Motorcycling - Knowledge

Spoke Wheel Vs Alloy Wheel: Choose the Best for Your Bike

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Your bike's wheels and tires go through a lot when you're out riding, they undoubtedly face a lot of wear and tear and hence choosing the best wheels certainly plays a great impact on the riding quality. It is best to choose the pair of wheels which are highly flexible, durable, strong and enables you to enjoy a comfortable ride. In earlier days, spoked wheels were the default option for most of the bikes. However, since last 10 to 12 years, cast//alloy wheels have become hugely popular among the bike lovers in India because of their unique look, customizing options and durability.

If you plan to replace the wheels on your bike and/or finding it difficult to decide whether to go for alloy wheels or wheels with spokes then we got you covered. The guide below will help you gain better knowledge about spoked wheels vs alloy wheels and help you to decide the right option for you. So let's get started!

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Alloy Wheels and their benefits

Let's dive into the basics of alloy wheel and learn why they are the talk of the town:

What are Alloy wheels?

The alloy wheels are referred to the ones that have been made with the combination of metal alloys such as magnesium or aluminum. Most of the reputed alloy wheels available in the market have been manufactured with the help of two unique techniques such as “Casting” and “Forging”. The casting process starts with the pouring of hot molten alloy on a fixed sized cast (depending on the bike) which is further allowed to cool in order to get a wheel of the desired size.

'Forging' is a more advanced method for making alloy wheels. If you wish to opt for more durable alloy wheels (which you should) then you should go for alloy wheels made with “Forging” method. This method involves compression of solid alloy metal by hydraulic pressure at a very high temperature. Which makes alloy wheels last longer and they are stronger than casted alloy wheels.

Alloy wheels
Classy Alloy wheels

Why are Alloys wheels mostly preferred?

Here are some of the major reasons that will help you to become aware as to why alloy wheels for bikes have gained huge popularity among the bike lovers. Besides this, it will also be easier for you to gain vital information about why alloy wheels are better than spoked wheels?

1. Alloy wheels are highly durable and have lots of strength

The high amount of strength and durability are some of the key properties due to which most of the bikes come fitted with the alloy wheels. Compared to that of traditional wheels with spokes that are made only of steel which doesn't offer the same strength. 

2. These wheels are light in weight and provide better stability

Compared to that of spoke wheels, the major raw material used in the manufacturing of casted wheel is aluminum and thereby it is certainly lighter than the wheels made from steel. Besides this, lighter alloy wheels not just only provide better stability at a higher speed but also help the rider to decelerate the bike in a convenient way. Since casted wheels are solidly built, it prevents transmitting of any sort of vibrations to the frame or handle of the bike and thus ensures that the bike remains stable at higher speed.

lightweight alloy wheel
Stable and Lightweight Wheels

3. Helps in enhancing the aesthetic value of the vehicle

This is one of the major reasons due to which most of the proud bike owners have a fascination towards bike alloy wheels. The unique finish, polish and even look of these wheels will certainly enhance the aesthetic value of your bike in a smart way. Besides this, as per the latest designs of motorcycle available in the market alloy wheels plays a major role in giving bikes a sportier look. 

4. Alloy wheels work with tubeless tires

This is a vital feature of a casted wheel which will not only enable you to enjoy a comfortable ride but also give you ample of time before the tire turns flat. You can read about which tire to select and invest in here. The wheels with spokes or rods cannot accommodate tubeless tires because it is difficult to make the inner walls of these wheels airtight. On the other hand, casted wheels can be easily made airtight to ensure that the air retains between the rim and tubeless tire. 

5. Alloy wheels require less maintenance

Do you have a busy schedule and hence seldom get time to clean your bike? Then its ideal to go for alloy wheels rather than the spoke wheels because these wheels can be maintained very easily. Make sure to use a recommended solution to clean the surface of the best alloy wheels to maintain the unique and attractive look for a long number of years. Compared to that of wheels with spokes which needs tightening or replacing at regular intervals, casted wheels are zero maintenance. 

While analyzing which set of wheels to buy it will always be wise for you to check the alloy wheel prices and choose a specific one that suits your purpose and budget. You might also want to consider buying spoked wheels because they have their own benefits. Read on to know more about on that!

Spoke wheels and their benefits

What are Spoke wheels?

As the name suggests, a spoke wheel is the one which consists of rods, wires or spokes radiated from the centre portion of the wheel. The spokes are connected to the either ends of the hub and circular traction surface of the wheel with the help of nipples. According to a recent study, it has been found that wheels which come fitted with spokes or rods have more capability to withstand extreme road conditions in India because these wheels are highly flexible and have lots of strength in compared to that of the alloy wheels.

spoke wheels
Sturdy Spoke Wheels

Why are spoke wheels preferred?

Even though some of the people are obsessed towards casted alloy wheels but still there are many bikers who consider installing wheels with spokes. Below are discussed about some of the major points that will help you in analyzing the reasons behind the popularity of traditional spoke wheels.

1. Spoke wheels are more flexible and sturdy

If you compare between alloy and spoke wheels then the latter one is certainly more flexible than the former one and thereby has the capability to absorb an extreme amount of shock in a smart way. The flexible nature of the wheel with spokes is a major reason due to which it can easily absorb the unavoidable shocks while riding on pot holes. For that reason, spoke wheels are ideally preferred for off-roading and riding in bad terrain.

2. These wheels are highly affordable

Are you planning to replace the wheels of your commuter bike and thereby wondering which will be a cheaper option between spoke vs alloy wheels? Then the choice is clear, best to go for the wheels with spokes. 

flexible spoke wheel
New generation's love- Flexible and Affordable Spoke Wheel

3. No need to spend huge money for repairing spoke wheels

This is a major feature due to which the wheels with spokes are still the favourite among people in different parts of the world. If the spokes of the wheel break or get bent due to extreme shock then you only need to replace them at an affordable price.

4. Spoke wheels can be easily serviced at a nearby mechanic shop

If the spokes of the wheel get bent due to a heavy blow then you can easily repair it at a nearby mechanic shop rather than wasting a lot of your valuable time and money in searching for highly trained personnel. Also, if one or two spokes break for any reason during a ride, it's still possible to keep riding the bike normally. If you are in search of a wheel for your bike which will not just only enable you to experience comfortable ride but is also affordably priced then this is a clear winner.

Spoke Wheel Vs Alloy Wheel - Learn the Difference

Go through the below points to gain further valuable knowledge about the difference between alloy and spoked wheels.

Difference #1 - Cost

Even though both the types of wheels are popular among the bike lovers in different parts of the world but still cost is one of the major factors that differentiate them in a great way. Compared to that of wheels with spokes, the raw materials used in manufacturing cast wheels are highly expensive and hence you certainly have to shred more amount of money for installing these wheels on your bike.

On the other hand, wheels with spokes are made from steel which is easily available in the market. Nowadays, most of the popular brands are manufacturing wheels with aluminium hub and steel spokes to make sure that a biker is able to use tubeless tyres and enjoy a wonderful ride. 

Difference #2 - Resistance

This is also a major point of difference between spoke & alloy wheel that will help you in choosing the best wheel for your bike. If you are in search of a wheel for your bike which has the capability to resist heavy shocks while riding on potholes then make sure to go for spoked wheels. If you happen get alloy wheels, don't ride them on bad roads or off-road terrain.

spoke wheel resistance
Strong Resistance on the Roads (source)

Difference #3 - Weight

Have you ever wondered why cast wheels are fitted in racing bikes? This is because these wheels weigh less compared to that of the spoke wheels which have been made from heavy steel. Besides this, lighter casted wheels help the rider to handle high-end racing bikes in a comfortable way.

Difference #4 - Maintenance

If you have a busy schedule then it will be wise to choose casted wheels rather than the spoke ones which are prone to rust and corrosion. But if you wish to experience affordable wheel repairing cost then go for the latter one because you just have to replace the spoke of the wheel in case it gets bent or breaks. On the other hand, if a casted wheel gets bent due to bad road condition then replacing it with a new one is certainly the only option.

Difference #5 - Looks

Even though the look depends on the preference of the bike owner but casted wheel will certainly add an extra aesthetic value to your bike. Being the smart owner of a racing bike, ensure to choose wheels which are not just only glossy but are also durable and have lots of strength.

Wrapping Up

Our final verdict between alloy wheels and spoke wheels is - choose the wheels based on your ride! If you ride in the city then we suggest you pick spoke wheels. They are sturdy, flexible, easy on wallet and super easy to repair. While you might not get the glistening look of alloy wheels, but yes, spoke wheels will stand strong when your bike encounters with sudden potholes. However, there are motorcyclists who prefer alloy wheels. As these wheels are easy to maintain, lightweight, reduces the load while riding and amps up the look of the motorcycle on the road. Ensure to go through the above points related to spoke wheel vs alloy wheel and get the opportunity to choose wheels for your bike according to your taste, preference, and budget. Both of the types of wheels have its own advantages and disadvantages and thereby it is up to you to choose the one that fulfils your needs.

Lastly, don't forget, it's not just the wheels, it's also the roads types that play an important role in smooth riding, so choose the right set of wheels along with the best set of tires to have an awesome riding experience.

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