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Old 12-28-12, 03:34 PM   #1
intensebeet
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80's Raleigh Capri Wheels and Gears

So I came home the other day to see that someone stole the wheels off my bike. I was pissed at the time but now that I'm looking at the cost of wheels I'm even more upset. I bought this bike a year and a half ago and it has served me well. It had been well taken care of and still had the original wheels and gears and everything. What do I need to buy to replace what was stolen and is there a way to do this somewhat cheaply? The prices I'm seeing online for a set of wheels are more than the bike is worth. Since the wheels are gone I'm unsure what size/type I'm looking for and what I have to do to replace the rear gear hub.

Any advice or direction to point me in is appreciated!

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Old 12-28-12, 05:09 PM   #2
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Well, I'm not sure what size wheels that bike takes, but a bike shop may be able to order you a new set in the correct size. I would imagine from the age that it's most likely designed for 27" wheels, which I know my co-op can order, new, for about £15 for a rear and probably a bit less for a front. We can get most other sizes as well, and we buy from the same distributer as most of the bike shops around here. Also, the old wheels may well have had steel rims, which give very poor braking in wet conditions, whereas the new ones will have aluminium rims, which are much better in terms of wet weather braking.

Regarding the gears, those stem shifters are most likely what's known as friction shifters - they don't have any definite "clicks" to line up with the gears, so you should be able to use almost any setup, although you may need to adjust the limit screws on the rear derailleur. From the age of the bike, it was probably using a 5- or 6-speed freewheel on the rear. These are still available, and I'd suggest getting one, as it'll probably be the cheapest way to go.
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Old 12-28-12, 06:17 PM   #3
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80s would be 7 speed most likely. maybe 8 speed if it was mid to late 80s.

is this a 'mountain bike' or a drop bar 'road bike' or what? <--- ignore this, I looked at the pictures

take a metric ruler, and measure how many millimeters between the 'rear dropouts' (where the rear axle mounted). that could be 125, 127, 130, or 135mm depending on the bike. (135mm was mountain bike, while the others were various iterations of road bikes).

measure from the center of where the wheel axle was to the middle of the brake pads. this will let us figure out what diameter wheels you had.

edit; oops. I should look at pic BEFORE speaking its probably a 120 or 125 rear spacing. any new 'road' wheel will likely be 130mm, but steel frames are pretty easy to spread. its probably 27" wheels, too, which are getting increasingly hard to find.. if you get a 'freewheel' hub, you can put 6 or 7 speeds on it, if you get a 'freehub' hub that takes cassettes, then 7 or 8 speeds. 8 speeds with friction shifting can be a bit fidgetty.

Last edited by pierce; 12-28-12 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 12-28-12, 06:24 PM   #4
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Leave room in your budget for a good lock(s) and possibly a sturdy cable and use it properly to avoid a thief stealing your new wheelset.
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Old 12-28-12, 06:37 PM   #5
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You'll need 27 " wheels for her as well a 5 or 6 speeds freewheel .Check out Amazon. com for what you need .
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Old 12-28-12, 09:15 PM   #6
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Measure the space between the rear dropouts 120mm would mean it was 5 speed in back 126mm would let you run 6 speed both would have been a freewheel rear hub. If it's like my Mom's 80's Capri it would have been 27" steel rims. Now is the perfect time to upgrade to Aluminium wheels. I would look on craigs list, yard sales, etc for a donor bike or used wheels. I've picked up complete bikes with great donor parts for $30-40. Bring a magnet and buy rims that the magnet doesn't stick to.
Stuff like this you get the wheels and extra parts or sell the rest for $20.
http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3452282613.html

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/bik/3507064335.html
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Old 12-28-12, 11:39 PM   #7
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Don't forget you'll also need tires and inner tubes.
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Old 12-29-12, 04:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help everyone. The old ones were steel that I had thought about replacing at some point due to the braking issue but for the time being they worked alright with new brake pads which is the only thing I'd had to do to the bike since I bought it. Being forced to buy wheels now is what upsets me. The bike is a ten speed and yes it has friction shifters so I think I need a 5 speed freewheel, right? I don't have a metric ruler but there seems to be consensus on the 27" wheels. I know I need tires and tubes too; those don't give me sticker shock though like looking up wheels did. I've been scouring Craigslist so I will continue to do so to see if I can find something to steal wheels off of. There's a big bicycling community here though and I haven't had much luck with it in the past. And my bike was chained up at the time but I had only chained the frame. It was at my house behind bushes that are tall enough that no one just walking by could see my bike from the road or sidewalk. I guess I need to invest in a hook to hang it up in my apartment instead now though...
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Old 12-29-12, 06:37 PM   #9
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yes you 'll need a 5 speeds freewheel to go into the frame .Anything bigger you need to spread the frame . with the new front wheel you will have to spread the forks or play around with the locknuts,spacer,& cones to fit.
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Old 12-29-12, 07:09 PM   #10
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Anything you buy new is going to push this beyond what it might be worth.

In your shoes, I'd follow the advice above to figure out what I needed; axle width, No. of speeds, and 27" vs 700c. Then do the rounds of garage sales looking for a bike with the right wheels. Since you only want the wheels, make sure they're OK, and give the rest only a quick once over.

You should be able to get a pair of wheels, with tires and freewheel for far less that buying new. And you'll have the rest of the bike to pick over for spares.

BTW- another good source for wheels is the local bike co-op. These often get damaged and incomplete bikes donated, and odds are they'll at least have a front wheel at a decent price. Even if you have to buy a new rear wheel, you'll be that much farther.
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Old 12-30-12, 12:39 AM   #11
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measure it in inches within 1/16th inch, and we can convert to mm. the front fork is probably easiest.. measure from the centerline of where the axle used to be to the middle of the brake pad when the brakes are held about 1/2way to the bars (about where they would have been touching the rims. get that within 1/16th inch, and multiply by 25.4 to get the radius in millimeters. multiply that by 2 to get the diameter and you should get the approximate wheel size. 700c is 622mm. 27" is 630mm. 26" is 559mm. on a real wheel, this is measured from the seat of the bead, which is about 1/4" from the edge of the rim, and just about where the middle of the brake pads should be, assuming the brakes were reasonably well adjusted.
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