When thinking about lightening your bike it’s important to consider some key elements that we’ll be discussing below.We know that wheels are the component that has the biggest impact on the performance of the bike. It is the part that we move with our legs and therefore the one that directly affects the dynamics of the bike.
It’s more effective to start to lighten from the outside of the wheel (tire), towards the center (hub).
These are 4 effective points to consider to lighten the wheels:
- The tires: this is the outermost element of the wheelset. You can choose Kevlar-rim tires that are typically lighter than metal-rim ones.
- The inner tubes: you can find a variety of super light inner tubes in the market, such as Tubolito, weighing up to one-third less compared to conventional ones. The main characteristics that make a lightweight inner tube are its material (thermoplastic elastomer) and its thickness. Among the best-known brands are Michelin, Continental, and Hutchinson.
- The nipples: normally the spoke nipples are made of brass. By getting aluminum nipples instead, you can reduce 60 grams per wheel. It’s not much, but it all adds up.
- The spokes: these are normally made of steel, due to this material’s characteristic mechanical resistance, rigidity, and elasticity. But flat steel spokes weigh less compared to conventional round spokes. Some brands to consider are Alpina Flat DB 1.5 Flat Steel Radius, Sapim CX-Ray Flat Steel Radius, and Alpina Hyperlite Flat Steel Radius.
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