How to Buy New Wheels for Your Road Bike

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How to Buy New Wheels for Your Road Bike

The first bicycle was developed in the early 1800s and was basically a wooden frame with two wheels attached. The rider pushed the bicycle along with his feet and steered with the front wheel. In the 1860s, a mechanical crank was added to the front wheel of the bicycle that allowed the rider to pedal with the feet, thus turning the wheel and powering the bike. By the 1890s, many improvements were added to bicycles, such as comfortable seats, brakes, and a chain drive. The bicycle became one of the more popular modes of transport around urban areas because it was inexpensive and easy to use in crowded environments.

Bikes continue to be popular for use on trails and on roadways. Road bikes are particularly popular, and one can find them at traditional bike shops. Riders who are looking for deals on new road bikes can utilise the advanced shopping tools on eBay to find what they are looking for.

Types of Road Bikes

Different types of bikes are used for different types of applications. Mountain bikes are designed for riding off road on trails, while touring bikes are meant for long distance riding and carrying lots of equipment. Cruisers are great for easy jaunts on flat surfaces due to their single gear, and hybrids combine aspects of a mountain bike with those of a road bike.

Road bikes are designed specifically for use on paved streets. They have thinner frames and tyres than mountain and touring bikes because they are designed to be light and quick. They have a shorter wheelbase and drop handlebars that make them more comfortable to use over longer periods of time. Road bikes are ideal for commuting to and from work or for recreational touring on paved roads.

The Importance of Road Bike Wheels

The wheels are the main features on a road bike. They are the contact point between the bike and the road, so the quality of their construction can directly impact the smoothness of the ride. Wheels that are made to withstand the rigours of mountain biking deliver a rough and stiff ride compared to those designed specifically for smooth paved roads.

It is important for bike wheels to match the riding style and planned use of the bike; otherwise, the ride quality can be dramatically affected. Wheels designed specifically for use on the road are thin and light and feature low profile tyres that have little resistance when rolling on pavement. The thin aspect of road wheels also makes them aerodynamic, which makes it easier to maintain the speed of the bike when pedalling. Matching the proper wheels to a road bike can make the difference between a pleasant biking experience or one after which the biker may choose to never ride the bike again.

Components of the Wheels in a Road Bike

As simple as a road bike wheel might seem, it has different components that must work in unison in order for it to operate properly. Each component of the wheel is light and seemingly weak on its own, but when combined together, the components form a rigid and stable platform for the bike.


The rim is the outer circular portion of the wheel that connects to the tyre. Rims can be constructed from different materials and come in various designs. One of the more common rim types is the Endrick rim, which features higher side walls that enable brakes to be fitted to the bike to squeeze the rim in order to stop it. The width and geometry of the rim coincide with the type of bike it is meant to be used on. Road bikes have thinner rims made from lighter material.


The hub is the centrepiece of the wheel that rides on the axle. The spokes of the wheel are connected to the hub and run from it out to the rim. The hub features internal bearings that are encased within the hub and allow the wheel to turn freely around the axle.


Bearings are small metallic balls that are encased in the hub and roll freely with little friction. The bearings allow the hub to rotate freely around the axle so the wheel can spin. Higher quality wheels feature bearings that are smoother and more durable.


Spokes are the main structural component of a wheel. The spokes attach the hub to the rim through tension. Each spoke pulls against the rim and the hub at the same time, creating the force that holds the entire wheel together.


The axle attaches the entire wheel assembly to the dropout points on the frame. The axle runs through the centre of the hub assembly and features a quick release mechanism that allows the wheel to be removed without the use of tools.


Gears are attached to the rear wheel hub and feature a series of sprockets that mesh with the chain that attaches to the pedals. Road bikes can have a single gear or multiple gears that graduate upwards to allow the bike to be propelled at higher speeds with fewer turns of the pedals.

Materials in Road Bike Wheels

Road bike wheels are made from different materials. Less expensive wheels are made from materials that are usually heavier. Each type of material has advantages and disadvantages, depending on what the rider is looking for.





Steel is readily available and inexpensive; very strong and durable

Very heavy; slick when wet, which makes rim brakes ineffective during inclement weather


Aluminium alloy is an excellent all-around material for wheels; lightweight and durable; good surface for rim brakes in any weather

More expensive than steel and not as durable

Carbon Fibre

Extremely lightweight and strong; used on high-level road and racing bikes; can easily be moulded into any style, size, or shape

Very expensive

The choice of materials on a new set of road bike wheels depends on the planned usage of the bike. Riders who use the bike frequently to commute or race want to get the lightest material they can afford, while people who use their bikes only occasionally can easily get by with steel or aluminium wheels.

Buying New Wheels for Your Road Bike on eBay

You can determine the exact size of road bike wheel you need by looking at the markings on your existing wheel. Once you have obtained the information, the next step is to utilise the advanced search tools available on eBay to find and compare wheels to match your needs.

Start your search by navigating to the eBay home page and entering a specific keyword, such as "road bike wheels", into the search box. A number of different wheels is displayed for you to browse through. You can select the wheels that you like and add them to your watch list for comparison later. If there are too many results to effectively manage, select from various subcategories that refine the criteria and narrow the results to a more manageable number.


Riding a bicycle has long been a popular way to quietly enjoy the outdoors while getting in some exercise, but for many people, bikes perform a more important function. Many people depend on road bikes to transport them to work everyday, and for these individuals, having equipment that they can depend upon is of the utmost importance.

While there are many components that make up a quality road bike, the component that has a direct impact on how the bike handles and feels on the road is the wheel. Finding the right wheels for a road bike is vital to making the bike function properly and ride well. Riders who are looking to upgrade their riding experience can take advantage of the helpful shopping tools on eBay to find great pricing on many types of road bike wheels.

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