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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 10-04-06, 08:08 AM   #1
KenFSU
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Bike Novice in Need on Advice

Here's my situation:

A neighbor of mine recently moved and offered me his old bike. Nothing fancy, just a standard five speed, but I've been trying to drive less these days, and I think it'll be good to have.

Only problem with the bike is the back rim is bent. It doesn't seem like anything too serious, but it definitely prevents the bike from riding properly.

Here's a couple of pictures:





Two questions:

1) Would it be possible to bend/hammer the rim back into shape?
2) How much does a standard, single rim cost?

I've been to a couple of bike shops to ask about rims, and both told me that a single rim would probably run me about $60. That seemed pretty high to me, but I honestly don't know the first thing about bikes.

Any advice would be highly appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old 10-04-06, 08:33 AM   #2
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That is a classic 'taco'.
You need to replace the rim.
$60.00 isn't out of line for a new wheel from a shop, does that include the labor to put it on the bike?
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Old 10-04-06, 08:48 AM   #3
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Yeah, you need a new wheel. If you can get one for $60, that's pretty good. You might hit Goodwill and see if they have any 26" bikes. For about $10, you can get a whole bike's worth of spare entry-level parts.
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Old 10-04-06, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterrockets
Yeah, you need a new wheel. If you can get one for $60, that's pretty good. You might hit Goodwill and see if they have any 26" bikes. For about $10, you can get a whole bike's worth of spare entry-level parts.
Thank you, that's a GREAT suggestion.

I just called Goodwill, and they're loaded with bikes.

None of them were familiar with the specific types of bikes they had though.

How can I tell if it's a 26''? What should I measure?

Thanks a million.

Also, and I know this is probably a real eye-roller of a question, but how fast does a bike go if you're riding at a moderate speed? Like somewhere between the professional racer and the old people you see barely moving on banana seaters?
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Old 10-04-06, 10:08 AM   #5
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The wheel diameter should be 26".

My guess would be that you're probably going somewhere between 20 and 25 km/h (12.4-15.5mph) if you're traveling at a moderate speed on a bike like that. You can estimate the speed you're going by the gears you're in, and how fast you are pedalling. First, you need to count how many teeth the cogs on the rear wheel have. Then you need to count how many teeth the chainrings on the front have. Last, determine what your cadence is (cadence is how fast you are turning the pedals/cranks in rotations per minute).

Once you have those numbers, you can use this formula to determine roughly how fast you're going:

Assume you're in a cog with G teeth and chainring with C teeth, pedalling at RPM rpms.

Speed = (C/G) * (26" * 0.0254m/inch) * (120*pi/2000) * RPM = C*RPM*0.1245/G

This will give you your speed in km/h (I'm in Canada).

For example, if I'm pedalling 95rpm in a 32tooth front / 12tooth rear combination, my speed is 32*95*0.1245/12 = 30.6km/h = 19mph.

Hope that helps. Good luck with the wheel.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:18 AM   #6
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Good average travelling speed for non athletes is 12-14mph. Switching from those knobbly tyres to slick 26x 1.5" road tyres will add about 2mph.

Last edited by MichaelW; 10-04-06 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 10-04-06, 10:29 AM   #7
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The tire will have 26 X 1.95, or something like that, written on the sidewall.
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Old 10-04-06, 11:25 AM   #8
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Go 'noles!
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Old 10-04-06, 12:28 PM   #9
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That rim is toast for sure. I'm not sure on the hub's salvagability, but you can find a suitable replacement like this http://tinyurl.com/lbvr5 which should last you a while.

Of course, you will need a rim, and those seem to vary widely in price/quality. Spokes are relatively cheap for some high strength Wheelsmith or whatever brand, so I'd buy all new spokes rather than reuse.
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Old 10-04-06, 12:34 PM   #10
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Depending on which bike you have, and which one you may find at Goodwill, you may want to ride the Goodwill bike, and use this one for spare parts (other than the back wheel of course ).
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Old 10-04-06, 12:44 PM   #11
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I wouldn't say the rim was necessarily toast. Many have been brought back from there by owners who know what they are doing, but whether it is worth the time and money at the LBS for the OP is another matter.

Assuming MTBs at Goodwill all have tyres ... check the numbers on the sidewall of the bike you have, something like 26 x 1.75 is what you are looking for, then check to see if the 26 in particular corresponds with the markings on the sidewalls of the tyres on the bike you may pick up.

Just saying it is a 26" tyre is of no help to someone who doesn't have any idea of how to identify such a tyre.

There are a few other little complications in buying the Goodwill MTB. You will need to check that the gears on the rear wheel are the same number as on the one you have, and that they are in reasonable shape. This is assuming, of course, you don't want to pay for a changeover at an LBS or get all befuddled with doing your own.

You'll also need to check that the "new" rear wheel is itself in good shape, and is aluminium, not steel (steel is generally either very shiny chrome or rusty whereas aluminium is a dull silver or anodised black). Steel is not a good rim material for braking especially in the wet, or for longevity.

The quality of the tyre on the Goodwill bike won't be of any consequence as the one in the picture looks in good shape, too.
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Old 10-04-06, 09:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
I wouldn't say the rim was necessarily toast. Many have been brought back from there by owners who know what they are doing, but whether it is worth the time and money at the LBS for the OP is another matter.

Assuming MTBs at Goodwill all have tyres ... check the numbers on the sidewall of the bike you have, something like 26 x 1.75 is what you are looking for, then check to see if the 26 in particular corresponds with the markings on the sidewalls of the tyres on the bike you may pick up.

Just saying it is a 26" tyre is of no help to someone who doesn't have any idea of how to identify such a tyre.

There are a few other little complications in buying the Goodwill MTB. You will need to check that the gears on the rear wheel are the same number as on the one you have, and that they are in reasonable shape. This is assuming, of course, you don't want to pay for a changeover at an LBS or get all befuddled with doing your own.

You'll also need to check that the "new" rear wheel is itself in good shape, and is aluminium, not steel (steel is generally either very shiny chrome or rusty whereas aluminium is a dull silver or anodised black). Steel is not a good rim material for braking especially in the wet, or for longevity.

The quality of the tyre on the Goodwill bike won't be of any consequence as the one in the picture looks in good shape, too.
All good points, but you may be working with a friction shifter, in which case, the number of gears doesn't matter as long as it's 7 or less. You can make it work with der limit screws.

Indexed shifting (with clicks) is a different story.

Aluminum is preferred, but I wouldn't shy away from a steel braking surface on the rear unless you're going to be riding fast often. Front is a different story... no steel up there for braking.

Goodwill will take the bike back for a refund. Make sure you ask for the receipt in case it doesn't work out.

There's also a chance one of the bikes at Goodwill may be nicer, and you'll just keep it as your primary instead.
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