There are two ways to go about scoring a new set of bike wheels. You can buy the hubs, rims and spokes separately and have them built up, or you can purchase a pre-built wheelset. The first option allows you to customize all your wheel components — but will likely cost more. Buying a wheelset is more straightforward, and we carry a large selection of both road and mountain bike wheels from all the top brands. Here are some things to consider when shopping for new bike wheels:
Road Wheels: Experienced roadies will tell you one of the most effective ways to get an instant performance boost is to upgrade your wheels. Whether it’s time to replace a tired old wheelset, or if you’re looking for something lighter and faster, we can help. There are lots of factors to consider when shopping for road wheels, including compatibility with your current bike and components. Make sure you narrow down your search to wheels that have a rear hub that’s compatible with your current drivetrain. If you have any questions, one of our Gear Advisors can help.
Next, think about the rims. The two main materials choices are aluminum or carbon fiber. If you’re looking to give your bike a significant boost in efficiency and handling, it’s worth considering carbon rims, which are typically stiffer and lighter than aluminum. If you do go the carbon route, you’ll have to think about braking. If you have disc brakes, no problem. If you have rim brakes, you’ll need special brake pads.
The other variable with road rims is the shape and depth of the rim. The current trend is toward wider rims. They are optimized for higher volume tires (25c and up), which can significantly lower rolling resistance and enhance ride quality.
And if aerodynamics is important to you, you’ll probably want to consider carbon rims, which can be made in complex shapes and deeper rim depths to give you an advantage against the wind. We carry a wide variety of road wheel options from top brands like DT Swiss, Easton, ENVE, Mavic, Shimano, SRAM, Stan’s No Tubes, and plenty more.
Mountain Bike Wheels: From bomber DH or enduro wheels to superlight XC, we offer every type of mountain bike wheel you can imagine. Whether you’ve taco’d an old wheel and need a replacement, or you’re dreaming of a superlight carbon fiber setup to chase a Strava KoM, this is the place.
There are lots of different mountain bike wheel options, so it’s best to narrow down your choices in a process of elimination. First, what’s your wheel size? We carry 29”, 27.5” and 26” wheels. Second, disc brakes or rim brakes? If you’re riding a newer mountain bike, chances are it has disc. From there it’s time to think about rim types. Carbon rims are prized for their light weight and stiffness, which can dramatically improve the way your bike climbs, accelerates and corners on the trail — but they usually cost more than aluminum rims.
Width is important too, with the current trend is moving toward wider rim diameters. A wider rim affects the shape of an inflated tire, giving it more air volume for better traction and stability.
Another factor is choosing tubeless or regular inner tube style. Using inner tubes makes tire changes more straightforward, but going tubeless has some major performance advantages and is definitely the norm these days. Combined with sealant, tubeless tires are far less likely to puncture. And you can run lower pressure, so they roll faster with more control. At JensonUSA we carry top brands like ENVE, DT Swiss, Industry Nine, Mavic, SRAM, and Stan’s NoTubes. Take a look at our selection and feel free to call one of our Gear Advisors today at 888-880-3811 if you have any questions.