How to Choose the Right Bike Wheels

How to Choose the Right Bike Wheels

If you have been looking to change your bike wheels you may have noticed that there is a huge range to choose from. With multiple manufactures and companies competing with each other to get you to buy their wheels. Most will have a lot of technical details in there specs but how do you choose what is the best upgrade for you?

A wheelset can be the biggest way of transforming your bike. It can take your bike from feeling sluggish to rapid, from uncomfortable to like riding an air cushion, from timidly avoiding obstacles to gunning it down the hill and many more.

For this reason, bike wheels are one of the biggest upgrades that you can make to your bike. But how to do you choice the right ones for you. How do you not regret your choice?

We think there are a couple of key steps that you need to take in selecting the perfect bike wheels for you.

1st you need to decide what type of riding it is you are doing. There is no point in getting a gravel wheelset if you are racing downhill or getting a downhill wheelset to then do hill climes. But if you are mostly riding down muddy country lanes then a gravel wheelset might make more sense than a light race wheel.  And if you mostly ride trails but like to push hard on the descents then an enduro wheelset will probably be better than a xc race wheel.

This step is the key. If you say that you want a deep section carbon wheel, then go and ride a bridal ways you are very likely to be uncomfortable and regret your purchase. Be realistic, you are getting new wheels to improve your enjoyment of riding. What aspect of your ridding do you most enjoy? If you focus on that part, then you are more likely to get wheels that you love.

You can get bike wheels to help you with the aspects of cycling that you don’t like. For example, getting lighter race wheels to help with climbing. However, this can be a leave you a bit disappointed as you look to see a massive improvement but get a minimal return. So, our advice is to get a wheelset that compliments those aspects of riding you enjoy and not mitigate the parts you don’t.

The 2nd step is the decide on the features that you want most. If you have decided that you are getting a wheelset to help you jump further, get more Strava KOM’s or load up more to ride further what features will help you do that? This is where rim width, rim depth, hub engagement extra become important. If you are touring, then having a high spoke count and wider rim will improve the comfort and reduce the chance of broken spokes. If you are racing road bikes on the flat, then a 60mm deep carbon rim will help you cut trough the wind and save your energy for the sprint

The 3rd step is to set you budget. Try to set a range rather than a fixed amount. You will find that wheelsets will fall into price ranges and as you move up these ranges the specs change.

£50-£200 is the range for replacement bike wheels. Perfectly functional but there will be compromises and will be equivalent to most stock wheels that came with your bike. There are exceptions to this, our always ride and always outside spring to mind however this isn’t standard.

£200-£500 is where you have a far more choice of wheels so can start to look for the features that will best suit you. Most of these bike wheels will have alloy rims with good hubs with some cheap carbon rim options. We would try and avoid the carbon rim options in this price range. Whilst there are some that are okay most will have significant to potentially lethal flaws. In this price range you can get a significant upgrade to your stock wheels and start to tailor them to your ridding.

 £500-£1000 is where you start to find good carbon rims with a wide choice of both rim depths plus widths. Here you can find that most companies have multiple bike wheels for the same riding discipline, so you have a far bigger range of choices.

At £1000+ you are into the pure race wheels be it for mountain, road, or any other discipline where seconds count more than the cost. Absolutely worth it when every second gained is a win, but we are not sure we would want to commute on most of them.

The final step is to find a manufacturer/ company that you trust. This is where reviews can really help and not just launch reviews. Read the long-term reviews, what issues do people experience? If a spoke goes do you need a new wheel? You buy wheels to use for years not to ride a week then sell. This step lets you make your final choice and get a wheelset that you will be happy with for years.

Here at Noflex we have been custom building wheels for years and stand by every wheel that we build. With an unrivalled guarantee and a wide range of preselected builds to full custom options we cater to all types of cycling. If you have any questions about what wheels make sense for you, please let us know Here

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