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  1. #1
    South Carolina Ed
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    New wheels for 1987 Bianchi road bike???

    I've just rebuilt my wife's old 1987 Bianchi Brava road bike and would like to update it a bit without spending a lot of money. It has heavy wheels and a Suntour drivetrain with friction shifters. I'd like to put lighter wheels on it. I know how to lace and true wheels, but have been away from the sport for many years and all of the newer components look to be incompatible. Any suggestions?...Thanks!

  2. #2
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Not spending a lot of money = how much?

  3. #3
    South Carolina Ed
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    Maybe up to about $150 or so....

  4. #4
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    If you want new, Shimanos are on sale at a few places, Reynolds as well. Both companies have wheels ranging for four or more a set but I've seen the R560 set for UNDER two per pair Reynolds for even less. Some maintain "good hand builts" are the way to go ,I'd diagree, given your criteria. Traditional spoked are fine but MORE $$ and heavier. If you want to lighten the bike as well as a low rotationl-weight,that's how you'll do it. The two I stated ARE hand-built actually,just not custom-built to order. Custom hand-built,high-spoke count traditional wheels are strong, preferable for a heavy-weight. I don't believe they're so much stronger anyway,even if they were, who cares,make a more meaningfull improvement if you're to bother at all. Ussually e-bay has stuff, weak selection in wheels the past week, if you take into account the risk of the non-perfect wheel factor.

  5. #5
    South Carolina Ed
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    Thanks for your reply.....I guess my question is can I put new hubs with a rear cassette onto an old bike without changing the rear derailleur, chain, crank et al? There is also the question of the spacing of the drop outs. I'm inclined to buy the parts, and put the wheels together if it's feasible.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Why not lace Sun ME14 rims onto your existing hubs? That should net you a bit of an upgrade while staying within your budget.

  7. #7
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    You can go about it two ways. You can buy new wheels with a cassette hub, which will have 130mm rear axle spacing. Your bike probably has 126mm rear dropout spacing, but you should measure it to be sure. To flex the stays apart by hand 4mm when you install the rear wheel is very do-able, or you can cold set the frame, see Sheldon's site for instructions. With the new cassette hub, you can use a 7(with a spacer), 8,9,or 10 speed cassette. The nine speed chains are narrower, the ten speed chains narrower still. Your derailleurs will probably work whichever you choose, but you'll have to try it to make sure. And I'm less sure about ten speed items being compatible with the older stuff than the others, I've never used ten speed stuff myself. Shop for some Mavic Open Pro's laced to 105 or Ultegra hubs, probably a little over your budget, but a great value. They'll probably be machine-built, so be prepared to check the tension, trueness, dish, etc. right out of the box.

    Since you say you can build wheels yourself, the other option is to stay with your freewheel hub and just re-lace the hub to some newer rims. Mavic Open Pro's and double butted spokes would be nice.

    One other thing that needs to be asked: are the current rims 700c, and not 27?" If 27", you also need to make sure you can adjust the brakes downward in the adjustment slots at least 4mm to accomodate the slightly smaller (8mm less diameter) 700c rims. If brake reach turns out to be a problem, you'll also need to solve that issue when you make the switch to 700c rims-

  8. #8
    South Carolina Ed
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    Thanks for your reply...The hubs on the bike are not very good and I'd like to replace them if possible. My question is really related to the compatibility of good old cranks and derailleurs with a newer, better hub, cassette, and possibly a chain.

  9. #9
    South Carolina Ed
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    Thanks for your reply..The current rims are 700C. I've already replaced the olde Modolo brakes with some new long-reach dual pivot Tektros from Nashbar for a huge improvement. So as I understand it, an older set of hubs with an 8 or 9 speed cassette and a new chain will do the trick? I can buy the spokes and lightweight rims to match? That's all?

  10. #10
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sced
    Thanks for your reply..The current rims are 700C. I've already replaced the olde Modolo brakes with some new long-reach dual pivot Tektros from Nashbar for a huge improvement. So as I understand it, an older set of hubs with an 8 or 9 speed cassette and a new chain will do the trick? I can buy the spokes and lightweight rims to match? That's all?
    That's it as long as you stay friction. Build away.

  11. #11
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Have you tried looking for a set of wheels on ebay? They normally will have at least a few people selling either good condition or NOS wheels with 126 spaced freewheel hubs. Your lbs also may be able to order you a set of 7spd wheels from QBP or the like for not too much. Also, Nashbar used to sell an inexpensive set of "freewheel hubbed" wheels, not sure if they still do, might check 'em out.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    You can ebay a set of SR/NR campagnolo hubs for cheap, lace them up to a nice set of mavics. If taken care of the hubs/bearings will outlast you.......

    I found a set of open pro CD rims for $100 at LBS (someone left deposit never paid) already had the hubs so had really nice setup for < $140 with new spokes, add another $40 for NOS regina freewheel off ebay....

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