Cycling is not only beneficial for your health, but is also a highly competitive sport that requires supreme endurance, power, speed and technique. All these are aspects that a cyclist can improve on. However, one aspect that is beyond a cyclist’s physical prowess is the quality of bicycle used. Therefore, any serious cyclist must invest in the best quality bicycle, particularly bicycles fitted with carbon bike wheels.
Some varieties of carbon bicycle wheels include:
(i) Less expensive carbon wheels which posses aluminum skeletons layered with carbon.
(ii) More expensive varieties which possess alloy spokes and hubs with full carbon rims.
(iii) High-end wheels which possess carbon rims, as well as carbon hubs. Titanium alloys may be included within the components of these high-quality carbons.
(iv) Very light carbon bicycle wheels possessing a full carbon construction with minimal alloys.
Benefits Of Carbon Bike Wheels
Carbon bicycle wheels are designed to produce much lighter bicycles. This enables riders to move at super fast speeds. However, when selecting carbon bike wheels, you should also check on the overall weight of your bicycle. This is because the Union Cycliste Internationale clearly specifies that the weight of legal race bikes used in track, road and cyclo-cross racing should not be less than 6.8 kgs.
A carbon bike wheel is designed to achieve the perfect balance between stiffness, aerodynamics and weight aspects. This makes the bicycle light enough for a swift uphill climb, but also sleek enough for speedy downhill rides. You would need to check reviews by other riders concerning these aspects before selecting a particular carbon bike wheel design.
A carbon bike wheel is designed to be very quick in spinning up. This enables faster acceleration during races. The lightness of the wheel means that any force applied to bike pedals is quickly translated to the wheels, with minimal loss. This enables riders to make a powerful surge forward, especially when trying to overlap fellow competitors. Such a powerful effect may be overwhelming for someone who isn’t used to this type of bicycle – it might feel a bit skittish. Therefore, you should ensure to have sufficient training using the bicycle before the actual race.
There are various designs of carbon bike wheels, suited for different race conditions. For instance, bicycle wheels using tubular-carbon spokes are highly effective during climbing on steep grades. The tubular design of the carbon spokes provides firm resistance against tension and compression forces, making the wheels stiff and very responsive. This means that your bicycle would generate momentum from the smallest amount of force applied to it.
However, one disadvantage of the tubular-carbon spoke design is a slower speed when going down a slope. This is because the rims are boxy and spokes are larger than other sleek-designed bicycle wheels. Moreover, you must ensure that the dimensions of the spokes meet the Union Cycliste Internationale’s regulations. Apart from having a minimum of 12 spokes, the spokes (flattened, round or oval) must not exceed 10mm in cross-sectional dimensions (applicable to massed start competitions for road and cyclo-cross).
Some varieties of carbon bicycle wheels make use of clincher tires. Compared to tubular tires, clincher tires are easier to use and repair.