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  1. #1
    Member Archeomason's Avatar
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    Old Araya Steel Rims... worth a repair?

    The other day I was out riding my old Raleigh 10-speed when I hit a bit of a doozy of a bump. The front wheel survived just fine, but the rear wheel didn't. Immediately after the hit the rear was making a 'clack, clack, clack' sound and I saw that the rim (on one side) was pooched out about 1/2" over an area of about 1" of the rim. The wheel, surprisingly did not appear to have gone out of true however, I didn't check it too closely.

    I've read in some books that those old steel rims are prone to this happening and it's just as easy to just hammer the dent back into place. That's one option, however, I was wondering if that was going to #1 weaken the rim and #2 never be a straight braking surface again.

    Should I just replace the rim? According to these forums it sounds like it would be good just to replace the steel rims with aluminum ones (like the ones on Harris Cyclery for $99.95 a pair for a whole new wheelset). Or maybe just replace the rim alone.

    If simple hammering is a better option, what is a good technique for getting the rim as close to its original shape as possible that someone may have used in the past?

    Thanks for the help...
    Snakes... Why did it have to be snakes?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archeomason
    The other day I was out riding my old Raleigh 10-speed when I hit a bit of a doozy of a bump. The front wheel survived just fine, but the rear wheel didn't. Immediately after the hit the rear was making a 'clack, clack, clack' sound and I saw that the rim (on one side) was pooched out about 1/2" over an area of about 1" of the rim. The wheel, surprisingly did not appear to have gone out of true however, I didn't check it too closely.

    I've read in some books that those old steel rims are prone to this happening and it's just as easy to just hammer the dent back into place. That's one option, however, I was wondering if that was going to #1 weaken the rim and #2 never be a straight braking surface again.

    Should I just replace the rim? According to these forums it sounds like it would be good just to replace the steel rims with aluminum ones (like the ones on Harris Cyclery for $99.95 a pair for a whole new wheelset). Or maybe just replace the rim alone.

    If simple hammering is a better option, what is a good technique for getting the rim as close to its original shape as possible that someone may have used in the past?

    Thanks for the help...
    Is an old Raleigh 10 speed with steel rims even worth a $100 wheelset, when you can find better rides at thrift stores and garage sales for $50 or less?

  3. #3
    Member Archeomason's Avatar
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    Well,
    I suppose you're right, however, this is a really big frame (63 cm) and I've had a lot of trouble finding one up to this point. I've kinda figured that I should keep with this one for a while... However, I suppose that I could always get a cheap older bike with good wheels for real cheap and just swap those out...
    Snakes... Why did it have to be snakes?

  4. #4
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Replace both wheels with aluminum (lighter and greater stopping power especially when wet) I have bought many bikes at thrift stores just for the wheelset.
    My last acquisition was a Fuji Sagres for $7 .....sweet.

  5. #5
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Aluminum rims are just plain better. I had an easy time getting a 12 speed with wheels in good shape for $10 in DC. I would try craigslist, a great source around here at least.
    My bikes | Linux and Python stuff | Photo gallery

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  6. #6
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    I agree, nostalgia aside aliminum is light years better. Araya made a few aluminum versions of the same profile as the steel ones you have, and I converted my sis's 74 roadie to them. The steel ones are just such a mainenance hog. The aluminum ones are stronger too. The faliure mode is different(they will crack rather than bend) but they are tougher. The set I got my sister was on sale at the bike shop for 35 for the pair since they can't clear too many of them and they were sitting around so long.

    I've actually Got a set in my shed if you want.
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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  7. #7
    JRA...
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    if you try to fix, don't hammer, bend, with an adjustable wrench or pliers. it's never going to be perfect, but you can probably get it good enough that you don't notice it in braking. and maybe consider running a larger tire and checking pressure more often. 63 cm means you're a big guy regardless of your build. no rim, steel or aluminum, should be prone to splaying with good tire size selection and pressure.

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