Bicycle Rims

Bicycle wheel rims to suit all needs

The wheels are an integral part of the bicycle. A pair of wheels are called the wheel brace making up one of many bicycles components. To maximise functionality of the bicycle, it is important that wheels are the best ones to do the job, whether it is off-road biking or road cycling. That means the parts of the wheel need to be the right material and size.

The wheel is comprised of a rim, spokes and a hub and is designed to hold the bike tyres. The hub is the centre part, with spokes leading off into the tyre rim. The rim is the outer, circular design of the wheel, where the tyre is fitted on the inside groove.

Rims are vital components of your bike wheel. Most rims nowadays are made of aluminium alloy, replacing those made of steel found on older bikes. Aluminium alloy rims are lighter, and a light rim means less rotation of weight, ideal for racing. Heavier rims can endure more and are better suited to mountain biking.

As well as spoke wheels, disc wheels can be bought, which are designed to lessen aerodynamic drag. Most cycle organisations have banned their use, as they are difficult to handle.

Buying the right rim

Wheels can transform how a bike handles when being ridden and lining the right rims to wheel hubs is recommended especially when custom building a bike, to use for a purpose, such as BMX stunt-riding.

Rims are available in different widths, with narrower rims (17-20mm) usually integrated on road bikes, and wider rims (20mm-plus) found on off-road bikes. Wider rims will obviously support wider tyres.

Rims are also available in tubeless or non-tubeless designs. Mavic's UST design is the original tubeless mechanism, but many other bike manufacturers such as Shimano and Bontrager now make tubeless-ready rims.

With any bike frame and fork, the right set of bicycle wheels can be added if the wheel axles match them.

If you are buying a wheel brace, ensure the overall suitability including the rims. If unsure, seek the advice of a wheelsmith.