Bicycle wheels are designed to suit your bicycle and your intended use of it, so it really does matter which ones you select. There are many options on the market and it can be a little overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve come up with a simple guide for selecting the right wheels for your needs.
Know Your Wheel Parts
Generally speaking, there are five main components in a bicycle wheel; each providing a vital function, below, we take a closer look at the different wheel parts found on almost all bicycles, explaining their key functions and vital differences.
These are at the centre of the wheel and are vital. Your wheel hubs are essentially tasked with forming the basis of your wheel, connecting to the axle.
These provide the ability to rotate and there are a few different choices here. Cup and cone bearings are something you can easily service on your own, but they can cause too much friction if they’re not properly set. Cartridge bearings are the most common as they require no maintenance, but they’re also quite simple. However, if you’re looking for high performance, you want ceramic bearings.
The spokes are the thin pieces of metal that run out from the hub and connect to the rim. They come in several types, including aero/flat/bladed and round. The aero/flat/bladed spokes are the most aerodynamic and provide plenty of strength.
These are the tiny brass or aluminium bits that hold the spokes in place and provide tension. If weight is an issue, you want to choose a wheel with aluminium nipples.
The rim is the outer part of the wheel that is connected to the spokes. There are three types of rims, shallow section, mid-section, and deep section. Shallow section rims are ideal for all types of riding and are less than 25 mm in depth. The medium sections are between 25 and 40 mm and are light, yet aerodynamic. They work well for climbing, but aren’t nearly as popular as the other two types. The deep section rims are over 40 mm deep and are the most aerodynamic. They are best for flat terrain and racing.
Tubular vs. Tubeless vs. Clincher
Clincher wheels are the most commonly used and they are easy enough to install. There is a bead along the rim to hold the tyre in place, thanks to the inner tube pressure. Tubular wheels are excellent for sporting events and don’t require the bead seat in the rim. However, they do need more care when installing since they use tubular tape or glue to mount the tyres.
Finally, tubeless wheelsets are designed to work without an inner tube. They are heavier, but less likely to go flat and are quite popular, due to this feature.
Now that you’re more familiar with the types of wheels available, the trick is to choose what you need for your particular sport. At Velorunner, we’re happy to advise you on the best wheels for your needs. Contact us today.