I recently got a 1972 Raleigh Sports for about 30 bucks and I'm looking to make it into a tourer/commuter, and I need to get rid of the steel wheels. The thing is I'm 16 and I don't want to spend money buying and building my own 590mm wheels.
By my calculations it would be possible to build a set of standard 26" wheels and have them work with a set of new brakes, and I'd like some confirmation that I am right, or maybe just someone to tell me that it won't work.
I measured the calipers on my bike right now and it seems like the reach is about 72 mm. The largest caliper I can find is a 95mm reach on Sheldon Brown's website. Going from 590 to 559 would require about 15-16 mm more reach, within the range of the calipers.
I also plan to keep the old SA hub in the rear as well as the front hub, because Raleigh spacing was quite a bit narrower than it is now. As long as the number of holes are the same for rims and hubs this should be ok, right?
Thanks in advance for any help you guys can give me!