Small Wheel Bicycle - Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages and Disadvantages

Smaller wheels are more maneuverable. For this reason, and in some cases for comic effect, they are used in some clown bicycles. Smaller wheels more faithfully follow the terrain, giving a harsher ride on bumpy roads that are effectively smoothed by larger ones. It may be desirable for bicycles with smaller wheels to also be fitted with some form of suspension to improve riding characteristics. Bicycles with small wheels normally have their gearing adjusted to provide the same effective wheel radius as large ones, so pedalling cadence is not different. Smaller wheels tend to weigh less than larger ones, thus bringing the performance benefits of light wheels

Small wheels, all else being equal, have slightly higher rolling resistance. On the other hand, they may have lower aerodynamic drag due to their smaller area which is proportional to their radius.

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