Choose the correct bicycle wheels if often over complicated and boils down to a few main components of your wheel system. We offer all sorts of wheel options to help everyone from those wanting a massive upgrade in performance to those customers just needed a basic replacement to get back on the road. Whatever your intention is, review the below information to help you make the correct choice.
Diameter – This might seem like an obvious one, but we constantly get returns due to a customer ordering the wrong wheel size. If you are looking for a road wheel, it is almost certainly a 700C. Mountain bike wheels get a bit more options as wheel sizes have changed over the years. Older bikes generally had a 26” wheel, while more modern bikes can run a 27.5” or 29” wheel.
Hub Spacing & Axle type – This is a very important aspect to your wheel decision. Again, while this might be obvious to many customers, it is a common area that customers make a mistake in their ordering. Mountain bikes have various dimensions for thru axles and can range from 142mm to 157mm. The most common on modern bikes is a 148mm rear hub (boost) and 110mm front hub (boost). Road bikes follow the same trends and can be found in 142mm (non boost) spacing as well. Any bike running a QR axle is almost certainly a 100mm front with 130/135mm rear. On older bikes, QR (quick release) axles were the standard.
Brake type – This one is straight forward. You have two options, disc brake and rim brake. Disc brake is commonly shown as 6B (6 bolt pattern) or CL (center lock), while rim is listed as such. Many companies now are stating both CL and 6B as they sell their wheels as centerlock with a 6B adapter included.
Cassette or Freewheel – this one seems to be the biggest mystery for most who are looking at an entry level wheel. When you break it down, it is very simple. A cassette is mounted onto the hub as a component with a lock ring holding it in place. A freewheel is one complete unit that screws on as one part. Most less expensive wheels ($100 and less) are freewheel. Additionally, most cheaper priced bikes use a freewheel design to keep costs down. Gears are always sold separately unless otherwise noted on the product page.
If you keep all of these things in mind when shopping for your next bike wheel or wheelset, this should keep you in line and ensure you get what you need the first go around. We stress these points on wheels to help get you the right part, but if you have any questions please contact our team to help you get the right configuration.