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· Bea Arthur's Army of Evil
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The rear rim is asymmetric because there is much more torque on the right side of the wheel, because that's the side the drivetrain is located on. The theory is that an offset rim bed will even out the tension put on the wheel under stress. Other wheel sets address this in other ways like spokes being radially laced on the non-drive side and cross laced on the drive side, or by making asymmetric hubs.
 

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Because of the space taken up by the cassette, normal rear wheels have a ton of tension on the drive side and next to none on the nds. Moving the spokebed away from the ds makes for more equal tension between the ds and the nds spokes.
 

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Not quite

Racer C said:
The rear rim is asymmetric because there is much more torque on the right side of the wheel, because that's the side the drivetrain is located on. The theory is that an offset rim bed will even out the tension put on the wheel under stress. Other wheel sets address this in other ways like spokes being radially laced on the non-drive side and cross laced on the drive side, or by making asymmetric hubs.
Asymmetric wheels are not about dealing with pedaling torque. And radial non drive side spoke patterns are about style, not about dealing with either pedaling torque or uneven tension. The asymmetry does balance the tension between the drive side and non drive side spokes, and it also improves the bracing angle of the drive side spokes. The improved bracing angle results in a wheel that is laterally stiffer, all else equal.
 
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