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Old 07-30-10, 01:15 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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How to Order New Wheels

I'd like to get a new wheelset for my wife's bike:



I had wheels on my Bottecchia that lasted 18 years with no truing necessary, no broken spokes, and no rust. That's what I want, even if I (oops, I mean "she") has to give up a little weight. Rust/corrosion resistance is especially important since we are right by the ocean, and everything either rusts or molds.

I get the impression (probably wrong) that the lighter wheels with fewer spokes are more prone to problems.

She has 700 x 23c tires, and a 6 speed freewheel. So to order, I just need to specify that information, right? Do I specify stainless spokes? Nipples?

Any specific recommendations? I want to spend the least that will meet the above criteria.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-30-10, 01:28 PM   #2
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Why replace them if you're not having problems?
If you want to get her something nice, how about a new bike?
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Old 07-30-10, 01:34 PM   #3
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I am having problems: namely, rust.

She really loves that bike.
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Old 07-30-10, 01:59 PM   #4
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Ooh--nice bike!

You might have problems removing the freewheel from the old wheels. The threads can be hard to budge on an old wheel. I took one to the local bike store, and they put the freewheel tool in a vise, and spun it right off.

Just about every wheel will have stainless spokes these days. You'll need a rear hub that takes a freewheel, instead of a cassette. I think that all the freewheel hubs are the same width, but I could be wrong.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:01 PM   #5
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Well the front wheel is easy; any number of online sites will build a wheel to your specifcations. Using a custom wheel form on sites like excelsports.com, bikeman.com, or Coloradocyclist.com, you pick the rim, spokes and hub you want, theybuild the wheel. Get alu hubs and rims, stainless spokes and alloy nipples and make sure the internal steel ball bearing stay greasy, and rust should not be a problem.

I would think, however, you will have tough time finding a new 126mm 6 /7 speed freewheel-type hub (or5 /6 speed if the bike is 120mm spaced rather than 126). You could have a shop build a new rim and spokes onto the existing hub but I am not sure thats would be worth the cash.

Alternatively, you could buy these: http://cgi.ebay.com/Dura-Ace-Matrix-...item1c14750926

Edited to add: Oops, failed to notice above ebay item has uniglide cassette; all kinds of funky there so probably best to look elsewhere.

Last edited by DOS; 07-30-10 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:10 PM   #6
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'Get alu hubs and rims, stainless spokes and alloy nipples'

I hope that by alloy nipples you do not mean aluminum ones. The OP stated he lives by the ocean. Aluminum nipples would desintegrate in no time. Better choose brass nipples.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:21 PM   #7
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http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=42572

Here you go--$56 + $23 shipping. Buy $230 worth of stuff and shipping is free. Great deals on tires, Shimano components, etc.

Ask the customer service people about the freewheel fitting, rear axle spacing, etc.

These guys have fantastic prices. I blush to admit how much bike stuff I've purchased from them that I really didn't need, but the prices are so great I couldn't resist.

Last edited by ClarkinHawaii; 07-30-10 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
Well the front wheel is easy; any number of online sites will build a wheel to your specifcations. Using a custom wheel form on sites like excelsports.com, bikeman.com, or Coloradocyclist.com, you pick the rim, spokes and hub you want, theybuild the wheel. Get alu hubs and rims, stainless spokes and alloy nipples and make sure the internal steel ball bearing stay greasy, and rust should not be a problem.

I would think, however, you will have tough time finding a new 126mm 6 /7 speed freewheel-type hub (or5 /6 speed if the bike is 120mm spaced rather than 126). You could have a shop build a new rim and spokes onto the existing hub but I am not sure thats would be worth the cash.

Alternatively, you could buy these (you'd need a 7 speed casette rather than freewheel): http://cgi.ebay.com/Dura-Ace-Matrix-...item1c14750926



Seriously?? He's asking for a super solid wheel and isn't concerned about weight and you suggest alloy nipples? Please do yourself a favor and get wheels with BRASS nipples. They will be better for corrosion resistance than alloy, will be stronger and only add a few grams of weight.

Also worth mentioning is that one of the above listed "custom handbuilt wheel" online companies just sent a buddy of mine a PT wheel that they had rebuilt with a new rim and spokes. He had purchased the original one from them and had to send it in due to too many broken spokes. Although the newly built wheel was true, the spoke tension was all over the map. He's in the process of contacting them about the details, but with his TM-1 tension gauge he was getting Drive Side readings ranging from 13.5 (off the bottom of the tension chart) through 21 (111 kg/f. - What they all should have been) If I'd ordered a 'custom handbuilt wheel' from an online company that came that way, I'd be sending it back immediately.

"Hand-built" or "Custom" doesn't mean anything if the builder doesn't take the time or have the experience to do it right. There are plenty of well respected wheel builders who prefer to build with 32 spokes and can do you a real service in a wheelset. I'd look at http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/ and of course www.psimet.com <--- (Psimet is a forum user here who reportedly builds one hell of a wheel). There are other options, but I'd suggest using a one or two builder operation rather than one of the bigger "custom wheel" online shops. Small shops will realize that it's important for every single wheelset to be perfect or it will tarnish their reputation. It's not at all unreasonable to expect years and years of life out of a good wheelset, but it seems that it doesn't happen by chance these days. You have to have them built up by someone who genuinely cares. Once you find that kind of builder, you'll be taken care of.

-Jeremy
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Old 07-30-10, 02:23 PM   #9
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You can also have a LBS re-lace the hubs onto a new rim if the hubs are still decent.
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Old 07-30-10, 02:53 PM   #10
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Phil Wood makes the best freewheel rear hub , axle will never bend, has stainless steel axles ,
rather than regular steel, solves part of your rust issue..
http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...iv-hubs/18-259
smaller flange model is sold thru most bike shops, or bought direct.

Mavic open sport , rim and as others said , Brass nipples and SS spokes
Double butted spokes are very good but cost more ..

Had long use of 15 ga straight in a 36 spoke wheel , 14 gage for utility stuff..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-30-10 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 07-30-10, 03:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=42572

Here you go--$56 + $23 shipping. Buy $230 worth of stuff and shipping is free. Great deals on tires, Shimano components, etc.

Ask the customer service people about the freewheel fitting, rear axle spacing, etc.

These guys have fantastic prices. I blush to admit how much bike stuff I've purchased from them that I really didn't need, but the prices are so great I couldn't resist.
The specs for those say steel spokes. That makes it sound like they're not stainless.

If the only problem with the present wheelset is rusting spokes, why not just order new spokes and re-lace them?
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Old 07-30-10, 03:11 PM   #12
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The specs for those say steel spokes. That makes it sound like they're not stainless.

If the only problem with the present wheelset is rusting spokes, why not just order new spokes and re-lace them?
You appear to be right--another question to ask. I just assumed . . .
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Old 07-30-10, 03:23 PM   #13
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I would suggest you have a good bike shop check the wheels to make sure the rim is true and round with no flat spots and the spokes fairly evenly tensioned, so that you don't end up putting a lot of labor into a rim that is not in good shape. Then compare the price of a build with stainless spokes to a set of new wheels. The likelihood is that you would need a custom build anyway to get a 6 speed hub and stainless spokes.
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Old 07-30-10, 05:26 PM   #14
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If your shifters are friction, you can purchase a 7-speed cassette for $14

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=47962

and a new set of wheels with alloy rims and stainless steel spokes for $56

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=42536

Surely the hub bodies are alloy, right? Beats me--ask.

I have the impression that OP wants something quick, easy, inexpensive, and durable. If this doesn't do it, I give up.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tunnelrat81 View Post
[/COLOR]

Seriously?? He's asking for a super solid wheel and isn't concerned about weight and you suggest alloy nipples? Please do yourself a favor and get wheels with BRASS nipples. They will be better for corrosion resistance than alloy, will be stronger and only add a few grams of weight.

Also worth mentioning is that one of the above listed "custom handbuilt wheel" online companies just sent a buddy of mine a PT wheel that they had rebuilt with a new rim and spokes. He had purchased the original one from them and had to send it in due to too many broken spokes. Although the newly built wheel was true, the spoke tension was all over the map. He's in the process of contacting them about the details, but with his TM-1 tension gauge he was getting Drive Side readings ranging from 13.5 (off the bottom of the tension chart) through 21 (111 kg/f. - What they all should have been) If I'd ordered a 'custom handbuilt wheel' from an online company that came that way, I'd be sending it back immediately.


-Jeremy
Really, a brass is more corrosion resistant? I didn't know that and assumed otherwise. I like brass for strength myself. As for online wheel builders, I have had good experience with all the sites I mentioned, particularly excelsports and bikeman (never used colorado for wheels). I did get a poorly trued wheel from universalcycles.com once. But I suggested the online option primarily because they tend to be significantly cheaper than having LBS custom build.
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Old 07-31-10, 11:08 AM   #16
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http://www.velo-orange.com/pbpfofigewh7.html

Don't overlook the donor bike route either. Especially looking for a wheel that takes a freewheel.
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Old 07-31-10, 01:50 PM   #17
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honestly, just buy cheap new wheels with freewheel hub for $60. So what if they last 5 years before rusting intead of 18, at $60 for 2 wheels and another $13 for a new freewheel (why bother wasting time taking off the old one) it's such a low cost upgrade. Spaced out over 5 years it's $15 a year. I ordered wheels the basic dimension wheels from aebike.com with formula hubs. you should give them a look since it doesn't sound like your really looking for major performance out of them.
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Old 07-31-10, 11:57 PM   #18
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There is always this. Good quality with smooth sealed bearings.

http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2564
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Old 08-01-10, 08:47 AM   #19
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Perfect, OldRoadman, I might go with that.
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