Now from what I understand, all the spokes that are above the upper half of the wheel happen to be in tension as the hub of the wheel hangs on these.
What I don’t understand, however, is the loading (tensile or none) experienced by the spokes that are in the lower half of the wheel.
So, is all the weight of the bicycle 🚲 supported by the rim of the wheel, as that is where the Normal Force acts at vertically upwards ? Are rims then designed to undertake compressive loading ?
And if so, then why ? Why not instead use tubes or rods instead of spokes which can handle both tensile and compressive loading ?