It goes without saying; the performance of your wheels has a huge impact on how your bike rides and therefore your cycling experience. A good set of wheels will make a massive difference to your own performance, comfort and enjoyment. No matter what kind of bike you ride, a well maintained set of wheels will make all the difference. It’s always recommended to buy the best wheels you can afford but thankfully nowadays even budget wheels have features that were only available on top end products a few years ago.
Road Wheels are a standard 700c size (27”) so any road wheel will fit any road bike. As you spend more money the wheel tends to get lighter unless you go for an aero rim which may be heavier but work better in aerodynamic terms. Rims are available in clincher (normal tyre with separate tube) or tubular (one piece tyre and tube) which can only be used with corresponding types of tyres.
Mountain Bike Wheels are available in a variety of diameters: 26”, 27.5” (650b) and 29” (29er) and each size can only be used with a bike built for that particular wheel size. The next differentiation is disc which can only be used with disc brakes and no disc which are for traditional rim type brakes. Rim width usually determines use so for XC and general light use a thin rim is ok but for more aggressive riding, dirt jumping or downhill then wider rims are better. Rims are also available in either tubeless (the ability to be used without tubes) or tube version.
Wheel Accessories - to help you keep your wheels in top condition, there are a range of spares and upgrades available which may save you having to buy a complete new wheel. Spokes, freehub bodies, skewers, ceramic bearing kits, rim tape and disc brake converters as well as valve extenders for deep rim road wheels plus more are all in here.