How to pick the best bicycle rim

How to pick the best bicycle rim

Rims, hoops, outers, what ever you want to call them. Rims are what you ride on and what keeps your bike rolling. They come in many materials, anodizing treatment, widths and prices. We will help you pick the rim that is right for you.

Most rims are 36h which means 36 holes or 36 spokes used to lace the wheel. 36 spokes are the new spoke amount because rims have gotten super strong and light weight over the years. Spokes are different based on rim wall height and hub flange size. Spoke sizes range from 176mm to 190 and choosing the correct spoke size is very crucial. We high DO NOT RECOMMEND using used spokes, spokes stretch, fatigue and are what makes your wheel strong. New stainless steel spoke will make you wheel happy, and your pocket happy in the long run. 

Most rims come in two finishes, Chrome or anodized. Chrome is a 3 metal process that makes the rim super shiny and is highly recommend for brake due to its better stopping power. Anodized colors are slightly lighter weight and harden the aluminum to make the rim stronger.

Rims come in different material types to give the rim strength and lighten it up. lower numbered aluminum grades (6000) are softer and less expensive and higher number aluminum(7000) is stiffer but more expensive. If you want your rim to last buy a higher grade rim.

Pinned or welded, whats the difference? Pinned rims are bent into a circle and have two pins inside the rim wall that connect the circle. This style is more affordable but only time will tell how long it last. Welded rims are pinned in the same process but the joint is welded to bond the aluminum together making it a solid circle. They are usually grinned down smooth and give the rim way more strength.

Single wall rims are lighter weight but do not last as long, if you are just cruising around and not jumping these are right up your alley. Double wall rims are way stronger and lighter due to the I-beam design. If you are jumping down stairs, hitting dirt jumps or airing big on quarter pipes, this is what you want. 

One of the new things that riders want is a wider rim. Traditionally rims were about 32mm wide, now they can go up to 43mm or even 50mm wide. The wider rim makes the tire wider as well giving the rider more stability and allowing lower air pressure for bump jumps. 

As rule of thumb, buy the most expensive rim you can. Wheels are expensive to lace and time consuming to build. You do not want to be buying and lacing wheels all the time.

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