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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-19-06, 02:00 PM   #1
slamb
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Clueless newbie needs help.

So, I really don't know much about the mechanics of bikes, I just ride them. However, my precious bicycle was vandalized this week! (I just moved into the ghetto, what a welcome.)

This was my bicycle... http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?...77&childid=433

Actually, the bicycle itself is just fine. I had it all locked up, but they got my wheels! I figured they would be fine since they weren't quick-release. Everything else on the bike looks okay, I had it hauled upstairs into my apartment.

SO here's my question, I know that I can't just buy a generic 'bicycle wheel'. I'm going to check the pawn shops for mine first, but if that doesn't turn out, I don't know what to get. I've been googling all morning with no success. Can someone link me up or at least give me the specs I need to replace these wheels? PS, i'm very tight on money. So, I can't go spending $200 on a rim or something.

Thanks so much! If any more info about the bike is needed I can supply.


*Edit*

Oh one other thing.. the bike is 7 speeds, and the rear wheel had a bunch of gears on it. So I guess I need to know how to get a wheel with 7 gears on it. *sigh*
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Old 05-19-06, 02:31 PM   #2
mmerner
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you appear to need 26" wheels. If your tight on money you may want to check out local thrift stores for bikes with 26" wheels, mainly mountain bikes, get a whole bike and just use the wheels.
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Old 05-19-06, 03:16 PM   #3
slamb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerner
you appear to need 26" wheels. If your tight on money you may want to check out local thrift stores for bikes with 26" wheels, mainly mountain bikes, get a whole bike and just use the wheels.
Thanks, that sounds reasonable. Do I need anything special since I have a 'cruiser' bike? I do remember the tires were particularly wide, and weren't sure if they'd fit on plain mountain bike rims.
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Old 05-20-06, 11:38 PM   #4
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Any 26 inch (height) mountain bike wheel will work. The wheels you find at the thrift stores will differ in width, and consequently differ in the width of the tire they accept (Each rim will accept a range of tires). The cruisers have wide rims and big balloon tires. Replacing it with a smaller width rim, and narrower tire will work just fine. It will not look as good though. Mountain bike tires are also normally studded. Good for dirt not so much for the road. So you may also need to cost account replacing the tires (rubber). You may need to ask your bike store for help. Something like play it again sports or wally mart might be a good source for cheap tires and tubes.

Take your bike along when you shop. When you find a likely candidate put the wheel on your bike and see if you can adjust the brakes to fit the new rim. If so your golden.

Things to look for.

Take the front tire of the donor bike off and grab each side of the axel. If the axel moves up and down inside the hub the wheel is no good.

Hold onto each side of the axel and spin the wheel. It should feel smooth. If it feels rough then at the very least you will need to replace the bearings and repack the hub. I’am assuming these are not skills you currently have. At worst the hub will be beyond repair.

Make sure the hub says Shimano. There are other types of hubs that will not be compatible with your shifting mechanism.

Look at the cassette on the back wheel. Make sure there are seven rings (for your seven gears). No more no less. Cassettes can be replaced, but I’am assuming this is beyond your skill level. Also make sure the teeth on the rings don’t look to much like shark teeth. This means its worn out. The teeth should look like a stepped pyramid with both sides looking similar.
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Old 05-21-06, 12:00 AM   #5
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That really sucks. Good looking bike. I hope the theif enjoyed his 5 minute crack buzz. I assume you checked with Releigh and the price is too high. Hope you find an acceptable solution.
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