(you'll read a bit here, but hopefully we'll help you get a basic overview)
What are t wheels (hereafter ZK)?
What characteristics should they have?
How to choose the ideal ZK?
What materials are used to make ZK?
What is their design and ZK components?
WHAT EXACTLY ARE BRAIDED WHEELS?
ZK, is one of the most important components of bicycles.
They are the main mediator and connecting element between the cyclist and the road or terrain.
They are firmly fixed in the front and rear forks.
Of course, they have tires on them.
The main function is the efficient transfer of energy spent while driving and moving forward.
It is involved in the control, steering and braking of the bicycle.
They therefore also have a great influence on the safety of cyclists.
Their quality and strength really matter a lot!
WHAT PROPERTIES SHOULD THEY HAVE?
It must be strong enough to reliably support its rider.
Efficient transfer of energy used.
Perfect control of the bicycle when driving and braking.
High strength, reliability, safety and durability.
It should be serviceable for at least 5 years after sale with availability of spare parts.
Nice design and affordable price.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE IDEAL BRAIDED WHEELS?
According to your own bicycle type, specification and frame size.
According to the way of use and the load on the entire bicycle.
According to the requirement for efficiency, performance and weight.
According to the color design, which also matters.
According to the financial limit.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED?
Braided wheels are assembled from rims, hubs, spokes, nipples and tires. (galuska)
The quality of these components speaks to efficiency, reliability, weight and price.
Quality tires must always be fitted to quality wheels.
The most common material is steel and Alu. But titanium, carbon and composite materials are also common.
The price of individual components ranges from tens of crowns to tens of thousands.
WHAT IS THE CONSTRUCTION OF BRAIDED WHEEL?
The construction of the ZK is based on the strength and reliability of the individual components from which the ZK is assembled.
Price category up to 150€
- ZK for children and basic-middle class bicycles usually have 32 spokes, basic models of hubs, rims and spokes of a lower price category. In order for the components in this cheaper category to meet the strength limits, more material is usually used on them, mainly aluminum and steel. So they are heavier in weight.
Such ZK do not have efficient energy transfer, are heavier and have basic tire models with greater rolling resistance. They are harder to control and have a shorter lifespan.
Their main shortcoming is machine production with a low unbalanced beam tension of 80 - 90 Kg and inaccuracy in the vertical and lateral throwability.
Their price with tires is from 2 to 5000. However, they firmly meet the requirements for transport and leisure rides and are relatively safe. The disadvantage is the high weight.
Price category up to 700€
- In the middle class, ZK are already available with the number of spokes 32, 28 or even 24. They have light, high-quality aluminum hubs and rims. The knitting is machine-made in combination with manual centering. The beam tension is already higher by around 100-110 Kg. The weave is more balanced and the looseness is minimal. Lighter and better quality tires are also installed. This middle class already meets the requirements for more demanding, vigorous loads and racing. However, it is always necessary to monitor the manufacturer's stated load capacity and the correct tire pressure.
The price of such ZK ranges up to 16,000.
Price category up to 1300€
- The best ZK Alu and basic ZK models with carbon rims belong to the Higher ZK class. For freeriding as well as DH and e-bikes, we can find quality ZK with 32 spokes, but also very light ZK for racing loads on the road, Gravel, XC that have 28 or only 24 spokes. For road bikes, it can be from 16 to 24 spokes. A lower number of spokes always indicates greater quality and strength of the components. Here, manufacturers are already using hubs for spokes with a straight head. The result is greater strength of the spokes, which can be stretched more and the result is a more efficient transfer of energy. The tension of the beam often exceeds 120 - 130 kg, and the strength of the components must correspond to this. In this category we also find ZK with carbon rims. This category, especially with carbon rifles, already offers quality and reliable riding with greater efficiency and performance.
TOP RACE category.
This includes ZK manufacturers, who mostly have their own construction of individual components. They develop and test complex ZK projects according to the specific requirements of individual disciplines. They test in laboratories and in the field with leading cyclists, and based on the results and feedback, they refine their designs. The goal is to establish the same or balanced tension of the beams on both sides of the ZK. Such ZK usually have flanges of different heights for attaching the spokes on the engaged and non-engaged side. Together with the eccentric construction of the rims, when the holes are 2.5-3.5 mm outside the axis of the rim, it succeeds in achieving even tension of the spokes on both sides of the ZK. (Cannondale has its own interesting patented construction of frames together with hubs.) For efficient energy transfer,