Road Wheels Buying Guide

Good bike wheels are supposed to be strong, durable, lightweight and aerodynamic. With this, we compiled an unbiased review of the top 24 bike wheels that meet our high standards to make your work easier. Here they are:

1) Weinmann 519, 36h Recumbent Front Wheel | 2) SOLOMONE CAVALLI SC Fixed Gear 700c Bicycle Wheel Set | 3) Wheel Master Rear Bicycle Wheel | 4) Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 700C | 5) Wheel Master Front Bicycle Wheel | 6) Shimano WH-6700 Ultegra Tubeless Clincher Wheelset | 7) STARS BMX Bike Wheelset/Low Ride Wheels | 8) Sta-Tru Silver ST1 36H Rim Front Wheel | 9) Wheel Master 700c Front Wheel | 10) Sunrise Bike Carbon Fiber Road Wheelset | 11) Superteam 100% T700c Carbon Wheels | 12) Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher v3 Road Wheel | 13) 700C 88mm Road Bike Carbon Wheel | 14) 700C Stars Deep V Road Bike Wheels | 15) ICAN 26er Aluminum Fat Bike Wheels | 16) Wheel Master Rear Bicycle Wheel | 17) Sta-Tru STW 26 X 1.5 BO Rear Mountain Bike Wheel | 18) Retrospec Bicycles Mantra Fixed-Gear/Single-Speed Wheelset | 19) SOLOMONE CAVALLI SC 700c Fixie Bicycle Wheel Set | 20) Sta-Tru Silver Alloy ATB Hub Front Wheel | 21) Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels | 22) Road Bike Wheel set 50mm Clincher Carbon Fiber | 23) Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels | 24) Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 700C |

Road Wheels Explained

Wheels are your contact point with the ground. They support your body weight and are powered by your engine as you pedal. As a contact point, your wheels play a large part in determining your ride quality. That’s why it’s important you buy the correct set of road wheels to match your riding style.

Road Wheel Anatomy

Hubs: Hubs are the central component of the bike wheel structure. To put it simply, wheels rotate on hubs. The mechanism behind this is the wheel’s bearings and axle.

Bearings: Wheel bearings enable the hub to rotate on the wheel axle. Hubs either have cartridge bearings or cup and cone bearings. Cartridge bearings are now increasingly popular in hubs due to simple installation and require no maintenance.

Cup and cone bearings are easy to service, but you must adjust very carefully to ensure adequate friction. For ultimate performance look out for ceramic bearings, these are the smoothest and roundest bearings available.

Spokes: Spokes provide support to the rim and distribute pressure evenly around the bike wheel structure. They are either round or aero/flat/bladed in profile. Aero/bladed/flat spokes are rapidly becoming a standard feature on wheels of all prices.

They offer an aerodynamic advantage as well as retaining strength of a standard round spoke. The spokes are kept in tension on virtually all but the most expensive wheels with small nuts, called nipples.

Nipples: Nipples tension the spokes and are often made from brass due to the strength properties. Aluminium can also be used to save weight, this helps with losing rotating mass.

Bicycle Rims Explained

The rims on your bike play a large part in determining your wheel durability, the overall rotating weight of the wheel and how the bike reacts under braking. Generally rims come in shallow section (less than 25mm in depth), mid section (40mm in depth or less) and deep section (anything deeper than 40mm).

Wheel Types Explained

Shallow Section

These are common on entry level wheels as they are well priced and provide a good level of strength to weight ratio. They give the rider a nice comfortable experience.

Shallow section wheels are a great all-round wheel and suitable for all types of riding. There are many different offerings and can range from entry level to top of the range lightweight carbon fibre mountain climbing specific models.

Mid Section

These wheels are not as popular or easily noticeable as a deep section alternative. This is largely due to a common misunderstanding that a deeper wheel means faster and better. This is not necessarily the case.

Your riding style and characteristics may lean towards one wheel type more than another. A mid section wheel may allow you to reap the benefits of a lightweight rim, combined with aerodynamic gains. Lots of riders highly recommend them for all-round use, light enough for climbing and fast enough for the flat roads.

Deep Section

These are the ultimate in speed for road riding. They cut through the wind with ease. The feeling you get when you are out of the saddle sprinting is an experience hard to put into words. They are suited to use on the flat in general as this is where aerodynamics plays a greater part. But due to great technological advancements in manufacturing, means they can be light enough even for riding in the mountains.

Braking Surfaces

There are two types of braking surfaces available on wheels, aluminium braking surface or carbon braking surface. The smoothest and most consistent braking surface is generally aluminium, as it is easier to manufacture a perfectly flat braking surface with aluminium.

Photo Gallery of the Road Wheels Buying Guide

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