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  1. #1
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    Relace or replace a classic wheel

    Ok, I guess I'm considered a clyde at 260#, but that's down from 345 so pbpbtt... :-)

    I have a '76 Schwinn LeTour steel road bike that I bought a couple years ago, fixed up, and am having a ball with. It's generally in great shape, but I've upgraded/replaced the brakes (levers and calipers), pedals, chain, seat, tires, etc...

    Anyways, I noticed three broken rear spokes on my last ride. I'm not sure if I did something during the ride, or if it happened over time. I still had about 6 miles left on my ride, but made it home ok.

    The wheels are 27" aluminum, and seem pretty solid so I was thinking about having all of the spokes and nipples replaced since they've had 37 years worth of wear and tear (or storage... like I said it was in great shape).

    What I'm wondering is if I would be better off buying a new wheel, or will a "classic" style with new spokes actually be a stronger wheel? There isn't as much available in the 27" size so I'm worried about less spokes and cheaper/lighter material resulting in a weaker wheel.

    I'm probably going to start communting about 10 miles each way in a couple months, so durability and hauling my fat a$$ around is more important than sleakness.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    The SUN CR-18 is a great rim and is available in 27" and 36 hole. Don't let the low price fool you, it's a VERY strong box section rim.

    If you go with a 700c rim, you may end up having to replace the brake calipers (again) unless you have room to drop the brake pads an additional 4mm.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    I guess I only gave HALF of an answer there. I'm assuming that you still have a freewheel. The first item on this page is a real bargain in a pre-built wheelset:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels/630.html

    It's spaced correctly for your frame, has a hub for the old-school freewheel, has cartridge bearing hubs, and has super-strong Sun rims.

    For $159, you can't go wrong.

    And the "Not recommended for riders over 200lbs" warning is BS. For commuting and road riding, these wheels are plenty strong. I've used those rims for off-road (cyclocross) riding.

  4. #4
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I did it with these, http://www.amazon.com/700C-II-36-Hol.../dp/B0017SC3KE, $31.11 a rim. Terrific upgrade for my vintage commuter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I did it with these, http://www.amazon.com/700C-II-36-Hol.../dp/B0017SC3KE, $31.11 a rim. Terrific upgrade for my vintage commuter.
    The M13 is a great rim too... but they are narrow. I wouldn't ride those unless I was closer to 160 lbs.

  6. #6
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    With my bike loaded with work stuff, about 240#. No issues. 1 1/8th of the front 1 1/4 on the rear.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    With my bike loaded with work stuff, about 240#. No issues. 1 1/8th of the front 1 1/4 on the rear.
    I stand corrected, and thank you for that information! I think I now know what I'm going to try on my NEXT build.

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    I definitely want to stay with 27" for now. The tires are fairly new, and I already had to get the long reach calipers when I replaced the center pulls. I may still have enough room for a 700c, but I'm not sure I want to risk it at this point.

    It seems to me like buying a new rim (and possibly hub) will pretty much put me in the same place with labor and parts (at higher cost) as just replacing the spokes. The Harris set is pretty nice, but do they sell singles? My front wheel is fine.

    The comparison I'm most curious about is a LBS hand laced old wheel vs. an off-the-shelf machine built wheel.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboo View Post
    The comparison I'm most curious about is a LBS hand laced old wheel vs. an off-the-shelf machine built wheel.
    10 years ago, I would have said to avoid machine-built wheels like the plague. Now, they really aren't bad at all. In fact... with the money you save from getting a machine built wheel, I would ride for a bit to "break it in" and then take it to a shop to have it trued/tensioned later if it needs it. You get the "best of both worlds".

    And here is a rear-only wheel:
    http://www.niagaracycle.com/categori...d-fw-qr-silver

  10. #10
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    The OP should bite the bullet and go for 700c wheels even if the 27 inch tires are "new." I'd talk with a bike shop; you may find that there is no need to buy new brakes. It will be a lot easier finding rims and tires once you go to 700c.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TampaRaleigh's Avatar
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    The Panaracer Pasela is readily available in 27", and it's a fabulous tire.

  12. #12
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    I run some Wienmann 27" rims that I bought brand new. Not sure of the spoke count exactly but I am sure it is in the 30s. And it has held my (at times) 260 lb frame and never broke a spoke. Probably have 2000 miles on them over 2 seasons and I paid $75 for the pair.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  13. #13
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboo View Post
    I definitely want to stay with 27" for now. The tires are fairly new, and I already had to get the long reach calipers when I replaced the center pulls. I may still have enough room for a 700c, but I'm not sure I want to risk it at this point.

    It seems to me like buying a new rim (and possibly hub) will pretty much put me in the same place with labor and parts (at higher cost) as just replacing the spokes. The Harris set is pretty nice, but do they sell singles? My front wheel is fine.

    The comparison I'm most curious about is a LBS hand laced old wheel vs. an off-the-shelf machine built wheel.
    I much prefer 27" over 700c. So, I consider going 700 downgrading a bike. I meant to link to the Sun 27" rims: http://www.amazon.com/Rim-Alloy-Sun-...words=sun+rims or the 36h here: http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Alloy-Poli...ds=sun+rims+27

    Sorry, quick linking has its faults.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 06-16-13 at 12:03 PM.

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