Bicycle Mechanics - steel vs. alloy vs. chrome (wheels)
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09-22-06, 09:31 PM
sorry, i'm a newbie.
i'm looking to replace wheels on my commuter bike and i've hunted down a couple of used sets. they are described as either alloy, steel or chome. which ones should i go for or avoid?
09-22-06, 09:41 PM
Assuming that you are using rim brakes and that you'd like to be able to stop if your rims get wet, get the alloy wheels. Chrome plated steel wheels comparatively have reduced stopping power when dry and exactly zero stopping power when they get wet.
09-22-06, 09:47 PM
Only the very crummiest bikes come with steel rims. Don't buy them. They're heavy and don't stop in the rain.
09-22-06, 10:59 PM
thanks guys! i'm going with the alloy.
09-22-06, 11:07 PM
Rims are usually either made of aluminum (referred to as alloy, because it's always aluminum alloyed with some other elements) or steel (which is iron alloyed with elements, but doesn't get equal treatment under the word "alloy"). Good rims are made of aluminum, as are most poor rims. Steel rims are usually only found on cheap bikes, especially older cheap bikes. They are much heavier, and have the positive of being very durable, but they are very bad at braking in the wet. Most steel rims are chrome-plated, hence "steel" and "chrome" mean the same thing when referring to rims.
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