SPOKEX SX310 CARBON WHEEL REVIEW
Review by Drew Rohde | Photos by Max Rhulen & Sourpatch
Several months before we got these wild-looking SpokeX SX310 wheels to review, we received a random email from Hunter Savoy, the proprietor and founder of SpokeX Bike Co. We’d not heard much about the brand and although we love testing wheels, our small crew was buried in a pile of other test products and let Hunter know we’d have to take a rain check. Fast forward to the Bentonville Bike Festival later that year and Hunter walked up to our booth with a wheel bag in hand. “Hey guys, I’m Hunter from SpokeX and I brought these wheels here and you can take ‘em home with you if you’re down to try them out.” They certainly caught our attention and after spending some time talking with Hunter, we took possession and have been loving the wheels ever since.
SpokeX is a Southern California- based company that has a showroom designed to foster their custom-build ethos. They’ve developed a following for building some pretty unique mountain bikes, complimented by their equally unique, in-house wheels. If you’re not looking for a completely custom bike build that’s alright, SpokeX offers an online wheel builder that’s very easy to navigate and lets you go from mild to wild.
Hand-Built to Order – SpokeX’s website clearly spells out what they’re passionate about and how confident they are in their products. Each will is built by hand, by an expert wheel builder and checked for quality before leaving their shop. Backing up that QC check is a lifetime warranty on the parts as well as the craftsmanship, a nice touch.
Options On Options – Whether you want to customize graphics, spoke colors or hub selection, the SpokeX build process will let you choose the look that’s right for you. SpokeX has in-house powdercoating capabilities and works with a graphic printer to get your wheels ready for show or go. Hub options include Industry Nine Hydra hubs or Onyx Vespers.
Rims – Sporting a 23.5mm depth and internal width of 31mm with a 38mm external width, the rims sit well within the norms of aggressive enduro mountain bike wheels. Rims feature a 2mm offset and are available in 29-inch (505g) or 27.5-inch (485g) diameters. Complete wheelset weights will depend on hub and build options.
Although the color combo of these SpokeX SX310 wheels wouldn’t have been our first choice, they certainly drew a lot of attention on the trails. Looks aside, the way these wheels rode on the trail certainly earned them a lot of attention from the three testers who put time on them. I spent the most time on them and am likely the pickiest of riders when it comes to compliance.
Looking at the beefy spokes, tight tension and build quality, I was expecting these wheels to ride a bit like 2008 ENVE wheels, aka not good. I should have paid more attention to that rim profile apparently as the wheels offered a really nice feel overall. I wouldn’t say they’re quite as compliant as CrankBros Synthesis wheels or Zipp 3Zero Motos, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I know riders don’t like those wheels because they’re not stiff enough, so as with all my reviews, I try to put each rider’s personal preferences and local terrain at the forefront. For the record, I regularly ride loose, desert trails where traction is scarce, and speeds are high. I don’t like harsh riding wheels as they cause fatigue and slower descending times so I’m not the one looking for the stiffest wheels to rail G-inducing, blue-grooved bike park berms. I did, however, spend a bit of time riding the bike park with the SX310 wheels and was still happy with how they did.
I mention the above wheels because I really like them, however while I would recommend the Synthesis or Zipp wheels for riders who seek traction and compliance in areas with loose rocks or wet roots, they can be polarizing when stiffness is needed. The SpokeX SX310, being a bit stiffer, are perhaps a bit more neutral and well-rounded in their performance. They offer enough compliance and feel when searching for traction in off-camber corners, but they offered a nice push and pop when it came time to dive into a big berm or quick slap turn.
Hub performance will vary depending on the build you choose; however we’ve spent time on both hubs and find them to be competitive options, so pick whichever makes you happy or fits your budget. Over the course of our six month test period, we haven’t had any spokes come loose or any sort of concern when it comes to quality of the build SX310 wheels, which is pretty great.
The Wolf’s Last Word
SpokeX SX310 wheels have been a pleasure to review. Wheels are a very important part of the ride experience and SpokeX have done a good job in creating a customizable wheelset that will offer a nice blend of performance, reliability, value and fun. We’re big fans of customizing our bikes, and having the ability to pick and choose not only decal colors but also take advantage of their in-house powder coating capabilities is a real plus. And while looking cool is important, it’s only an added plus because the SX310 wheels also deliver when it comes to ride feel on the trail. They have a snappy, precise feel without the abusive harshness some stiffer carbon wheels come with. Overall, I’m a big fan of the SpokeX SX310 wheels and I know 3 other testers who are also new fans too.
Price: Starting at $1,400
Weight: 2,012 grams as tested with valve stems and rim tape