I currently have a vintage raleigh frame with the original front wheel (hub is on it's last legs) and a newer casette hub rear wheel. I am looking to replace both. I was thinking of just rebuilding the wheels with new hubs and spokes, but the rims really aren't worth enough to bother saving. I am currently looking into a set of relatively cheap wheels as I am a college student without a lot of dough.
Here are the two different wheel sets I am considering:
My main questions are:
Should I concern myself over 32 vs. 36 spoke wheels if almost all of my riding is under 40 miles at a time, with city riding and some backroads riding?
Should I be concerned about the 36 spokes not having a machined braking surface? I plan on having at least a front brake so I can flip from single speed to fixed. Is the powder coating going to affect my braking significantly, or can I still brake effectively with it?
Finally, is a non-machined braking surface necessarily powder coated, or are there non-machined, non-powder coated rims? (And what are they called?)
City potholes and backroads??.........., Although 32 spoke wheels are pretty strong if built and tensioned correctly, I would recommend going with 36 at 3 cross lacing just to give it that bit of ruggedness that might be needed when encountering less than smooth roads and an occasional divot or small pot hole in the riding environments you mentioned.
Rims are ususally color or clear anodized. Not sure about the newest rims out there but they could be powdercoated to as you mentioned. Machined braking surface removes the finish on the sidewalls so brake pads contact the aluminum material directly which suppose to translate to better braking erformance. I do notice on my unmachined classic rims from the 80's/90s that braking distances do get longer for me in the wet. I suspect that this is minimized with machined braking surfaces on newer designed rims.
I'm not sure if I can mix and match. I'm contacting the seller, so maybe? Do most single speed riders go front brake only? Also, if I was to invest in a new brake, what would you recommend for 700c tires?
you can ride with just a front brake ( i know plenty that do) but its nice to have a back up, i always ride with two brakes. couple things, do you know the size of the old wheels? if they are 27s are you sure your brakes will reach? was the bike a single speed before or are you converting it?
I dunno where you live but most major cities seem to have bike co-ops with cheap parts and open shops where can use there tools and get advice, in new orleans we have plan b and in chicago we have west town bikes.