Road Bike Wheel Buying Guide

All components on a road bike are important, and all play their part in providing you with a safe and strong performance. Road Bike Wheels are amongst the most important, with a set of road bike wheels able to make a huge difference with regards to performance. There’s plenty of choices and variations when it comes to road bike wheels as well - and in this post, we look at some of the different types of road wheels available, helping you make the best choice for your riding requirements. 

Road Bike Parts

It’s best to start with explaining the number of different parts on a road bike wheel, and how they all work together. 

Road Bike Hubs

The Hub is at the centre of a wheel, and it’s what the wheel rotates on. 

Road Bike Bearings

Bearings allow the hub to rotate on the axle of the bike. These bearings can be either cartridge bearings, or cup and cone bearings. 

Road Bike Spokes

Spokes are instantly recognisable as part of a road bike wheel - the spokes provide the support that the wheel needs when in use, and although spokes are normally round - aero spokes are available on some road bike wheels, aero spokes maintain all of the strength of normal round spokes, whilst being more aerodynamic. 

Road Bike Nipples

Nipples are used to tighten up the spokes on the bike, they are usually made from brass - although lighter models use aluminium which provide weight savings over brass versions. 

Types of Road Bike Wheels

In the same way that there are plenty of different road bikes - there’s also plenty of different road bike wheels and rims to choose between. The main difference in road bike wheels is their depth. 

Shallow Road Bike Wheels

Shallow Section Road Bike Wheels are the most common types of road bike wheels - they are priced well and provide a good strength to weight ratio, providing plenty of comfort for most riders. As well as being available in aluminium, they are also available in carbon fibre as well. 

Mid Section Road Bike Wheels

Mid Section Wheels combine the comfort of a shallow section wheel with the aerodynamic benefits that come with a deeper section wheel. These wheels are again good all rounders, with the benefit of being able to enjoy extra speed on flat terrain. 

Deep Section Road Bike Wheels

Deep Section Wheels have been designed to slice through the air when riding, allowing the rider to gain maximum momentum and speed. These benefits are best enjoyed on flat terrain, but many models are light enough for climbing purposes. 

Road Bike Wheels Braking Surfaces

Road Bike Wheels either have an aluminium or carbon fibre braking surface, generally speaking - aluminium wheel braking surfaces are the easiest to design and manufacture - and provide plenty of performance. Carbon Fibre braking surfaces are harder to manufacture, but also provide an excellent performance. 

Road Bike Wheel Types

Clincher Road Bike Wheels are the most popular type of road bike wheel - providing the easiest and most convenient type of wheel to ride on. These tyres have a bead which sits on the rim of the tyre, ensuring that the tyre remains attached to the rim. The inner tube instead of the tyre provides the pressure to keep the bead in place, providing a safe and comfortable wheel and tyre setup. 

Tubular wheels remove the need for a bead on the rim of the tyre -  it’s therefore recommended to carry a spare tubular tyre with you when out riding. 

Tubeless road bike wheels and tyre setups have grown in popularity in recent years, across both mountain bikes and road bikes. These road bike wheels are heavier than their tubed counterparts - although the benefits are much less likelihood of punctures, as well as pinch punctures. You do however lose some rotating mass that comes with using inner tubes. 

Road Bike Wheels Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock a massive range of road bike wheels and rims - all of which have been picked from the leaders of the road bike component industry, all of which we trust completely to provide a good value, fantastic product. 

You can view the full range here, and as always - get in touch if you have any questions about the collection.