The new Sapim CX-Carbon is billed as the stiffest and lightest aero spoke ever, and with a weight of just 3g each, theyre backing that up.
The construction is full carbon fiber until the very end, where theres a bonded stainless CX-Ray threaded end that uses a standard nipple. So, they can be built to any rim, but for now theyll have to be built with a specific new hub set from Edco. The Swiss wheel and component brand co-developed the spoke with Sapim and is featuring it on a very lightweight new wheelset well cover separately.
Assuming other hub manufacturers come on board, aftermarket retail price will be around $16 per spoke when they come out in early March 2016. The first batch will be sent to builders theyre familiar with to get their feedback, but eventually they should make their way to the rest of us.
The head of the spoke has a 4.5mm bulb that needs to be trapped inside the hub somehow, which is a common design used by Mavic and others. But the shape isunique, so the hub needs to be designed specifically for these spokes.
Its at least 25% lighter than their other spokes, which is the main benefit, but theyre also about 10% stronger, which means they can be built into a stronger wheel. They have virtually zero elongation, so you could use a very high tension, but they say it should be tensioned like a normal spoke so it doesnt rip your rim apart. They also say itll make for a comparatively stiff wheel, so its designedfor crits or climbing, not cruisingall day fondos. For comparison:
The spoke is 3.0mm round just above the head, then flattens to a 3.01.9 oval shape, then round again to 3.5mm diameter before the 14G threaded insert.
Why? Because they could, and they want to remain at the top of the spoke industry in terms of technology and reputation. And hell, because its freakin cool.