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  1. #1
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    29er wheel set suggestions

    I'm looking into customizing a vintage bike, and I'm thinking 29ers. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good wheel set that isn't going to break the bank?
    ~Chris.

    On a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

  2. #2
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    budget

  3. #3
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Tons of 700c wheelsets out there to be had...details on current gearing setup?

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  4. #4
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    Currently its a single speed.. but I've been debating on have far I want to go. Right now I'm pretty open. I've got a frame in mind and modifications aren't out of the question.
    ~Chris.

    On a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

  5. #5
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxyce View Post
    I'm looking into customizing a vintage bike, and I'm thinking 29ers. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good wheel set that isn't going to break the bank?
    29'er wheels are the same diameter as 700C- they're just different terms made up for marketing reasons. Neither has much to do with reality.

    If it were my bike, I'd custom-build a set from scratch- but that's just me. I've been building wheels for 30 years and I get twitchy when I haven't built a wheel in a while*. Since it's a "vintage" bike, I'd go with something pretty straightforward, like Velo Orange Raid rims built on Suzue Classica 10 speed hubs.




    *It's an addiction I tell you! An addiction! I need my fix, man, I neeeed it! Gimme some hubs and rims, and I can't stop until they're perfect...
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  6. #6
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noxyce View Post
    I'm looking into customizing a vintage bike, and I'm thinking 29ers. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good wheel set that isn't going to break the bank?
    Since you used the term "29er" I have to ask: is this an old MTB that you intend to put big knobby tires on? If so, I'd be very interested to know what vintage frame will work with such a setup.

    If this is a road bike, I can't say it any better than Mr. Wills ^
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    One wheelset I build a lot of are:

    1. Sun MTX 33's in either 26" or 700c
    2. On Formula/Origin8/Quando or Chosen 3633s/3735s Track/SS hubs with fixed/fixed rear.
    3. With CN 2.3/2.0 single butted spokes.

    The above is what the stunt oriented single-speeders are slowly but surely migrating over to in my neighborhood.

    Of course you can substitute the narrower Velocity Chukkers, etc....but the wider Sun MTX 33's is relatively inexpensive...

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Right, I should have been a little more specific. This will mostly be a commuter. Although it currently has 26x2.125s on it, so I'd imagine MB tires would work ok. I'll try to get some pics up of the frame tonight. Thanks for the suggestions so far .
    ~Chris.

    On a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

  9. #9
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    You're planning on putting 700c wheels on a 26 MTB frame? What are you doing for brakes?
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  10. #10
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    A few things to think about

    Thought it might be worth posting a few things you`ll have to look at before committing money towards parts.

    (a) Confirm the rear axle length. Its not a deal-breaker as most axles can be replaced to give the correct spacing, but it`ll probably affect how big a gear cluster is practical to put on the wheel.

    (b) Check the frame clearance to confirm that the tire size you want to use will actually fit. Clearance isn`t just width. There`s those cross tubes for fender mounts too.

    (c) Check on the feisability of using your current brakes with a different size rim. Adapter mounts are needed to move the brake post mounting positions to move from a 26in to a 700c rim for rim brakes. Disk brakes aren`t an issue.

    Some general info: 29ers aren`t just another 700c wheel. Specifically they are 700c rims laced to mtb hubs and axles which normally have a different axle width than road or hybrids.

    The other important difference is the frame. The frame is designed to provide clearance for both a 700c rin AND clearance for a 3.5in tire width.

    If you are going to use the bike for commuting, guaranteed you can put 700 x 33c tires on a wheelset and it just fit in most 26in mtb frames. It`l fit because the overall diameter of that combo is virtually identical to a 26 x 2.3 wheel diameter.

    Which then leads to the next question: Why do you really want to do this?

    If you can fit some Schwalbe Big Apples in your current frame - that would be a lot easier and a nicer rider than a larger rim with a smaller tire. With the current advances in tire technology, rolling resistance really isn`t the issue it used to be.

    If you really are after a 29er, ie a Schwalbe 700 x 60c on a 700 rim size -there`s no way it`ll fit in any 26in frame I`ve ever seen myself. But that doesn`t mean you can`t look at another frame. It just means there`s a limit to what you can do with a 26in vintage frame.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    1. 29er IS just another 700c wheel and tire.

    2. Rim width versus tire width versus tire height versus crown/bridge width versus crown/bridge clearance have been issues with wheels, tires and frames of all sizes since the birth of bicycles to begin with.

    There ain't nothing unique about 29ers...just another marketing label.

    ...then again we've had that argument here several time already in the past...

    Oh, and I guess I'll have to tell 29er single speeders here in San Jose that they can't call their bikes or wheels 29er's...as if they'll really care.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  12. #12
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    So maybe its time to rewrite the encyclopedias

    DSC05489a 600 x 900 final proof.jpgDSC05482b 600 x 900 final proof.jpgThe term 29er was originally a reference to the diameter on the wheel/tire combination which the initial mtb tires available for 700c rims put in the neighborhood of 28.5 inches.

    Which isn`t even close to my road bike, which has a diameter of 26.5 inches with 700 x 23 tires.

    Of course commuter tires like the 700 x 33c on my hybrid have a diameter of 27.5 inches.

    Neither of those frames has the clearance to a 700 x 60c sized tire.

    But I did build up several 29ers last year, as well as a number of 26in mountain bikes. So after having to colaborate on the frame specs and deal with clearance issues - I kinda thought posting the key points might be helpful.

    Another suggestion might be to double-check with an encyclopedia to sort out opinions. Lots of people think they`re driving sports cars when the only thing `sporty` about it is the styling.

    Regarding the photos attached: One is a 26in frame and wheelset, the other is a 29er wheelset (700 rims on mtb bubs and axles). The 29er wheelset WILL fit in the 26in frame - but theres only clearance for 40mm tires - maybe.

    None of these will fit in any bike that doesn"t have exactly the same axle width.
    Last edited by Burton; 02-22-11 at 04:29 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Depends what break the bank means to you, but the Stan's ZTR wheels are amazing IMO. Pretty light, sturdy, and can be had for under $500 for the set.
    2011 Cannondale CAADX Rival - 2010 Niner EMD9 - 2008 Surly Steamroller - 1965/66 Cinelli Supercorsa
    Tree Fort Bikes

  14. #14
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    "The term 29er was originally a reference to the diameter on the wheel/tire combination which the initial mtb tires available for 700c rims put in the neighborhood of 28.5 inches."

    Which is exactly what the original marketer was trying to do as a "sleight of hand" in order to get you to avoid noticing the obvious - that another MTB style hyrbrid was being brought to market. But that is what marketer's try to do - claim uniqueness for a new product that really isn't new so that they are not having to compete with an existing category that their "new" product is based in.

    Introducing something as "new" in an already crowded category makes for a hard sale. Hence the marketing label "29er" as an attempt creating a categorical distinction.

    I didn't buy it from day one - nor did the folks over at Sheldon Brown.

    The sad thing is that in doing so in relation to tires - more tire size confusion was created for customers with the new label - in a bicycle tire industry that has more than enough confusion to begin with.

    Simply calling it 700 x 52 or 60c would have been the simplest label - but of course the marketer didn't want that.

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  15. #15
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    Thanks, I feel as I've been thoroughly schooled in the term 29er. Honestly, 700 or 29, I'm looking to put a large tire under this project. I supposed the best reason I can come up with is because I can. It complicates the project, I understand that, but it just sounds fun to me.

    I figure I'll be going with disc brakes, personally I like them more than rim, but that's just a personal preference. I'm not yet sure I want to modify it up to multiple speed, but that's more to save money. Besides, I'd like to try my hand (or feet) at a single speed. Currently my commute would only be about 7 miles, so its not all that difficult.

    As to "breaking the bank" the cheaper the better. I was just hoping someone had some experience with some lesser known wheels. A few of the sites I've been on don't seem to be many reviews, especially for the lower priced tires. I don't really care for buying blind over the internet.

    Thanks for the advice and suggestions guys.
    ~Chris.

    On a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

  16. #16
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Check how much tire clearance you'll have with the 700c wheels before you decide. If this is a 26" MTB, you definitely can't put a super wide tire in the 700c size like you could with the 26" size.

    Your vintage frame has disc tabs? How vintage are we talking here?
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  17. #17
    Junior Member
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    There will be a fair amount of modification involved in this. No, it doesn't have disc tabs, but that's not much of an addition. I'm debating about keeping the current fork, but for clearance in the back I might have to extend the frame a little. The bike is probably 40s/50s... but I have a few pre-war frames that are in semi-tough shape I might chop. It depends on what my friend wants to do with the couple of whizzer motors I just found.
    ~Chris.

    On a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

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