Mountain bike wheels: everything about MTB wheels

In the field of mountain bike wheels, there is a lot possible. There are very narrow wheels, MTB wheels in different sizes and wheels in different price ranges. To give you a little more clarity, I have decided to list everything about MTB wheels. Find out everything you need to know on this page.

Construction of mountain bike wheels

Let’s start with the construction of the wheels of a mountain bike. The wheels are fitted with a hub. These wheel hubs rotate smoothly in the wheel axles. There are increasing numbers of stub axles. This makes it easier to replace the wheels.

The rim beds of the mountain bike wheels keep the MTB tires in place. There are aluminum rims or MTB rims made of carbon. The rim also has holes for the spoke nipples. Spokes are in many cases universal, but can also be specially made for specific wheels. In that case you speak of system spokes.

In the guide to MTB tires I already mentioned that there are many different wheel sizes. Where mountain bikes used to have 26 inch rims, nowadays these are mostly 29 inch wheels. In addition to the different sizes, there are also many different types of mountain bike wheels.

mountain bike wheels
Mountain bike wheels consist of a hub, a rim and spokes. © MTBdex.com

Different types of MTB wheels

As I just mentioned, there are different types of mountain bike wheels. The difference in wheels is particularly important for different driving styles. There is a big difference in cross country mountain bike wheels and, for example, trail MTB wheels. Broadly speaking, there are the following types of mountain bike wheels:

  • Trail mountain bike wheels
  • Cross country MTB wheels
  • Boost mountain bike wheels

Let’s briefly discuss them all and consider the pros and cons per wheel type.

Trail mountain bike wheels

Trail mountain bike wheels are especially for technical routes. The rims of this type of mountain bike wheels are wide. This gives a lot of control over the mountain bike. But not only that: the wide wheels are also nice and strong, provide stability and are suitable for many types of challenges.

Cross Country MTB wheels

The Cross Country mountain bike wheels are a bit narrower than the trail variants. In cross country there are therefore less technical routes and challenges. The narrower wheels ensure that the mountain bike is lighter and therefore faster. The latter is also due to the lower rolling resistance that you achieve with cross country MTB wheels.

Boost mountain bike wheels

Extra wide mountain bike wheels? Then it is best to choose Boost mountain bike wheels. These wheels have a much wider hub and a wider rim bed. This makes for very strong wheels. Keep in mind that these wheels do not just fit in every mountain bike. And also the other way around: you cannot suddenly equip a mountain bike that is suitable for these boost wheels with trail or cross country MTB wheels.

Frequently asked questions about mountain bike wheels

Which mountain bike wheels are there?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of mountain bike wheels: trail or cross country MTB wheels. In addition, there are also very wide wheels. These are called boosted wheels and are extra strong.

What are the most commonly used MTB wheels?

For most singletrack and the average mountain bike route, trail mountain bike wheels are often chosen. These are a bit wider than cross country wheels and are therefore suitable for technical challenges.

What is the advantage of very wide wheels?

The wider the tire, the more stability you have on the road. In addition, wide MTB wheels are also very strong. However, there are also some drawbacks. For example, there is a greater rolling resistance and they make your mountain bike heavier.

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