Mag bike wheels are in fact the name given to magnesium alloy wheels. They are easy to spot because they are not made of a lot of thin spokes but rather of a few rigid spokes. See the picture above.
For you, I spent a few hours researching the advantages and disadvantages of mag wheels bikes.
Let’s get started.
What is the difference between spoke wheels and mag wheels for bicycle?
Aesthetic and design
THE most important thing.
Magnesium wheels have a modern and stylish look. You get to give your bike some personality, get people’s attention, because of course that’s all that matters right? (kidding)
A magnesium alloy bicycle wheel will be overall lighter than its friend the classic spoked wheel. The weight of a spoked wheel is on average 1,5 to 2 kg (3.3 – 4.4 lbs), while the weight of a magnesium wheel will be more around 1 to 1,5 kg (2.2 – 3.3 lbs).
Of course, these numbers are to be taken with some hindsight because they depend on the size of the rim.
From a speed point of view, lighter wheels will tend to improve performance and control of the bike becomes much easier.
Robustness and durability
Mag bike wheels have a low density (1.74 g/cm3). They are able to absorb vibrations effectively and have a low level of deformation.
The rider enjoys a safe ride and feels comfortable because vibrations are absorbed. In addition, he or she can ride a bike without great effort.
Especially if it is used on city roads, it is true that the life expectancy of these mag wheels is usually longer than more regular wheels.
Protection against corrosion
It is important to keep in mind that pure magnesium alloy is not very corrosion resistant. Therefore, it is necessary to mix it with other metals in an alloy, which makes it resistant to corrosion. In fact, the other metals with which it is mixed will act as protectors, improving the general characteristics of the alloy.
I hope you enjoyed this little list!
I think you have a lot of questions in mind, I will try to answer the most common ones just below:
Bike mag wheels can be repaired, but it takes more time than repairing spoked wheels. However, if the wheel is bent, it is impossible to straighten it.
The cost of alloy wheels is high.
If you compare with the price of more classic spoked wheels, the price of magnesium wheels is globally a bit higher but it is justified by the materials used and the advantages that magnesium alloys wheels can offer.
Obviously, this solution is not for everyone’s wallet.
What about mag wheels bike maintenance?
Maintenance, my god what a pleasure…Compared to spoked wheels, magnesium alloy wheels are much easier to clean, like… really. Just a little tap and you’re free.
So it’s really simple to have clean and well maintained wheels, with less effort and time.
What are the bicycles with mag wheels?
Magnesium alloy is strong and slightly sensitive to deformation. MAG wheels are excellent for bicycles, commuting bikes; they are also actively used by professional cyclists, but they are not suitable for extreme conditions. I’ve seen very nice fixies with this kind of wheels !
Some may imagine mountain bike mag wheels, but I think they will fit better on a BMX bike for example.
What kind of brakes for mag wheels bikes?
Generally, in order not to wear out the coating that is placed on the mag wheels, the wheels are delivered with a set of disc brakes. Indeed, the rim brakes risk to damage the wheel too quickly (see the picture of the article, on the mag wheels bike we observe marks caused by rim brakes).
Do I need bicycle mag wheels?
Not really, it really depends on your desires. But know that they are far from being essential.
The main differences are that magnesium alloy wheels are easier to maintain, lighter, but more expensive. Also, they are more difficult to find and are less repairable than the more traditional spokes wheels. Not everyone is concerned about the materials that make up their bike, so people usually choose the regular type of wheel over MAG (magnesium alloy), firstly because they are much more common, and secondly because of its wide range of uses.
Now you know what mag wheels bike are, if on the performance side these are not essential, the maintenance is way easier than regular wheels and they can still be really cool to use if your usage and budget allows it. Indeed, they can really enhance your bike and allow you to change a bit!
Are you going to use it on your next trail?