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  1. #1
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    Spoke length help! 1976 Schwinn Traveler

    I hope you all can help out. I have a 1976 Schwinn Traveler with rusting rims and spokes. I'd like to keep the hubs and replace the rims. The hubs are high flange and marked "Schwinn Approved IC 76 Made in Japan".

    I've used several spoke calculators, but the results are not consistant with the current setup. With the original Araya 27 1-1/4 W/O rims, high flange hubs, and 3x pattern, the calcs say I need ~297mm spokes. Measuring the spokes, they look to be ~305mm. I'm not sure what's going on with the other 8mm, so I'm coming to you for help!

    I'm measuring the spoke from the inside of the elbow to the rim (where I'm guessing the spoke ends). 297mm spokes would just reach the nipples.

    What the heck am I doing wrong? I've triple checked the measurements! The "Normandy High Flange" hubs found in the calculators have about the same specs as the hubs on my bike.

  2. #2
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    Did you measure both sides? I assume you know the rear wheel spokes on the right are shorter than the ones on the left as well as being different from the front wheel spokes.

    However, unless you're attached to your high flange hubs, I think you might be making a mistake. No one sells single chromed spokes anymore and stainless spokes are a buck apiece typically, so each wheel will cost $36 just for the spokes. You are not too far from a new wheelset for that money, only you get more value with the new wheelset. They still have some 27" wheelsets available, but 700c wheels have only 4mm less radius and readily interchange with 27". You could even get a cassette hub for more strength and gear choices but you would have to respace your frame.

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    Thanks for the quick reply. I considered all the above. I like the Schwinn Approved hubs for a few reasons; one of the biggest reasons is the security of the nuts versus quick releases. All of the decent, new 27" wheel sets have quick releases.

    Yes, I'm aware the spoke lengths will be different by a couple mm's on the back l/r and front, but I still don't understand why my measurement is off by 8mm.

    Can anyone else measure the spokes on their old 27" Schwinn steel Arayas?

    If there is a new 27"/700c wheel set for ~$150 with a freehub (cassette splines) and nuts instead of quick releases, please let me know!

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    You can easily swap axles if you don't want quick release, or you can use a bolt-on skewer which does not have a quick release mechanism but attaches with an allen wrench.

    You gotta figure, though- QR is a well-accepted technology. QR hubs can clamp hard enough to chew up an aluminum frame. The quick release skewers clamp the wheel so hard that you have to leave the cones a bit loose because when you tighten the skewers, it compresses the axle and changes the adjustment. Not that it's difficult to learn a consistent technique which will allow the hub to last a long time, though.

    A new wheelset or new rims would add functionality. There is a world of difference in how aluminum rims stop in the rain vs. chrome steel.

    As far as lacing goes, though, perhaps you mixed up the number of crosses of the spoke pattern or changed a radius to a diameter? Perhaps you're not measuring from the correct reference?

    I would suggest finding a new calculator that makes you measure everything instead of letting you pick pre-measured parts. I can't remember which one I used but the two wheels I rebuilt went together great.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 09-28-11 at 09:16 PM.

  5. #5
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    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/axles.html

    I would try to find track nuts for the solid axles so the nuts wouldn't chew up the frame.
    Last edited by garage sale GT; 09-28-11 at 08:22 PM.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    http://www.mrrabbit.net/wheelsbyflemingapplications.php

    See Sunshine....in bottom third of spokechart tab...

    Also, make sure you aren't getting 3X spoke lengths confused with 4X spoke lengths...

    =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

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    mrrabbit, that spreadsheet is pretty sweet. I found the hub you're referencing and it's a pretty close match to my measurements. But I'm still coming up with the same calculated ~297mm spoke length with the original wheel/hub combo versus the actual measurement of 305mm. 297mm is also listed here, http://www.bikewebsite.com/spokes.htm. I'm not mixing up the X's. Over, over, under = 3x, right? That's the way the bike is laced now.

    So, yeah, if anyone has the cheap steel Arayas with high flange hubs, would you please measure the spoke length to confirm my sanity/insanity?

    garage sale GT, thanks for the links. For security, I mean security from people stealing the wheels. I have a Ulock, but I don't want to go through the hassle of carrying a cable and running it through everything. Not too many thieves are going to unscrew nuts to get wheels off my old Schwinn, but they probably would cut a cable lock if the QR is there. Just my opinion...

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    garage sale GT, yes, I agree with you about the Al rims. That's what I'm planning on getting: alloy rims + SS spokes + the Schwinn high flange hubs. Lol, but I need to know what I'm screwing up with the measurement before I order anything.

  10. #10
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Please describe how you are measuring the spokes, which side you are measuring,
    and in fact, why you are measuring your spokes at all if you are going to be using
    different rims in your project.

    If so, they will doubtless have a different erd and so whatever you have as a current
    spoke length will be meaningless. And while Garage Sale GT and I rarely agree on much,
    he is 100% correct in his advice to you with regard to prebuilt wheels being more
    cost effective for someone on a budget......you just need to carefully retension them.

    In other words, the spoke lengths you need to buy depend on both the hub measurements
    and the erd of your new rims........so you need to measure that first because you cannot
    always depend on the manufacturer's given effective rim diameter numbers.

    Also, you can buy "security" skewers to replace the QR ones that need a wrench to
    remove them. I've done this for a couple of bikes that I use around town.

    I used to ride all over DC when I attended Maryland, College Park. I lost more than
    a few bikes to thieving, lowlife scum before i finally started riding around on beater
    3-speeds as less desirable to the enemy. Primer paint overlays and some duct tape
    are also helpful. Sheldon Brown's website has something to say about anti theft
    camouflage.
    Last edited by 3alarmer; 09-29-11 at 02:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  11. #11
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    If your spokes are 305mm I assure you that the wheels are 4x not 3x. On a large flange 36h hub the spoke stays hidden against the flange so it easy to miss the first cross where the spoke passes it's neighbor going the other way on the other side of the flange.

    Take another look and count again.
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    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    On a large flange 36h hub the spoke stays hidden against the flange so it easy to miss the first cross where the spoke passes it's neighbor going the other way on the other side of the flange.
    THANK YOU! It was a 4x pattern. Now all the measurements/calcs match.

    The reason I was so concerned is because I wanted to be sure I was measuring the nondescript hubs correctly for the wheel build.

    Thanks everyone.

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