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  1. #1
    Senior Member cinco's Avatar
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    Before & After: Wheels

    These go to a Motobecane Grand Record I've been working on (not steadily) for the past month or so and the result after finishing the rear was so dramatic that I had to take some pictures. The front is still in as-found condition for contrast but I'll be getting around to that one in the next few days... sometime after I rebuild a freewheel. If anyone's curious about the Grand Record (I sure am) I'll be starting a quasi-identification thread about it soon since it's unlike any GR I've seen or can find information about.

    Here's what I've been doing for the past couple of evenings: Disassembled and cleaned; hub and rim polished on my buffing wheels with brown (tripoli) and then green compound; original spokes polished; nipples cleaned with stainless brush; reassembled, and a merry time was had by all. Simple, huh?

    Funny thing about reusing spokes - I don't do it often but I'll occasionally put in the effort when I want to keep something completely original. I've never had a single problem doing so and am not quite sure why everyone says not to. But then, I do keep them oriented by side and inner/outer so that the bends don't have much more chance of fatiguing than they've had for the past forty years. If they're in good shape to start with, tensioned properly, and not abused I'm reasonably confident that they'll last for another couple decades.










  2. #2
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    It looks great!

    Not everyone says not to reuse spokes, only those that don't know what they're talking about. Even Jobst Brandt says it's okay.

  3. #3
    Gearhead old's'cool's Avatar
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    Cinco, nice post!
    I don't have any qualms about replacing wear items like spokes with new on the bikes I ride (which is all of them) but I do have qualms about tearing down a perfectly good, true wheel to re-lace with new spokes just because the originals are rusty or dull. You have reinforced my intention to clean & polish the original wheels for my Empire Professional rather than tearing them down and rebuilding them. Not that I'm daunted by wheel building, but my spare time is in very short supply now and for the foreseeable future. It's easy enough to go the further step later, if necessary.
    Are those Weinmann 1-1/4" rims in your photos? They look very similar to a those on a wheelset I acquired for regular use on my Grand Jubilé, in order to save wear & tear on the original Rigida 27x1" rims.
    Geoff
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  4. #4
    Senior Member randyjawa's Avatar
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    For the longest time, I did not think that using used spokes, to build a wheel, would be a good idea. However, I did not mind replacing a broken spoke, with a used one, limiting my used ones to no more than two per wheel. Don't ask, just an arbitrary number I picked. Anyway...

    I noticed, over the years, that not one of the used spokes had ever broken. Now, we are not talking about dozens of examples, but enough for me to reconsider my opinion, on the subject. I should also add that spoke candidates are taken only from what appears to be low mileage wheel sets.

    So, I have built up the last few sets of wheels, for my own use, with used spokes. Since the wheels are for my bikes, I can monitor the way they perform. And, so far, so good.

    My Cyclops sports the most miles per used spoked wheel so far. And with no issues.

    Cyclops_TestBld_Triangle_1.jpg

    Anyway, that a cheap fellla's opinion on the subject. And, I might add, I have a few nice sets of double butted stainless steel spokes tucked away, just in case.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Corben's Avatar
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    I love before and after shots. Lookin Good!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thumpic's Avatar
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    WOW!!! That is exactly what I want to start doing with my rehabs. That is truly great work.........


    I'm so jealous........
    Thumpic....

    Green is the new "CHEAP"

  7. #7
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have rebuilt several wheels to replace ugly zinc-plated spokes w/ stainless steel.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  8. #8
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Amazing job, that wheel looks superb.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Senior Member peugeot mongrel's Avatar
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    That wheel looks great! I've been thinking about reusing spokes on some of my 27s. Polished wheels really put the sparkle back in an old bike. Here's my latest before & after, different hub of course, and I used new spokes. The front needs to match - I might just reuse the spokes.




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  10. #10
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    I have rebuilt several wheels to replace ugly zinc-plated spokes w/ stainless steel.
    That's one of my winter projects on one of my bikes. Can't wait to get it done. Might even use double butted instead of straight pull

  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    "Straight pull" means something completely different, but I know what you're trying to say.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Nice work, Cinco!
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    I prefer email to private messages. You can contact me at justinhughes@me.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member XLR99's Avatar
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    That's encouraging! I have a set of Suzue high flange hubs that look similar to the befores right now. I'm planning to rebuild them for my SuperCourse over the winter.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cinco's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the kind words of encouragement .

    Quote Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
    ...Are those Weinmann 1-1/4" rims in your photos? They look very similar to a those on a wheelset I acquired for regular use on my Grand Jubilé, in order to save wear & tear on the original Rigida 27x1" rims.
    They are indeed Weinmanns marked as 27x1-1/4 but they're slightly more narrow than I'm used to seeing on that "size" rim. Probably about halfway between what you have (presumably about the same size as an AL1320) and something normal like a Super Champion Model 58.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Tres' beau! That Normandy looks new. Thanks for the pics and, inspiration.

  16. #16
    Senior Member divineAndbright's Avatar
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    I was given a rear rim once and it had a campy freehub, decided to unlace it and rebuild it with a shimano hub so I could run it, the hub flanges were the same sizes, so I just said what the hell I'll reuse the spokes, few months later I started blowing spokes. I didnt know the original mileage on the wheel before i got it, but the spokes looked ok.
    So after that I always kinda have it in the back of my mind about reusing spokes, I don't think it would be a bad idea to at least sort them so the pulling spokes stay pulling spokes and vice versa.

  17. #17
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I love these polishing threads that are coming up... I've learned so much and have had a few nice results with some buffing wheels. I'd be interested in seeing the finished bike too.

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