Reasons to Upgrade Your Wheels
It doesn’t matter if you just got your bike, or you’ve been on it a while, your mind is probably heading in the direction of bike upgrades.
Better Than Basics – when you purchase a new complete bike, you may end up with wheels that are a bit less of standout components that the rest of your build. When bike manufacturers create a build kit, wheels are one place that they help keep the price point in check. The other reason they don’t put the best wheels on new builds is that everyone has different wants/needs for wheels. It is one of those items that sometimes get traded out or up based on the rider.
Personalize – do you want your bike to be ultra-light? Maybe you’re looking for a little more strength and stability? You can personalize your wheels to match your needs. You might find that you tend to take a smash though everything approach – which means you want something a little more durable that won’t break. If you’re looking for some lightweight wheels to make you faster on your XC bike, you’re going to wheels that are light and fast. Whatever your needs, there are wheels out there for you.
Aerodynamics – for road bikes, basic wheelsets aren’t geared towards being aerodynamic, they’re based on price. A set of deep-section wheels can help your times if you’re gearing up for a crit or just want to clench that KOM time you’ve been chasing.
Efficiency – a basic set of wheels has a high spoke count, but the tension isn’t always high and the materials aren’t the strongest or most durable. Upgrading your wheelset often gives you stiffer wheels, which gives you more speed with the same power.
Hubs – better wheels typically come with better hubs too. Better hubs are lighter, stiffer, and feature better bearings. This means that the wheels spin more freely and you lose less power. Better hubs will also have a better engagement feel and number of engagement points. Typically hubs with higher engagement are more of a premium component. The higher the engagement number, the fast the hub engages when moving from coasting to pedaling.
Rims – rims come in a variety of materials and qualities. These days most bicycles will come with aluminum rims. These tend to be light, durable, and reasonably inexpensive. Most high-end aftermarket wheels will offer a carbon rim. These can be lighter but tend to be a laterally stiffer rim that you can feel in the corners. These also tend to be much more expensive than their alloy counterparts. Both have their pros and cons. Which is right for you depends upon your riding style and your budget.
We can give you plenty of reasons to upgrade your wheels, but it’s always up to your personal preference. If you have questions about your current wheels or want some suggestions about wheels that could be a good upgrade for you, stop in and chat with us! We’re happy to help you find parts and components that are perfect for you.