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  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    How Closely Do Front And Rear Rims Need To "Match"?

    Sorry, here is another slightly stupid question.

    I made the mistake of buying one (1) used rim and building it into the rear wheel of this project kid's bike, blithely assuming it would be no problemo to find a matching rim for the front.

    Err, no.

    So, tell me how "mismatched" front and rear rims can be, before it would bug you to distraction.

    The rear is an old NOS Matrix Mountain rim, 26" (559mm), just 20mm wide at the braking surface, silver, 36 hole. It is for a kid-sized road bike - the 559mm size fits the little frame and will take a nice narrow tire (I bought 26" x 1.25" road tread tires).

    The closest I can find is a Sun Ringle CR-18 in 26" (559mm), also silver and 36 hole, but a bit wider at 22mm wide, and not identical in cross-section, though pretty close. I'll remove the stickers from both rims. I can use a buffing wheel to polish both rims to make the texture/polish level look pretty similar.

    I'm thinking this will be good enough, and preferable to hunting for months for a matching Matrix Mountain rim.

    You agree? Or have you built bikes with mismatched rims and regretted it?

    (I know, this is an aesthetic point. Maybe I'm being way too superficial.)

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Here's a chart for "typical":

    1. Put the slighty wider on the rear.
    2. Put the slightly deeper on the rear.
    3. Put the slightly heavier on the rear.
    4. Put the ONLY one with eyelets on the rear.
    5. Put the ONLY one with double-walls on the rear.
    6. $ n++;

    ...I think you get the picture...

    =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

  3. #3
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Look around more, there are lots of 559-17 and 559-18 rims out there to choose from....do some more searching.

    =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
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    So, tell me how "mismatched" front and rear rims can be, before it would bug you to distraction.
    Either they match, or they don't. There is no in between. Many of my bikes have/have had mismatch stuff. When I can afford it I'll put on matching stuff. Until then, ehhh.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I wouldn't sweat not having the rims match on a kid's bike. If the kid in question is like most, they may give you a reason to do another rim swap in the not too distant future anyway. (They seem to be attracted to "wheel bender" racks, mistimed curbs etc). Keep in mind I come from a "if it works for me I really don't care what it looks like" camp - there are others who are much more interested in aesthetics.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    the simple answer for me is, the match must be exact. i can go with mismatched components, maybe even cranks and tires and hubs for sure, but NO mismatched rims. i had a set of wheels made once and even though the mavic rims had the same model number on them they were different model years and design. i made the builder take one back and redo it (he made a face ) . it is very, very rare for me to return something.

  7. #7
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    They don't need to match at all, at least for the pros.
    Last edited by Reynolds; 04-13-12 at 11:28 PM.

  8. #8
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    They don't need to match at all, at least for the pros.
    Better to be way different and accentuate the difference so it looks like it was intentional, than to be a little different and make it look like a kludge.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    If they are the same size and they roll what possible difference can it make except looks. I would like to read a note from anyone that has a logical mechanical reason.

  10. #10
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    There has got to be something more important to fret over than whether the rims on a kid's bike match exactly or not. Functionally, no one, not you and not the kid, will notice any difference and it will take a micrometer to tell them apart. If you want to go to the trouble to make them cosmetically look the same, have at it but I think it's a waste of time.

  11. #11
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    Don't over-analyze this, just put the wheels on the bike and let the kid ride. Terry make bicycles with totally different-sized wheels front and rear and nobody blinks an eye http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Bicycles.../dp/B005RBBLI2
    Spend the time and effort getting it set up perfectly and let it go.

  12. #12
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    Tony Martin even rode a bike with a tubular rear rim and clincher front during the TT world championships last year, and took the victory. I'm sure roadies everywhere were SHOCKED! So mismatch those rims all you want.

    Just don't do the 26'' front and 700c rear. That's tacky.

  13. #13
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowJob View Post
    Tony Martin even rode a bike with a tubular rear rim and clincher front during the TT world championships last year, and took the victory. I'm sure roadies everywhere were SHOCKED! So mismatch those rims all you want.

    Just don't do the 26'' front and 700c rear. That's tacky.
    What about 24"/700?



    But this is extreme mismatching:

    Last edited by Reynolds; 04-14-12 at 05:51 PM.

  14. #14
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    But this is extreme mismatching:
    Dannngggg... and I thought my bike was bad:

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  15. #15
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    That looks fine but can you imagine if the fatty was in the front - aesthetic dissonance!

  16. #16
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    That looks fine but can you imagine if the fatty was in the front - aesthetic dissonance!
    Tell that to all the penny farthing riders out there
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  17. #17
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Spray paint them both the same color and you'll soon forget they don't match.

  18. #18
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    The truth of the matter is it really doesn't matter. Especially if your talking 20-22mm rims with 31.75mm (1.25") tires.

  19. #19
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    It's a kid's bike.

    You and some of the other posters are WAAAYYYYY overthinking this. It's a 2 mm difference which won't mean diddly.

    As for removing the stickers and polishing the rims? Go back and read the first line above again..... Besides, if the rims are anodized and you rip that away the exposed alumiunium is simply going to corrode sooner. So just stick the wheel on, call it good and let him/her go ride to exhaustion.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  20. #20
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've come to my senses. Going to Universal Cycle tommorrow, buying the Sun CR-18 rim with the 2mm excess width, buying a handlebar that doesn't require reaming the stem, buying everything else I need (chainrings, derailleurs, cable, pads, seat clamp), and getting the wheel built and the bike up and running ASAP.

    I'm dragging this out too long and he's growing all the while.

    Here's the frame we're talking about, BTW.


  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Other than Peer pressure, just need to accommodate the right tire..

    Ibis made a great Mountain bike in the 90's 24" rear 26" front wheel..
    new stuff, a 29" front, 24" rear would be cool..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-15-12 at 01:30 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    new stuff, a 29" front, 24" rear would be cool..
    Don't know about 29/24 but there have been a few 29/26 MTBs made.

  23. #23
    Dirt junkie. SnowJob's Avatar
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    Holy crap that is a beautiful frameset! Post some pics of the complete bike when you finish her, will ya?

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the 24/26 Ibis, was a Mountain Trials bike, smaller wheel , shorter chainstays . stronger rear wheel.

  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I believe that bike came with 27 inch wheels, at least the one I had that was identical in size did.

    Just double checked the catalogs, in the USA, a 1974 UJ10 came with 27 inch wheels. Perhaps yours is a different model, or from a different era. None of them took modern MTB wheel size (to my knowledge).
    Last edited by wrk101; 04-15-12 at 02:09 PM.

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