Understanding Bicycle Rims

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The Bicycle Rim is definitely one of the most important part on the bicycle wheel. People often had mistaken the whole wheel. consisting of rim and spokes as the “rim”. but actually rim is defined as the metal circle which holds both the tube and the tire. Each wheel of the wheel set consists of several spokes which are used to connect the rim to the main hub (i.e. the center of the wheel consisting of the axle and the bearings).

Types of Rim

Rims come in various size and shapes. depending upon the underlying tire. If the traditional tubular tires (these have inner tube sewn into the tire allowing the tire to be inflated without being mounted on a rim) are being employed. the tire needs to be glued to the rim. Although they are expensive and difficult to maintain. yet they provide excellent speed and often the preferred choice when it comes to racing. The other set of tires are the clincher tires (these enclose an inner tube to hold pressurized air). They can be repaired easily and the performance is also at par with the tubular tires. As both these tires are widely used. most manufacturers prefer to produce rim fittings for both sets.

Building a Bicycle Rim

In the beginning. wooden rims were used. which were later replaced with rims made of steel. The problem with steel is that it is heavy and if the rim gets damaged. it is really difficult to mould it back. These were later replaced by alloyed rims (including aluminum). Alloyed rims can be molded in any profile. but not too deep. as that will increase the weight too much. These provide lightless and beauty to the bicycle rim. The latest trend to hit the market is the carbon fiber rim. These are very light and quite strong. but then they hurt the pocket a lot more. The carbon fiber rims don’t brake well in damp situations. Thus. special brakes that can block carbon are required and these are again expensive. For the carbon rims to work. the rim needs to perfectly circular with no bulging.

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