How do I choose a road bike wheel?
When upgrading or replacing your road bike wheels there are 2 main points to consider:
1. How do I know which wheels are compatible with my bike?
You will need to make sure that your new wheels have the same hub type as your existing wheels as well as ensuring that the rims will fit in your frame.
What are the different hub axle types?
With disc brakes becoming more popular there are now new hub and axle types.
Will the new wheels be compatible with my groupset?
There are three different types of freehub that you will need to match to the cassette on your existing groupset.
Do I need disc specific wheels?
Disc specific wheels are required on bikes with disc brakes. There are two different types of hubs for disc wheels;
Note: Disc specific wheels are not compatible with traditional rim brakes as they do not have a braking surface on the rim.
Can I use wheels with wider rims?
The forks and the rear stays on your bike, along with brake type, will decide whether or not you can fit wheels with wider rims to your bike. Some bikes have more clearance which will allow you to fit wider rims and tyres but with others you will be limited to the size already fitted.
Are all road wheels the same diameter?
All full-size road bikes use 700c wheels. Junior road bikes will have smaller 650 or 26” wheels.
Do I need clincher, tubular or tubeless wheels?
This is dependent on your tyre choice and will not be limited by your existing bike.
If you match the above criteria, then you can be sure that your new wheel will be compatible with your road bike.
2. What are the performance advantages of new wheels?
When upgrading your new wheels, it is helpful to consider what performance advantage you want, as well as what type of riding do.
Wheels with lightweight, shallow section rims (often combined with a low spoke count) will improve your climbing performance as this reduces rotating weight. Shallow section rims also offer a smoother ride quality.
Aero wheels feature deeper rims to cut through the air more efficiently but tend to be heavier than similarly priced shallow section rims.
Mid-section aero rims – Featuring a rim depth of 30mm – 50mm these rims offer improved aerodynamic performance while still offering a reasonable ride as well as keeping the weight down.
Deep-Section aero rims – with rims over 50mm these offer the best aerodynamic performance but are heavier, offer a harsher ride and can be difficult to handle in cross winds.
What about durability?
If you are looking for a wheelset for winter riding or riding long distances on rough road surfaces, then consider a more robust rim with a higher spoke count. Many riders have a set of ‘training wheels’ that they use through the winter and save their best wheels for summer racing.
Wheels and Wheelsets
Wheels are either sold individually or in pairs known as wheelsets. Check the product description for more details.
If you are unsure about which wheels you need for your bike, then please contact us by phone on 01792 799508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
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