18" wheels


I’m thinking of upgrading to the 18" wheels. Most reports seem quite good but are there any downsides? I know they are quicker on the flat and downhill but does this make going uphill noticeably harder?


This page compares 18" to 16" Stridas:

Gear ratio information about different models of Strida

I think Cadman was asking more about how the larger wheels make the bike feel on hills, rather than just difference the gear ratios :slight_smile:

I’m in the same position. I’m considering upgrading to the 18" wheels, but as I have a fair number of hills in my area would be interested in knowing if this is likely to make a big difference to how hard the hills feel to cycle.


I don’t have 18" wheels but can share my experience of upgrading from single speed to two. As you know, the gear inch of the high gear on two-speed 16" is higher than that of a single speed 18", therefore the transition probably is bigger than the 18" upgrade that you intend to do. So take this with a grain of salt.

My commute requires me to ride over a tall and long bridge. With the single speed Strida, I could climb easily without problem. Right after upgrading to the two-speed, the high gear felt quite heavy during the climb and rather taxing on my knees. I often had to revert back to the lower gear halfway through the climb. However, I got used to it after a while. Now I can finish the climb in high hear, and only need to shift down when facing strong wind.

Extrapolating from my experience, I think you’d get used to the higher gear inch soon enough. Unless you live in an area that’s permanently windy, give the upgrade a try. If you don’t like it you can always switch back. Hope this is helpful.

I switched to 18 inch tires and at first found it a little harder on the hills it was like a gear up and was noticeable but after awhile your legs tend to adapt to it and get stronger on their own and like fwd-bwd says you can then end up doing the hills eventually with ease.

Thanks for the info Ed and fwd-bwd. Looks like the 18" upgrade works well.

Is there anywhere in the UK or Holland where you can buy the 18" wheels, though? Vanmoof in Holland used to have them, but I can’t find them anywhere now. Odd.


Hi Colin,

from 10.03.2011:

W. r.

Thanks W.R.


Update 11.04.11

With regards


Since you are going to be on 18 inch wheels I think it would help a bit more on the climbs with toe cages. Being able to lift the opposite pedal and pushing forward helped my efficiency by alot when going up those hills and smooths out the pace instead of just mashing down hard on the pedals going up hill.

Since I use cages it’s a bigger package I switched my pedals to those MKS removable ones and attached a cage. Such a thin package after I removed them when I had to roll the bike into a supermarket to grab an item or two. I like how I can slip between shopping carts, I could never do this with a dahon or friday because they’re a little thicker after folded. Brompton is probably the closest competitor for easily squeezing around narrow areas. And with those pedals you can easily rebuild them which I did right away and squeezed so much synthetic grease in there that no water can enter after that! that’s good for several years of riding.

Update 13.04.11:


18" Race Wheel Kit Silver (+ Schwalbe inner and outer Tube + Tape + Set of Mudguards) € 169,95