This is the ubiquitous wheel among the LowRiderBike crowd. So ubiquitous, in fact, that I'm continuously surprised no one's come up with something different. The LRB dudes have pretty much the same standing-out-from-the-crowd agenda as Kustomizers, after all. The Original Dayton wheels were a creation of dragster/Kustom technology. Those radially-spoked motorcycle wheels on the front of Ed Roth's "Outlaw" were made by a
mounted on a KustomKar. On bicycles, this design was developed in composites for the BMX crowd. It is a very sturdy design, well suited to extreme usage. Composite construction keeps its weight within HPV efficiency levels. Aesthetically, the aggressive look of this wheel makes it potentially unsuitable for use on "PhatKustom" bikes; however, some of the forms within this category are more graceful than others. This type of wheel is most common in the smaller sizes, with most in the 20" size. Whether this is due to larger diameters being problematic, I don't know; but I don't remember seeing many 26" magspoke composite wheels. Maybe it's a style thing. However, Skyway makes them in the 24" size. This is nice, because the 24" frame size is quite good for Kustoms. That size is nicely motorcycle-ish, and rideable by both children and smaller adults. I'm seriously considering this wheel, in white, for Killer Swan, my 24" Monark Kustom project. There is another type of wheel which looks similar, but is of radically different technology. The Spin wheel is a hollow carbon-fiber thermoplastic casting. They make various designs for BMX/MTB/XTR/and all-terrain wheelchairs. Unfortunately, they don't make a 24" bike wheel; although their wheelchair models are available in 24 and 25". The spin wheels are very smooth-contoured, and may be painted.
Kustom, this is especially useful; as the only thing better than killer paint, is having lots more surface area to put more killer paint onto. The Falcon Accel is a good example of a disc wheel. It's made of Kevlar and graphite, is very light, and pretty expensive. As it's made for racing, it only comes in skinny-tire conformation. Wheel covers do not have that limitation, and there's a greater choice of materials. Aero Covers are made of various composites and plastics; and in the case of Moon Discs, spun aluminum alloy. As late as ten years ago, Moons for bikes cost about $25 each. They're considerably pricier, nowadays, but they're really gorgeous. Discs are not advisable on the front end of road bikes, as the steered wheel can act as a rudder, with unfortunate consequences. Fortunately, a rear disc and a radial-spoked front would be an excellent combination on a roadworthy Kustom Kruiser; and really good-looking, as well.
Shimano Disc Brake Hubs are still available for a pretty decent price, and they look great. Perhaps the most interesting wheel of this look is the electric motor hub. This is probably the slickest way of adding a motor to a bike, also. The SmartWheel, is a good example of the type. It may be used on the front or rear; maybe even both, which would be extremely interesting to ride, I'm sure. Without having to deal with a conventional motor and powertrain, it would be possible to make an extremely slick Kustom ElectroBike, by fitting the electronics and a High-Capacity D-cell-based NiCd, NiMH, or Lithium battery pack into a front triangle-enclosing "tank" or fairing. Most Electronic Speed Control circuitry gives the option of regenerative braking by the motor. This charges the battery during braking,
an added bonus. -Jim Wilson(C) 2000
RBR company named Dayton. When someone came out with a heavily-chromed, densely-spoked radial bike wheel, they instantly became "Baby Daytons". They are obviously heavier than normal wheels, especially in the higher-spoke-frequency range. A 144-spoke 26" wheel is quite weighty, to the extent that it would be a serious consideration on an actual rideable KustomBike. This spoke design is fine on the front end, disregarding the weight, but they are ill-advised for rear end use. Hard pedal-thrust can twist the rim in relation to the hub (wind-up), and hub-braking can do the same. These factors have no relevance to "Display Queen" machines, of course, and they are quite attractive; which explains their continued appeal to showbike builders.
"Magspoke" Composite Wheels
The Mag part refers to a type of wheel which came out of Rodding and was adopted by Kustomizers. Lightweight magnesium-alloy spoked wheels were efficient on dragsters, and bitchin' when highly-polished and
Skyway 24" Skyway 20" Spin T.H.U.G.
"Aero" Disc Wheels and Disc Covers
This type of wheel was developed for racing bikes, as there is quite a bit of aero drag from spokes at high speed. The Disc Wheel Cover was developed for salt-flat straightline Hot Rod racers, for the same reason. Both are very good looking, and lend themselves to the addition of paint and graphics. On a
The standard 30-something-spoke bicycle wheel is just about perfect the way it is. It's lightweight, especially so with alloy rim and hub, and ultra-skinny titanium spokes. It's just about as efficient and attractive as any device I can think of. So why would anyone be interested in a different wheel design? To a Kustomizer, it's obvious. The standard bike wheel is so ubiquitous that a different wheel design stands out. Since standing out's pretty much what Kustomizing's all about, wheel substitution is a logical first step. This is especially so if the frame is unmodified. There's only so much radical style a paint job on tubing can bestow, after all. The hardcore Kustomizer wants to make as many elements of the machine unique as possible. Here is a survey of some of the available "other" wheel designs: