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Yesterday, I checked out a Cannondale Synapse with Mavic Aksium wheels. One strange detail caught my eye - the rear wheel had bladed spokes on the drive side, and regular, cylindrical spokes on the non-drive side.

Is this a feature or did the shopkeeper mess around with the wheels?

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    It would be ridiculous to "mess around" with a wheel to produce a spoke setup that didn't come from the factory. The wheel itself may have been swapped, but not the spokes. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 25 '19 at 23:52
  • Is this a new bike or a used model they are selling? – mikes Jul 26 '19 at 8:31
  • @mikes it's a brand new bike. – Harshil Sharma Jul 26 '19 at 8:42
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Your first, and possibly best, place to start researching is the Cannondale website. It appears that 2 models of the Synapse, the Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra and Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra DI2 come standard with Mavic Aksium Disc wheels. You could then refer to the Mavic website to get the specs on those.

  • the bike was a rim brake one, not disk. – Harshil Sharma Jul 26 '19 at 1:48
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    Looking on Mavic's own website, they do ship it with round spokes on rear non-drive side and bladed on drive side - shop.mavic.com/en-int/aksium-rr0988.html#1028=3283. Navigate to specifications > Spokes. This is really strange to me and I've personally never seen something like this. I'm really interested in understanding the reason for this mixture of spokes. – Harshil Sharma Jul 26 '19 at 1:49
  • Do bladed spokes provide any benefit other than reduced drag? – Harshil Sharma Jul 26 '19 at 1:50
  • @HarshilSharma Maybe, the reason is just "because it sells". But if anyone knew a better reason, I'd also be very interested to read about it... – cmaster - reinstate monica Jul 26 '19 at 7:00
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    The real explanation is likely under NDA, but I can come with three plausible ones: a) Cost/benefit: flat spokes are more expensive than round, so on a budget wheelset it makes sense to put those only on the side that is more in the wind. b) Marketing: asymmetric spokes at rear look technical and this is a cheap way to get the effect and possibly make people think of option a. c) Logistics: Mavic had lots of mismatched spokes in inventory when the first production run was made, and since the wheels sold well, they kept the spec – ojs Jul 26 '19 at 16:48

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