We’ve grouped mountain bike wheels, rims, tires, tubes, and spokes into this components section.
Mountain bike wheels or rims come in three primary sizes:
24″: usually junior sizes or jump bikes, and sometimes on Freeride mountain bikes
26″: original mountain bike wheel size universally used for all sizes of riders
27.5″: became the popular size replacing many of the mountain bikes using 26″ wheels. Bikes using a 27.5″ wheel are commonly called 650B Bike.
29″: ever growing in popularity, the 29’er wheel is fast becoming the de facto standard, replacing popular 27.5″ wheels. A mountain bike with 29″ wheels is commonly referred to as a 29er.
Fatbike Wheels: like standard mountain bikes, they come in 26″ (2″ tire width), 27.5″ (2″ tire width) and 29″ (3″ tire width) wheel sizes, but of course the width of the rim is much wider than a standard mountain bike rim to accomodate the wider tire. They also come in two unique sizes:
XL: this is a 26″ tire but is extra wide, usually using tires of 3.5″ width
2XL: this is also a 26″ tire but is even wider, usually tires of 5″ width
Mountain bike tires are usually of a knobby design and come in three types:
Tubes: traditional design using an inner tube
Tubeless: much like a car, there is no tube involved. Lowering weight. They provide performance benefits as they can usually be run with lower air pressures gaining more traction and rolling resistance.
Tubeless Ready: tires that can use tubes or go tubeless.
We discuss a variety of our favorite mountain bike wheels below.
Mountain Bike Wheels Made In America
Mountain bike wheels can make or break your riding. Nice wheels stay true longer and are much more durable. Keeping weight down on your wheels set can really add performance because your wheels accelerate quicker and brake faster. Lighter weight wheels make your whole bike actually feel lighter than it really is. These wheels from Industry Nine and Velocity are made in the USA with quality components.