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A spoke’s just a spoke, they’re all the same right? Wrong, just like every component used in the construction of a superior-performance wheel, the spoke performs a very important function within the wheel system, and if the spokes are not high-quality and high performing, this will reduce the operational performance and durability, meaning the wheel will under-perform and will not last as well as it could or should do.

We set out with a vision to develop world-leading wheels that would outperform and outlast the now standard factory-built imported wheels, and we got to understand the spokes were very important if we were to achieve our vision. Our initial research had led to two brands that were being used by most of the professional teams, but we needed to understand what spokes would have both the performance, and just as importantly, the durability to allow us to supply our 5-year warranty and offer our unique A+Care cover.

This took us back to our initial product research, where we quickly understood that the best wheels needed to be hand-built for higher precision and tighter tolerances. It then dawned on us that we probably had the best product research and testing facility anywhere in the world, our new network of Master wheel builders. They had hundreds of combined years of experience and knowledge in building and maintaining wheels and we could use this to help us determine what would be the best spokes for a higher-performance build with longer-lasting durability. Their responses were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about one spoke manufacturer, and one spoke in particular, and that was Sapim and the CX-Ray 'the worlds best spoke'

'We probably had the best product research and testing facility anywhere in the world, our new network of Master wheel builders'

We went on to learn that the CX-Ray had the best fatigue record of any spoke, making it the most durable spoke available, but importantly, could it be the best performing spoke as well? We knew the CX-Ray was the first choice spoke for many of the world’s leading professional cycling teams, and we needed to know for certain if it was the right spoke for our wheel systems. Performance analysis meant months of real-world testing against the other leading spoke brands, but we soon realised the Sapim CX-Ray had a winning formula, a superior shape, material, and manufacturing process that meant this spoke was outperforming all the other spoke builds we had tested, and had now become our number one choice.

So why is the Sapim CX-Ray so superior?

Sapim was founded in 1918 by Mr. Herman Schoonhoven and most of their spokes are still manufactured in Belgium and they are regarded as world leaders in spoke and nipple innovation.

Most modern spokes come in varying shapes, materials, and finishes and are connected through a J Bend flange or a straight pull configuration. Some spokes due to the nature of their manufacture can perform better under the complex dynamic load and fatigue cycles that are asked of them than others, and the CX-Ray performed the best.

Manufacturing Process

The Sapim CX-Ray is a double-butted aero spoke made from the finest high-tensile 18/8 stainless steel treated with a special alloy and finished with black oxidisation. The double-butted aero construction is stronger, transmitting rotational torque and absorbing road shocks much easier than a non-butted spoke.

Most of the spokes around today are stamped into shape producing a spoke shape that is flat or oblong with square edges. The CX-Ray aero elliptical shape is cold drawn using a unique Sapim Cold Forging Technology that stretches the spoke while retaining the linear molecular structure increasing the strength of the aero middle section by up to 48% with the reduced diameter being more elastic creating a longer life. Due to the spokes not being stamped and going through a specially shaped die creating the elliptical shape, and not a square edge, the spokes are aerodynamically superior against headwinds and crosswinds.

The CX-Ray is not cheap at £3.25 RRP (2023) per spoke and we could have built with spokes at a fraction of the cost, but as we said, we had the vision to create world-leading wheels, and the CX-Ray is a very important part of us realising that vision.

Thank you for reading

Team Aeroc

What do we have here? is it a lighter, better looking, easier to maintain 350 hub with improved technology? well the answer is yes, but thankfully, it's a bombproof re-embodiment of this much loved 'so called' entry-level DT Swiss hub.

But what makes the new 350 hubs superior to anything else out there at a similar price point I hear you ask? Well, let’s dig a little deeper and find out why the 350 hub is the first choice ‘go to’ hub for the majority of our Master wheel builders and let’s discover why the cycle industry’s leading experts and reviewers rate the new 350 hubs so highly, oh and of course, why we chose to offer it with our cutting-edge wheel systems, and why we simply love the new 350 so much!

Looking for super-cool looks, reliability, and high performance, with great value thrown into the mix too, well sounds like an unbeatable offer to us, and that’s exactly what you get with the new version of the legendary DT Swiss 350 hub.

The old 350 was always known for its simplicity of design, coupled with a no-nonsense approach to technology; let’s make that a little simpler to understand – well-built body, bigger sealed bearings, and the famous Star ratchet system, with 18 teeth of engagement. A solid, dependable investment but heavier and not as beautiful as the leading 180 Ceramic and 240 EXP hubs, but to be fair to the old 350 hubs, they would spin on and on, day after day hassle-free to the delight of those riders who owned them.

A dilemma for DT Swiss, they wanted to improve a much-loved hub but not lose the simplicity of design and value that appealed to buyers. So, what could they improve on? Well, many riders who have experienced DT Swiss hubs will be pleased to know they have not replaced the innovative twin ratchet system but improved on it with the new hollow ‘SL’ plates upgraded to 36 teeth, same as the 180 and 240 hubs, creating an engagement angle of 10-degrees for faster engagement whilst reducing the weight of the drive mechanism, a plus we say!

The DT Swiss Star Ratchet System – The technology and a reason to choose it.

When we first set out to create our leading-edge wheel systems, we realised our unique buying and build model gave us a great opportunity to learn from our Master wheel builders and their many years of professional wheel building and maintenance experience. We were given a great opportunity to understand what their first-choice wheel components would be, their reasons for choosing, and why they chose some over others, and just as important, why they stay well clear of many brands. The feedback from their real-world experiences meant there was only one serious choice for us when it came to hubs, and that was DT Swiss, and one of the main reasons for this was their ingenious ratchet system.

Most hub manufacturers use the Pawl system to drive the freehub. This means very small metal levers (pawls) pushed out by springs to engage with an outer tooth ring. This system has many problems as the pawls and springs are susceptible to dirt, water, and grit, and normally only 2 or 3 pawls engage creating uneven high-stress points leading to higher maintenance required and a shorter lifespan.

DT Swiss uses a patented Ratchet system consisting of two hardened steel tooth plates simultaneously making solid engagement when pedalling. The driving force creates little to no stress as the force is evenly distributed across the whole of the two plates' faces, with every tooth engaging producing a more reliable power transmission. The hubs also have a sealed design requiring less maintenance, with no ingress of water and grit, and have the best reliability record of any hub in the world.

The new 350 sharing technologies with siblings 240 and 180.

Many wheel brands use cheaper hubs, with outdated pawl and spring systems, smaller low-quality bearings, and inferior shell and axle materials. All of the DT Swiss hubs we use incorporate their ratchet system, with their leading pre-loaded sealed steel, or ceramic bearings, creating durable play-free hubs without the need for bearing play adjustment. The new 350 Road hubs also feature the same easy tool-free swaps from one freehub body to the next as the rest of DT's hubs. That makes swapping two different cassette ranges for the same drivetrain easy without tools, or the same thing when swapping for example from Shimano to SRAM cassettes when moving one wheelset from bike to bike, again without tools.

All versions of the new 350 have a matte black and white finish with a waterslide logo (not stickers) sharing the 240 and 180 high-quality looks with better resistance to chemical cleaners and abrasion.

Yes, thank you for the wait, here's the important bit!

The updated 350 has reengineered hubs and axles with more machining similar to the 240 and 180 leading to a further weight reduction of around 42g. A set (front & rear) of 350 Disc brake straight-pull hubs comes in at 361g, with the 240’s set at 305g and the ultra-light ceramic 180’s set weighing just 280g.

Without a doubt, the new 350 hubs are a massive improvement on what was an already great hub, and this is why we love the new 350 and working with the best manufacturers like DT Swiss. They help us create our world-leading wheel systems, raising the bar on performance, and our unique wheel build, and service experience. You can choose the new 350 hub on all our road, gravel and cyclocross wheels.

Thank you for reading

Team Aeroc

In the early 1990’s a long-term transition began when Mavic released the first factory-built road racing wheelset, the Cosmic. This wasn’t the world-changing event they had hoped for, and most competitive riders carried on having their wheels hand-built by their local wheel builder. Then in 1995 Frenchman Laurent Jalabert won Paris-Nice on a bright red set of Mavic mass-produced Helium wheels, and although his wheels would have been hand-built for him, the world’s perception changed, pre-built wheels became popular, and the local wheel builders days were numbered - this leading to today's mass-produced imported wheels that have become the convenient norm.

Today hand-built performance carbon wheels are in the exclusive domain of the elite rider. A high-level wheelset can cost many thousands of pounds to buy and own, and they are out of reach for many club and competitive riders until now that is, as Aeroc has set out to change the world of wheel buying again! Today we allow all types of riders easy access to the Pro-racers world of high-level hand-built carbon wheel systems.

Our wheels are created with passion, pride, and pro-level performance but with the ‘oh so easy’ convenience of buying online. But the big question still is: are hand-built wheels better than mass-produced imported wheels? Well let’s try and answer this with an analogy – we believe our full-carbon racing wheels are comparable to a top-performing stringed musical instrument. Every instrument is uniquely different, and similarly every wheel component is never the same, so the wheel builder needs to use the precision of the human eye to spot those anomalies or imperfections that could affect performance or durability. It is also paramount that the spokes are tensioned and tuned to flawless equality, and as with the stringed instrument, each spoke plucked should create a perfect equal note, and the human ear is best at achieving true perfection; you wouldn’t let a machine or novice tune a Stradivarius, and this is why we only let Certified Master wheel builders near our world-leading performance wheels.

There are many reasons why having your wheels hand-built by our Master wheel builders is better than imported pre-built wheels, so let's name a few:

· Our hand-built wheels have tighter tolerances, meaning the wheels will be stiffer and perform at a higher level.

· They are precision built - meaning the trueness and roundness is more precise and will stay within our world-leading tolerances for longer.

· Our hand-built wheels are built with greater care and attention than mass-produced wheels, with every wheel being signed off by the builder with passion and pride.

· We can custom build our wheels to the rider’s style, power and weight, creating wheels more suitable for the individual rider.

· Our hand-built wheels are more durable and easier to maintain due to the world-leading components and readily available spares.

· Pre-built Imported wheels have higher shipping & import costs meaning cheaper components are used, to help keep the retail price lower.

· Imported wheels also have a higher carbon footprint, mainly due to the pre-built wheels packaging size and transportation on polluting container ships.

A Better Service - Your Aeroc Certified Master Wheel Builder is the best choice for servicing your wheels, helping them perform at the highest level for longer, and they are also there to advise and answer all your questions or concerns – an unbeatable service!

Thank you for reading

Team Aeroc

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