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Bike Wheels/Rims Overview

Bicycle wheels can be something that is easily overlooked when choosing a bike or purchasing after market wheels. Wheels vary greatly in size, width, weight, strength, and style. Most rims are designed with a specific purpose in mind, i.e. road tyres are light, large and thin designed with speed in mind where as BMX tyres are small thick and heavy designed to be strong and durable.

Road Wheels

Typically road, urban and hybrid bikes have wheels which are 622mm in diameter (or 700c) and anywhere from 18mm to 24mm+ in width. Road bikes use narrower rims in order to reduce rolling resistance while hybrid and urban bikes use wider rims for increased strength and more versatility. Wheels vary in price and quality depending on materials and parts used. E.g rims, spokes, hubs. As a rule, the lighter a wheel is the more expensive it is going to be.

Road Bike Wheels

Mountain Bike Wheels

Mountain bike wheels are built to be strong and resilient. Mostly mountain bike wheels are 26” (559mm) in size however there is an increased number of “29er’s” on the bike market. These are of the same size as road bike rims, 622mm, and are popular with larger riders. Like road bike wheels price and quality varies depending on materials and parts. Disc brakes are a common occurrence in mountain bike wheels. The disc rotor attaches to one side of the hub, by means of an integrated bracket. Essentially, the rotor screws onto the hub which then rotates. A portion of the rotor is always within the clamping mechanism of the disc brake pads as the wheel spins.

Mountain Bike Wheels

BMX Wheels

BMX wheels are generally 20” (406mm diameter) giving them increased strength for the use of jumping and stunts. There are other variations of size, 24” for large riders and 18” for smaller. Kids wheels range in size from 12” (239mm) to 18” (406mm) depending in the size of the bike and rider. Wheels have a variety of braking styles. Rim brakes are the most common with road, hybrid and urban bikes. Disc brakes as well as rims brakes are common with mountain bikes, however higher end hybrid and urban bikes may also use disc brakes.

BMX Wheels

 

If you have any specific questions about bike wheels or would simply like to hear more about the importance of bike wheels, please feel free to contact us.

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