Solid Modeling of a Bike Wheel - Lesson 5

In this lesson, you will learn how to create and combine the aerodynamic shapes of the components of a time trial bike wheel.

Bike Wheel

What is a time trial bike wheel?

You may be familiar with what a normal bike wheel is and how it looks. In the case of time trial challenges, cyclists typically use wheels that have peculiar shapes. The number of spokes is typically small and they are much wider than the ones we see on common bikes. Their shape is smooth to be aerodynamic and help reduce the overall drag that the cyclist needs to push against. Also, the tire is pretty narrow, like the ones we see on road bikes.

Modeling Approach:

Our modeling approach will begin by analyzing the geometry and its characteristics. Download the technical drawing and other assembly components required for creating the bike wheel model here. Then, we will outline a plan for the steps to follow to complete the bike wheel. With a plan in place, we can start creating the model.

Check out the video below to learn the step-by-step process for creating the bike wheel model using SpaceClaim.

Alternate video link.


This modeling session on building a bike wheel covered several different topics. You learned how to create a sketch to define the aerodynamic shape of the spokes using tools like Spline and setting tangency constraints. You then utilized the Pull (Sweep) tool to extrude the shape along a trajectory and the Move (Create Patterns) tool to create copies of the geometry. Finally, you used the Combine tool to cut out the final shape of the spokes and merge all the wheel parts together.​