Road bike wheels are very important for cyclist performance and comfort. They are responsible not only for the running but also for important points such as the ability to hold the tyre, braking and the guarantee that you can ride on different fields without the bike suffering any damage.
However, for those who have already ventured to compare road bike wheels to buy, you may have noticed that there is a multitude of options. And of course, that makes the mission of buying a wheel something very complicated and difficult for those who are not used to all these bicycle terms. If this is your case then keep reading this post and see these important tips we have prepared for you.
Know the road wheels, piece by piece
For those who are in the purchasing decision process for the first time, it is important to know at least the parts that make up the wheel, so that you can make a more informed decision. Thus, the road wheels are formed by several parts:
Wheel axis is the central components of the wheel structure. Everything that rotates, rotates around an axis. This axle, in turn, passes through the hub, serving as support for the bearings. It is possible to find axes with varying diameter and width since they relate to the suspension and the frame on which they are mounted.
As I mentioned in the previous point, the hub is the part through which the axis passes, and where the spokes are fixed. The hub is also space where the bearings rotate, and it is very important to always consider the type of bearing that the hub has. Quality bearings offer less maintenance and looser rolling.
In the rear hub, we also have a different coupling mechanism, with more fixing points to the spokes. The more points of engagement, the less force will be necessary to exercise in the rotation of the pedal and start giving traction to the wheel.
Cassette Core is also a key piece. It is on the right side of the rear hub, and its function is to fit the mechanism that will transform the power in a motion of the wheel, which is the cassette. Depending on the type of transmission, be it the brand or the number of speeds, the type of stump can vary. Therefore, this is one of the key points to analyzing when choosing the right wheels for you because the compatibility of the stump with the transmission is very important.
They are attached to the hubs and the rim and can be of titanium, carbon, aluminium or steel. The better quality ones are lighter, more resistant to impacts, and have less risk of puncture. The more crossings the spoke has, the stronger the wheel.
Spoke passes through a special nut called nipple (or spoke nuts), which allows the adjustment of the radius tension between the hub and the rim. This part is inserted in the rim, and then it is tightened at the tip of the spoke, having then a thread that gives the spoke tension, so that the wheel is calibrated. It is on this part that we usually move when the wheel takes a slight problem.
In road bikes, the most common are 700c rims, which are equivalent to the diameter of 29 inches in mountain bikes. The width of the rim is important because there are tires that can only be used in certain width ranges. However, this usually applies to leisure and trekking bikes. In road racing the width is standard. It is the rim that holds the tyre and provides a braking surface for the bikes, which we commonly call the “track brake”.
Today there are already rims without a road brake, thanks to the appearance of disc brakes. So this is also an important detail to look at at the time of purchase.
We are talking about the tool that will pass inside the axis and tighten the wheels to the frame (in the case of the rear wheel) and the fork (in the case of the front wheel). In road bikes, keys have a shorter measure at the front and a larger one at the rear and they always tighten at the left side (opposite side to the transmission).
Author: Tiago Torres, Segredos dos Ciclismo