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enter image description here

Some bicycle wheel have a tall metal "wall" along the perimeter of the wheel (here, the wall is blue.) Other wheels don't have this: the distance between the end of the spoke and the tire is much thinner, like this: enter image description here

My front wheel was recently stolen, and I am looking for a replacement wheel like the one shown on top. However, I can't seem to find the keyword I should be using to find a wheel with the desired metal wall around the outer edge. I'm worried that if I buy a wheel like the one on the bottom, the brakes might not touch the wall correctly. Is there a name for this? If not, how should I go about looking for a wheel like it?

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    (I don't have enough rep to edit but the title should refer to circumference, not diameter - I came here from Hot Questions looking to see what a bicycle wheel with a long metal wall on its diameter was all about ...)
    – davidbak
    Jan 18 at 18:12
  • 1
    @davidbak good point, I made the edit. To the Op, it seems pretty clear that you meant circumference in the title, but you can always revert an edit if you feel it wasn’t what you intended.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Jan 18 at 20:11
  • @davidbak there's nothing quite like a HNQ with an interesting title question, for attracting new site users :)
    – Criggie
    Jan 18 at 20:53
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    @Criggie - and I'm glad I came because I, like the OP, had no idea what those rims are called!
    – davidbak
    Jan 18 at 21:02

2 Answers 2

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That’s called a deep-section rim. The ones you have pictured are probably about 30 mm, but in extreme cases they can be 80 mm or so.

You don’t need to worry about the brakes though. The brake track is in the same spot on all rims of a given diameter, give or take a couple mm.

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    And if the bike in question is a fixie or singlespeed it's 99.99% a Velocity Deep-V rim Jan 18 at 6:01
  • @whatsisname good call.
    – Adam Rice
    Jan 18 at 13:44
  • @whatsisname is this 2006 or something
    – JoeK
    Jan 18 at 21:22
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    and formula/origin8 hubs Jan 18 at 22:27
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The jargon for that is a "deep section rim" vs a "shallow section" or sometimes a "box-section rim"

The taller the side's profile, the better the aerodynamics in the forward direction. The ultimate case is a disk wheel where there are no visible spokes and the whole wheel is one solid-sided shape.

Conversely, the side-wind performance drops off as the rim gets taller. For rides in severe cross winds, a low rim is preferred even though it compromises forwards aero savings.


You might consider replacing both wheels, and either selling the old rear or keeping it as a spare. Getting a perfectly matching wheel can be difficult.

You need to check

  • Over Locknut Dimension or OLD, probably 100mm on a front wheel but can be a variety of numbers on the rear
  • Brake track - a rim brake needs a brake track to work, and a disk-only rim does not have a place for the pads to rub against.
  • Rim width - should be suitable for your preferred tyre size.
  • Hooked/tubeless tyre - the rim has to be compatible with your tyres. I prefer the same kind of tyre front and rear.
  • Valve hole diameter - its very likely a Presta compatible hole in the rim for a road bike.
  • Retention - your pictures show a Quick Release skewer, which is fairly standardised. Some wheels have nuts for security, and some bike frames require a through axle which is thicker than a QR. The mount has to match your fork.

You need a new tyre/tube/rim tape as well, unless the thief only stole the wheel and left the rest.


Finally - consider how to prevent this kind of theft in the future. I presume the bike was locked up but the front wheel was only held on by a QR, so not secure. You might need to put a cable lock through the front wheel as well as the rear wheel and frame.

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