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Wooden rims?

Old 05-17-24, 11:50 AM
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Is the wheel builder's name Woody or Chuck? AFAF
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Old 05-17-24, 12:45 PM
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I am not an engineer, apart from being a genetic engineer, so I speak from limited experience and knowledge. But it seems to me that there are a couple points.

First, in a sense, there is no WOOD. Rather, there are WOODS - different species, different characteristics. If you think of WOOD as a single entity, you might conclude that it can't be made into, for example, bows. You can't make a bow out of Pine, at least not of a reasonable length and poundage, but you can make a ~6 foot longbow out of Yew that could pull up to 200#. Why? Because unlike Pine, Yew is strong in tension and compression. Also, the density of wood is as low as 8 lb/ft^3 to 88 lb/ft^3, so wood is anywhere from 1/20 as dense as aluminum to 1/2.

Second, you would not build a wooden rim like an aluminum rim. Aluminum works well as a thin-walled tube shape, whereas wood works as a solid. That's how they make the rims. It's also how arrows are made out of those two materials. A solid aluminum rim wouldn't work, and neither would a hollow wooden rim. So, sure, maybe wood has lower tensile strength than aluminum but it's also much less dense, so you can use more of it.

Wood was used successfully for decades to make rims for racing bicycles, riding on much worse roads. It works. Aluminum works better, so we use that these days.
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Old 05-17-24, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
"There are several rims on offer, and weight per single rim varies between 350–450 grams each"
And apparently beech wood is where the sweet spot between weight and strength meet for this application.

https://roadbikeaction.com/rolling-on-wheels-of-wood
I mean those are pretty misleading numbers because the rims are 350g-450g each which is a pretty big difference but let's say it;s 375g each and 75 for nipples. Decent Sapim spokes are 220 grams 20+24 spokes and nipples. A DT Swiss 240 front and rear hub w/ XDR w/ centerlock is 399g. Tape is another 30g Is 1474g which I guess is good and is ub there with some of the lighter aluminum wheels albeit much shallower rim depth, but $440 for the wheels, $75 for the spokes, $15 for the nipples, $15 for tape, $670 for the front and rear hubs. So assuming someone knows how to build a wheelset that is $1215 without labor for a pair of decently light but very shallow wooden rims. Or basically for the same price at $259 per wheel you can buy a Light Bicycle Falcon pro Rim AR25 for $259 at 250g each. Or even better for $1200 you basically can buy any premium wheelset from Elitewheels, Winspace, 9Velo, Superteam, or whatever $1200 or less carbon fiber, ceramic bearing, and even carbon spoke wheelset.

Point being yeah if you want to be different or want a project knock yourself out, but IMO these offer NOTHING in terms of value, weight, aero, and frankly are so niche this is more theoretical type of wheel than an actual practical one

Last edited by Jrasero; 05-17-24 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 05-17-24, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Says someone who knows little about high quality wood/epoxy design and construction. Light, strong and long lasting sailboat hulls, masts, etc. have been made out of wood and raced for speed records and around the world. The skilled makers of wood sailboat spars would have little trouble making strong, light wood rims. Little excess resin and that would get squeezed out in the laminating process.
The issue is that a boat is very different than a bike wheel and a boat has massive motors to move insane weight. There is a reason carbon isn't used widely in aquatics just ask the Titan submersible team
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Old 05-17-24, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
$440 for the wheels, $75 for the spokes, $15 for the nipples, $15 for tape, $670 for the front and rear hubs
160 euro, pair of woody Sanremo rims + nibble kit
005 euro, qty=2 rim tapes
250 euro, pair of Campagnolo C-Records hubs/8speed, 1994, NOS
020 euro, 1 kit, couple of brake cork pads, for caliper rim-brakes
160 euro, assembly service for two wheels, including qty=72 Sapim Race spokes, 36 on each wheel
060 euro, pair of Schwalbe hockless TSS tires
025 euro, pair of inner tubes
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Old 05-17-24, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
The issue is that a boat is very different than a bike wheel and a boat has massive motors to move insane weight. There is a reason carbon isn't used widely in aquatics just ask the Titan submersible team
1. Racing sailboats don’t use massive motors.
2. Racing catamarans don’t have “insane weight”.
3. Carbon fiber is used extensively on racing boats. The limiting factor for CF usually is cost, otherwise it would be more common.
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Old 05-17-24, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
I mean those are pretty misleading numbers because the rims are 350g-450g each which is a pretty big difference but let's say it;s 375g each and 75 for nipples. Decent Sapim spokes are 220 grams 20+24 spokes and nipples. A DT Swiss 240 front and rear hub w/ XDR w/ centerlock is 399g. Tape is another 30g Is 1474g which I guess is good and is ub there with some of the lighter aluminum wheels albeit much shallower rim depth, but $440 for the wheels, $75 for the spokes, $15 for the nipples, $15 for tape, $670 for the front and rear hubs. So assuming someone knows how to build a wheelset that is $1215 without labor for a pair of decently light but very shallow wooden rims. Or basically for the same price at $259 per wheel you can buy a Light Bicycle Falcon pro Rim AR25 for $259 at 250g each. Or even better for $1200 you basically can buy any premium wheelset from Elitewheels, Winspace, 9Velo, Superteam, or whatever $1200 or less carbon fiber, ceramic bearing, and even carbon spoke wheelset.

Point being yeah if you want to be different or want a project knock yourself out, but IMO these offer NOTHING in terms of value, weight, aero, and frankly are so niche this is more theoretical type of wheel than an actual practical one
The range is because different wooden rims have different specs, just like aluminum or carbon rims. Of course it’s gonna cost a lot, they’re novelty or boutique items. Like I said before, I’d only do it on a vintage bike. The point is that claiming they’re much heavier is false.
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Old 05-17-24, 03:07 PM
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Old 05-17-24, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
The issue is that a boat is very different than a bike wheel and a boat has massive motors to move insane weight. There is a reason carbon isn't used widely in aquatics just ask the Titan submersible team
CFRP has been standard for racing sailboat hulls and rigs, large and small, for decades and is increasingly common in high-end powerboats. It is far superior to the glass composites and aluminum it replaced.
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Old 05-17-24, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Says someone who knows little about high quality wood/epoxy design and construction. Light, strong and long lasting sailboat hulls, masts, etc. have been made out of wood and raced for speed records and around the world. The skilled makers of wood sailboat spars would have little trouble making strong, light wood rims. Little excess resin and that would get squeezed out in the laminating process.
Are cold molded rims a thing?
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Old 05-17-24, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
The range is because different wooden rims have different specs, just like aluminum or carbon rims. Of course it’s gonna cost a lot, they’re novelty or boutique items. Like I said before, I’d only do it on a vintage bike. The point is that claiming they’re much heavier is false.
Again no it's not false. You literally can get Carbon fiber rims for the same price or a lot less and it weigh 250g less before building them up, plus if you were to buy a complete wheelset from a manufacture you could get lighter hubs and lighter spokes and nibbles for the same price or much less

Last edited by Jrasero; 05-17-24 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 05-17-24, 03:12 PM
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They make trees out of wood, so it must be a good material for bike wheels.
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Old 05-17-24, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
1. Racing sailboats don’t use massive motors.
2. Racing catamarans don’t have “insane weight”.
3. Carbon fiber is used extensively on racing boats. The limiting factor for CF usually is cost, otherwise it would be more common.
Sailboats also have this thing called wind which is free energy and us cyclists have legs. Your point is mute
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Old 05-17-24, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
160 euro, pair of woody Sanremo rims + nibble kit
005 euro, qty=2 rim tapes
250 euro, pair of Campagnolo C-Records hubs/8speed, 1994, NOS
020 euro, 1 kit, couple of brake cork pads, for caliper rim-brakes
160 euro, assembly service for two wheels, including qty=72 Sapim Race spokes, 36 on each wheel
060 euro, pair of Schwalbe hockless TSS tires
025 euro, pair of inner tubes
So that's roughly 680 euro or $740 for a non modern set of wheels when in comparison you can by a direct to consumer Chinese set of modern wheels in the 9Velo LV35 V2 at 1209 for $800 or buy even a lower end Superteam or Elitewheels for $600 or less. I mean do whatever you want but your build besides having some novel wheelset and it being able to accommodate a non modern bike is vastly inferior. The point is not if wooden wheels can be made but is it worth it? And the answer to that is a resounding no
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Old 05-17-24, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
Sailboats also have this thing called wind which is free energy and us cyclists have legs.
Granted, and what is your point? That wood is a heavy and weak material, and that's why it's used on boats but rarely on bikes?

Wrong, per the evidence posted by me above.
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Old 05-17-24, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
So that's roughly 680 euro or $740 for a non modern set of wheels when in comparison you can by a direct to consumer Chinese set of modern wheels in the 9Velo LV35 V2 at 1209 for $800 or buy even a lower end Superteam or Elitewheels for $600 or less. I mean do whatever you want but your build besides having some novel wheelset and it being able to accommodate a non modern bike is vastly inferior. The point is not if wooden wheels can be made but is it worth it? And the answer to that is a resounding no
Yeah, I don't think you've come even close to proving "vastly inferior". Carbon rims are notorious for poor braking in the wet, for example, and your contention that wood is heavier got blown out of the water at the top of the thread. You don't like the idea, and they wouldn't be wheels you'd want to use. I think we all get that.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:16 PM
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Only on bike forums can you get a 3 page thread discussing wooden bicycle rims and actually have people defending them! I am continually surprised how a forum discussing cycling can be so completely disconnected to the actual cycling community. What an absolute majority of sporting cyclists find normal and a part of cycling becomes some marketing bs to extort money from uninformed fools according to the usual suspects. It’s like looking into some alternative reality and I can’t look away. It’s my guilty pleasure I must say.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Only on bike forums can you get a 3 page thread discussing wooden bicycle rims and actually have people defending them! I am continually surprised how a forum discussing cycling can be so completely disconnected to the actual cycling community. What an absolute majority of sporting cyclists find normal and a part of cycling becomes some marketing bs to extort money from uninformed fools according to the usual suspects. It’s like looking into some alternative reality and I can’t look away. It’s my guilty pleasure I must say.
You're an anti-woodite, aren't you?
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Old 05-17-24, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Only on bike forums can you get a 3 page thread discussing wooden bicycle rims and actually have people defending them! I am continually surprised how a forum discussing cycling can be so completely disconnected to the actual cycling community. What an absolute majority of sporting cyclists find normal and a part of cycling becomes some marketing bs to extort money from uninformed fools according to the usual suspects. It’s like looking into some alternative reality and I can’t look away. It’s my guilty pleasure I must say.
Your posts are mine.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
You're an anti-woodite, aren't you?
Next thing he’ll say is that woodites should have their own schools.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
You're an anti-woodite, aren't you?
Never thought about it but I would guess yes in this case but what I am surprised to be is a Tech-vangelist on these forums, which would be a surprise to my kids and family! I thought everyone was losing there marbles when the pro friction downtube shifting crowd got into it but wooden rims, really? Then dragging carbon into the debate as inferior this is bordering on insanity.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DiTBho
What do you think about wheels with wooden rims?...
Hey... Great! If they still make FAA approved Wooden Propellers then why not...


https://hoverhawk.com/hoverhawkwoodprops.html
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Old 05-17-24, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
Only on bike forums can you get a 3 page thread discussing wooden bicycle rims and actually have people defending them! I am continually surprised how a forum discussing cycling can be so completely disconnected to the actual cycling community. What an absolute majority of sporting cyclists find normal and a part of cycling becomes some marketing bs to extort money from uninformed fools according to the usual suspects. It’s like looking into some alternative reality and I can’t look away. It’s my guilty pleasure I must say.
All we need is some creative input from Larry and the thread will be complete.
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Old 05-17-24, 08:07 PM
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I want to lay claim to the punchline "big wood" now.
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Old 05-17-24, 08:26 PM
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No doubt somewhere in China they can produce a wheel from mystery plastic that looks just like wood. And as everyone knows, only suckers pay for real stuff when a generic look-a-like is available at a third the price.
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