Spinaci Fought the Power

Spinaci Light. Fitting that this Spinaci sticker was spotted on a time clock at a bike shop – representin’ ya know, “the man” and “fight the power.” A reader on our Flickr photostream asked us “what do they do” and we replied, “Spinacis are bar extenders that were banned by the UCI (bike racing’s international governing body) – that lead to a battle between Cinelli and the UCI and the popular belief that the UCI is political and ridiculous.”

This was in the 90s, when Italian bike racer’s hair looked like Cipos (and never moved!) and before anyone was popularizing "city bikes." We also only had 8 speeds, not eleven and a $450 dollar Shimano chain ring that lasts two thousand miles was unheard of. Would’ve been laughed out of the bike shop, actually.

A world away in local races, racers were being told they had to take their Spinacis off by uptight officials and the racer’s response was that’s ridiculous. The same argument with officials, without the public fight from the manufacturer, happened later with Spinergy Rev-X Wheels. A 4 spoke large carbon wheel that, according to urban legend, would julienne body parts in crashes. The bigger reason was that when they failed, they failed massively.

I had a set of Spinacis and that became my first eBay sale. Didn’t disagree with the Spinergy decisions actually. Those wheels sucked in my opinion – loud as shit. Bunselmeyer, a local legendary racer raced on them and you could always hear his predictable attacks before he launched them – whoop, whoop, creak, creak, rumble, huff, huff, up up – and there he went.


Lately, Spinergy Shaolin has emerged as a jackass-style party game.

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Is Spinergy still around?  I saw a few ads that featured an “Inferno” wheelset with Maxxis rubber…

If I remember correctly, Michele Bartoli was a “rumored” vicitm of the Spinergy blades in an accident in 1998 while riding for the Mapei juggernaut…?

I don’t know if they ever did chop someone up, but failures yes. [Spinergy](http://www.spinergy.com/catalog/index.php) is still around with fiber spoke technology and I guess they could sympathize with Mavic and the R-Sys.

Rev-X wheels were the shit back then.  They were the first real “aero” wheel I had ever ridden and I was instantly convinced of the benefits of aero.  Granted, I weigh 130lbs, but they held up for me over the 2-3 years I owned a set.  So,yeah, I think they were decent for the time. I’d probably buy a set now if 1) they were pristine 2) they were dirt cheap. Not to race though, I’ve got better wheels nowadays. Funny, Rev-X still seem to get decent money on eBay to this day.

As far as catastrophic breakage is concerned, did the Rev-X ever fail when someone was riding them, or did they only blow apart in a crash?  I’ve seen broken Rev-X but it was always from damage ensuing in a crash rather than the cause of the crash.

So, is that Cipo on the Spinaci sticker…or is it Ted Nugent?  I can hardly tell the difference.

See this [Spinergy Accident](http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-020/index.html) site I found on the Google from 2003—not sure if that’s lawyer propaganda or what, but it makes a long case for what happened. Lesser known failures include Rolf Wheels—bam when those things go, with that much spoke tension sounded like a gun going off.

Mark have you played Spinergy Shaolin?

Big-hair Cipo.

Spinergy’s were great.  So fast feeling before light/deep carbon because an option.  Sure they made for a great “shiv” when they crashed and broke, but that was rare.  They did have some serious issues with delaminating from the rim and hub, but I don’t think those were catistrophic failures. 

Spinaci’s were a dark time in road racing.  It was too tri-like to give people mini-aerobars like that to get off the front.  Then there were the Scott Drop-ins, Scott Rakes, those menacing looking ones from Cane Creek.  I’m glad that’s all over.

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