Bicycle Wheel

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Bicycle Wheel
Replacing your bicycle wheels is one of the most price-efficient upgrades you can perform. Your bike will climb, sprint and cease greater with a lighter wheelset.

Usually, bicycle wheels consist of 4 principal parts – the rims, the hubs the spokes and spoke nipples.


The portion of the wheel that your tire fits onto are the wheel rims.

There will be a range of tiny holes to accept the spokes and a more substantial hole for the tyre valve. On far more costly rims the spoke holes could also have brass eyelets to strengthen the hole and spread load.

On road bike wheels, the side of the rim will have machined braking surfaces. The braking surface often has a groove in it (a ‘wear indicator’).

Most modern MTB wheels will use disc brakes. The brake disc will be bolted to the hub.

Rim Materials &amp Construction

Generally, bicycle wheel rims are created from aluminium. During manufacture, the aluminium rim is extruded and then chopped into lengths. These lengths are bent into circles and then the ends are pinned with each other to join them.

Lighter wheels suggest that your bike will accelerate more rapidly and hill-climbing will be less difficult. Some cheaper bikes will use steel for rims and hubs. Steel rims are heavier and wet weather braking can be poor.

Best of the range wheelsets for triathlon and time trialling typically use carbon fiber in their construction.


The centre part of the wheel is the hub. The bearings that allow the wheel to spin are housed in the hub. The axle also runs by way of the centre of the hub. The spokes of the wheel are laced into holes in the hub flanges.


Spokes are basically lengths of wire with a screw thread at a single end and a bend (the ‘elbow’) at the other.

The least expensive spokes are plain steel. Rust-totally free stainless steel can also be used to decrease excess weight.

To lessen spoke excess weight further spokes can be ‘butted’. This implies the spoke is fatter at the ends (where most tension happens) and narrower in the middle.

Aerodynamic wheels will use flat bladed spokes to lessen air resistance. Flat spokes cut through the air much better than round spokes.

The more spokes a bike wheel has, the more powerful (and heavier) the wheel will be. The fewer spokes a wheel has, the lighter and much more aerodynamic the wheel is. Spoke counts variety from about twenty (a front wheel appropriate for racing) to 48 (a rear wheel suitable for touring with really hefty luggage or a tandem bicycle).

The more substantial the quantity of spokes, the longer the spokes must final ahead of breaking – stress staying shared amongst far more spokes.

Spoke Lacing Patterns

Spokes are fitted to a wheel in various patterns. Most frequent is the three-cross or four-cross pattern. This indicates that each and every spoke crosses 4 or four other people between the hub and the rim.

On a radial-spoked wheel, the spokes do not cross any other folks – this permits fewer spokes to be utilised and saves excess weight. Normally only front wheels use radial spoking and then generally only on higher-overall performance bicycles. A radially spoked rear wheel would not effectively transfer the drive-torque from the sprocket to the wheel rim.

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