What makes a good wheel?

  • Choosing a good wheel will depend largely on its intended purpose, however whilst difficult to nail all aspects, ideally a good set of wheels will be durable, have dependable hubs, provide confidence inspiring braking, be stiff for power transfer, yet also be lightweight.To get more news about mtb bike rims, you can visit zpebicycle.com official website.

    Lightweight wheels keep rotating weight down by having a shallow rim profile and low spoke count. As well as reducing overall weight, a fringe benefit of this is comfort. Deeper wheels are fast but the ride quality is often described as 'harsh', conversely lightweight wheels often provide good levels of compliance. Quality lightweight wheelsets will typically be below 1,400 grams, some extremely lightweight wheelsets coming in under 1,000grams for the pair!

    Aerodynamic wheels aim to be as fast as possible by reducing drag. Aerodynamic wheels are typically greater than 40mm deep at the rim and are becoming wider as well. This speed does come at a cost with deep-section wheels more susceptible to crosswinds which can make them difficult to handle, and the extra material does add weight.

    Wheelsets not so focused on performance commonly have features which make them more appropriate for everyday use or general training. The braking surface is aluminium providing better performance in all weather conditions when compared to carbon fiber, higher spoke counts are used to aid strength, and rim width is wider to cater for larger tires. As a result of these features, weight increases with quality wheelsets typically ranging from 1,500 - 1,800 grams.

    Wheelsets designed for loaded touring or to withstand regular use under heavier riders (120kg +) are typically hand built with higher spoke counts of 32 or even 36 spokes. With the extra strength, wheels in this form typically weigh in excess of 1,900 grams.Most entry to intermediate level wheels will feature aluminium rims of varying quality, while high level wheels will typically feature rims made of carbon fiber which reduces the weight while increasing stiffness.

    Aluminium as a rim material provides better braking performance than carbon fiber, which tends to perform poorly in the wet and on long descents as heat builds up under braking. Based on this, some brands offer an aluminium braking surfaces fitted to a carbon fiber rim. It’s worth noting however that these designs are typically heavier than a single-material rim.