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  1. #1
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    Building a new 27" wheelset, what to look for?

    I'm trying to replace an old helicomatic freewheel/hub wheelset that came with my Trek 420 Touring bike.

    I need a new set of wheels for a week long tour of California coming up, but I'm not familiar with the 27" size wheels, and I'm also having a difficult time finding any wheel sets online.

    Can anyone recommend some decent wheel and hub combinations to look out for? I'm not looking for something dirt cheap, just something sturdy (36 spoke) with long lasting quality parts. Good looks and period matching parts count too...

    Note: I'm not looking to convert to a 700c.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sunburst's Avatar
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    This has been recommended many times here. I'm thinking about buying the rear (I've got a good front) and putting some Panaracer Pasela TG's on it, for my town bike.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...oad+Wheel.aspx

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    Rim choices are very limited. Sun CR-18 rims come in 27" size and I believe are your best bet for touring wheels.

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    Thanks for the advise. So I'm leaning towards the Sun CR-18's (36 spoke). Anyone have a hub recommendation? I thought I read once that the width of the rear wheel was different than a 700c and requires a different size hub?

  5. #5
    Wrench Savant balindamood's Avatar
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    Nope. You can lace almost any hub to any rim. The only things you need to worry about hubs (other than front or rear) are # of spokes and axle spacing (generally on the rear). I presume that your 520 is most likey 126mm rear spacing (you ought to check...it will likely be +/-2mm) which will accomodate nearly any screw-on type freewheel hubs and older road free-hubs. If you want more gears/newer stuff, then there are means to adjust things...but this may be farther than you want to go to just replace the Heliocromatic rear hub.
    "Where you come from is gone;
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  6. #6
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Velocity also makes a 27" rim.

    I've got the Suns and they are VERY shiny. No troubles so far.


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    While I didn't use the wheels from Jenson, I did buy the Alex 404 rims from Nashbar and laced them to an extra pair of Schwinn hubs for my '72 Continental. $14.99 each for the rims. I only have a few miles on them because I also switched out the crank and I'm hunting for a front derailleur, but they seem to be a solid and true pair of wheels.

    Walt

  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Hello if I my inject my two cents here. the purpose here is get rid of you Heliomatic freewheel right?

    first you need a new freewheel.

    building new wheels will require you to get new hubs, spokes, and rims, plus labor. I recently had a hub rebuilt to a new rim. the rim was $35 (a great deal for a tubular Reflex) $2 ea for 32 spokes and $35 labor. you are looking at about $60-70 before you get a rim.

    I would look for a decent set of prebuilt wheels. I recently purchased a set of wheels from Ebikestop.com and I am very impressed with them.

    look at these wheels http://www.ebikestop.com/dimension_r..._3x-WE2727.php

    http://www.ebikestop.com/dimension_f..._3x-WE8690.php

    hope this helps you. OH is this bike is not index shifting is it? I do not think heliomatics ever did.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    building new wheels will require you to get new hubs, spokes, and rims, plus labor. I recently had a hub rebuilt to a new rim. the rim was $35 (a great deal for a tubular Reflex) $2 ea for 32 spokes and $35 labor.
    Um. Most spokes aren't $2 each. Last time I built a wheel I got some double butted wheelsmith spokes at my LBS for $.70. I imagine single gauge spokes are even cheaper. I can see paying $2 for some lightweight spokes, but you wouldn't want this for touring wheels. If you want to save on labor charges you can lace the wheels up yourself and just take them to a shop and have them true the wheels and properly tension the spokes for you.

    As for hubs, besides what has been mentioned here, you can also get a set of newer cassette hubs. If your bike is friction shifting it will work great with a new 8 speed cassette with the proper derailleur adjustment. And cassettes are easier to find and cheaper to replace than freewheels. Especially if you are looking for a wide range set of gears for touring. I personally have a few sets of wheels with newer shimano 105 hubs and they are very nice for the price. The 130mm spacing of newer hubs isn't really a problem, It should fit fine in the 126mm dropouts of your frame (that's only 2mm on each side, a miniscule amount to spread the steel). XT hubs seem to be the hubs of choice many people put on their touring bikes, but the rear on those are spaced at 135mm, and you might need to cold set your frame for that.

    Those dimension wheels don't look that durable and are probably machine built and I'd really be wary of using those wheels on a touring rig. They look good for generally updating a tired old 10 speed on the cheap though.
    Last edited by prof2k; 08-16-09 at 05:38 PM.

  10. #10
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolroflmaoafk View Post
    Thanks for the advise. So I'm leaning towards the Sun CR-18's (36 spoke). Anyone have a hub recommendation? I thought I read once that the width of the rear wheel was different than a 700c and requires a different size hub?
    One thing about the SUN rim is that it's double walled, which many of the other suggestions are not. These cost about $35 each plus shipping.

    You should also think about getting good quality spokes. Either DT Swiss or Wheelsmith doubled butted, which you can find on the internet for about $70 per box of 100.

    Hubs leave a lot of choice. I would shoot for a hub that was close to the width of the dropouts. I'm currently building a set of wheels with all of the above and using a vintage high-flange hub set. This might not be suitable for touring though... unless doing "credit card" touring. As suggested, you could even think about a strong modern hub that would fit an eight cog cassette. If the hub width is 130mm and your dropouts are 126, you could probably get away with just manually spreading the dropouts each time you change the wheel.

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