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Koppenberg Wheels


Next to a sound frameset, wheels contribute by far the biggest proportion of a bike's total performance. So as a cyclist it pays big dividends to invest well. And it's the same reason that as a bike company we choose to invest the biggest proportion of our time and resources in developing and advancing the Spin Koppenberg range of wheels.

One of the factors that sets our wheels apart from the mass produced, machine-built competition is this. All of our wheels are really wide. From our lowest cost Koppenberg alloy wheelset to our most expensive, most advanced X-Series Differential Geometry carbon. There's plenty more below on why being a Fat Boy is actually a very good thing for anyone who rides a bike.

Another factor is this: each and every Koppenberg is precision hand built in entirety from start to finish. Only by doing so can we ensure that the super high spoke tensions required for stiff, responsive wheels are fully balanced right around the rim and are entirely relieved of the stress and twisting that the build process necessitates. Without doing so, it's still possible to produce a stiff and responsive wheel - just not a wheel that will stand up to a pounding or last for very long!

Koppenberg wheels may not be as famous as those Big Boy brands. And as we don't have a ProTour level sponsorship budget it's not likely we will be any time soon. So you can of course spend a lot more of your hard earned cash on those other wheel brands, but we don't believe you'll be buying better or faster wheels.

As put it in their review of the Koppenberg MAX25s: "With such a good weight-to-price ratio, that all-important wide rim and solid and dependable reliability, it's hard to justify spending more. These are really good wheels."

Read the full Koppenberg MAX25 review on (opens in new tab)

So what's the big din with the Fat Boy Rim?

You don't need fat tyres - you need fat rims!

At Spin Industries we've got plenty of experience building robust fast wheels for all types of rider, from competitive weekend warriors and club run bashers, to pro race teams competing in UCI and Premier Calendar events and ITV's Pearl Izumi Tour Series. What each of these riders has in common is their demand for low weight, high performance and year round reliability. But over the last several seasons we noticed a growing reluctance, even amongst the die-hard racers to run tubular wheels/tyres. Tubs have always delivered lower weight and rolling resistance than clincher rims but with the downsides of messy glue and expensive punctures. The fact is, around 99% of our customers simply prefer the convenience of clinchers. 

The problem however is that traditional clincher rims are only 19mm wide at the brake tracks and cause the most popular clincher tyre, the 20% wider 23c, to adopt a rather inefficient, flat-topped bulging lightbulb profile. The result is a big contact surface area when you don't actually need it: ie when the bike is rolling upright on the straight ahead. And a narrower contact patch with the ground when you do: banked over to get around that fast sweeping bend in the rain.

Comparison of a 23c tyre profile on a standard 19mm clincher rim versus a 25mm Spin Koppenberg Fat Boy Rim

When we turn this idea on its head, and widen the rim's tyre bed out by 30% or more, the result is a well supported, lightweight 23c tyre that can adopt a MotoGP style arc profile as shown. The narrower contact patch at the peak results in lower rolling resistance, whilst leaning the bike over now engages a massive contact surface, increasing the lateal grip available, resulting in safer, faster cornering.

Wide section clincher rims are a game changer. They transform clincher performance entirely. And once experienced, we're convinced you'll never go back to standard 19mm rims again. You may even forget about tubs!