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Old 01-21-11, 02:10 PM   #1
20grit
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A confession about wheels/tires

I'm in the process of building up my Gazelle. I bought a set of tubular wheels, Campy Barcelona with a sort of 5 sided polygonal look to the outside. This gives them a fairly deep look when they're really not all that deep. They're a sort of brushed aluminum look. So then I buy a set of Gommitalia Espresso tires which are a nice solid black tire. I stretched them on (my first ever mounting of tubular tires) without gluing. When I put the wheels on the bike... I realize I cannot stand the way it looks. The only obvious solution is to get black rims for the black tires and some gum walls for the brushed aluminum. Seems a bit spendy, but I was planning on getting a lighter set of wheels anyway, as well as a set of clinchers for the bike.

Anyone else have similar experiences?
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Old 01-21-11, 02:16 PM   #2
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Yep. First time I put tires on my Varsity Grocery Getter 26" fat tire conversion I used some Kenda 2.125" whitewall tires and absolutely hated the way they looked. Within a few hours I rode it down to the LBS to buy replacements that looked better. Bontrager 2.25" whitewalls fit the bill much nicer. I didn't care that I paid way too much for the set of tires..the instant gratification of having my bike look right to me was worth it.


Get some Challenge tubulars.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:22 PM   #3
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Worried about aesthetics only?
Just ride it. I had orange and black tires on an aluminum Vitus for awhile because they were on my only campy wheels. Hideous, but somehow the bike kept rolling.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:29 PM   #4
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if you can afford it, buy what makes you happy. and then flip the old stuff to recoup some of what you spent.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:38 PM   #5
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I put yellow Panaracer clinchers on a bike because I thought it would look good with the yellow decals etc. on the frame & parts. After a bunch of miles the tires looked pretty ratty. Just changed to basic black, looks much better.

For tubulars, though, don't worry about it. Just ride them until you get a flat, then change them. In my experience, you won't have to wait too long!
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Old 01-21-11, 02:47 PM   #6
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Get Continental Tubulars, the best for the money and really looks great! I agree, if it's ugly it spoils the look!
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Old 01-21-11, 02:50 PM   #7
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Worried about aesthetics only?
I'm an architect intern; aesthetics are a bit of an obsession in life.
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Old 01-21-11, 03:07 PM   #8
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On keeper bikes, I routinely make changes for aesthetics reasons. Why not? As long as it fits the budget, go for it. Small minor defects tend to eat at me, I am not satisfied until it looks "right" to me. On home restoration projects, I have gone as far as demolishing a finished repair and starting over as it just didn't look right (no one else would have noticed, but every time I walked by it, the defect jumped out at me....).
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Old 01-21-11, 03:57 PM   #9
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I am not satisfied until it looks "right" to me.
Most important person and frequently the Hardest to please.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:01 PM   #10
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Wheels are pretty crucial to the look of a bike. I found a great deal on some lighter than a fart 700s with a 9 speed cassette. My bike really rode well with them but they just didn't fill the fenders all the way. So back to the 27"s and a 5 speed freewheel. Looks much better.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:13 PM   #11
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Since we are into confessions, I do not think that I have ever owned a really good set of tires.

Generally, I use used hoops, but only those that are in good shape. I will, however, spring for a set of new tires, now and again, but usually those that best fit my wallet, as opposed to my quest for ride quality.

Look at my Cyclops. I built the bike up for test riding only and intend to go right through it, perhaps this winter. But the bike rides great and the cracked red tires, well? I am kinda getting a liking for them too...
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Old 01-21-11, 06:55 PM   #12
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Anyone else have similar experiences?
Absolutely.

I just changed tires from Vittoria Rubino Pro to Vredestein Fortezza Tri Comp to get the right shade of yellow.
Then, I didn't like the decals on the wheelset, so I swapped to the same model wheelset with different decals.
Of course, then I had to swap yellow valve caps over, too. Then the wrap. Then the saddle.

It happens.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:42 PM   #13
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Ok, spent last night putting fat 700s on my 1950 Schwinn clunker. I'm thinking poor man's 29er. Nah, back to the 26s. I wonder how many nights I've spent mixing and matching wheels and frames.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:43 PM   #14
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I agree these days aesthetics are very important. I like my bikes to look a certain way and tan skinwalls are the way to go. I do have one set of wheels with black sidewall tubulars but that is how they came. as those flat I'll put tan sidewall tubulars on them
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Old 01-22-11, 06:01 AM   #15
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really? i always hate the look of blackwalls. must be for the young, cause thems ugly any way you slice it. they look cheap as hell to me.

black rims are truly hideous. gp4's or anodized-- meh.. alright.. on 80's bikes. but ug.. tan sidewalls or bust.
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Old 01-22-11, 08:19 AM   #16
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Yes! skinwalls forever!

Schwalbe Milano tubs for me! Light, fast, lovely, nice quality and easy on the wallet!

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Old 01-22-11, 09:22 AM   #17
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I'm neither a tan or a blackwall guy. It depends on the bike, really. The tans really clash with my Kool Lemon Schwinn but the black does sort of look out of place on my chrome lugged Raleigh, like those hot rods back in the 80s where they'd take off some of the chrome and paint it flat black to look like an 80s car.
I don't really miss the 80s. Too much black plastic.
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