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?