Bicycle Wheels and Wheelsets

If you love to go cycling, then you will need to replace your bike's wheels occasionally. The conditions where you ride, whether on the road or off, may mean that you need to replace your wheels as often as every 1,000 miles. If you are considering replacing your bike's wheels, you have plenty of options from brands such as Shimano, Mavic, and many others.

What type of wheels do you need for riding?

Your riding style will determine the main factors that you need to think about when you are ready to replace your bike's wheels. If you climb lots of hills, then consider lighter alternatives, but if you ride downhill often, then look for wheels that can support strong tires. On the other hand, if you ride a mountain bike, look for options that are light and strong. Tubular wheels are a common choice; clincher wheels are strong but heavier. If you are going to the velodrome, then look at choices that are more aerodynamic. These often have a lighter weight and smaller width. Finally, if you are riding to work or around a city, then consider strong, wide wheels because that type of wheelset provides a more comfortable ride. Light carbon fiber road wheels are another great option.

How can you improve your bike's aerodynamics with different wheels?

If you want to go faster, it can help to change your wheels. Consider disk wheels because they offer less air resistance than other types of wheels. Choosing options with bladed spokes causes the bike to move less air. Taller rims also help improve aerodynamics.

What are the different types of spokes available for bicycles?

There are many different types of spokes available for bikes, including:

  • Double-butted spokes: These spokes are thinner in the middle and thicker at the hub and the rim. They are designed to minimize damage to the wheel when hitting an object because they can stretch.
  • Triple-butted spokes:-These spokes are thicker at the head end and are extremely small at the thread end, so they resist metal fatigue better.
  • Elliptical aero-spokes: The bladed spokes in this option are crisscrossed in an ellipse, helping to increase aerodynamics while keeping wheels round.
  • Bladed aero-spokes: The design of these spokes allows them to be very aerodynamic.
What are the different spoke-lacing systems available?

Generally, bikes use one of three lacing systems, although each side of the rim may have a different spoke pattern. Three-cross lacing patterns are found on bikes having from 28 to 36 spokes to provide strength and durability, while two-cross lacing systems help transfer more torque to the rims. This lacing pattern is common on road bikes because half of the spokes help relieve tension when accelerating, helping the wheel last longer. The more crosses a spoke makes, the longer the spoke needs to be. This increases the weight of the bike. Radical lacing systems use shorter spokes that go straight from the hub to the rim, making them more aerodynamic. This lacing system is typically reserved for bikes ridden for speed, and it is found only on front wheels and never in wheelsets.