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  1. #1
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    Looking for reasonable price & quality 24" (520 mm) road wheelset

    I'm thinking about upgrading the chromed steel wheels on an old (1977) Fuji Junior and have a couple of questions.

    1. There's some confusion in the area of 24" wheels as to whether they're 507, 520, or 540 mm. From poring over Sheldon's pages, it seems that 520 is most likely what's currently on there. But if I'm able to get replacement wheels, would it matter? Or is it just a matter of matching wheels to tires?

    2. Where to find a replacement wheelset? There ought to be (IMO) a reasonably priced set of aluminum wheels that would fit. Just want a step up from what's there, not an expensive set of hand built wheels or racing wheels, etc.

    3. The spacing on the rear dropouts is 125mm. I assume this fits hubs that are nominally 126mm O.L.D. If I choose to build wheels myself, where can I get reasonably priced rims/spokes/hubs?

    4. The front fork ends have "insets" for washers/nuts presumably to help retain the wheel. Will replacement hub/axle/QR fit these?

    Thanks for any help and advice!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    I'm thinking about upgrading the chromed steel wheels on an old (1977) Fuji Junior and have a couple of questions.

    1. There's some confusion in the area of 24" wheels as to whether they're 507, 520, or 540 mm. From poring over Sheldon's pages, it seems that 520 is most likely what's currently on there. But if I'm able to get replacement wheels, would it matter? Or is it just a matter of matching wheels to tires?
    While matching tire to rim would indeed be critical, don't forget about frame/fork crown clearance and brake reach either. Determine what you've got right now, then figure out what kind of change you can get away with.

    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    2. Where to find a replacement wheelset? There ought to be (IMO) a reasonably priced set of aluminum wheels that would fit. Just want a step up from what's there, not an expensive set of hand built wheels or racing wheels, etc.
    Can't really help you there. 24" isn't the most common size exactly, particularly when combined with "road". Biggest users I can think of are certain MTB-derived disciplines. You might think those rims are too wide and chunky. Unlikely to find anything in 126 mm there too. Quality parts for kid/juvenile sized bikes have always been few and far between.
    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    3. The spacing on the rear dropouts is 125mm. I assume this fits hubs that are nominally 126mm O.L.D. If I choose to build wheels myself, where can I get reasonably priced rims/spokes/hubs?
    Anywhere and everywhere. Wherever your net search takes you. Last time I used ebay for spokes, worked out fine. There's any number of fine webshops that sells bike parts. I've had good luck with cambriabike, chainreactioncycles, Saint John Street cycles, wiggle only to mention a few. Have no idea if those mentioned would have something particularly beneficial to you or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    4. The front fork ends have "insets" for washers/nuts presumably to help retain the wheel. Will replacement hub/axle/QR fit these?
    Don't really know what you're talking about here, a pic would certainly help. But some low-end/kids' bikes have those axle retaining washers with a tab that hooks on to a hole in the fork. You need to bring out some measuring gear. Most front hubs have 9 mm axles and need a 100 mm wide fork, but there are exceptions. Better check what you're dealing with.
    Widening a dropout slot is certainly doable, as is enlarging a washer hole. But I'd recommend some previous experience with hand tools, as getting it wrong could turn nasty.
    Last edited by dabac; 08-18-11 at 07:41 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    If you are looking to build your own I found this web site that sell 24" rims and some look to be for road bike use. Spokes and hubs are won't be the problem.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  4. #4
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    What is the current freewheel, 5 or 6-speed? A modern 126 mm hub will take a 7-speed cassette. your current shifters are most likely friction and will work.

  5. #5
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    OK, I'm back at home and can answer some of these questions now. Here's a picture of the front fork "inset" I described poorly. No tab/hook.


    Untitled by tastewar, on Flickr

    The inset is a hair under 3/4". I compared it to a QR nut and that seems to fit, so maybe that wouldn't be a problem.

    Did some more measurements, however. Front hub spacing is 91mm, and axle is narrow. Argh. I could spread the front fork, and file a little to get a normal axle to fit. Or I could re-lace the steel hub to an aluminum rim, once I am certain about the rim size. Double argh -- this got complicated fast.

    I guess the answer is to do a nice overhaul on the components I have, and re-mount them, and then worry about possible replacements. I will have to figure out the wheel size, though, to get replacement tires & tubes.

    It's just tough to put these old, heavy components on a nice, newly finished frame. Sigh...

    Thanks for all the help and advice. I may be back later.

  6. #6
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    I think I would go to some trouble and expense to change those steel rims in the interest of rider safety. Steel rims do a very poor stopping job in dry conditions and are positively dangerous when wet. There is no cure and no type of brake pad that make the situation significantly better. The only proper correction is to fit aluminum rims. Weight isn't the issue, good brake performance is.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    OK, I'm back at home and can answer some of these questions now. Here's a picture of the front fork "inset" I described poorly. No tab/hook..
    Ah, but that's just the dropout. Yours have slightly more generous "lawyer lips" than usual, that's all. As long as the indentation has room for your q/r you're good to go. If it hasn't, find a washer or two to fill it up with. As long as you don't run out of thread on the skewer, that should be OK as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    ... Front hub spacing is 91mm, and axle is narrow. Argh. I could spread the front fork, and file a little to get a normal axle to fit..
    Filing is a non-issue. The paint on those surfaces wouldn't have lasted long anyhow. Spreading a fork is maybe a bit more daunting. My first (and still back-up) truing stand was a discarded fork. It's been spread for rear wheels and compressed for front wheels I don't know how many times and it's still staying together. Granted, I'm not riding it any more, but if the truing fork has survived so far I wouldn't have any qualms about adjusting a rideable fork once.

    Before you start muscling it, figure out how to check the alignment. There's no guarantee that both fork legs will give at the same rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    ...Or I could re-lace the steel hub to an aluminum rim, once I am certain about the rim size.
    Well, unless broken/worn out, you're really not losing that much in keeping the hub. But I know what it feels like to give up on a vision.

    Quote Originally Posted by tastewar View Post
    .. I will have to figure out the wheel size, though, to get replacement ..tubes..

    Tubes aren't picky, you can be a size off w/o any issues. In fact, just about all tube I've seen have come labeled for more than one size.

  8. #8
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    After lots and lots of searching and reading online, and what I think is an almost-correct response from a fuji-usa rep, I am 95% certain that ISO 547 mm (Schwinn S-5) are what the current wheels are. I'm currently overhauling everything on the bike and putting back the original parts. I've ordered Kenda K-62 tires which AFAICT are about the only tires currently made in that size. Would rather have a road-worthy tire, but my first priority is getting it on the road at all, even with less than ideal tires. The BB is running nice and smooth now; the headset is great; the rear hub is all apart and clean; freewheel seems to be OK. Front hub is next. As with most kids' bikes, there didn't appear to be a lot of mileage on this one, and it looked to have been stored indoors. So mostly a matter of cleaning and overhauling, which has been a rewarding experience for me and my daughter.

    @HillRider: I am looking, and will continue to look for replacement wheels. Given these are 547, seems like 540 wouldn't be much of a stretch -- 3.5 mm for the brakes, which is room they seem to have. That said, I'd like to know that I can get some good high pressure road tires in that size. I'm pretty convinced I can get a rear cassette hub that will fit, and yes, I can resign myself to re-lacing the front rim. If anyone knows of a source for 540mm rims and a good, roadworthy tire in that size, that would be useful information to me!

  9. #9
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    The Flight Expert/Cruiser wheelset (http://www.redlinebicycles.com/components/wheels) seems to fit the bill. Niagara Cycles carries the rear wheel and sells through Amazon too:

    http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Assault-Re.../dp/B000IQEFM0

    I have not had luck finding a matching front.

  10. #10
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    Interesting. It shows the 24" wheel using the Sun Assault SL-1 rims, but Sun's site shows those as only available in 20", while the FLIGHT EXPERT XL shows the Sun CR-18 rim but only 20" while that rim is available in 24" (541). Sun's site shows the CR-18 as the *only* rim they have in 541, and it is a 36 hole (which matches my front hub!), but it's 22.5mm wide. What width tires go on a 22.5mm wide rim? I assume 1 3/8", like the rim is nominally sized at.

  11. #11
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    It's possible that Sun created special rims that are only sold to OEMs and not available as part of their standard product offering.

    As for a tire for a 22.5mm rim, it's common to mount 1.5" wide tires on typical MTB rims which are around that width. Some even use 1.25" wide tires. I wouldn't use something as narrow as 1" at that width though. When in doubt, consult Sheldon: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

  12. #12
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    Yes, Sheldon and I are best of friends these days ;-)

    I'll definitely look into those wheels when the time comes. Thank you for the lead!

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