Talk:Bicycle wheel

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To do[edit]

  • Strength to weight ratio
  • construction
    • rim
    • hub


--Christopherlin 21:44, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of disc wheels? Rather major piece missing from the article. Mathmo 11:45, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

By all means, please add a mention. -AndrewDressel 14:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Tufo Tubular[edit]

Does the Tufo 'tubular' cited as an example of a tubular without an inner tube truly constitute a tubular tire? If a tubular tire is defined as 'any tire that is designed to work on a tubular rim' It would not work. If tubular tire is defined as 'any tire that is stitched closed to form a torus' then this tire almost works. The reference refers to it as a 'tubeless road' and 'tubular clincher' tire. I am interested by the tire but inclined not to cite it as a reference that a tubular tire doesn't contain an inner tube. For the moment the article claims that a tubular 'almost always has an inner tube'. This seems like a fair compromise until we resolve this. Ender8282 (talk) 23:44, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Do not confuse Tufo's 'tubular clincher' tires, designed for clincher rims, with their pure 'tubular' tires, designed for tubular rims. Perhaps the current definition is not worded in the best way possible. It seems that the salient aspect of 'tubular' is that the tire cross section is in the form of a tube, and then the Tufo tubulars definitely fit. This VeloNews article and this Road Cycling article have no trouble calling Tufos tubulars. The slangy 'sew-ups' would be no weirder than 'clipless pedals' or 'threadless stems'. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:26, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
The Road Cycling article still talks about a tubular-clincher. The VeloNews article is most definately NOT talking about a tubular-clincher hybrid. This most certainly proves the point that 'not all tubulars have a seperate innertube'. I might prefer that the VeloNews article were used instead of the current bike-eu article only because it is refering to what I understand a tubular tire to be. However the Bike-eu and the Road Cycling articles provide a picture that explins what is going on far better than VeloNews does. Ender8282 (talk) 16:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

The construction of a tubular tire is not the point of this article. Since this article references the tubular tyres article we don't need to go into construction details here. I have changed the aricle to discuss the interface between tire and rim contrasting it with a traditional clincher. I am not totally happy with the summary but maybe someone else can clean it up a little. Lets leave the tubeless tubular for the tubular tire page. Ender8282 (talk) 21:23, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Wooden rims[edit]

Caption to Image:Bamboobike.jpg claims that the rims are wooden... I doubt this and there is no mention of it in the image summary. They look like rusted steel to me. Have messaged the image uploaded but consider this a request for any other input. bad·monkey talk to the {:() :: 05:55, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the wooden bit is actualy the tyre. If there were no metal rim as well, then how would the metal spokes be fixed to the rim securely enough perform well?Gregorydavid 13:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
In fact it is highly likely that the rims are made from wood. Wood was the most popular material for rims around that time and metal rims only became popular (on safeties) with the rise of rim brakes (which this bicycle does not have). The tires are certainly not wood, they are pneumatic rubber types, the valves are visible coming out of the rims. 17:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Wood definitely have been used for making rims. LDHan 21:42, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The fact that wood has been used for rims is not in question; merely what this picture is of. If you look around where the rim meets the tyre (which is most certainly not wood!), you can see shine and reflections which give it the appearance of metal to me. bad·monkey talk to the {:() :: 03:39, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
It's not that clear from the photo, but it could be tarnished metal. LDHan 09:51, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

As the image uploader I cannot solve the problem definately because the pic was taken a few years ago, very far from where I live and with a poor camera resolution. The only thing I can tell is that if there had been sthg unusual about the wheels, i would probably have noticed that and included it in the image summary. So it seems the wheels were made as they mostly are today - steel and rubber. other clues are what seem to be reflections on the rims and possible technological problems with joining wood with obviously metal spokes. Personally, I would opt for removing the example from the article until some Wikipedian from Holešovice in Prague goes for a nice walk to the nearby Technological Museum and finds out the Truth ;-) Mohylek 13:43, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Here is the image again for another look -
Bicycle with rims made of wood (1896)
Gregorydavid 13:28, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, wrong wheel, no wood on these rims. Gregorydavid 13:39, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Reaction to inertia[edit]

concerns about rotational inertia of bicycle wheels are vastly overstated--the inertia of all bicycle wheels is negligible compared to the mass of the rider.

Can you back this up with any data or references. Have you ridden wheels with low and high moments? There _is_ a noticeable difference when accelerating and climbing.
Ender8282 19:03, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

See the article at
I am not sure that I believe everything that it says but I do agree with some of it.
Ender8282 19:56, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

The bit about rotational inertia being insignificant compared with the riders mass should be removed. Higher rotational inertia of wheels definitely can be easily felt by a rider and makes a significant difference in races such as critirums where you might accelerate from 30 kph to well over 50 kph more than 200 times (four corners X 50 laps) in little more than two hours. It can make more difference to the final outcome in a given race than the difference in the mass of two representative riders providing that for comparsion the two riders are nearly equal in ability and fitness (as they might well be in any given sanctioned race with very competitive racers), but one is a heavier rider. This is because in such a race a lot of the time you must stay very close to the rider in front of you and if the rider in front of you is the rider of nearly equal ability (but different weight) but now he can accelerate out of the corners using less energy than he did before when compared to you (when you were very nearly equal) due to lighter wheels and rims than you, you will have less effort left compared to him for that final long extremely hard effort when right at the very last the rotational inertia of the wheels can once again make a very important difference, even if it is only a fraction of an inch. The trade off here occurs when the heavier rider begins to experience 'squirrly' behavior or outright failure with rims that are too light and flex in hard cornering or sprints. I think the point for removing the claim that less rotational inertia is not really signifigant or is overstated when compared to the riders mass is a bit harder to prove for the case when climbing, but it looks like the 'number crunchers' have done so. (talk) 07:12, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Rims with no holes for spokes?[edit]

At time of writing, the article says:

The number of spoke holes on the rim normally matches the number of spoke holes in the hub. Some unusual rim designs have no holes for spokes, for example Campagnolo road rims and the Velocity Zvino MTB rims.

Huh - Campagnolo rims (presumably, the rims used on Campy's own wheels) don't have spoke holes? Both my sets do! Which wheels don't use holes for spokes? If it is just a few designs, we should probably say "...for example some Campagnolo road rims...". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by WikianJim (talkcontribs) 20:12, 15 May 2007 (UTC).

Anyone? WikianJim 19:22, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Here's some info on the Zvino [[1]] & [[2]]. I think saying that they don't have holes is misleading though. The rim still has holes, just in a separate section of the rim. AFAIK, campagnolo rims all have spoke/nipple holes. Just not in the 2nd layer of aluminum so you don't have to use rim tape. 14:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Right, I get this now! On a double wall rim they have holes for the nipples to poke through, but not on the bit that touches the innertube/tubular. WikianJim 16:03, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

There are more companies than just velocity and campy that make whls without holes in the outer wall. Mavic (CrossMax, XM819 rims, Kyrsium & R-SYS) Shimano (DA road tubeless whls) Falcrum (I am not sure but since they are asian made campagnolo whls I suspect) It is a little hard deciding what brands/models to list and which not to list. I suspect that Mavic was first to market but I am not sure. Do we want to try to make a list of all of them or should we choose one or two as references? Is it possible to have a NPOV if we list some but not others? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ender8282 (talkcontribs) 04:30, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Clincher is not quite the right term[edit]

Clincher is a specific type of tire-rim design that is obsolete. What is usually referred to today as a "clincher" is in fact a wire-on or wire-type design. Clinchers have a bead that grips a hooked edge on the rim when the tire is under pressure. Wire-type simply rely on wire tension to offset the pressure and the tire is held on the rim by being slightly smaller than the rim.

Reference: Sharp, Archibald, "Bicycles & Tricycles, An Elementary Treatise on Their Design and Construction", Longmans, Green, 1896 pp495-497 (Reprinted MIT Press, 1979).
Michael Daly 06:49, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Sheldon Brown seems to agree, although he may be using the same original source:
Probably due to a shortage of sources on such topics :). Bicycling magazine made a big deal about this about 30 years ago, but the naming conventions don't seem to have been affected. Michael Daly 16:36, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

ISO 8090 (“Cycles – Glossary of terms”) lists the following types of rims along with drawings:

  • straight-sided rim
  • hook bead rim
  • sprint rim; adhesive bond rim
  • Westwood rim
  • double chamber crochet rim
  • single chamber crochet rim

There is no mention of “clincher”. Markus Kuhn (talk) 22:45, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The article discusses different methods of measuring beaded-edge and wired-edge tires, but does not define the distinction between a bead and a wire or say which is more common in which contexts. Seems to me, in an encyclopedia intended for ordinary people to read, the latter points are more important. Jim.henderson (talk) 17:43, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Lead section and definition[edit]

Sorry again about the revert, but the recent change had a lot of points to discuss

  1. It lost two alternate name "sew-up" and "single" that I think are very useful in an encyclopedia article.
  2. It added "hooks" to the definition of the alternate tire type commonly, and apparently erroniously, refered as clincher. See the discussion section just above this one to see that "hooks" do not define clincher.
  3. It tosses out a reference without replacing it as discussed above.

-AndrewDressel (talk) 21:32, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I didn't read the comments first. Okay, I get part of it. Let me try to restore what you had. -AndrewDressel (talk) 21:35, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for cleaning it up. I knew what I was trying to say but it didn't come out very well. Ender8282 (talk) 23:38, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

rolling resistance[edit]

I lifted this paragraph from the article as it's just a bunch of unsourced claims. I suppose it should either be sourced and replaced, or left out.

Rolling resistance also is reduced with increasing tire pressure, although the practical benefits become small at pressures significantly above 120 psi for the average bicycle rider.[citation needed] Thinner bicycle tires are lighter and have less wind resistance than wider tires, however, wider tires offer better traction, comfort, and stability.[citation needed]

26-inch wheels: Is this germane? NPOV?[edit]

Can someone tell me if (and why) the mention of UST here? It seems irrelevant because UST rims are still made around the same 26" standard as non-UST rims, and this section of the article is talking about the size of the rim, right? HuntClubJoe (talk) 21:21, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

This section is mostly wrong and so are parts of other sections. "26-inch" wheels aren't rigidly 26 inches in diameter. Wheels are best specified by rim bead seat diameter; tires used with the same rim may vary. "26 x 1 3/4" size is nom osly used with very narrow tires. there is a good desciprtion of these issues at Jsallen1 (talk) 21:20, 23 December 2011 (UTC).

I believe a discussion of 26 x 1.25, 26 x 1½, etc. should be included because for the average reader the 'wheel' includes the tyres. People should understand that the size 26in is only nominal, and the sizes of the various non-standard tires should be explained in terms of the UST/ISO/ETRTO standard. Hedley 06:03, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Do hubs hang from the wheel?[edit]

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The physics is a bit too complex to me, but it seems that it's all a matter of point of view. It's the reduction of tention on the lower spokes that allows the (almost unchanged) tention on the upper spokes to bear the load. I imagine I am over simplifying this. In any case the article seems to be very unclear on the matter, and I would love to see it improved, but I am unsure if my understanding is accurate.--Keithonearth (talk) 03:30, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Bicycle wheel has a couple of concise sentences with plenty of references. -AndrewDressel (talk) 17:58, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the two articles should be merged, but I would like to see just one copy of this topic with all the best references. Arguably, it belongs here, in the more general article, but all the sources are specific to bicycle wheels. I'm tempted to suggest that both these aritlce link to a new, specific article, but I don't think there is enough material to warrent a stand-alone article on the subject. Anyone have a preference or an even better idea? -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:27, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
The current consensus among sources seems to be that under load, the few spokes at the bottom reduce tension and the rest only slightly increase tension. Jobst Brandt and Ian somebody interprets this to mean that the hub stands on the few spokes directly below it. Tom Fine interprets this to mean that the hub hangs from the rim. It seems to me that we should state something like the first sentence as fact with multiple references, and then quote specific authors semantic interpretations as exactly that. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:49, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure where the best place to put the references/discution would be either, I kind of think not that many people would be reading the Wire wheels page, and way more will be reading the bicycle wheel page. Would it be possible to keep the discusion brief enough (Like two Sentences) that redundancy wouldn't be too tragic? Putting that aside for now, the way you phrase it above, seems to me to be by far the best I've heard so far, and is way better than on the article page.--Keithonearth (talk) 19:44, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Having seen some flame wars on the the subject, I'd suggest stating something like the first sentence as the classic or conventional view, then that some using FEA argue the contrary, and finally that the argument hinges (buckles?) on whether a reduction in tension implies structural support. Nice work on the subheadings, btw. NebY (talk) 09:00, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
To say the tension changes as a fact, then the two interpretation (as you say Andrew) should avoid an edit war, no? How about: "Under load, the few spokes at the bottom reduce tension and the rest only slightly increase tension. This has been interprated as either meaning that the hub is supported by the spokes under it, (ref,ref) or that the hub "hangs" from the rim (ref). I think that fits with NebY's suggestion too. The main thing as far as I'm concerned it to remove the unattributed quote. --Keithonearth (talk) 20:10, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Done. Thanks for your help. -AndrewDressel (talk) 12:48, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. (didn't see the change till just now) Great job!--Keithonearth (talk) 04:21, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I do not want to start an edit war, but there is less controversy about this than you seem to imply by your attempt at even-handedness. You might consider the following thought experiment when deciding which viewpoint to prefer. If the hub hangs from the upper spokes, then you might expect that decreasing the tension in the bottom spokes to zero would not matter much. --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Someone might expect that, but they would be incorrect. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
This also suggests that you ought to be able to set the spoke tension really low. --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
It might suggest that to someone, but they would also incorrect. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
From the hanging point of view, you should need only enough combined tension in the upper spokes to support the load. --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I see nothing in the "hanging point of view" that limits spoke tension in this way. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I believe there is good evidence in the references that the bottom spokes must stay in tension or the wheel will fail. Brandt devotes the first part of his book to explaining the idea that the bottom spokes support the load; see pages 6-32. Consider this quote from p 28: "Wheel Collapse ... a bicycle landing from a sufficiently high jump, could untension its bottom spokes on impact and leave its rim laterally unsupported. At this moment the wheel is unstable and will collapse to the side." He also says earlier, on p 10, "Of course the wheel is not supported by the bottom spokes only. Without the rest of the spokes, the bottom ones would have no tension. Standing, in this case, means that the spokes at the bottom are the ones that change stress; they are being shortened and respond structurally as rigid columns. They are rigid as long as they remain tensioned (my emphasis)." --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
The issue is exactly his assertion that the bottom spokes "respond structurally as rigid columns". They simply do not, by any definition of "rigid column" that I can find. They are not in compression unless the wheel fails, and the way that most spoke nipples simply press towards the hub against a hole in the rim, or Euler's buckling criteria, depending on how one prefers to look at it, prevents them from ever being in more than a tiny fraction of the compressive force that would be required to support the loads that most wire wheels support. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Most people would agree, based on their own experience, that a wire will not behave as a rigid column when in compression. --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe I follow your point here. In the previous sentence, you appear to be supporting Brandt's position, but you seem to be opposing it in this sentence. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I really think you could have a more enlightening discussion of this subject in the article. --AJim (talk) 00:53, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I believe that citing sources on both sides of the argument and trying to explain their positions is about enlightened as this is going to get. I don't believe there is any controversy about what actually happens as wire wheels support a load. Instead, the controversy lies simply in what words we use to describe it. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)


I've taken out the addition, provided below, with the edit comment that "the reference is fine, but we don't need the details."

Forester demonstrated this by direct measurement of change in spoke length as the wheel rotated under load. Spoke length decreased between the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions with a maximum decrease of about 0.004 inch at 6 o'clock. The reduction in downward pull on the hub, calculated from the dimensions of the spokes, closely equaled the load carried.

What I mean is that the testing methodologies of none of the other sources are discusses. Readers looking for such details can check the sources directly. Also, details such as the investigator's name and the measured displacement without the total spoke length or other details necessary to interpret the number seem out of place. -AndrewDressel (talk) 03:10, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Maximum load[edit]

From the Analysis for design of spoked bicycle wheels article, I think that the maximum load is around 490N (=?kg) (more load is possible by increasing the spokes. Also, from what I read at wikipedia, the load can be increased by reducing the wheel size. Having some formula's for this would be useful to integrate to the article.

Generally, the maximum load for the tyre is far less, around 145kg per tyre (or 290 kg for a person sitting on a bicycle since it has 2 wheels, see ) (talk) 09:37, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

That would be a little hard to come by. The maximum load will be a function of the rim material and cross section; the spoke material, size, and number; and the wheel size. Good luck finding a formula for that. -AndrewDressel (talk) 14:18, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

giving it the greatest strength to weight ratio of any man-made structure?[edit]

Read this: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:35, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Exactly how do you measure the size?[edit]

I don't understand how to measure the the diameter of the tire or rim, from the way it is described in the article. Both says smth with "where the tire sits", but exactly where is that? The tire and rim has an overlap if measured from the center of the circle and out. It needs a more precise/explicit explanation, or perhaps a diagram. (talk) 18:21, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

The ISO standard measurement of tire and rim sizes (622 mm, 559 mm etc.) is the smallest diameter of the tyre, which matches the diameter of the bead seat of the rim. The bead seat is the little shelf inside either side of the rim. Some rims, however, do not have bead seats, relying instead on hooked edges to prevent the bead wires from pulling out over the edges of the rim. Some have both. Tyre width and depth may differ and still fit the same rim, so we get tyre specifications such as 25-622 and 38-622. All of the traditional tyre sizing systems were based on the outside diameter of the tyre, and so they collapsed into confusion as tyre widths began to change. Maybe I'll go edit now but I can't deal with the entire article at this time -- it is rife with confusion. Jsallen1 (talk) 21:16, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Description of "Dish"[edit]


I read the section on "dish" and I'd like to note for the prominent editors for this article that it needs a rewrite.

I found it odd to begin with that Sheldon Brown is referenced - but the section is a rewrite of it and took the reference which is correct and got it wrong or confused in the section when rewritten.

You are welcome to cite other sources. Sheldon Brown's site is handy because it is available to everyone, and it is likely to be reliable because he consults with other established authorities in the field such as Jobst Brandt and John Forester. -AndrewDressel (talk) 10:15, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

While for purposes of general casual and informal chats laymen might use "dish" as a description of the differing appearance of the two sides of a geared or disc wheel, for technical purposes that description is not correct.

If you have another reliable source, please cite it. -AndrewDressel (talk) 10:15, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

To "dish" and "dishing" refers to the act of centering the rim between the outside of the axle lock nuts or end-caps. Either the wheel is dished or it isn't dished. There is no such thing as more dished or less dished. Regardless of extent - a wheel that is not dished is simply off dish. That is exactly what a dishing tool tests for.

In Sheldon's article on wheelbuilding, he uses expressions such as
If the wheel is highly dished,
The high amount of dishing called for to make room for more and more sprockets has caused an increase in spoke breakage on the left side of rear wheels,
A highly-dished rear wheel starts with very light tension on the left side spokes,
With half-radial spoking, the amount of dish is very slightly less to begin with, and
Optimizing the tension despite the different dishing
so it seems that the cited source with the kind assistance of John Allen, Daniel Boals, Jobst Brandt, and John Forester does describe a wheel as having more or less dish and being more or less dished. -AndrewDressel (talk) 06:54, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

The terms "asymmetrical" and "offset" are the best terms to use to explain the difference in appearance of the two sides of a wheels where geared and disc wheels are concerned. The existing write-up does tackle that aspect.

Sheldon quotes John Allen, who states:
I recommend thicker spokes for the right side of a dished rear wheel (a wheel used with a cassette) than the left side, because the left-side spokes are under lower tension.
which suggests that dish describes a wheel that is asymmetrical, not merely a wheel on which the rim is centered. -AndrewDressel (talk) 06:54, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

In short, all I'm recommending is a rewrite that simplifies the write-up by approaching the description more concretely or by getting straight to the point.

Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by The real mrrabbit (talkcontribs) 23:54, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

If you go back to the Sheldon Brown reference - while it talks about the casual appearance of "dish" that is common in casual and informal chats, i.e., the appearance of a "dish" as in a piece of kitchen hardware , it concludes with the technical description of "dish".
Quote: "By extension, the term "dish" is used as a general synonym for accurate centering, even in the case of symmetrical wheels."
As I noted earlier - the proper use of the term on a technical basis is in relation to "centering". All bicycle wheels - whether symmetrical or asymmetrical when properly built are dished. I.e., centered between the axle lock nuts - a dishing tool tests for exactly that - centering.
In other words, when the original write-up on "Dish" for this article was done, the author failed to note the distinction made by Sheldon Brown between "appearance" of a dish or bowl for disc and rear geared wheels and the "technical" meaning of dish in relation to the centering of bicycle wheels. — Preceding unsigned comment added by The real mrrabbit (talkcontribs) 04:36, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
I did go back to read his short glossary entry, and I can find no support for your assertion that the proper use of the term on a technical basis is in relation to "centering". Instead the quotation you provide suggests that use of the term dish to describe accurate centering of a symmetrical wheel is merely an extension. Did you read his wheel building article? It clearly shows his use dish in a relative sense. Perhaps you have another source. -AndrewDressel (talk) 07:17, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Source: (As you suggested...)
Paragraph #8. Clearly and concisely describes the action necessary using the dishing tool as the testing device to center the rim between the lock nuts of the hub axle. Note that there is no distinction made between symmetrical or asymmetrical wheels, nor is the focus on making "dish" as a "bowl" appearance the focus. All wheels go through this procedure when properly built and all are centered in order to be considered "dished" in the technical sense. Note also that there are no terms "less" or "more" dished. Either there is "improvement" needed or the wheel is dished.
Yes, I see that, but it does not support your point, especially in light of the quotations I provided above from the very same article. All I can see is that these five authorities, Sheldon Brown, John Allen, Daniel Boals, Jobst Brandt, and John Forester use dish in both, closely related senses: centering the rim, and asymmetrical spoke tension and angle. -AndrewDressel (talk) 10:24, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
My guess is that you are not a prolific wheelbuilder like myself - approaching 3000 wheels since 1984 if not already past that - and perhaps that may be what is impeding your interpretation of the glossary entry as well as the wheel building article. Picking up an actual dishing tool - or flipping a wheel in a stand to accomplish the same would help drive the point home very quickly because those actions will immediately highlight the "centering" action that is the focus of "dishing" a wheel.--The real mrrabbit (talk) 08:28, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
While I appreciate your wheel building experience and your passion to improve this article, you must understand that neither trumps the absolute requirement on Wikipedia to support claims with reliable sources. Your assertion that there is no such thing as more dished or less dished is directly and repeatedly refuted by sources so notable that they have their own articles here. On the other hand, I have seen many times that technical terms can be very poorly defined and very reliable sources can be found to support conflicting definitions. If you were to find and provide such a source, I would fully support adding that detail to the article. -AndrewDressel (talk) 10:24, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Sir! Are you really that dense? Seriously! I am using YOUR OWN sources to point out TO YOU that you are not reading them correctly. "Dish" is used as a NOUN to describe the "appearance" of dish in a wheel as a reference to the shape of a bowl. "Dish" is used as a VERB in reference to the technical wheel building action of "centering" the rim between the ends of the hub axle lock nuts.
Here it is again: Source:
Go all the way down to the last bullet item under "Improvised Tools" and note the use of flipping the wheel in the stays to check for centering of the rim between the axle lock nuts IN ORDER TO DISH THE WHEEL!!!--The real mrrabbit (talk) 14:54, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
First, I advise you to avoid making personal attacks. They will quickly get you banned from Wikipedia.
Second, while I do see Sheldon using the terms in the way that you describe, I do not see him doing so exclusively. Examples are numerous in the very article you keep citing, but here are some that I have not already quoted above:
  • Front wheels are symmetrically dished, and I recommend thicker spokes for the right side of a dished rear wheel. If he thought dished means symmetrical, or if all wheels are dished because dished means "made symmetrical", why would he use these redundant descriptions.
  • Half-radial rear wheels can be substantially more durable than conventional ones, if the wheel is highly dished; a highly-dished rear wheel starts with very light tension on the left side spokes; and the high amount of dishing called for to make room for more and more sprockets has caused an increase in spoke breakage on the left side of rear wheels. If dish simply means symmetrical, what could he possibly mean by highly dished and high amount of dishing?
  • With half-radial spoking, the amount of dish is very slightly less to begin with. If dish simply means symmetrical, does he mean that half-radial spoking requires or causes very slightly asymmetrical wheels?
  • Their wheels were highly dished inward. If dish simply means symmetrical, this statement makes no sense at all.
Here's one from his article on single-speeds
  • The rear wheel itself is a lot stronger than one made with off-center (dished) spoking to make room for a whole bunch of sprockets on one side. Here he very clearly uses dished to indicate that the rim is not centered between the hub flanges in contrast to the alternative: centered spoking (undished).
In the face of these quotations, I cannot see how you can insist that Sheldon Brown uses dished exclusively to mean centered or symmetrical. The last quotation specifically contradicts your original assertion that While for purposes of general casual and informal chats laymen might use "dish" as a description of the differing appearance of the two sides of a geared or disc wheel, for technical purposes that description is not correct. Numerous quotations specifically contradict your original assertion that There is no such thing as more dished or less dished. As much as I enjoy clarifying confusing terminology, unless another source can be found that does not contradiction your claims so frequently, I'm afraid this matter is closed. -AndrewDressel (talk) 16:24, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
This is exactly what I mean. YOU are purposely misrepresenting what I point out to you. I have never used the word "dish" "exclusively" as having ONE meaning. I have pointed out repeatedly that is has TWO meanings in reference to bicycle wheels - one as used as a "NOUN" to describe the "appearance" of dish and the other as used as a "VERB" for the technical aspect of "centering" the rim between the axle lock nuts - USING THIS VERY ARTICLE's OWN REFERENCE to Sheldon Brown!!!
Yes, you do mention two meanings, and then you point out that one is only valid for purposes of general casual and informal chats laymen might use but for technical purposes that description is not correct. Then, you continue with either the wheel is dished or it isn't dished. There is no such thing as more dished or less dished. Your point that one definition is a noun and the other is a verb seems obvious and only mildly interesting. I have responded by showing that the cited sources do not describe one definition as more or less technical or accurate than the other. Instead, they readily use the term both ways. -AndrewDressel (talk) 21:32, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
This is a conversation that covers the two meanings of dish as applied to a wheel. Note the noted author on bicycle wheels Jobst Brandt is in the discussion. He gives the "appearance" definition. Sheldon Brown does the same in reply to someone else, but also the already noted glossary link is included in the discussion that covers both definitions. Pay particular attention to the 4 paragraph posting by "John" who covers exactly what I've been pointing out all along - BOTH definitions - and what they cover in detail. Finally the last post by "Nate" nails what is likely to be the exact reason why you like many people are confused - which simply is that perhaps "dish" was never a good word to use to begin with.
This source only confirms my point. Jobst Brandt spells out exactly the definition that you claim is not correct but makes no such distinction:
I think there is still a bit of unclarity about what constitutes dish or no-dish. Today, due to narrowly spaced and off center hub flanges, along with offset rims, a more precise definition is in order. Dish is the difference in lateral angle of the left and right spokes of a wheel as they enter the rim expressed in distance of offset. That is, if the conical dish of the left spokes has a different depth than the right, the difference is the amount of dish (disparity) of the wheel.
The only confusion I have on this topic is why you insist that one definition is correct and the other is not. I have not yet seen a single reference that confirms your point, let alone read a cogent argument that supports it.
If after reading that you still don't get it, then the following as queried above and the fourth noted synonym is not a personal attack, it applies:
Definition of "Dense":
--The real mrrabbit (talk) 19:09, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
What I get is that you are trying to make the case that one definition of dish if technically correct and the other is not. However, I have not yet seen any support for that. Shouting and name calling suggest passion, but they do not persuade. You also point out that one is used as a noun and the other is used as a verb, but that seems like a minor point. Finally, you contend that the article, as currently written, does a poor job of making the distinction. That may be true, and I am ready to change it point out better the two definitions in use, but I don't expect to indicate that one is in any way superior to the other. -AndrewDressel (talk) 21:32, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
I have never said "one is superior to the other". Learn to read and represent others correctly. I HAVE pointed out as you correctly noted that casual discussions of dish - more so by those who do not actually build wheels - will apply the "appearance" definition to the "technical" side as well. That is not correct - as has already been explained and sourced.
My original opening note to the request for the edit was exactly as follows as copied and pasted from above:
Quote: "While for purposes of general casual and informal chats laymen might use "dish" as a description of the differing appearance of the two sides of a geared or disc wheel, for technical purposes that description is not correct."
Just you so know, I made the request to others as I have yet to do an actual Wiki edit and do not want to make a mistake that results in the removal of the excellent diagram that you have in this section of the article. It demonstrates both definitions that are in play to perfection - including the initial assessment at a glance that people will make of the rim not being centered in an asymmetrical wheel - until that is - they stop and take a closer look using the correct "axle-ends" versus "rim-position" comparison. The dotted center line drives that point home.
--The real mrrabbit (talk) 22:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
What an unusual way to ask for help. -AndrewDressel (talk) 21:36, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Single/Double/Triple wall[edit]

This article could really do with explaining the difference between single/double/triple wall rims (with pics). Something like this (talk) 14:08, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I took a stab at it. -AndrewDressel (talk) 06:24, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Nonsensical statement ?[edit]

"a long axle, typically 20 mm (110 mm width), 9 mm (100.33 mm width) in diameter for durability, onto which the fork/frame clamps (found on most mountain bike forks)."

seems to make no sense.Eregli bob (talk) 18:10, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

There is such a thing as a thru axle"Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Wheel Removal and Installation". Retrieved 2012-08-12. 

"MTB Quick Releases Systems a Thing of the Past?". Retrieved 2012-08-12. . Definitely needs some cleanup though. For starters they're far from being found on most mountain bike forks. -Dhodges (talk) 23:27, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


The article is composed almost entirely of original research, self published sources and composed like an essay. Of all the sources, it is highly dependent on singular source of personal website of Sheldon Brown which is cited numerous times within the article. The references don't meet the standard WP:V, where not cited, it appears that it was written off of personal knowledge of editors, which again is not allowed per aforementioned policy. Cantaloupe2 (talk) 09:49, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

650B / 27.5[edit]

Can we please keep this as 650B (which is what the standard is defined as), rather than inventing 27.5 Andy Dingley (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Given the number of readily available sources that refer to it at 27.5", I'd say the cat is long out of the bag, and we're not inventing anything. I find it more useful to see the main standards by which something is known explicitly listed. We should not suppress 27.5" any more than we should suppress ISO 584. -AndrewDressel (talk) 15:54, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Totally agree with Andy Dingley, we will not get fooled, but it is still 10 to 1, 10 being current misconceptions a 1 being the facts! — Moebiusuibeom-en (talk) 01:48, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
What misconceptions do you mean, and what do you mean by "which some as a marketing term also refer to as a 650B, which it is not"? Are you claiming that wheels sold under the designation "27.5" are not 650B? Sheldon Brown sure seemed to think they were when he wrote:
marketeers have recently tried to popularize a fourth designation for the 584 mm tire size! They are trying to get people to call it "27 five." I strongly urge readers to resist this foolish jargon, and to use either the traditional "650B" designation, or, better yet, the internationally-standardized "584 mm" designation.
I interpret Sheldon's comments as meaning that all three designations are synonymous. What is the misconception? -AndrewDressel (talk) 02:05, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
As the intro to Mountain bike wheels states, Mountain bike wheels are described by the approximate outer diameter of the wheel plus a wide, ~2 inch tire. (which by the way it's expressed wrongly)
The "new" 27.5" size is just that, a 27.5" outside diameter wheel that mounts 2+ inch volume tires on 584 mm rims. 27.5" are used mainly for Mountain bikes .
The "traditional" 650B, (which is enjoying a revival) is a 26" outside diameter wheel that mounts ~1½ inch volume tires on 584 mm rims. 650 is just the metric equivalent of 26 inches. 650Bs are used mainy for Randonneur Bicycles, aka French tandems and touring bicycles.
So, to keep it neutral and for international appeal I would retitle section as 27.5 inch / ISO 584mm and yes; 29 inch / ISO 622mm
Lets keep the hoopla on bay, we all know there's confusion in tire sizing, but why complicate it more.
Good reads @ ; Confrérie des 650 and 650B LIVES! by Sheldon Brown
Moebiusuibeom-en (talk) 14:41, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Good reads indeed. The second one includes Sheldon Brown, himself, saying
ISO 584-mm wheel size, known in the French sizing system as “650B.”
Therefore, I believe it is best to include all three designations in the section, as it currently appears. -AndrewDressel (talk) 11:12, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
May be it shoud be mentioned that a 27 inch bicycle wheel has a diameter of 630 mm, which is not only a lot (46 mm, nearly two inches) more than a 27.5 inch wheel but also 8 mm more than a 28 inch wheel...Soylentyellow (talk) 01:31, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Outside diameter of "29er" tires[edit]

This article disagrees with another in Wikipedia. From this article:

The average 29-inch mountain bike tire has an outside diameter of about 28.5" (724 mm).

From 29er (bicycle)

... the average 29" mountain bike tire is (in ISO notation) 59-622 - corresponding to an outside diameter of about 29.15 inches (740 mm).

Neither has a reference.

User5910 (talk) 05:50, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

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There are more than three directions for quantifiable stiffness in a bike wheel. Two of the more important others would be against nutation, and also resistance to taco failures. The wheel is a composite of the rim and spokes acting together. Tacos are a failure of this, and highlight the fact that the rim alone is weak, not inherently stiff. Andy Dingley (talk) 16:41, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

It is great to hear from you, Mr. Dingley!
  • Yes, of course there are more than 3 quantifiable stiffness, and the article does not contradict this. It does assert, based on the available sources, specifically Gavin and Damon, that there are 3 primary stiffness. You are welcome to add additional information. Note that my edit summary for this new material is "start section on stiffness." -AndrewDressel (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • The most comprehensive article I've found on buckling, by Ford, et al., discusses several possible buckling modes but asserts that failure occurs with mode n = 2, 'known as a “taco” or “potato chip” due to its saddle-like shape.' He even calculates the first few mode stiffnesses. I can't find anything about stiffness against nutation, however. Perhaps that is Ford's mode n = 1 or 0. -AndrewDressel (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Finally, Ford asserts that 'since the rim and spoke stiffnesses act like springs in parallel, they can both be increased to roughly equal effect,' and 'modern double-walled rims are advantageous in this respect because of their closed cross-section, while classic single-walled rims are much more flexible in torsion than in bending.' Thus, I think it would be incorrect to claim that 'the rim alone is weak, not inherently stiff,' since it appears that rim stiffness plays an important role in total resistance to buckling. -AndrewDressel (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
All or some of this would make a nice addition to the article, but I didn't take the time to sort it all out. -AndrewDressel (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Nutation is practically impossible for bicycle wheels, as the rim collapses first, but if the rim is assumed to be rigid then it's easier to model. I also have some discussion of it in 1900-ish mining textbooks (for headgear).
Jobst Brandt would be the person to ask for rim stability, but sadly we're a bit late for that. I presume you have his book? Rim stiffness is important, but then none of them (except mainly downhill deep-V rims) are stiff enough to stand up on their own. Certainly not for pure radial buckling. AIUI (from Usenet discussions with Jobst) the importance of torsional stiffness is not that the rim twists, but that this twist then allows a sideways perturbation of the rim and thus leads to a taco (if the thrust line of the "arch" of the rim moves outside the triangle of the spokes). Andy Dingley (talk) 21:59, 22 March 2017 (UTC)