Although frequently ignored, the rim, whether it is an aluminium rim or a carbon fibre hoop, is an important component of your bicycle. It affects your riding in many ways including speed and the entire contraption’s ability to absorb shock and sudden impacts on an uneven track. If you frequently ride on off-road and trail tracks, a lightweight but stiff rim will be quite helpful in pushing you forward faster with minimum effort.
Today’s generation of MTB rims provide road racers with many benefits such as aerodynamic advantage, higher speeds, and reduced cycling effort. These are carbon rims used in BMX, Downhill (DH), and other extreme high-octane racing activities. MTB rims are designed to take maximum strain without folding.
There are, however, several factors you need to consider when buying an MTB rim. These include the size of the rim that fits your bike, weight, number of spokes, width, and diameter. The rim should also match with your riding specialty. For example, lightweight Cross Country (XC) racing rims are not designed for steep descents strewn with boulders while strong DH racing rims can be quite tedious on long rides. Keep in mind that lighter rims provide less rotational weight and therefore better acceleration and faster speeds. This is why lightweight rims are used in cross-country riding. Other MTB racing activities such as downhill (DH) and Freeride (FR) are best suited for bikes equipped with stronger and wider wheels that can take the boulder-strewn track punishment without folding. For a more detailed information and examples of MTB rims, check the buying guides at the Gist Italia website.