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Gravel bike rims are designed for a combination of asphalt and unpaved roads. The main questions revolve around their robustness, their compatibility with various tires, the choice between aluminum or carbon, the optimal width, and their maintenance. Other questions relate to weight, ability to support different braking systems, tubeless systems, the best rim depth for gravel, and the differences from conventional MTB or road rims.
What is the optimal width of a gravel rim?
The ideal width for a gravel rim is generally between 21 and 25mm internally. This allows wider tires to be fitted, offering greater comfort and better traction on varied terrain. A wider rim also offers a more stable tire profile and less risk of punctures due to pinching.
Carbon or aluminum: which material is best for gravel rims?
Aluminum rims are sought after in gravel riding for their robustness and lower cost. Carbon rims, conversely, are chosen for their lower weights and increased rigidity, which enhances pedaling efficiency.. It's essential to weigh the benefits of either material against your budget, intended use and personal preferences. While carbon gravel wheels are developing and can offer high-end performance, aluminum wheels remain a solid and reliable choice.
How do you maintain your gravel rims to ensure they last?
Regular maintenance is crucial. After every ride, we recommend cleaning the rims to remove any mud, dirt or debris. Regularly check the integrity of the rim, looking out for any dents or cracks. Check that the spokes are tight and that the rim is true. If you're using a tubeless system, keep an eye on the pressure and check the seal regularly.
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