Your bike wheel is a very important part of your bicycle. It it’s even arguably the most important. This is because it is the first point of contact between your bike and the ground and also because all the actions that you perform on a bicycle are geared towards making the wheels move.
Before you decide to go ahead to choose one of the bicycle wheels for sale here at Bike Chaser, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
There are four major components which all have an effect on the overall effectiveness of the wheel: the rim, hub, nipples, and spokes. They affect individual factors like weight, performance, and durability. You might have to trade one of these for another as you shop for the one that gives the ideal balance for your specific needs. To do this effectively, you need to understand the specific part you should focus on to achieve your aim.
This is the part that is attached to the tyres. Essentially, bicycle rims help to hold the tyre, and in the case of rim brakes, act as a braking surface. The width of the rim will generally affect the width of the tyre and can have an effect on comfort.
The hub is at the centre and it acts as the axis of rotation. The axle in the centre essentially connects to the bike and helps the rider control the wheel. Most road bike wheels have a rear hub equipped with a free hub mechanism that helps the bicycle coast.
The bike spoke is the material that connects the hub to the rim. The number of spokes varies depending on the design. Rear cycle wheels usually have more spokes than the front ones. The design and build of spokes can be tailored to either aid aerodynamics or strength.
The nipples are special nuts that attach the spoke to the rims. You can use nipples to adjust spoke tension, which would in turn make it easier for a wheel to ‘true’. ‘Truing’ means that it easily runs in straight line.
The choice of material for your rim depends on the performance you want. Most entry to intermediate level products are made of aluminium. For advanced levels, you will find rims made from carbon fibre. An advantage that carbon bike wheels have over aluminium is the fact that they are lighter and much faster.
On the other hand, aluminium functions exceptionally well when it comes to braking. You might have issues with carbon on wet patches or when the terrain involves a long descent. Some manufacturers try to get the best of both worlds by combining the materials, though this usually has the effect of making the product significantly heavier.
There are two major types of brakes, rim brake and disc brake. The rim brake is the standard brake type used for bicycles, but recently, disc brakes have become more regular with bikes. This is because their effectiveness has been proven with other vehicles like cars, mountain bikes and motor bikes.
While a rim brake applies pressure to the rim to slow down the bicycle, a disc brake works on the hub to slow down. Due to the pressure applied by disc brakes, wheels with disc brakes have more spokes.
The size is usually measured by its width and depth. The width and depth normally dictates how the wheel will ride and feel. The current trend is for designs to be wider because it helps to improve aerodynamics and comfort.
The standard size for a road bicycle is usually 700c. The 700” here is an approximation of the width of the wheel in diameters. In most instances, modern day bicycles do not deviate from the 700c standard.
There are now categories best suited to racing, climbing, training, and so on. Using the wrong product for a specific task might make your task unnecessarily arduous in the long run.
Alloy is ideal if you want to use your bicycle for training. This is because this material is relatively cheap yet durable and versatile for cycling in a variety of terrains. More experienced riders can decide to make a change to a lighter/racier style for speed. These wheelsets have weights that typically range from 1,500g to 1,800g.
You are more likely to feel the rotating weight of your wheel when you are climbing. As a result of this, climbing wheels are usually lighter and generally tend to have a shallow rim and a small spoke count.
If it’s is below 1500g and isn’t aerodynamic, it is definitely designed for climbing.
Aerodynamic designs are either mid-section or deep-section. A mid-section aero dynamic wheel usually has a rim depth of about 30mm. On the other hand, a deep-section aerodynamic design will have a depth of about 50mm.
Aerodynamic designs give you less weight, good ride quality, and they perform well against the wind.
Generally speaking, the more depth a rim has, the faster the wheel is. This is why deep-section models are preferred when speed is the topmost priority. However, the more the depth, the more likely it is for you to be unstable during cross winds. That’s why mid-section aerodynamic designs are more common. Pros that make use of deep-section aerodynamic designs usually have a spare that they use outside of racing.