Electric bikes are fast becoming the favorite of cyclers. This can be attributed to the ease, convenience, and ride quality they afford cyclers. Choosing the right wheel size can affect your ride quality positively.
Large wheel sizes have a larger surface area and maintain more contact with the ground than smaller wheel sizes. These help achieve greater traction and helps the bike stay stable when moving at high speeds. However, larger wheels take longer to accelerate than small wheels.
Before choosing your ebike wheel size, you should know that your wheel size determines the range of terrains you can ride on. Additionally, your riding practices could restrict the type of wheel size you can use.
Factors That Determine Wheel Size In Ebikes
You need to consider certain factors before selecting a new wheel size. These factors include:
1. Rider Weight And Height
You need to factor in your weight and height before choosing an ebike wheel. For shorter riders, choosing small or medium-sized wheels is best to easily maneuver and dismount from the bike. However, as a taller rider, it is best to select wheels within 24 inches and 29 inches. This is so that the bike can be balanced and comfortable for you.
Your weight also plays a significant role in choosing your ebike wheel. You need to choose a wheel that would be stable and balanced when you mount it. Mounting a bike whose wheel is not strong enough to handle your weight could cause the bike to tip over.
2. Terrain and Intended Use
Before choosing your wheel size, it is necessary to consider the terrain you will be using it for. Additionally, you need to factor in the distance you would be cycling. For bumpy and rough terrains, you should use large wheels. The larger the wheel size, the more traction, and stability you enjoy while riding on bumpy roads. Large wheels would also be handy when riding on mountains and cross-country terrains. Additionally, wheels that are larger help to conserve the battery of your ebike. As a result, it is best to consider a large wheel if you >are cycling a long distance.
For smoother terrains, small to medium-sized wheels would be a friendly companion. Small and medium-sized wheels have smoother threads, making them ideal for pavements and tracks. Furthermore, small and medium-sized wheels are usually lighter than big wheels. Hence, making it easier to set them in motion.
3. Performance And Stability
When it comes to speed and quick acceleration, a smaller wheel size will accelerate faster than a larger wheel. Furthermore, it is easier to maneuver with smaller wheels than with wider wheels. In terms of balance and stability, wider wheels ace the game. Additionally, they give you ample comfort when you run into potholes and rough patches on the road.
Common Wheel Sizes For Ebikes
Before choosing a new wheel, it is essential to pay attention to the size and weight of the rim. Higher rim heights cause less air resistance when riding. However, extremely high rim height causes the bike to be more wind sensitive. Such wheels also tend to be heavier. Given this, it is advisable to opt for wheels with moderate height.
The most common wheel materials are Aluminium and carbon. Carbon wheels are more expensive than aluminium wheels. However, the value you get for the high price tag makes carbon wheels worth every penny spent. Carbon wheels are lighter than aluminium wheels. Additionally, they are stiffer than the former. Hence, giving you a better grip and more control while riding.
The weight of an ebike wheel comes in handy when riding on different terrains. If you love mountain rides, you must opt for lighter wheels. Light wheels make cycling easier and allow you to accelerate with ease. There are several wheel sizes you can choose from. Without much ado, let’s examine the common ebike wheel sizes.
1. 20-Inch Wheels
20-Inch wheels are more frequently used for folding bikes. Folding bikes use small wheel sizes to reduce weight and make the bike as compact as possible. Unfortunately, while the size of this wheel makes bikes compact, the quality of the ride is usually affected. 20-Inch wheels do not perform well on rough and bumpy roads. Rather than glide through such terrains, the wheel sinks and amplifies the presence of debris and rocks.
2. 24-Inch Wheels
Like the 20-Inch wheels, 24-Inch wheels are best suited for folding bikes. They work reasonably well on hybrid and commuting bikes but are most suited for kids. They glide well across smooth terrains but could be more uncomfortable than larger wheels on bumpy terrains.
3. 26-Inch Wheels
26-Inch wheels are most likely the most common type of wheels you would find around. They are versatile and can adapt to a large range of terrain. Due to their versatility, they are usually used for mountain bikes, beach cruisers, and road bikes. The 26-Inch wheels will give you premium comfort and fewer glitches regardless of the terrain you are cycling on.
4. 27.5-Inch Wheels
The 27.5-Inch wheel is most common among mountain riders. It offers the ideal balance between a 26-Inch wheel and a 29-Inch wheel. 27.5-Inch wheels afford riders the quick acceleration of the 26-Inch wheels and blend it with the improved traction of a 29-Inch wheel.
5. 29-Inch Wheels
A 29-Inch wheel gives better traction than the wheel mentioned above sizes. They have a wider diameter and better contact with the ground surface. Consequently, the wheel glides over debris and road obstacles easily. However, using this size of wheel reduces your ability to maneuver the bike. Hence, making the bike slower and giving it lower acceleration than smaller wheels. Additionally, a wheel of this size is usually heavy and adds to the bike's overall weight.
Choosing The Right Wheel Size For Your Ebike
Choosing the right wheel size saves you the cost of constant replacements. Different wheel sizes fit different individuals, terrain and lifestyle, so you must be intentional while choosing. The following tips will assist you in making the right choice of ebike wheels.
1. Consider Your Personal Factors
Your height, weight, and personal preferences are essential to your wheel selection process. Factoring in these would help you make allowances and choose a wheel size you would be satisfied with. It also enables you to choose a wheel you would be comfortable riding for a long time.
If you love to move at a very high speed, a smaller wheel size will work perfectly. However, if you are more particular about balance, it might be helpful for you to choose ebikes with large wheels. If you are indecisive, a middle-sized wheel like a 26/27.5-Inch could come in handy.
2. Consider The Terrain And Intended Use
Your terrain and intended ebike use are core factors you should consider before buying an ebike. Different terrains work best with different wheel sizes, and choosing the wrong wheel could put you at risk of injury. Additionally, it could make your trips burdensome and tiring.
It is best to consider small to medium wheel sizes for smooth terrains, especially if you intend to race with the ebike. However, larger wheels would work best for you if you are adventurous and love to tour off-road terrains
3. Test Ride Different Sizes To Find The Best Fit
Several companies offer you a free test ride before buying their products. If you are unsure about the best wheel size to buy, it is advisable to speak to a consultant in such companies. Additionally, request a test ride and explore the different wheel options till you find the best fit.
Your choice of ebike wheel plays a significant role in determining whether or not you will enjoy your ride. There are various sizes, and your wheel size should be based on the bike's function. Smaller wheel sizes have a reputation for moving at high speeds and gliding well on smooth terrains. On the other hand, larger wheels give you balance and could help elongate your battery life. Before choosing your ebike wheel size, consider your height and width.
Additionally, factor in the terrain you will be riding on and the main purpose of the bike. After mapping out a preferred wheel, it is best to test-run your choice to ensure it is the best fit. If you follow through with these tips, you will certainly choose a wheel you will be happy with.