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  1. #1
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    I am thinking about my wheels (27")

    I am reasonably happy with my old Schwinn Le-Tour (a traditional 10-speed) that I got in High School. I use it, almost exclusively as a commuter. However, for the last few winters I have been unhappy with the Belgian made wheels.

    The trouble with the wheels is that they are a steel alloy (will hold a magnet weakly) and the braking is poor, to speak of it kindly. Further, when they are wet the braking is further diminished. To make this a bit more complicated, it has 27” rims. With fenders I doubt that 700s’ would fit, even if the brake calipers would work with the larger size.

    I was thinking of building up a set of wheels using these rims Nashbar 27 inch road rim. The rims are selected based on being alloy, reasonably inexpensive, and the correct size. I have no other reason for selecting them over any other.

    I did see this Dimension Wheel, Formula, 32h, Alex X404, Silver, 27" ; however, they look like the rear will only work with a single-speed hub. Is this correct; or, can these wheels work with a 10 speed?

    If I go with the Nashbar rims, I would probably use these Shimano Tiagra HB4500 hubs. These were, again, viewed because they look like a reasonable cost / quality crossover point. Further, they are available in the same hole count as the rims.

    I suspect that I will have to replace the rear gear cluster no matter which set of hubs I were to go with. The shifters are down-tube friction type and the components are sun-tour. what type of ten speed (5 gears) gear cluster would I need?

    Can anyone estimate what size spokes I would need? I see myself needing a truing stand (have one, just need to find it) and a spoke wrench (again, have one, just need to find it). My basic plan, if I go the, “build my own,” route is to put the wheel together and true it as well as I can; then, if I am not happy with the true, take it to a shop for final truing. there anything else I should foresee needing?

    Of course, along another train of though, I have been considering replacing the rear gears with an internally geared hub; but, I am not sure if they will work with a down-tube shifter. Will they?

    Further, unless I replace the front cranks and rings (more money) with a single I would need to add a tensioner. I do not even know where to get one of those. Can anyone comment on converting my Le-Tour to an internally geared arrangement?

  2. #2
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Just to comment, I went on to read this, http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html which explained the difference between freewheel and cassettes. It looks like I can order the prebuilt wheels (although the web-page does not say what they are made of, I hope it is not steel) and put a freewheel gear cluster on it.

    I may use my old one. However, if I get a new one, will a 7 speed work? It isn't indexed so I see no reason that it wouldn't. But, does anyone know if it wont?

  3. #3
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    You might not want to hear it: I would get yourself a new bike. Most time- (you don't know where the truing stand is!?), energy-, and cost efficient. You can either keep the old one or sell it after some time (or the new one, if you don't like this anymore).

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    I am reasonably happy with my old Schwinn Le-Tour (a traditional 10-speed) that I got in High School. I use it, almost exclusively as a commuter. However, for the last few winters I have been unhappy with the Belgian made wheels.

    The trouble with the wheels is that they are a steel alloy (will hold a magnet weakly) and the braking is poor, to speak of it kindly. Further, when they are wet the braking is further diminished. To make this a bit more complicated, it has 27” rims. With fenders I doubt that 700s’ would fit, even if the brake calipers would work with the larger size.
    You've got that wrong. 700C wheels are 8mm smaller in diameter than 27" wheels. You should have no problem putting 700C wheels and tires on your bike. The brakes should reach- all you need to do is lower the brake shoes 4mm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    I was thinking of building up a set of wheels using these rims Nashbar 27 inch road rim. The rims are selected based on being alloy, reasonably inexpensive, and the correct size. I have no other reason for selecting them over any other.

    I did see this Dimension Wheel, Formula, 32h, Alex X404, Silver, 27" ; however, they look like the rear will only work with a single-speed hub. Is this correct; or, can these wheels work with a 10 speed?

    If I go with the Nashbar rims, I would probably use these Shimano Tiagra HB4500 hubs. These were, again, viewed because they look like a reasonable cost / quality crossover point. Further, they are available in the same hole count as the rims.

    I suspect that I will have to replace the rear gear cluster no matter which set of hubs I were to go with. The shifters are down-tube friction type and the components are sun-tour. what type of ten speed (5 gears) gear cluster would I need?
    You won't find a 5-speed cassette to fit on Tiagra hubs. The least number of cogs is 8, perhaps 7 if you want to play with spacers. Either will work with your friction shifters.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Can anyone estimate what size spokes I would need? I see myself needing a truing stand (have one, just need to find it) and a spoke wrench (again, have one, just need to find it). My basic plan, if I go the, “build my own,” route is to put the wheel together and true it as well as I can; then, if I am not happy with the true, take it to a shop for final truing. there anything else I should foresee needing?
    Since you want to buy rims and hubs, my recommendation is that you buy prebuilt wheels. At the low-to-medium prices appropriate to your LeTour, prebuilt wheels will be much cheaper and a lot less hassle than trying to build your own. I encourage you to learn wheelbuilding, but not as a way of saving money. (I've been building wheels for 30 years- it's an addictive habit like smoking, just not as smelly.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Of course, along another train of though, I have been considering replacing the rear gears with an internally geared hub; but, I am not sure if they will work with a down-tube shifter. Will they?

    Further, unless I replace the front cranks and rings (more money) with a single I would need to add a tensioner. I do not even know where to get one of those. Can anyone comment on converting my Le-Tour to an internally geared arrangement?
    No, the Sturmey-Archer hub comes with its own dedicated shifter. This shifter probably won't fit on your drop handlebars without some sort of adapter, as shown on this page: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/rohloff.html (scroll about 2/3 of the way down).

    If you want to convert your LeTour to internal gearing, you don't need to replace the cranks- you'll just have an extra chainring sitting there. Also, there's no need to add a tensioner since your bike has horizontal dropouts, which makes adjusting chain tension easy.

    Here's my single-speed, which is based on a Mississippi Schwinn LeTour frame: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/...tour%20007.htm . (Actually, I need to take new photos: I've since removed those wheels and replaced them with a one-speed setup.) It's got 700C wheels, and the single-speed chain is the same setup as you'd use with an internal gear hub.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  5. #5
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    If you really end up replacing as much as you indicate then 'saturnhr' may well be correct that you should look for another bike.

    But if you just want to get new rims and switch the size to 700c then why bother replacing anything else. All you need are new rims and spokes. There are spoke length calculators on the web that will let you know the proper lengths once you input the rims, hubs, number of spokes, and crossing pattern.

  6. #6
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    I put a cassette hub into a 1985 Schwinn World Sport. The original rear derailleur worked fine with an 8-speed cassette.

  7. #7
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    Do you have very good cables & housings ? New " Kool Stop " pads & keeping the rims wiped down with alcohol helps a great deal.

  8. #8
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    http://aebike.com/product/dimension-...e8691-qc30.htm same wheel that you put in your original post for about $8 less and it is available in 27" as well as 700c. They are in fact aluminum wheels and are WAYYYYY lighter than old steel wheels. I just bought a set for a restoration project and have about 300 miles on them and I weight 230 lbs, no issues to report as of now, I'm very happy. you can either take a freewheel remover and put your existing freewheel on or you can just buy a new freewheel, grease it up, and put it on.

    7 speeds will absolutely work! I just did it with my 83 nishiki upgraded mine from 5 speeds in the back to 7. I put on the 14-34 megarange which required a little bit of tinkering to make my existing derailier shift such a large cog on the back but i got it to work just fine. I highly recommend making the switch. AEBike had my 7 speed freewheel as well as sram chain for 13 bucks each so two new wheels, chain, and freewheel cost a whopping total $86 and trust me, coming from steel wheels it's a major performance upgrade. It will single handedly take about 4 lbs off of your bike.

    Note, these wheels are 130mm spaced but there is no issue with simply spreading the stays a bit to fit the wheel in, you don't have to worry about coldsetting the frame.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esteban32696 View Post
    Do you have very good cables & housings ? New " Kool Stop " pads & keeping the rims wiped down with alcohol helps a great deal.
    Good brake pads and fresh cables used with steel rims are putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. It may help slightly but braking will still be bad in the dry and dangerous in the wet. The only sensible cure is to replace the steel rims with aluminum ones.

  10. #10
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy10028 View Post
    http://aebike.com/product/dimension-...e8691-qc30.htm same wheel that you put in your original post for about $8 less and it is available in 27" as well as 700c. They are in fact aluminum wheels and are WAYYYYY lighter than old steel wheels. I just bought a set for a restoration project and have about 300 miles on them and I weight 230 lbs, no issues to report as of now, I'm very happy. you can either take a freewheel remover and put your existing freewheel on or you can just buy a new freewheel, grease it up, and put it on.
    Thanks, I think this is the way I will go for my commuter. They also have a matching front wheel and the total set is pretty cheap and I can keep the stock wheel size. I may get another bike soon; but, I do not think it will be my commuter.

  11. #11
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Just to follow up. I replaced the wheels and the braking is much better. I think I can also feel a performance difference with the lighter rims; but , that may just be optimistic thinking. While I was at it I also git a 7 speed freewheel to replace the 5 speed that was on the rear. Considering that I never replaced the gears before, it seems to be shifting better too. The end result is that this ole' commuter bike now has several more years of life before I get tired of it.

  12. #12
    Gear Hub fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    Just to follow up. I replaced the wheels and the braking is much better. I think I can also feel a performance difference with the lighter rims; but , that may just be optimistic thinking. While I was at it I also git a 7 speed freewheel to replace the 5 speed that was on the rear. Considering that I never replaced the gears before, it seems to be shifting better too. The end result is that this ole' commuter bike now has several more years of life before I get tired of it.
    It almost certainly does shift better as modern Hyperglide tooth form freewheels and cassettes, all that are commonly available currently, have much improved shifting compared to the old parts you were using.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  13. #13
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    And you're not imagining the extra pep. The new and lighter rims on the wheels won't make you go faster but they will help you get up to your usual speed quicker for the same effort or at the same old rate for less effort.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

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