Online retailer Wiggle have launched the new Black Series by Tune, a range of high-end, high-performance wheels, chainsets, stems, skewers and more from the German company well regarded as making some of the lightest components money can buy.
The Black Series range by Poshbikes is manufactured by Tune exclusively for Wiggle. Black Series is an evolution of current Tune products, and all the parts are made in Germany at Tune’s facility in the Black Forest. They will only be available through Wiggle's website. That means regular stock, worldwide and next day delivery on a product previously difficult to obtain.
Among the improvements the most notable, and perhaps the most significant where extremely lightweight components are concerned, is that they now have higher rider weight limits. Yet we’re told the weight is the same, Tune have simply managed to refine the machining of the components to increase strength without raising the weight.
Tune needs little introduction really. They’re a German company synonymous with manufacturing seriously lightweight components that have always kept weight weenies happy. We were shown a selection of the products this week, including the road wheels, chainset, stems, skewers and bar ends. There are more products on their way, and there’s a few more in the pipeline for the Black Series as well, which all sounds very exciting. There might, for example, be a tubular wheelset coming along in the future too.
And yes, they’re only available in black, mainly because that’s the colour that sells the most, according to Wiggle. The black parts will at least match any bike they’re fitted to.
So, onto the products for our first look. The RAC (road alloy clincher) road wheelset costs £579 and weighs a claimed 1,453g. They’re hand-built in Germany, using Tune’s own CNC-machined 7075 T7 aluminium hubs, featuring oversize 17mm axles and dual high-grade bearings.
The extremely noisy freehub - people will hear you coming from the next village when freewheeling- is Shimano/SRAM 9-10-11-speed compatible. There is also a Campagnolo version available. The rim, which looks a familiar shape to us, has a 27mm deep profile with 24/28 Sapim D-Light triple butted (2.0/1.65/2.0) spokes.
They do a gorgeous stem, the Black Series ST-OV, with some extremely tidy and precise machining around the steerer clamp. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s CNC-machined from 7075 T6 grain orientated and heat-treated aluminium with custom made TiAL6V4 titanium hardware. All very nice, and with a price to match, £165. A 120mm stem weighs a claimed 125g. 95, 105 and 110mm lengths are available too.
There’s a matching seatpost, available in 27.2 and 31.6mm diameters and 340 and 420mm lengths. The lightest incarnation is a claimed 171g, and costs £112. The inside is carefully and precisely machined, with more material in key areas - the top 115m of the post is externally butted while the lower 70mm section below the clamping zone, where the clamping forces are, is internally bored out. It’s CNC-machined from 7075 T6 heat-treated aluminium and a two-bolt saddle clamp is used allowing precise adjustment.
The £597 chainset looks stunning. The arms are CNC-machined from grain orientated 7075 T6 heat-treated aluminium with the five-bolt spider also CNC-machined, in 7022 alloy. It has a 30mm diameter 7076 T6 alloy axle integrated to the drive-side crank. Frame-specific bearing cups are supplied to fit most bottom bracket standards, including BSA 68/73, BB30 68/73, PF30, OSBB and BB91-41.
The cranks are fitted with Tune’s own CNC’ed 7075 chainrings which are compatible with 9, 10 and 11-speed groupsets, both mechanical or electronic. The chainrings are ramped and pinned and work with SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo drivetrains. The chainrings a stiffer than standard Tune rings, designed to be compatible with electronic groupsets
Choices include compact 110 BCD or standard 130 BCD with 172.5 and 175mm crank arm lengths. It’s a decent weight, a claimed 667.9g for a compact BB30 without the bottom bracket. That’s lighter than a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 chainset.
You want a pair of lightweight skewers to complete your bike? The Black Series skewers, which we’re told are more durable and can take a higher load than regular Tune skewers, weigh a claimed 37.7g and cost £93. Yes not cheap at all, but if you want the finishing touch for a particularly fancy build, a nice set of skewers is often an overlooked detail. The front skewer has a 7075 axle while the rear uses a CNC-machined TiAL6V4 titanium axle, and both have CNC-machined 7075 levers and clamps.
And how about these bar ends? Admittedly not something you see that often on road going bikes, though maybe ideal for an urban or flat-barred touring/trekking bike, are a good example of the level of design and engineering that goes into all Black Series products. They’re machined from 7075 alloy with an exquisite titanium clamping mechanism. Oh and they weigh a claimed 52g. They cost £70.
Sadly they took all these bits away after we photographed them, but we’re arranging to get some in for test so we can see how they perform. We have high expectations.
The entire Black Series by Tune range is available now at www.wiggle.co.uk/black-series-by-tune/, so go take a look if you’re interested
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.