Mountain Bike Wheel Buying Guide

There are so many different styles and types of mountain biking, that each component and mountain bike is very different. Wheels are an incredibly important piece of equipment on a bike, they are what the tyres of the bike sit on top of - and help you cover all of the off road terrain you ride on. 

What are Mountain Bike Wheels Made from?

The most common material for MTB wheels to be made from, is aluminium - providing an excellent balance between strength and lightness. 

What Sizes are Mountain Bike Wheels?

Three sizes dominate mountain bike wheels, the smallest is 26 inch, the mid range size is 27.5 inches and the largest size is 29 inch. Below, we look through how some of the sizes affect ride and performance, helping you decide which is best for you. 

26 Inch Mountain Bike Wheels

26 Inch Wheels are the smallest adult mountain bike wheels on the market, and provide good levels of stiffness. They are best at accelerating up to speed 

27.5 Inch Mountain Bike Wheels

The 27.5 Inch Wheel is a great compromise between a 26inch wheel and a 29inch wheel, retaining some weight saving performance, whilst also providing the benefits of the handling of a larger wheel. It’s also 1.5 inch smaller than the 29 inch wheel and 1.5inch bigger than the 26 inch mountain bike wheel sizes. 

29 Inch Mountain Bike Wheels

29 Inch wheels are the largest size of wheels that can be fitted to a standard mountain bike, these wheels are slower to accelerate to your top speed - as weight is increased. The larger area of the wheels however do help the tyre and wheel gain traction over the smaller wheels, meaning that this wheel choice feels smoother when riding over smaller obstacles such as stones and roots. 

Mountain Bike Rim Choices

As well as choosing different sizes of wheels and rims - there is also a distinction to make between the type of rims used. There’s standard rims and tubeless rims to choose from - and both provide a different performance.  

Standard Mountain Bike Rims

Standard mountain bike rims are designed for use with tyres with an inner tube, which can be fitted in no time at all. It’s important to ride with the right tyre pressures, as a deflated inner tube can cause what is known as a pinch puncture. A slightly higher pressure also allows for the best possible pace across ground. 

Tubeless Mountain Bike Rims

‘Going Tubeless’ has many different benefits to a mountain biker. Tubeless tyres mean that the tyre can be run at a lower air pressure, which can increase grip in certain conditions, as well as providing a more comfortable ride. There’s also less likelihood of having a flat tyre, and because the rim bed is sealed completely - there’s also less to chance of the tyre coming away from the rim if you do have a flat tyre. 

Mountain Bike Wheels Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a fantastic range of mountain bike wheels online - all of these wheels have been handpicked from the world’s best mountain bike wheel brands, and are available to buy to suit all kinds of different riding performances, and individual riding requirements. 

You can view the complete range here, and as always - get in touch if you have any questions about the right mountain bike wheel for your bike.