheels hard. Then, a test rider removed the wheels to put the bike in his car, and when he went to ride the bike the next day, he noticed that two of the spokes were cut and others frayed. Although we are not completely sure what happened, logical thinking would lead us to believe that the sharp edge of the rotor cut the spokes over the hour-long drive. Berd seemed to acknowledge that this could happen.

 

 

We replaced the spokes ourselves. An experienced mechanic will have little trouble performing such a task but it is more difficult than replacing a traditional spoke. Our dreams of being able to carry a spare spoke or two rolled up in our tools evaporated pretty quickly; it would be a tough trailside fix that requires some unique tools.

Our takeaway from this experience is if your wheels spokes are dinged and nicked up, these may not be the best spokes for you. Even with this hiccup, test riders raved about the wheels, and the one who broke and then fixed the spokes is already planning on building a custom set using Berd spokes—they’re that good.

HITS:

• Great ride quality
• Lighter spokes
• Unique looks
• Very light

MISSES:

• Spokes are easier to damage
• More complicated spoke replacement

STAR RATING:★★★★

Weight: 1,373 grams (pair)
Price: $2,295
Contact: http://berdspokes.com

 

 

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