I have this vintage '80s Takara steel bike, and it weighs a ton right now. I'm thinking of upgrading the wheels for weight purposes (NYC apartments just are NOT bike friendly.) Their steel rims right now. My questions are several:
1. Anybody know anything out there that's not going to break my bank? Links? Nashbar, Performance, ...? I don't need anything fancy, this is going to be used mainly for mellow city riding. I was even thinking about getting some used wheels from someone, but on Craigslist, etc., people are selling pairs for $150. It seems like I could get something of lower quality but cheaper elsewhere.
2. SunTour friction shifters--what do I need to look for in terms of freewheel compatibility? Will any new wheels I buy require some major adaptation, will it be less costly to get a new freewheel/derailler?
3. The bike, when I can get it down the stairs, rides beautifully, esp. on the potholes here. Are aluminum wheels going to dramatically affect this ride?
4. Would I be better served just changing the rims, and maybe using it as an opportunity to try a little wheelbuilding?
5. Am I just barking up the wrong tree? Should I just replace the derailler first? Or is the main issue with the weight still just the frame? Maybe I'd be better served converting it to fixed gear or single speed...
I'm sure that there are some classicists out there rolling their eyes at this whole endeavor, but right now, the bike is really just far too heavy for the city. I bought it off a woman who had brought it with her from California, and now, here in NYC, it needs to shed some pounds.