Tech Podcast: What benefits do wheel systems offer?

Wheel systems give engineers more control over individual wheel components, so you know everything plays nicely together.

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In days of yore (just a few years ago, actually), WorldTour team mechanics would spend hours, if not days, building wheels in preparation for big races. Now, most teams have equipment sponsors who send wheels pre-built. If the pros are doing it, then wheel systems must have some obvious benefits, right?


Jeff Schneider would know. He’s the head of product and marketing for Giant gear and has been deeply involved with the process of bringing Cadex Wheelsystems to market.

That means Schneider understands the motives for building wheel systems rather than leaving riders and mechanics to assemble the products on their own. It all boils down to the hard numbers and what engineers have learned from years of testing equipment. And not surprisingly, consistency and tolerances play important roles in creating an effective wheel system that could best another wheel assembled with individual parts from various brands.

Schneider walks us through the components of a wheel system, from the inside out, and explains what each part does and how it plays into the broader landscape of the system. While Cadex in some ways has benefitted from other brands that came before, the newcomer also has some tricks up its sleeves to differentiate itself in every aspect of the wheel build.

And while Cadex isn’t the only wheel system brand out there using carbon spokes, the company under the Giant Bicycles umbrella certainly does have a unique take on the spoke as an integral part of a wheel system. Schneider explains some of the design choices here, and how these unique spokes increase reliability, versatility, and even aerodynamic performance.

If you have questions about this episode of the VeloNews Tech Podcast, or if you have suggestions for topics you would like us to cover on a future episode, feel free to reach out to tech editor Dan Cavallari via email, Instagram, or Twitter.

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