Single walled rims vs. double walled- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Single walled rims vs. double walled

    What is the difference in the two? Are there advantages and disadvantages to either one?

  2. #2
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    Single walled rims are weak, not suitable for off road.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The wall they're referring to is the spoke bed. Single-walled rims are a single C-shaped extrusion. As the above poster suggests, they basically suck. While they could theoretically be made sufficiently strong by using enough metal, they usually aren't and they're still quite heavy.

    Double-walled rims have a cavity between two thinner walls in the spoke bed. Sometimes there's a little more complicated shape. Such a design gets more strength from the same amount of material. In practice, they're usually both lighter and stronger. Hard to argue with that.
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  4. #4
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    Another reason of the double walled being better is when one jumps or goes of a drop off, you won't get the spoke puncturing the tube.

  5. #5
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    You would think the double-walled have to be stronger.

    Noting that the above discussion took place 5 years ago, most fat-bike rims now seem to be single wall.

    Are the single-walled strong enough?

    Maybe so because the big tires absorb so much of any impacts.

    Some riders, like myself, who weigh upwards or over 300 lbs, have to be concerned about those things.

  6. #6
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Walmart bike goes into the single tracks,
    Walmart bike gets walked out of the single tracks,
    Seen It year after year and 9 times out of 10 It was a catastrophic single wall rim failure.

    Broken wrists and broken collar bones are very expensive...
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  7. #7
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    New question here.

    Osco,
    So your saying whether a rim is single wall or double is not key, it's who makes it and how it's made, because the strength can vary a lot?

  8. #8
    RAKC Industries
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    You would think the double-walled have to be stronger.

    Noting that the above discussion took place 5 years ago, most fat-bike rims now seem to be single wall.

    Are the single-walled strong enough?

    Maybe so because the big tires absorb so much of any impacts.

    Some riders, like myself, who weigh upwards or over 300 lbs, have to be concerned about those things.
    Fat bike rims are plenty strong in single wall form. Most are, Im a big guy well and my mulefuts on my fat bike are probably the strongest rims I have.

    Single versus double wall depends on design and application.

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  9. #9
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by TomBrooklyn View Post
    Osco,
    So your saying whether a rim is single wall or double is not key, it's who makes it and how it's made, because the strength can vary a lot?
    Roger that

    But I must add I would rather ride a cheap double walled rim over any average mass produces single walled budget rim....
    “I seek only the Flow”,
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Fat bike rims are plenty strong in single wall form. Most are, Im a big guy well and my mulefuts on my fat bike are probably the strongest rims I have.
    Single versus double wall depends on design and application.
    I would consider heavy fat bike rims In a different category from what I thought the op was asking about...

    I seen some fat bike rims that looked like they would work on a Harley low rider,,
    If you were careful about hitting pot holes :P
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliusDarius View Post
    What is the difference in the two? Are there advantages and disadvantages to either one?
    Performance wise, not considering just durability a well made double wall rim will offer far better wheel stiffness and that would translate to a far better ride feel and a wheel that would last far longer.

    A wheel that flexes, robs the rider of power and accuracy, this Is very obvious to even Intermediate riders the instant they do a wheel upgrade.

    When you take most any entry level or sub $1,000 Hard Tail bike or any sub $2500 full suspension bike and replace the stock wheels that are most often worth just a few hundred dollars each new with say a $900 to a $1,000 set you will know why we all say that a wheel upgrade is the most bang for the buck in upgrades...
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Performance wise, not considering just durability a well made double wall rim will offer far better wheel stiffness and that would translate to a far better ride feel and a wheel that would last far longer.

    A wheel that flexes, robs the rider of power and accuracy, this Is very obvious to even Intermediate riders the instant they do a wheel upgrade.

    When you take most any entry level or sub $1,000 Hard Tail bike or any sub $2500 full suspension bike and replace the stock wheels that are most often worth just a few hundred dollars each new with say a $900 to a $1,000 set you will know why we all say that a wheel upgrade is the most bang for the buck in upgrades...
    You dont have spend near that on new wheels to feel a difference. 900+ is carbon. Some of the best aluminum rims with good hubs are around half that.

    But yeap, I agree 100x over. Fat bikes is the only place single wall rims are good. Anything else single walls are a joke and there is a night and day difference between oem and good aftermarket wheels.

    Thankfully for guys like me, stiffer comes with wider rims as well and the narrowest off road rims I have now, i45. Oems are stiffer and more solid feeling than my spank 295s were.

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