Berd spokes are made from an advanced polymer called ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). UHMWPE has 12 times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel and floats on water. Berd spokes have an improved fatigue life over steel and are impervious to the elements. This is what makes Berd spokes the lightest, strongest, and most durable spokes ever invented.
Berd spokes use 14 gauge threads to connect to standard nipples the same way metal spokes do. Opposite the threads is a loop, which is pulled through the hub hole and secured with a rod. Berd spokes feature a 1.8mm diameter in the mid-span and are 2.5 grams per spoke.
Berd spokes also damp vibrations much more effectively than steel spokes. This results in a more comfortable, smoother, ride. The graphs below demonstrate that wheels with Berd spokes provide 200% better vibration damping than metal spokes.
Berd spokes work with all J-bend and most straightpull hubs. The spoke is connected to the hub by pulling the loop through the hub hole and inserting a rod into the loop. Once this is done, the spoke cannot pull back through the hub hole.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of hubs do Berd spokes work with?
Berd spokes are compatible with all J-bend hubs and all tangential straight pull hubs. Berd spokes are not compatible with radial straight pull hubs. Berd spokes are not recommended for use with hubs with carbon hub shells.
What types of rims do Berd spokes work with?
Berd spokes work with all standard bicycle rims, including rims designed for both external and internal nipples.
Can I purchase Berd spokes from my local bicycle shop?
Yes. If the bicycle shop is not already a dealer, please ask them to submit a dealer application.
Can I race with Berd Spokes?
Yes! Berd spokes are legal for racing. In fact, the UCI, which regulates professional cycling, has specifically approved Berd spokes, so you can race Berd spokes from local crits to the Tour de France. Send us a postcard!
What color options are available?
Berd spokes are available in white and black. Black spokes are now available both individually and part of Berd stock wheels available in our store.
How much weight will I save over metal spokes?
Depending on the wheelset, weight savings with Berd spokes typically range from 100 to 200 g.
Are Berd spokes the same length as metal spokes for any given wheel?
No. Berd spoke lengths are slightly different than metal spoke lengths to account for the hub connection and the initial stretch of the spokes when building. Our spoke calculator must be used to calculate the proper length.
Berd Spokes are flexible, so how can you make a wheel out of them?
To answer that question, we need to discuss how wheels are built. Each spoke in a wheel is pulled in tension during the wheel building process – in fact, each spoke is under 50 - 100 kgf, depending on the particular wheel build. When riding the bike, spokes at the bottom of the wheel de-tension to support the weight of the rider, but because they are pretensioned, they never leave tensile loading. Because of this, flexible spokes function equivalently to metal spokes.
Does my hub need to be modified to work with Berd spokes?
For tangential straightpull hubs, no modification is necessary. A specially-designed insert protects the spoke head from sharp corners in the hub holes. For classic J-bend hubs, sharp corners must be removed from the hub holes prior to lacing using tools that Berd supplies.
How do Berd spokes connect to the hub?
The eye of the spoke is pulled through the hub hole and secured with a small rod.
How do Berd spokes connect to the rim?
Berd spokes connect to the rim using standard 14 gauge nipples.
What type of nipple should I use with Berd spokes?
We highly recommend using double square locking nipples because they can be trued from the back of the rim, have additional thread engagement, and prevent loosening of the nipples over time. If using a rim that requires internal nipples, we recommend locking internal nipples.
How do you prevent Berd spokes from twisting while truing?
Berd spokes have a flat section near the end of the spoke that is held with a special tool while truing. This is very similar to the way in which bladed metal spokes are held.
Do Berd spokes lose tension over time, and what maintenance is required?
All wheels with Berd spokes are built with a multi-day tensioning process to reduce the amount of tension loss that will happen after the wheels are installed on a bike. Despite this, the tension in Berd spoke wheels will decrease by approximately 30% over the first 6 months of use due to the natural "bedding in" process of the fibers. This loss in tension does not affect the durability or longevity of Berd spoke wheels, and there is no requirement to increase the tension. The stiffness of the wheels is weakly dependent on spoke tension, so the tension of the wheels may be increased after 3-6 months, if desired, to increase the wheel stiffness by approximately 10%. This is accomplished by turning each nipple by 2 full turns from the tire side of the nipple while using the Berd spoke holding tool to prevent the spokes from twisting, followed minor adjustments to ensure the wheel is true and dished properly.
Berd Spokes are protected by US Patents 10,150,332 B2 and 10,661,598 B2.
In partnership with the United States National Science Foundation