Do bicycle wheels differ in ride comfort? Rim profiles and materials and spoke lacing are all deemed to affect rider comfort, but in his final video the doyen of bike design, Mike Burrows, says, nope, it’s all in the tyre.
In this video for maintenance site MadeGood.bikes, Burrows said he tested a number wheelsets of differing spoke patterns and found almost all the deflection occurred in the tyre and very little in the rim.
His conclusion: “There’s no vertical compliance in a wheel that your backside will ever notice.”
While comfort is barely affected, performance does vary in terms of lateral stiffness – which riders are most aware when they sprint.