SpinOlution Wheel Limitations?

What does each of the Spinolution wheels lack (each one will probably be different)? Knowing a wheel’s limitations is a good thing.
— Amy

I've been working and dealing with SpinOlution for 2 years and, although they are my favorite wheel brand, they are not the right wheel for everyone. So here are my two blunt cents on the cons of each wheel. Please keep in mind that all of these notes are based on wheel designs manufactured before August 2017. Future designs may resolve some of these issues. 

MACH III CONS

  • It's heavy. This is not the wheel I'd choose to travel with. I don't care if it comes with straps and wheels. I also don't like lugging a giant piece of luggage thru an airport with two kids. Ever. I traveled with an Ashford Country Spinner for 10 years (multiple times cross-country, disassembling it and re-assembling it for events) and I'm just officially done bringing heavy wheels places. Some people travel with their MACH, and that's fine! It's just not for me. 
  • With the 64 oz upgrade it is hard work to treadle to start. But once you get a couple treadles in, it speeds up and builds momentum and it's okay. But that 64 oz works 100% better on the Firefly. 
  • On designs when the 8 oz setup smallest whorl is metal (other whorls plastic or wood) - this ratio (1:21) is hard work to treadle on some designs due to the size of the bearings. However, this is only on wheels that have the two-material whorls (plastic + metal / wood + metal). 
  • If it has the wooden pegs - those pegs can become sawed off if you're spinning fine yarn. You can replace the flyer arms with the black nylon pegs so you don't have this issue. 
  • The black drive band may rub residue on the fly wheel. At this time there aren't any clear drive band options that function for SpinOlution wheels. You can wipe the residue off with a damp cloth.
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

ECHO CONS

  • The base is lighter than the MACH so if you fill up a 16 oz bobbin with dense fiber it may be top-heavy. I recommend using the 16 oz for bulkier yarns anyway. Also - if you have kids it's easier for them to move it / push it over than it is to budge the MACH. 
  • Some spinners find the treadles to be a little small, but I am not bothered by them (I'm a shoe size 7.5)
  • The black drive band may rub residue on the fly wheel. At this time there aren't any clear drive band options that function for SpinOlution wheels. 
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

BEE CONS

  • You can't change the bobbin sizes. So you're locked into that one size that you buy. This is limiting in my opinion compared to the interchangeable wheels (Mach, Echo, Firefly, Hopper, Pollywog) - but I prefer multiple multiple sizes. Not all spinners do. 
  • The black drive band may rub residue on the fly wheel. At this time there aren't any clear drive band options that function for SpinOlution wheels. 
  • On the older (wooden whorl) King Bee, the ratios might be limiting for fine spinners. 
  • The oldest Bee models don't have magnetic flyer arms
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

HOPPER CONS

  • People either love or hate the Hopper. It's the most over-designed wheel on the market you'll ever meet. It's our biggest seller in Japan. I call it the kawaii wheel. 
  • The height of the chair makes your Hopper spinning experience a dream or a nightmare. By nightmare I mean "why do I feel like I'm climbing Mt. Everest" nightmare. I guess you could tighten your booty while you spin yarn, but I'm personally past that point in my life now. 
  • If you have an older Hopper (without the foot shaped pads) treadling with your heels can feel like an exam. It's way too personal an experience for me when I'm spinning. But some people don't mind that kind-of thing. To each their own.
  • If it has the wooden pegs - those pegs can become sawed off if you're spinning fine yarn. You can replace the flyer arms with the black nylon pegs so you don't have this issue. 
  • The black drive band may rub residue on the fly wheel. At this time there aren't any clear drive band options that function for SpinOlution wheels. 
  • It wiggles a little bit at the neck/handle area when you're spinning on the 32 oz setup. 
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

FIREFLY CONS

  • It can run out of batteries. Make sure you bring your power cords when you travel. 
  • It can blow a fuse. This is very simple to replace, but annoying. SpinOlution can ship you a replacement fuse. The newer model Fireflies have a button you press on that back to re-set the power (no fuse replacing required) but the older models do have fuses. 
  • Like any electric wheel, it can have electric issues. SpinOlution will repair any electrical / technical issues FOR FREE within a year. But this can be a bummer while you wait to have it shipped back to you. If you have electrical issues after a year, you will need to pay for the repair. But a new motor is only about $30, so it's not money pit. 
  • The motor can become mis-aligned in shipment. This is also an easy fix, simply open the box up and snuggle the motor back into it's place. Put the band on the groove and you're good to go. 
  • You might miss treadling. 
  • If you've never spun on an electric wheel before, there will be a learning curve for you to climb. 
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

POLLYWOG CONS

  • The tiny hook on the 4 oz flyer is limiting for bulky / art yarns.
  • Some spinners may find the ratios on the base model limiting. 
  • Some spinners may find the orifice height on the base model a little low. 
  • To get the highest speeds you need to buy the accelerator. 
  • You cannot order it with just the 12 oz flyer (instead of the 4 oz) because of how the wheels are manufactured. 
  • By the time you order the Pollywog and all the Accessories it might be a better value for you to have invested in an Echo. 
  • The black drive band may rub residue on the fly wheel. At this time there aren't any clear drive band options that work for SpinOlution wheels. 
  • If you don't have the tension set right, your yarn may twist around the hook and create drag. 
  • It's made out of Baltic Birch Plywood, which is warp resistant and durable. But you might not like that look. 

And that's my $0.02! Thanks for reading and Happy Spinning!

Ashley Martineau