The Aerospoke. Hype-God of Fixed Gear Wheelsets.
This is an in- depth review for the rear Aerospoke wheel I bought for my fixed gear bike roughly a year ago. Should you buy one? Where can you get one without selling a kidney? What benefit will it bring besides looking awesome? These are all questions I will answer and more.
It all started when I was riding my no-name blue track bike past a drug fair on the way home in suburban NJ. I had just gotten into fixed riding, and my bike was still totally noobtastic. All and all, I probably could have paid for the whole thing by selling the seat-post I’m rocking on my current setup. Anyway I see out of the corner of my eye, slowly and nonchalantly circling in the half empty parking lot, an older kid on a beautiful white build that had to be almost fully NJS. He had a snow-white rear Aerospoke. I had heard of these rims before, and in passing wondered what it would be like to roll by haters on a four hundred dollar mag-spoked circle of awesomeness, but with the latter price, this fantasy was totally limited to just that. After seeing this almost angelic display of epic bike components, the oath began forming deep in the recesses of my mind- one day, I had to own one of these wheels.
Fast forward about a year and a half. One of my friends, the kind with a seemingly endless supply of cool stuff, along with an equally endless proclivity towards becoming bored with said treasure, bought an Aerospoke. When boredom ensued in about a week, he spray-painted it bright green. Knowing I had only moment to spare before he unloaded it for a ridiculously low price to any number of his fixed riding pals, I quickly shot him an offer. I ended up with a glossy glowing green spoke, second hand, for the then awesomely reasonable price of two hundred bills.
Thus began my aero-odyssey. I took it home strapped awkwardly to my Jansport backpack as I rode over and down the hills that separated my house from his. Shaking with excitement, I began preparations for liberation from the less than ideal color way my poor wheel had found itself affixed with.
Now happy, be-tired, and gloss black, my Aerospoke spun effortlessly under me by way of it’s sixteen tooth cog and dura ace lock ring. Throughout its life it would be repainted again, a pleasant eggshell off white. However, it now sits tireless in my TV room, a still beloved, but benched reminder of the hype, and why one should not always believe it. Here is why.
Upon riding for the first time I immediately noticed how heavy the wheel is. Its not end of the world annoyingly super heavy, but it’s a step up from Deep V’s, which are themselves a bit chubby. This extra baggage is not necessarily a bad thing however if you’ve got the strength to get them going. The Aerospoke is almost like cruise control, once it gets moving, it doesn’t want to stop. Maintaining speed once you have it is a breeze with this wheel. I have had no problems with its durability structurally; however the reason I took it off my bike was that it developed a rattle inside of it. Some loose thing just broke off in there, and now my wheel just… rattles. I hate when things rattle and I can’t tell the cause, especially when I’m breaking thirty mph on them on a daily basis, and they stand between me and weeks in the hospital.
Aesthetically, the wheel is near perfect. It looks exactly like what it is, a sweet and simple, no frills 700c mag wheel for your homies to envy. I have gotten more compliments on this wheel than… probably anything else I’ve owned ever. All and all, I’m not riding it because of the rattle, and not wanting to mess up the white paint job. If I ever get around to repainting it a more beat-ready color, I will probably overcome the noise it makes and start using it again.
The lowdown is this. Search eBay and Craig’s List. If you can find a wheel for a reasonable price and you want one, there is no reason not to get it. It will last you forever and apart from a rattle (that I’ve never heard any other owners complain of) it is pretty much the sickest looking sub 500-dollar wheel money can by.