Winspace is a company based in Xiamen, China that has come from virtually totally unknown outside of it’s home market to being quite a dominant player in the world of high performance bicycle wheels. Two years ago, the original Hyper 50 wheel was released to the public, since it’s initial released it has gained the reputation of being amongst the fastest and if not the fastest 50mm deep wheel on the market.
Since the success of the Hyper 50, Winspace has taken some steps to sharpen their brand image within the marketplace and that includes implementing differentiation between their frames (Winspace) and their sub wheel brand LUN.
65mm Carbon Rims
The wheelset tested was a rim brake variant. A disc brake wheelset is also available.
The Hyper 65 is an extension of the 50, the maximum rim width and internal diameter are largely unchanged. The rim depth has been extended at approximately 30% cord. It doesn’t appear to be an overall extension across the entire cord length. The aerodynamic purists will probably argue the case over a few nanowatts but from a practical perspective, the differential is likely to be minimal.
The rims feature a flat finish as opposed to the butterfly weave of the Hyper 50 which has become a signature aesthetic of Winspace. A basic check of the wheels was carried out and there were no appreciable voids or defects in the main body. No test is totally full proof but given the large number of wheels that are presently in the market and the lack of any rim failures, there is a strong case to state these wheels are mechanically proven by way of usage statistics.
The spokes are of the same design as the Hyper 50, albeit slightly shorter. They are carbon along 90 percent of the length and feature metal inserts at the ends, the carbon section is flat bladed and has moderate width, they are not as wide as the Farsports Ventoux. There have been reports of carbon spokes failing from the joint between the carbon and the metal inserts. Both the Hyper 65 and the Hyper 50s have been extensively tested and there has been no sign of this failure mechanism occurring. Additionally, internet searches have not yielded any results.
Despite abusive use during riding, there has been no loss of spoke tension or any subsequent tensioning over the testing duration.
The rim brake hubs are of aluminum construction. Winspace have these made to their own specification by a third party. They are of a very similar design to the Farsports Ventoux hubs and share the same bearing arrangement. The hubs consist of 17mm aluminum axles supported on individually “sprung” end caps. These end caps can easily be changed to go from QR to Thru Axles. It’s good to see the use of a 17mm axle, this is the largest diameter (and therefore stiffest) axle that can comfortably fit into the space available.
The hubs use a combination of 6803 and 6903 bearings. A table showing the distribution is below
|Location||As Found Fit||Bearing Type|
|Front Hub Drive Side||M7||6803|
|Front Hub Non Drive Side||M7||6803|
|Rear Hub Drive Side||N7||6903|
|Rear Hub Non Drive Side||M7||6803|
|Freehub Drive Side||M7||6803|
|Freehub Non Drive Side||M7||6803|
The hubs and axles exhibited good manufacturing tolerances. The fits on the bearings were perfectly acceptable and there was no hint of under sizing. There was a slightly elevated fundamental train frequency in the 6903 bearing at startup but this soon settled. After 4000km, the same 6903 bearing exhibited vibration levels that were indicative of a forthcoming failure. A damaged race was detected at 4000km which was almost certainly the result of contaminant damage.
From an aerodynamic perspective, the bicycle industry is probably the only industry where people are told that something that has a larger frontal area is more aerodynamic and the marketing is so effective that they believe it. Any aerodynamicist worth their salt would try and reduce frontal area wherever possible.
The Hyper line of wheels goes against the mold when it comes to rim geometry. Whilst the industry is going towards wider wheels (30mm+). Winspace has bucked that trend and uses a rim that is little over 26mm wide. This makes the wheel inherently more aerodynamic than it’s peers. It also uses flat bladed spokes that improve on the turbulent losses generated by spokes. One of the elements where a possible gain is available is the use of hidden nipples – whilst aerodynamically this is superior, from a manufacturing and maintenance perspective, this creates an unwanted headache hence the use of exposed nipples is welcome.
The Hyper 65 and 50 share common features including the much acclaimed hook geometry where a clincher seats, this has a tendency to trip the airflow and result in delayed separation. The Hyper 50 benefits from this effect because it has a much sharper taper due to it’s reduced depth. For a deeper rim and thus shallower taper, the benefit is less pronounced on the Hyper 65.
The overall aerodynamic performance of the wheel is better than the Hyper 50 but it’s not dramatically better. It is still the best 65mm wheel in it’s class. Straight line speed would be higher in idealized conditions but in gusty flow, the Hyper 50 is probably a better proposition (the straight line penalty is not that high). It also proves just how good the Hyper 50 is. You can see the charts at 30km/h and 50km/h
Aerodynamic stability is governed primarily by the rim depth and it’s unsurprising that these wheels have a reduced stability window versus wheels of a shallower depth.
Structural Performance, Integrity and Build Quality
These wheels are very stiff. Carbon has little flex and given they are 65mm deep – the flexible component – the spoke length is shortened. The test wheels were readily abused, they were ridden across rutted roads and even ridden on flat tires. Nothing on the wheels broke or had any signs of breaking.
After 4000km of abuse, the only thing that was noticeable was a defect on the inner race of the 6903 bearing on the rear hub. It is likely that this defect was caused by contamination through a lack of maintenance (none was carried out) and abuse that a normal wheelset would be subjected to.
There is little doubt these wheels can be recommended, they are fast, well made wheels but Winspace probably have a little more they could extract and whilst it is the fastest 65mm wheel around. It is not much faster than their 50mm offering, it is slightly heavier and offers a smaller operating window before the wheel becomes unstable. For most users the 50mm would probably be a better option or the use of a 50mm front and a 65mm (or deeper) rear. The aerodynamic benefits from the 50mm are still present on the 65mm but those subtle aerodynamic features that greatly improved the shallower wheel have less effect at deeper rim depths and the physical geometry assumes dominance.