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You may not see it right away, but bicycle wheels are actually composed of three parts: the rims, spokes, and the tires. Rims are responsible for securing the tires to the wheel and may be made from aluminum alloy, steel, or lightweight carbon fiber, whereas spokes connect rims to the bicycle’s hub, made up of a nipple that is used in adjusting tension. Spokes may be made from chrome-plated metal or stainless steel materials and there can be between 12 to 48 of them, depending on the bicycle. Tires, on the other hand, can be tubular or clincher and covers the outermost parts of the wheel.

Types to choose from

Racing Wheels: Racing bicycle wheels are made from aerodynamic and lightweight spokes and tires that let you swiftly ride through different tracks. They are thin and lean with and typically feature 28 spokes in the rear and 20 spokes in front. Some wheels are made from aluminum while others are made from super-lightweight carbon fiber.

Mountain Bike Wheels: Specifically designed for mountain terrains, mountain bike wheels normally feature clincher tires and rims that are 26 inches in size, which is the standard for mountain bikes. Mountain bike wheels use tires with lower air pressures to increase traction and shock absorption. Newer models also have begun to use tubeless tires.

BMX wheels: BMX wheels are shorter but wider that mountain bike wheels so they provide better pressure and shock absorption, which makes them great for jumps and for use on dirt tracks, catering specifically to the needs of BMX enthusiasts.

Buying tip

When you’re looking for bicycle wheels, choose one that works best with your riding style. For example, racers should go for lighter wheels since they don’t drag too much and will allow for swift pedaling through race courses. For stunts, stronger and thicker tires are better.

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Source by Ilse Hagen