The early wheels merely rolled, carried weight and resisted side strains; later they were called upon to transmit braking forces and still later the driving force. Prior to the automobile, wire wheels were not called upon to support much weight and the usual type was that used for bicycles. When automobiles were first built, bicycle-type wire-wheels were employed and used until the demand for larger wheels presented unsurmountable obstacles. From that time a development was in progress in this country and in England that resulted in the triple-spoke wire-wheel which has grown in popularity since 1912.
The different types of wheels are discussed and the advantages and disadvantages of wire wheels stated; three diagrams are shown. As the wire wheel is a “suspension” wheel, the car weight is hung or “cradled” from scores of resilient, flexible spokes, and the pull is always on three-quarters of the spokes. In the compression-spoked wheel the weight is on but one or two of the rigid spokes at a time; this applies with equal force to the compression disc wheel.