Do I need eMTB specific wheels for SL bikes?

ZillaG

Member
Nov 15, 2022
56
40
Cary, NC USA
Wheel manufacturers have eMTB specific wheels. But for super light (SL) low-mid power bikes like the Specialized Levo SL and the Trek Fuel EXe, which are only ~10 lbs more than their acoustic counterparts, do I really need eBike specific wheels?
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
267
382
Tasmania
All depends on how and where you ride. If you are riding in an area that is super chunky and you hit that stuff hard, it might be worth looking into. If you are riding smoother trails and/or keep the wheels on the ground more, the standard wheels should do. It's no different than a non-ebike, sometimes the factory fitted wheels are fine and sometimes they aren't up to the rider or the trail conditions. If you are a rather hefty person will also make a big difference to how your wheels hold up.
I still have the factory Roval wheels that my Levo SL came out with, and I hit some pretty rocky stuff at times. I have noticed one ding in them, so I'll see how they go.
 
Last edited:

ZillaG

Member
Nov 15, 2022
56
40
Cary, NC USA
All depends on how and where you ride. If you are riding in an area that is super chunky and you hit that stuff hard, it might be worth looking into. If you are riding smoother trails and/or keep the wheels on the ground more, the standard wheels should do. It's not different to a non-ebike, sometimes the factory fitted wheels are fine and sometimes they aren't up to the rider or the trail conditions. If you are a rather hefty person will also make a big difference to how your wheels hold up.
I still have the factory Roval wheels that my Levo SL came out with, and I hit some pretty rocky stuff at times. I have noticed one ding in them, so I'll see how they go.
Like you stated, you can say that for "any" bike correct? I mean do you put Ebike wheelsets on your acoustic 36-lb bike when you ride super chunky and hard-hitting? So was just wondering what an eBike-specific set will get for an eBike that's only 4-5 lbs heavier than an acoustic bike, but may cost $500+ more. I think an acoustic Enduro wheelset will do just fine. Just curious.
 

KnollyBro

E*POWAH Elite
Dec 3, 2020
886
2,210
Vancouver
Like you stated, you can say that for "any" bike correct? I mean do you put Ebike wheelsets on your acoustic 36-lb bike when you ride super chunky and hard-hitting? So was just wondering what an eBike-specific set will get for an eBike that's only 4-5 lbs heavier than an acoustic bike, but may cost $500+ more. I think an acoustic Enduro wheelset will do just fine. Just curious.
Hi Just Curious.
As @Streddaz wrote, " All depends on how and where you ride. etc" I would also add that these threads are loaded with riders who have changed so many parts on their bikes, including wheelsets, for various reasons. The stock wheelset is often a weak point on the bike and where the manufacturer puts a lower spec part to reduce the cost. I have replaced every stock wheelset I have bought to offset the cost of a stronger, lighter and higher quality set. Your needs and budget will be up to you but you can't sell a used wheelset as easily as an unused one. eBike specific is a marketing scam.
 

Mteam

E*POWAH Elite
Aug 3, 2020
1,810
1,744
gone
The type of rims you need is largely dictated by you ( ie your weight) coupled with how you ride and the terrain you ride, rather than the type of bike.

Ebike specific wheels sometimes have a stronger freehub ratchet mechanism to handle the higher torque a full fat motor can put out,but I don't think you need a specific hub for a lower powered motor.
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,166
2,100
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
... eBike specific is a marketing scam.
The extra 10kg an eBike might weigh compared with an analogue bike is not the issue. The durability and strength of wheels depends on the weight of the rider and especially on intended use and level of abuse. As KB says above, there is no such thing as "eBike specific", it's marketing bollox.
 

Spangoolies

Active member
Nov 5, 2022
122
114
UK
Depending on what cassette you’re using, if it uses the older style shimano hg9 or hg11 freehub it might be worth changing to a steel freehub if it’s available. Some of the cheaper cassettes have more individual gear sprockets that each bite into the freehub. The extra torque from an ebike could make a mess of softer alloy freehub.
 

InRustWeTrust

E*POWAH Master
Mar 9, 2020
509
730
Sweden
I'd say it doesn't matter if you use e-mtb specific rims no matter what you ride.

e-mtb rims are standard reinforced rims such as enduro/downhill rims.
 

BeBiker

Active member
Aug 26, 2020
682
406
Belgium
The real "ebike specific" parts would be the ones that are cheaper.

The same quality and strength, but less finished, heavier.
Because the rider doesn't care about saving the last gram.
 

Zimmerframe

MUPPET
Subscriber
Jun 12, 2019
13,892
20,583
Brittany, France
Yes !

eBike specific wheels all have a self balancing system incorporated within the void between the inner and outer rim.

Not a lot of people realise but gravity works completely differently when descending to how it does when climbing.

As ebikes generally climb much faster than regular bikes, the wheels have to compensate for gravitational flux causing micro vibrations when climbing faster - this simply does not happen on a normal bike so it not necessary.

The micro vibrations when paired with a stiffer walled tyre or insert setup, will cause significant loss of traction on climbs if the correct wheel set isn't used.

It may not seem rational, but investing extra in a branded ebike specific wheelset will relate to a proportionally faster, easier and more effective climbing experience.


*** everything said above is a work of fiction.
 

OldnSlow

Member
Dec 31, 2021
21
31
New Zealand
Yes !

eBike specific wheels all have a self balancing system incorporated within the void between the inner and outer rim.

Not a lot of people realise but gravity works completely differently when descending to how it does when climbing.

As ebikes generally climb much faster than regular bikes, the wheels have to compensate for gravitational flux causing micro vibrations when climbing faster - this simply does not happen on a normal bike so it not necessary.

The micro vibrations when paired with a stiffer walled tyre or insert setup, will cause significant loss of traction on climbs if the correct wheel set isn't used.

It may not seem rational, but investing extra in a branded ebike specific wheelset will relate to a proportionally faster, easier and more effective climbing experience.


*** everything said above is a work of fiction.
Ah yes, the Law of gravitational inverse. Top marks Zimmerframe. Never have I seen this so clearly and concisely elucidated.
Now, can I interest anyone in some E-bike specific grips. You can't just use any old grips without loss of control, self or otherwise. Where would we be without the marketers!
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,166
2,100
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
Yes !

eBike specific wheels all have a self balancing system incorporated within the void between the inner and outer rim.

Not a lot of people realise but gravity works completely differently when descending to how it does when climbing.

As ebikes generally climb much faster than regular bikes, the wheels have to compensate for gravitational flux causing micro vibrations when climbing faster - this simply does not happen on a normal bike so it not necessary.

The micro vibrations when paired with a stiffer walled tyre or insert setup, will cause significant loss of traction on climbs if the correct wheel set isn't used.

It may not seem rational, but investing extra in a branded ebike specific wheelset will relate to a proportionally faster, easier and more effective climbing experience.


*** everything said above is a work of fiction.

20221116_185017.jpg
 

Zimmerframe

MUPPET
Subscriber
Jun 12, 2019
13,892
20,583
Brittany, France
Now, can I interest anyone in some E-bike specific grips.
It's interesting you mention that.

I've been testing some this week, they're not available yet, but should be released on the 31st November.

From the blurb :

EgWips "The ultimate solution to the 5 contact point issue which many eBikers struggle to maintain on a ride".

EgWips "Enable a 50% increase in control in all situations normally encountered when riding an e-bike"

Egwips "Address and resolve the inter-relational divorce bonding which can occur with extreme eMTB"

They're pretty ingenious !

They look like a normal grip, but sticking out of the bar ends is a small elastic loop you pull out, stick your hand though and place around your wrist.

Contained within the bar is a cylindrical, electronically controlled, tensioning device. With a 5 axis gyroscope and two forward viewing cameras (mount the grips with the two alignment marks horizontal under normal sag conditions) mounted discretely on the bar ends, the system's AI can evaluate the correct force to exert on the bar control system with 100% accuracy.

Basically, you hook your hands through, then as you're riding along drinking your milkshake or on your phone, your "free" hand is still connected under tension to the bar. So you can still steer and maintain full control "even on the roughest fire road" . In practice the system works really well. The main issue I've had whilst testing is battery life. I seem to use my milkshake hand a lot more than my phone hand and don't re-charge the grips at the same time, so I've had a few nasty crashes when I've gone all limp on the discharged side.

The manufacturers intend to make the system compatible with the light connections on most EMTB motors so this should't be a problem in the future. They're also intending to introduce a wireless massage saddle, which works in conjunction with the EgWips, giving you a "wonderful and relaxing butt massage" whilst you're milkshaking or on the phone.

I know many people reading this will think it's ridiculous - but worry not - they've already thought of everything you have !!!

Yes, They do a wifi controlled option to enter your bike weight so light weights and Full fats will behave similarly !
 

Ou812

Active member
Jun 26, 2022
659
457
Fort William
Wheel manufacturers have eMTB specific wheels. But for super light (SL) low-mid power bikes like the Specialized Levo SL and the Trek Fuel EXe, which are only ~10 lbs more than their acoustic counterparts, do I really need eBike specific wheels?
Just build a set of wheels with the new DT Swiss FR541 rims and be set. Those things look to be pretty damn bombproof from the tests I’ve seen.
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,166
2,100
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
Just build a set of wheels with the new DT Swiss FR541 rims and be set. Those things look to be pretty damn bombproof from the tests I’ve seen.
Google: "DT Swiss is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-performance components for the segment of bicycles. In addition to the company's headquarters in Biel, it also has a network of production and sales sites in Germany, Poland, France, the USA and Taiwan."

My money is on the rims being manufactured in Taiwan by www.Alexrims-wheels.com
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Dec 14, 2019
1,920
2,309
Scotland
It's interesting you mention that.

I've been testing some this week, they're not available yet, but should be released on the 31st November.

From the blurb :

EgWips "The ultimate solution to the 5 contact point issue which many eBikers struggle to maintain on a ride".

EgWips "Enable a 50% increase in control in all situations normally encountered when riding an e-bike"

Egwips "Address and resolve the inter-relational divorce bonding which can occur with extreme eMTB"

They're pretty ingenious !

They look like a normal grip, but sticking out of the bar ends is a small elastic loop you pull out, stick your hand though and place around your wrist.

Contained within the bar is a cylindrical, electronically controlled, tensioning device. With a 5 axis gyroscope and two forward viewing cameras (mount the grips with the two alignment marks horizontal under normal sag conditions) mounted discretely on the bar ends, the system's AI can evaluate the correct force to exert on the bar control system with 100% accuracy.

Basically, you hook your hands through, then as you're riding along drinking your milkshake or on your phone, your "free" hand is still connected under tension to the bar. So you can still steer and maintain full control "even on the roughest fire road" . In practice the system works really well. The main issue I've had whilst testing is battery life. I seem to use my milkshake hand a lot more than my phone hand and don't re-charge the grips at the same time, so I've had a few nasty crashes when I've gone all limp on the discharged side.

The manufacturers intend to make the system compatible with the light connections on most EMTB motors so this should't be a problem in the future. They're also intending to introduce a wireless massage saddle, which works in conjunction with the EgWips, giving you a "wonderful and relaxing butt massage" whilst you're milkshaking or on the phone.

I know many people reading this will think it's ridiculous - but worry not - they've already thought of everything you have !!!

Yes, They do a wifi controlled option to enter your bike weight so light weights and Full fats will behave similarly !
I’m more insterested in whether they keep your hands warm? Do they have a heated element in them too - perhaps with sensors that detect the temperature of my hands and keep them at a constant 35degC (or whatever temp I choose).
 

Mcharza

E*POWAH BOSS
Aug 10, 2018
2,534
4,892
Helsinki, Finland
It's interesting you mention that.

I've been testing some this week, they're not available yet, but should be released on the 31st November.

From the blurb :

EgWips "The ultimate solution to the 5 contact point issue which many eBikers struggle to maintain on a ride".

EgWips "Enable a 50% increase in control in all situations normally encountered when riding an e-bike"

Egwips "Address and resolve the inter-relational divorce bonding which can occur with extreme eMTB"

They're pretty ingenious !

They look like a normal grip, but sticking out of the bar ends is a small elastic loop you pull out, stick your hand though and place around your wrist.

Contained within the bar is a cylindrical, electronically controlled, tensioning device. With a 5 axis gyroscope and two forward viewing cameras (mount the grips with the two alignment marks horizontal under normal sag conditions) mounted discretely on the bar ends, the system's AI can evaluate the correct force to exert on the bar control system with 100% accuracy.

Basically, you hook your hands through, then as you're riding along drinking your milkshake or on your phone, your "free" hand is still connected under tension to the bar. So you can still steer and maintain full control "even on the roughest fire road" . In practice the system works really well. The main issue I've had whilst testing is battery life. I seem to use my milkshake hand a lot more than my phone hand and don't re-charge the grips at the same time, so I've had a few nasty crashes when I've gone all limp on the discharged side.

The manufacturers intend to make the system compatible with the light connections on most EMTB motors so this should't be a problem in the future. They're also intending to introduce a wireless massage saddle, which works in conjunction with the EgWips, giving you a "wonderful and relaxing butt massage" whilst you're milkshaking or on the phone.

I know many people reading this will think it's ridiculous - but worry not - they've already thought of everything you have !!!

Yes, They do a wifi controlled option to enter your bike weight so light weights and Full fats will behave similarly !
I think you took the wrong color pill today 😂
 

Zimmerframe

MUPPET
Subscriber
Jun 12, 2019
13,892
20,583
Brittany, France
I’m more insterested in whether they keep your hands warm? Do they have a heated element in them too - perhaps with sensors that detect the temperature of my hands and keep them at a constant 35degC (or whatever temp I choose).
Sort of, last year they introduced EgWIP . It hasn't been very successful, possibly poor marketing.

The "IP" in the name relates to Induced Performance.

Effectively, you program the grips with your preferred heart rate and cadence - these are a performance enhancing grip "designed to merge man and machine into perfect harmony" . They not only offer a heating option, but also cooling via the worlds smallest heat exchanger. If you stay on target, you will be rewarded by hot or cold depending on the ambient air temperature.

If you drop out of your performance targets, you will be electrocuted. The system works impressively well as most people naturally release the bars when shocked, but then disaster unfolds and you have no choice to but grab on again. 5 seconds later if you're not back within your performance window, you're shocked again.

One interesting thing with these grips is that they have an inbuilt steam creation field in the bar ends with holographic display, so you can ride in the real world, whilst still competing with your mates on zwift.

Due to the power requirements of the system, they're only compatible with ebikes.
 

boBE

Active member
Apr 12, 2020
415
361
FL
Yes !

eBike specific wheels all have a self balancing system incorporated within the void between the inner and outer rim.

Not a lot of people realise but gravity works completely differently when descending to how it does when climbing.

As ebikes generally climb much faster than regular bikes, the wheels have to compensate for gravitational flux causing micro vibrations when climbing faster - this simply does not happen on a normal bike so it not necessary.

The micro vibrations when paired with a stiffer walled tyre or insert setup, will cause significant loss of traction on climbs if the correct wheel set isn't used.

It may not seem rational, but investing extra in a branded ebike specific wheelset will relate to a proportionally faster, easier and more effective climbing experience.


*** everything said above is a work of fiction.
I have anti-vibration valve cores in my wheels and they counter the micro-vibrations so effectively that I have not had any trouble climbing the hills here (coastal Florida). ;)
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
267
382
Tasmania
It's interesting you mention that.

I've been testing some this week, they're not available yet, but should be released on the 31st November.

From the blurb :

EgWips "The ultimate solution to the 5 contact point issue which many eBikers struggle to maintain on a ride".

EgWips "Enable a 50% increase in control in all situations normally encountered when riding an e-bike"

Egwips "Address and resolve the inter-relational divorce bonding which can occur with extreme eMTB"

They're pretty ingenious !

They look like a normal grip, but sticking out of the bar ends is a small elastic loop you pull out, stick your hand though and place around your wrist.

Contained within the bar is a cylindrical, electronically controlled, tensioning device. With a 5 axis gyroscope and two forward viewing cameras (mount the grips with the two alignment marks horizontal under normal sag conditions) mounted discretely on the bar ends, the system's AI can evaluate the correct force to exert on the bar control system with 100% accuracy.

Basically, you hook your hands through, then as you're riding along drinking your milkshake or on your phone, your "free" hand is still connected under tension to the bar. So you can still steer and maintain full control "even on the roughest fire road" . In practice the system works really well. The main issue I've had whilst testing is battery life. I seem to use my milkshake hand a lot more than my phone hand and don't re-charge the grips at the same time, so I've had a few nasty crashes when I've gone all limp on the discharged side.

The manufacturers intend to make the system compatible with the light connections on most EMTB motors so this should't be a problem in the future. They're also intending to introduce a wireless massage saddle, which works in conjunction with the EgWips, giving you a "wonderful and relaxing butt massage" whilst you're milkshaking or on the phone.

I know many people reading this will think it's ridiculous - but worry not - they've already thought of everything you have !!!

Yes, They do a wifi controlled option to enter your bike weight so light weights and Full fats will behave similarly !
Ah so it's @Zimmerframe that made these videos! :LOL:
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
267
382
Tasmania
Like you stated, you can say that for "any" bike correct? I mean do you put Ebike wheelsets on your acoustic 36-lb bike when you ride super chunky and hard-hitting? So was just wondering what an eBike-specific set will get for an eBike that's only 4-5 lbs heavier than an acoustic bike, but may cost $500+ more. I think an acoustic Enduro wheelset will do just fine. Just curious.
I'd only bother with upgrading the wheelset if either it fails, or you know it will fail. As the others have said, there is no real "Ebike" wheelset, there's just some that are stronger than others. You can get away with the lightest, cheapest wheels if you only ride cycle paths or smooth trails. Down Hill bikes usually have very strong wheel sets because of the type of abuse they encounter, nothing to do with being an Ebike.
If I were you, I would consider the conditions you ride and how you ride and then talk to your local bike shop if you still think that you need stronger wheels.
 

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