A bicycle wheel is a wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...
, most commonly a wire wheel
The rims of wire wheels are connected to their hubs by wire spokes. Although these wires are generally stiffer than a typical wire rope, they function mechanically the same as tensioned flexible wires, keeping the rim true while supporting applied loads.Wire wheels are used on most bicycles and...
, designed for bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....
. A pair is often called a wheelset, especially in the context of ready built "off the shelf" performance-oriented wheels.
Bicycle wheels are typically designed to fit into the frame
A bicycle frame is the main component of a bicycle, on to which wheels and other components are fitted. The modern and most common frame design for an upright bicycle is based on the safety bicycle, and consists of two triangles, a main triangle and a paired rear triangle...
A bicycle fork is the portion of a bicycle that holds the front wheel and allows the rider to steer and balance the bicycle. A fork consists of two fork ends which hold the front wheel axle, two blades which join at a fork crown, and a steerer or steering tube to which the handlebars attach ...
Dropout (bicycle part)
A bicycle dropout is a type of fork end that allows the rear wheel to be removed without first derailing the chain. The more inclusive term fork end refers to a slot in a frame or fork where the axle of the wheel is attached....
, and hold bicycle tire
A bicycle tire is a tire that fits on the wheel of a bicycle, unicycle, tricycle, quadracycle, bicycle trailer, or trailer bike. They may also be used on wheelchairs and handcycles, especially for racing...
The first bicycle wheels followed the traditions of carriage building: a wooden hub, a fixed steel axle (the bearings were located in the fork ends), wooden spoke
A spoke is one of some number of rods radiating from the center of a wheel , connecting the hub with the round traction surface....
s and a shrink fitted iron tire.