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Atomik’s Alloy Gravel Elevation: The ALGR29

Gear of the Day

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The Atomik ALGR29 represents a more than a reasonably priced alloy gravel wheelset with a carbon fiber attitude. The alloy wheels from the seasoned carbon fiber manufacturer Atomik are tubeless ready with an internal width of 24.5mm, (29mm external). The wheels are engineered with vertical compliance in mind, creating a more comfortable ride on a less forgiving terrain like gravel roads. The handbuilt wheels are fastened to the American made Industry 9 1-1 hubs and can be had at a fairly unbelievable price of $700.

Atomik has upped the ante on these affordably priced gravel wheels by offering them with Berd spokes, a radical shake up of an industry standard. (The Berd build comes with the same Industry 9 hubs and the space-age Berd spokes for $1200.) The spoked wheel dates to 2000 BC first found in the Sintashta cultures of the Southern Ural Mountains (Eastern Europe/Western Russia) back in the Middle Bronze age. Early spokes were made of wood, think of chariot and wagon wheels. For a very long time steel has reigned as a bicycle spoke, stainless steel being used on quality builds while galvanized steel spokes have made up cheaper wheels.

Berd has turned that steely assumption on its head with their spokes made from a polymer called ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, which rolls right off the tongue. The Berd spokes are lighter than steel spokes (and steel is a component of the Berd material), they float on water and they absorb and dampen more vibration, up to 200 percent in some tests. On my first impression I thought they look like strings dipped in wax. Somewhat skeptical to be completely honest, I was blown away by how the wheels performed in both a gravel, and ‘cross context. The Berd spokes on the Atomik ALGR29 wheels give you alloy durability with compliance and comfort that approaches carbon fiber. Berd spokes also offer better durability than steel making a broken spoke less likely.

With all Atomik Carbon’s wheelsets should you decide to upgrade they offer special pricing using the same hubs from your original alloy wheels. More: atomikcarbon.com