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  1. #1
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    Can these 27" Wheels be Trusted?

    Has anyone bought the cheap (~$32) generic Bike Catalog 27" wheels? They are on Weinman 209 rims and have unknown hubs. It scares me that these wheels are also available with cheesy electroplated spokes for $8 less than the normal stainless steel spoked version.

    HOWEVER, a 36 spoke wheel, even if only on a single-wall rim, should be pretty sturdy, right? And how awful do you think the hubs could be? Worse than on entry-level bikes these days?

    Does anyone have direct experience with these wheels, which are universally available from QBP/Quality Wheelsmith or whatever the big catalogs are?




    Weinmann 27x1-1/4, 219, Front, Q/R, Silver, Alloy, Wheel
    Your Price: $31.32
    Weinmann 27x1-1/4 219
    # Front Quick Release
    # 36-Hole Hub
    # 14-Guage Stainless Steel Spokes
    # Silver Alloy Wheel (Pair shown)


    I know I should just spend the cash on getting some quality wheels built up, but I hate to put that much money into the old bike. I'm a grad student, so it's not like I've got tons of disposable income. If they roll well enough for commuting and casual riding purposes, I'll be satisfied. I won't be satisfied if they fall apart within the month, of course!

  2. #2
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    I'd not be too concerned. Get the cone wrenches so you can properly adjust and service the hubs. My guess is that that should be repacked and greased. Then they should be good to go for some miles.

    Have the wheels tensioned and trued.

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    Oh dang I'm on this one.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
    I'd not be too concerned. Get the cone wrenches so you can properly adjust and service the hubs. My guess is that that should be repacked and greased. Then they should be good to go for some miles.

    Have the wheels tensioned and trued.
    We don't even know if the hubs are serviceable. What if they have really cheesy non-serviceable hubs with terrible bearings inside? That's why I was hoping someone that had actual experience with such wheels would chime in. If they are serviceable wheels with cups and cones that would be a huge relief...

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrackSmart View Post
    We don't even know if the hubs are serviceable. What if they have really cheesy non-serviceable hubs with terrible bearings inside? That's why I was hoping someone that had actual experience with such wheels would chime in. If they are serviceable wheels with cups and cones that would be a huge relief...
    You are thinking too hard. If this is your budget, these wheels will work OK.

    If you need cheap wheels, these will work. Who cares if they are non-serviceable hubs? Terrible bearings? I have seen hubs with low-quality bearings, but they still go round and round when you add grease and start spinning. Not as good as high-quality bearings, of course, but these wheels are cheaper than some hubs alone.

    If your tastes are higher scale, just lay down more dough and get better wheels.
    Mike

  6. #6
    Fred Zen Kabloink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrackSmart View Post
    We don't even know if the hubs are serviceable. What if they have really cheesy non-serviceable hubs with terrible bearings inside? That's why I was hoping someone that had actual experience with such wheels would chime in. If they are serviceable wheels with cups and cones that would be a huge relief...
    I bought a pair of the low priced 700x35 Weinman wheels with ss spokes a couple years ago. The ones for around $30 each. They came with a serviceable no name alloy hub. The hubs on mine are cheap and not sealed, but I haven't had any problem with the hubs or spokes yet. Though, the first thing I did was to grease and adjust the hubs before using the wheels.
    Everyone is a Fred in their own special way

    I'll tell you the meaning of life, but first you have to promise not to laugh... "Frank & Earnest"

  7. #7
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    I've had those wheels before. They do their job.
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k View Post
    I've had those wheels before. They do their job.
    Were the hubs on the ones you received serviceable hubs (cup and cone type)?

    How are the rims holding up after putting some miles on them?

    These wheels use the same rims as the $100/pr wheels that Harris Cyclery sells. I wonder if they use the same hubs, too (i.e. are the same wheel).

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    By the way, thanks for the replies received so far!


    * Would 32-spoke Alex X404 rims and generic hubs be any better? I've seen those available for around $40 per wheel. Or is it half-dozen of one, six of the other with these generic single-walled wheelsets?
    Last edited by TrackSmart; 06-02-08 at 09:34 AM.

  10. #10
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    I put those wheels on the wifes mixte and they work just fine, no way they are as good as a Mavic but they are perfectly serviceable and roll surprisingly smooth
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrackSmart View Post
    By the way, thanks for the replies received so far!


    * Would 32-spoke Alex X404 rims and generic hubs be any better? I've seen those available for around $40 per wheel. Or is it half-dozen of one, six of the other with these generic single-walled wheelsets?


    SO, I finally got smart and called the LBS. They were skeptical last time I was there and asked about 27" tires, so I figured they were not vintage-friendly. HOWEVER, they were able to order Alex X404 Wheelsets with Cup-and-Cone hubs for $80 total (front and rear). AND they will arrive by tomorrow. It's a low-end wheelset, but they assured me that they are pretty sturdy.

    Moral of the story, always check with your LBS first!
    Last edited by TrackSmart; 06-02-08 at 06:53 PM.

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    Well thanks for alerting me of this deal though.
    I feel that they're good enough for me so I'll certainly think about buying some.
    I'm unfamiliar with ordering from catalogs, would these be the ones that bike shops order from?
    If so, they would likely me ordering a number of items, and shipping wouldn't be very high right?

    Thank you.

  13. #13
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    yea I've got one of these arriving tomorrow, destined to replace the rear wheel on my single speed, hopefully I can get everything in order for next weekend's ms150. do these wheels come with any dish by default? I'm hoping I can just screw on the bmx freewheel and call it a day without having the wheel redished. it's replacing a old araya rim and no name hub the old rim needs truing and the old axle is bent. i figured it would be cheaper to buy a new wheel and have the old one as a backup after I overhaul it in my leisure time. this bike is my workhorse and although i have another bike can't afford to have this one out of commission.

  14. #14
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    pretty sure they were servicable hubs. Sold the wheels after about 800mi of use. Was looking for a sligthly narrower rim for my 27" wheel'ed bike.
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  15. #15
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    Those are good quality hook sided rims. They are much better than the old 1970's Weinmann rims I have laced to a nice set of Campy hubs. The old ones were smooth sided rims without a hollow section to make them stiffer. Tires would blow off if pumped to more than 80 psi. At the low price these new ones go for I might have to buy a set.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastershake916 View Post
    Well thanks for alerting me of this deal though.
    I feel that they're good enough for me so I'll certainly think about buying some.
    I'm unfamiliar with ordering from catalogs, would these be the ones that bike shops order from?
    If so, they would likely me ordering a number of items, and shipping wouldn't be very high right?

    Thank you.

    I ended up buying a similar wheelset locally (most bike shops can get either the Alex X404 or the Weinmann 219 wheels from their parts suppliers). They cost about the same as ordering online ($64 + $21 shipping compared to $80 + sales tax when purchased locally).

    So, if your local shop has them marked up way more than their cost, you can go online and get them for about the same price even with shipping included.

    *** NOTE: Beware of the UCP plated spokes! Get the wheels that cost $8 more and have stainless steel spokes that won't rust!!! $30-$35 is still pretty cheap for a wheel, so "splurge" and get the stainless spokes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickDraw View Post
    yea I've got one of these arriving tomorrow, destined to replace the rear wheel on my single speed, hopefully I can get everything in order for next weekend's ms150. do these wheels come with any dish by default? I'm hoping I can just screw on the bmx freewheel and call it a day without having the wheel redished. it's replacing a old araya rim and no name hub the old rim needs truing and the old axle is bent. i figured it would be cheaper to buy a new wheel and have the old one as a backup after I overhaul it in my leisure time. this bike is my workhorse and although i have another bike can't afford to have this one out of commission.
    These rims are dished to fit a 6-speed freewheel. I'm not sure what the chainline would be, but it would probably be similar to most 5-speed or 6-speed older wheels. You could have gotten a Track wheel if you had wanted to. That might have come dished appropriately out-of-the-box. Though I don't know much about single-speeds, so I may be giving a very bad opinion here!

    Here are the 27" track versions of these wheels for about $50:

    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...ry/wheel-track

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k View Post
    pretty sure they were servicable hubs. Sold the wheels after about 800mi of use. Was looking for a sligthly narrower rim for my 27" wheel'ed bike.
    I really like the wide rims! I run 1-1/4" tires for general riding, which inspire more confidence on poor roads or gravelly corners. But I especially like that I can run 1-3/8" cyclocross tires on them and be able to take gravel paths, fire roads, and non-technical trails with some confidence.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Caferacernoc's Avatar
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    So, would this freewheel:
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...ttes-freewheel
    Work with one of those cheap wheels like this:
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...=wheel-27_inch
    ?
    Or do you need to pick a 5 or 6 speed?
    Thanks.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Caferacernoc's Avatar
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    In other words, I'm ordering those wheels, which of these freewheels should I get to go with it?
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...ttes-freewheel

    or

    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...?item=01-94974

    Thanks.
    1988 Waterford built Schwinn Paramount, 1985 Schwinn Peloton,
    1981 Schwinn Traveler, 1977 Schwinn Le Tour II,
    And for my wife: Green '70's Motobecane Mixte and a Gitane Mixte!

    "That's easy - the universal rule - the number of bikes you need is N + 1 where N is the number you own now."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caferacernoc View Post
    ....Or do you need to pick a 5 or 6 speed?
    It will go on, but the chain line will be off and the dish will also be off. I have one on my '89 World Sport and its been okay for 300 or so miles. If you con afford aluminum wheels though I'd go for them for better braking. Otherwise use Kool Stop's. I can get the rear wheel to come off the ground with kool stop's on the front.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caferacernoc View Post
    In other words, I'm ordering those wheels, which of these freewheels should I get to go with it?
    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...ttes-freewheel

    or

    http://www.bikepartsusa.com/bikepart...?item=01-94974

    Thanks.

    It depends on the frame of your bike. If you have 126mm spacing (most 6-speeds) AND you have enough clearance with the chainstays (i.e. the chain won't hit your frame when moving to the lowest gear on the 7 speed, which is wider), then the 7 speed will work fine! Occasionally this requires removing a spacer from the non-freewheel side of your axle and putting it on the outside of the freewheel side of your axle. This creates a little more room on that side for the extra gear.

    Your derailleur will most likely take care of the chainline, so that's not a problem! This isn't a singlespeed afterall! Geared bikes are supposed to run chainlines that are not straight.

    If the 28t low gear is a bigger cog than you currently have on the bike, you may need to lengthen your chain by a few links (otherwise you will lock up the derailleur in certain gear ratios).

  23. #23
    Stop reading my posts! unworthy1's Avatar
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    another little tip: I had some cheepo replacement wheels (no-name hubs laced to a wide Alex alloy rim, cost maybe $40 each from a LBS) and the first thing I did was open them up to repack and adjust them. These hubs had ball bearings in RACES which I immediately replaced with (new grade 25) loose balls, then new grease (Finish Line) and adjustment. They spun 100% better than before...but as soon as I could afford better wheels I replaced the replacements.

  24. #24
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    Just Picked Up the New Rims!!! Boy are they Rough!

    Quote Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
    another little tip: I had some cheepo replacement wheels (no-name hubs laced to a wide Alex alloy rim, cost maybe $40 each from a LBS) and the first thing I did was open them up to repack and adjust them. These hubs had ball bearings in RACES which I immediately replaced with (new grade 25) loose balls, then new grease (Finish Line) and adjustment. They spun 100% better than before...but as soon as I could afford better wheels I replaced the replacements.

    So, the rims I picked up turned out to be 36-spokes, Alex AP Rim, and Quando Sealed-Bearing Hubs.

    GOOD: They are pretty true and seem well tensioned; The Alex rims seem sturdy - they are the same rims spec'd on $400-$600 mountain bikes. Also, though these are single-wall, they have a u-shaped profile that should make them significantly more resistant to flat-spots.

    BAD: These sealed bearing hubs are soooo gritty feeling compared to hubs on the Shimano Araya wheels they are replacing. Even the one with the pitted cones is smoother feeling (though it clicks audibly with every revolution). I had asked if they'd be "cup and cone" hubs or sealed, the LBS had told me "cup and cone". He was obviously wrong. I REALLY wish I could put some new grease and smoother bearings in there, although it might not help if the cones and cups are roughly machined...

    OVERALL: It's nice to have wheels without flat spots, major 'hop', clicking hubs, and spokes that are so dead they are impossible to true anymore. However, I am disappointed at the roughness of these modern sealed hubs. I didn't expect dura-ace quality, but I expected them to be moderately smooth by virtue of being brand new. Overall, it's still far better than the beaten-to-death old wheelset and for a cheap price!

    Based on the model number, here they are:

    http://www.statruwheels.com/wheeldetail.php?id=118

    http://www.statruwheels.com/wheeldetail.php?id=115
    Last edited by TrackSmart; 06-03-08 at 11:12 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivesjd View Post
    It will go on, but the chain line will be off and the dish will also be off. I have one on my '89 World Sport and its been okay for 300 or so miles. If you con afford aluminum wheels though I'd go for them for better braking. Otherwise use Kool Stop's. I can get the rear wheel to come off the ground with kool stop's on the front.
    The wheel he linked to was aluminum (not steel), so that's not an issue. Also, the small difference in dish between normal 6 and 7 speed wheels would be unlikely to be a problem. Even older derailleurs should be able to handle the difference without a problem.

    However, if he has 120mm spacing (older-generation 5-speeds), then things are different. He'll have to "spring" the rear chainstays open a little bit to use these wheels, which are spaced for 126mm dropouts. Not a big deal, really, but he may not have enough clearance to run a 7-speed. He might still be able to run a 6-speed, but it's not guaranteed either, UNLESS, he got one of the more rare skinny 6-speed clusters they used to make, which fit in 120mm frames (check ebay for suntour ultra 6 speeds I think).

    Edit: lots of suntour ultra 6 freewheels are on ebay it seems
    Last edited by TrackSmart; 06-03-08 at 11:20 PM.

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