The Logic of Lighter Wheels

The Logic of Lighter Wheels to improve performance on your bike

Unless you had unlimited budget when buying your current bike, there is always the yearning for something to make you go faster - and it doesn’t have to be another bike or some secret power formula (most likely illegal).

The wheels on a bike are travelling twice as fast as the bike, as a rotating mass around the axle, overcoming air resistance, rolling resistance and gravity (climbing), life would be wonderful if our roads were all travelling downhill.

Isaac Newton determined that to increase speed of an object with a particular mass you may require a measured FORCE. So if we apply that same measured force to the same object with a reduced mass an increase in speed will result (theoretically speaking).

So if the perimeter mass of a wheel is reduced, a rider applying his usual effort will enjoy an increased acceleration, proportional to the reduction in the perimeter mass of the wheel.

It is important to note the performance improvements are mainly related to reduced rim weight. Overall weight of a wheel may remain the same, however if the weight distribution has shifted away from the rim and towards the centre of rotation (the hub), the wheel should accelerate faster. In some small way this situation can be achieved by introducing lighter tyres and tubes, but this may be increasing the puncture vulnerability of the tyre, so consideration for the best balance of durability / performance is required.

Upgrade of a wheel set can completely change the ride experience and the performance of your existing bike, and if a new bike does appear on the horizon, you may just be able to take those lightning fast wheels with you!

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