Braking: Wheels are integral to the braking system as they support the tires in their linkage with disc brakes and the flow of air from rider to ground. Shimano's catalog features products that understand how this relationship works, and accentuates the proper amount of power between these two sources.
Handling: Mountain biking is much different from competitive speed cycling. When you're on the back of a mountain bike, you're taking on the elements in all of their unpredictable nature. The way your wheel spokes twine together plays a huge role in your bike's ability to maneuver at a moment's notice. The more unpredictable nature gets, the more you need the commitment to quality that distinguished companies such as Shimano provide.
Supporting weight: Aside from keeping together the tire diameter, which generally ranges from about 12 to 27 inches, the wheel also must factor in the pressure placed on it by the rider. The larger the frame, the more important strength and craftsmanship of materials are to a wheel and tire's overall performance.
Synchronicity: It's possible to have a decent bike with a mediocre frame, but it all starts from the ground up. How the wheel works with the rest of the cycle is essential to overall performance. The wheel and tire combination is not unlike the foundation of a house. And much like a home, a bike is not always going to remain in one place. While bikes do produce more movement, those sounds you hear as you go to bed at night-commonly known as "the house settling"-represent movements that the foundation is prepared to accommodate. Poorly lain foundations lead to repairs and the general feeling that your house is falling apart. Cutting corners on the set of wheels you choose for your cycle results in a mountain bike that is unprepared for the terrain.
In the end, the style of wheels that you choose for your mountain bike is dependent on two factors: toughness and maneuverability. Shimano mountain bike wheels demonstrate this commitment. Before you commit to your bike's foundation, make sure it deserves your confidence.