There are a few different ways to upgrade a road bike, but one of the best would be to invest in new road bike wheels or carbon bike rims. Many road bikes aren’t sold with high-quality rims and wheels as standard. That’s done deliberately by the manufacturer to keep costs down. It’s a shame though, as having the right rims and wheels on your bike can make all the difference. The characteristics of road bikes work best when good rims and wheels are attached to them.
Road wheels can seem like they are nothing but the rim, some spokes, and a hub. With that said, there are still many differences between the different options. Just the choice between an aluminium bike rim or a carbon bike rim is a pretty big one. Carbon brings with it a lot of advantages, but it does have a few disadvantages; such as the higher price tag.
There are several advantages to choosing carbon bike rims over aluminium ones. The main advantage is that they are much lighter. This also makes them stiffer, meaning they offer greater control and grip on the road.
The main disadvantage to carbon bike rims, other than the increased cost, was the brake edge, because carbon rim brakes perform worse in bad weather. They can become overheated when riding on the mountains, particularly on steep descents. The good news is that disc brakes mean that this is no longer much of an issue.
This means that carbon is much more profitable for manufacturers. The rims don’t wear out anymore. The brake disc – and the small parts that make it up – can be damaged, but they can be replaced quite cheaply. The main carbon rim is still strong for a long time though, and shouldn’t need to be replaced.
When choosing between different bike rims, the main thing to consider is the cost and the advantages. Carbon is lighter and stiffer, offering better performance, but there is a cost that comes with it.
There’s also a middle ground option to consider. There’s a way to get the best out of carbon and aluminum. You can get a carbon bike rim with an aluminum brake edge. That gives you the advantages of carbon with no disadvantages. This does make the wheel a bit heavier though, so you will lose out on an advantage of choosing carbon.
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