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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-24-14, 08:34 AM   #1
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Question RE: vintage bikes & clydes

Hey, y'all. Been a while since I've posted.

I was getting my hybrid ready for this year's riding season when it was stolen. So, now the only bike I have is a vintage Fuji 12 speed (18, speed, really, someone added a front cog). I've done some upgrades to it (handlebars, brakes), but the back wheel is problematic. It's breaking spokes. I need to replace it. That's why I put the bike up and went back to riding the hybrid.

So, the Fuji has 27" wheels. I have read that the S12-S was a good candidate for a 700c conversion, but I have never done anything of that sort before. Since the rear derailleur is a 6 speed freewheel setup, finding something that I could convert to seems like it might be more of a PITA than it's worth.

So, what would you do (other than go find and maim a thief)? I could use a 27" Sun CR-18 dual wall rim and rebuild the back wheel using the original hub, or I could get a 700c dual wall rim and do the same thing - but that would mean replacing the front wheel as well.

Also, I'm not against the idea of rebuilding the wheel myself, but I've never done that before. I have a book called "The Bicycle Wheel" by Jobst Brandt. It gives fairly detailed wheel building instructions. I don't have a truing station or a tool to properly dish the wheel.

So......

Any suggestions? Have any of you built a wheel and are willing to offer a few tips?
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Old 03-24-14, 09:01 AM   #2
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Assuming the rear rim isn't shot (hard to tell when it's still built up) your best option is probably going to be to pay somebody to rebuild the wheel with new spokes. I'm currently struggling through a front wheel rebuilt but the difference between my situation and yours isn't experience or knowledge, it's that I have a spare so it's not costing me riding time.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:16 AM   #3
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Assuming the rear rim isn't shot (hard to tell when it's still built up) your best option is probably going to be to pay somebody to rebuild the wheel with new spokes. I'm currently struggling through a front wheel rebuilt but the difference between my situation and yours isn't experience or knowledge, it's that I have a spare so it's not costing me riding time.
Yeah. The rim is shot. I won't say what I did to make it so, but suffice to say it was....um...."pilot error".

Since I'm 300+ I for sure want to build it as bulletproof as I can. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I have a 32h or a 36h. Ah well. Guess I need to go count spokes.

If I need a new hub, anyone know where I can find a good freewheel 36h hub w/ a quick release?
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Old 03-24-14, 09:22 AM   #4
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If you want to stick with the Fuji, I would stick with 27" wheels. Maybe look for either a good vintage touring wheel (I once owned an 80s Schwinn Touring bike with a 40 spoke rear wheel and a 6 speed freewheel. Something like that would be perfect for you).
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Old 03-24-14, 09:24 AM   #5
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I would look for a strong 700c wheel and go that route. You don't have to change the front at the same time...
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Old 03-24-14, 09:26 AM   #6
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Yeah. The rim is shot. I won't say what I did to make it so, but suffice to say it was....um...."pilot error".

Since I'm 300+ I for sure want to build it as bulletproof as I can. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if I have a 32h or a 36h. Ah well. Guess I need to go count spokes.

If I need a new hub, anyone know where I can find a good freewheel 36h hub w/ a quick release?
I bought the one from "bikemanforu". It is a low end wheel but it has held up well. He is very accessible and stands behind his sales. I don't know about the other ones. caveat emptor

search for this on eBay 'Quick Release Bicycle 27x1 1/4 Rear Wheel Alloy Bike'

Last edited by slorollin; 03-24-14 at 09:27 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-24-14, 09:27 AM   #7
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It's not necessary to replace the front, unless you have a problem with mismatched rims.
Will your rear brake reach a 700c rim? Sometimes the "theoretical" 4mm greater brake reach needed can be problematic. (different rim contour "might" require another mm or 2 to have the proper "angle")
You can grind out the slot a bit with a Dremel if you need just a bit more.

I built a set or 27" CR-18's a little over a year ago for an early 70's 10 speed. (now a 27 speed)
I didn't feel like messing with the brakes (front didn't reach, rear did)
The frame was " spindly" enough that it easily spreads out to about 132-133mm allowing me to use a modern free hub.
The selection in 27" tires isn't as good as 700c, but I think it's adequate enough.
Wheels look good and the user loves them. Much better braking and appearance over the old chromed steel wheels.
The 27x1-1/4" tires are a good match for the CR-18, with plenty enough leeway to go a size different either way without problem.
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Old 03-24-14, 09:29 AM   #8
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I would look for a strong 700c wheel and go that route. You don't have to change the front at the same time...
27" wheel in the front, 700c in the back? I would think that might change how the bike handles.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:21 AM   #9
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it really depends on how much you want to spend... the cheapest quality way to go will be to have your rear wheel built up with a new quality rim, this is assuming that the hub is still in good condition... at my LBS i'd be looking at a bit over $100 for that.

an inexpensive new wheel as posted above is also worth looking into (as mentioned above)

for converting to 700c... you depending on how wild you want to go this could cost you a good bit of $$$ but at the same time you could easily move up to more gears with a stronger 130mm freehub... this would require pushing the rear triangle open a bit to get the wheel bit but it's not an issue on steel frames (it's how I have run my last two road bikes)... but taking advantage of that will mean a new cassette, chain, shifters, possibly rear derailleur etc... also you may require new calipers with proper reach for the slight change in diameter.

fixing/replacing the rear wheel with another 27" is likely the best way overall... run some big cushy touring tires (the panaracer paselas come to mind for 27") and enjoy the bike... if you want something better/newer save up while you are enjoying the vintage goodness
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Old 03-24-14, 10:28 AM   #10
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If you want to stick with the Fuji, I would stick with 27" wheels. Maybe look for either a good vintage touring wheel (I once owned an 80s Schwinn Touring bike with a 40 spoke rear wheel and a 6 speed freewheel. Something like that would be perfect for you).
Don't have much choice but to stick with the Fuji. It's a nice bike, but the top tube feels a little short for me so I had been thinking about putting some North Road style handlebars and a Brooks b66/67 (whichever is the right one - on the cell right now) and turning it into a (sort of) roadster.

What I would really like to do is get an old steel mtb frame and turn that into a commuter/urban bomber/expedition-adventure touring bike but it is hard to find a good frame in the right size for reasonable dough around here.
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Old 03-24-14, 12:07 PM   #11
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what you also need is change the brake calipers to long reach style. I had some tektro long reach when I converted my old nishiki from 27" to 700c single speed.

http://www.amazon.com/Tektro-R559-Ca.../dp/B006Z0OVWC


The real upside to converting is the tire selection, so if you plan to keep the bike than it would be worth it.
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Old 03-24-14, 01:54 PM   #12
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Still plenty of decent tires for 27" wheels.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:12 PM   #13
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it really depends on how much you want to spend... the cheapest quality way to go will be to have your rear wheel built up with a new quality rim, this is assuming that the hub is still in good condition... at my LBS i'd be looking at a bit over $100 for that.

an inexpensive new wheel as posted above is also worth looking into (as mentioned above)

for converting to 700c... you depending on how wild you want to go this could cost you a good bit of $$$ but at the same time you could easily move up to more gears with a stronger 130mm freehub... this would require pushing the rear triangle open a bit to get the wheel bit but it's not an issue on steel frames (it's how I have run my last two road bikes)... but taking advantage of that will mean a new cassette, chain, shifters, possibly rear derailleur etc... also you may require new calipers with proper reach for the slight change in diameter.

fixing/replacing the rear wheel with another 27" is likely the best way overall... run some big cushy touring tires (the panaracer paselas come to mind for 27") and enjoy the bike... if you want something better/newer save up while you are enjoying the vintage goodness
I don't see myself doing anything that would necessitate the replacement of the rear derailleur. I'm really happy w/ the old fashioned friction shifters and the suntour running gear. I was thinking that if I did switch to a 700c rim, I'd keep the freewheel hub in order to not have to worry at all about the derailleur, chain, new cassette, etc. At that point I need to worry about proper spoke length, quality of the rim (to hold up my big rear end), and proper assembly of the wheel itself - which I will need to do regardless.

If I do it myself.

Which I'd really like to learn how to do.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:17 PM   #14
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what you also need is change the brake calipers to long reach style. I had some tektro long reach when I converted my old nishiki from 27" to 700c single speed.

http://www.amazon.com/Tektro-R559-Ca.../dp/B006Z0OVWC


The real upside to converting is the tire selection, so if you plan to keep the bike than it would be worth it.
I've read of other people doing the 700c conversion on the same model/same year bike and not needing to replace the calipers. Of course, I read it on the internet and there's all kinds of crazy stuff out there.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:27 PM   #15
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It looks like Harris Cyclery has a few really nice options for 27" wheels, for $150 you could replace the wheels on the Fuji with brand new 27" wheels made for thread-on freewheels like your Fuji has...

27 Inch ISO 630 Bicycle Wheels from Harris Cyclery

They also have a bunch of 27" tires, too...

27 Inch Bicycle Tires from Harris Cyclery (ISO 630 mm)

I'd get new 27" wheels and tires for your Fuji before I'd replace them with 700c.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:36 PM   #16
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I built a set or 27" CR-18's a little over a year ago for an early 70's 10 speed. (now a 27 speed)
I didn't feel like messing with the brakes (front didn't reach, rear did)
The frame was " spindly" enough that it easily spreads out to about 132-133mm allowing me to use a modern free hub.
The selection in 27" tires isn't as good as 700c, but I think it's adequate enough.
Wheels look good and the user loves them. Much better braking and appearance over the old chromed steel wheels.
The 27x1-1/4" tires are a good match for the CR-18, with plenty enough leeway to go a size different either way without problem.
I rode 27 x 1-1/4" tires back in the day, and I like 'em today. That's about the same as a 32mm tire on a 700c rim, right? That's what I had on my hybrid (stolen). The only compelling reasons I can think to switch to a 700c rim are rim availability and tire selection. The tire selection doesn't seem that big a deal to me, so long as I can get some good puncture-resistant tires and some stout tubes. For me it's all about the strength of the wheel because I am 300+. If there's one thing I've learned it's that I need a good stout rear wheel - and preferably a good stout one up front as well. It seems the selection of dual wall wheels is better in 700c. Honestly, if I could find a 27" dual wall rear wheel with 40 holes and a corresponding freewheel hub I'd grab that.

I'm also really hesitant to go bending the seat/chain stays. I'm down to one bike - made when this gray muzzle was a high school sophomore - that I have already really put too much money into. I don't have access to one of those tables where they do this sort of thing professionally. I've seen Sheldon's page on using a 2x4 to widen the distance between the dropouts, but man......I'm a bit leery of it.

I dunno. I don't see much advantage to it. So long as I can get tires seems to me I should stick to what the bike was built for.

Everyone's different I guess.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:40 PM   #17
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It looks like Harris Cyclery has a few really nice options for 27" wheels, for $150 you could replace the wheels on the Fuji with brand new 27" wheels made for thread-on freewheels like your Fuji has...

27 Inch ISO 630 Bicycle Wheels from Harris Cyclery

They also have a bunch of 27" tires, too...

27 Inch Bicycle Tires from Harris Cyclery (ISO 630 mm)

I'd get new 27" wheels and tires for your Fuji before I'd replace them with 700c.
That wheelset looks like a pretty good deal, really. The only question I have is about the quality of the hub. Never heard of Quando before.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:42 PM   #18
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I don't see myself doing anything that would necessitate the replacement of the rear derailleur. I'm really happy w/ the old fashioned friction shifters and the suntour running gear. I was thinking that if I did switch to a 700c rim, I'd keep the freewheel hub in order to not have to worry at all about the derailleur, chain, new cassette, etc. At that point I need to worry about proper spoke length, quality of the rim (to hold up my big rear end), and proper assembly of the wheel itself - which I will need to do regardless.

If I do it myself.

Which I'd really like to learn how to do.
in that case think about why you want to go 700c over another 27" rim... there are some good reasons but just ask yourself it its a good enough reason

as for building a wheel... I know what you mean, I want to build one myself but haven't justified it yet as its soo cheap to let a professional do it for me :-/
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Old 03-24-14, 08:48 PM   #19
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as for building a wheel... I know what you mean, I want to build one myself but haven't justified it yet as its soo cheap to let a professional do it for me :-/
Well, I have this half-baked hope to someday do a goofy-long ride where knowing how to rebuild a wheel might just come in handy. Likely just an older man's fantasy, but one that seems doable...maybe....someday....
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Old 03-24-14, 09:36 PM   #20
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The only question I have is about the quality of the hub. Never heard of Quando before.
I had wheels with a set of Quando free-bearing hubs, they were OK. Not crap, but not OMG GREAT! either. I imagine the sealed bearing hubs would be better, which would make them "good" hubs.

But for $150 for the set, I don't think you'll go wrong. Especially coming from Harris Cyclery, they don't mess around.
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Old 03-25-14, 06:20 AM   #21
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Find a grouchy old curmudgeon with an attic full of campy and phil hubs wheels from the day. You might get lucky and pluck a 126mm 48H Phil laced 4x to a Mod 58 rim. I have two in my attic.
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Old 03-25-14, 06:57 AM   #22
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Find a grouchy old curmudgeon with an attic full of campy and phil hubs wheels from the day. You might get lucky and pluck a 126mm 48H Phil laced 4x to a Mod 58 rim. I have two in my attic.
Believe me, I'm always on the lookout for that kind of grouch.

I dunno. 'round here good deals seem awfully hard to come by. Houston is a boomin' town and there's lotsa dough flowing. The local Craigslist is ridiculous. It looks more like a storefront for grifters than it does a good place to get a good deal on used anything.

I'll keep my eyes open, though. Estate sales can be good. So can yard sales.
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Old 03-25-14, 11:56 AM   #23
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Standard 10mm QR axles on Freewheel hubs will fatigue and break the axle, overtime ,

because the bearing race is well inboard of the dropout..

Even Campagnolo freewheel hubs ..

But Phil wood resolved that by making a much fatter axle assembly ..
I used a Phil Wood Rear hub on my heavy loaded touring bike, for a couple decades ..

got a 48 spoke hub-shell at another bike shop's garage sale in the 80's,
sent the shell to Phil, they put in the axle and bearing assembly , then I Built up the wheels ..

Mavic Mod 4 rim , 5 cross FWIW. 2mm straight Ga. spokes .

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Old 03-25-14, 04:00 PM   #24
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Do you have a budget? if it is really low and you like the work relace the rims.

otherwise you could replace the wheels for about $150 (and you can often get 20% off) with something like this Vuelta Corsa HD Road Wheelset - Road Bike Wheels / Wheelsets and add a cassette for $25 SRAM PG-850 8-speed Cassette - Road Bike Cassettes

there is a good chance that you derailer would have enough range to cover the 8 spd. The only other thing would be if the brakes have the reach for the 700C rims Lots of the older brakes have plenty of reach.

that said i have cr18 rims on my commuter utility and they are strong and pretty easy to build (did my first wheel build on them) good luck and have fun

you most likely would not have to cold set he frame unless you go to a mountain bike hub.
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Old 03-26-14, 06:48 AM   #25
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Do you have a budget? if it is really low and you like the work relace the rims.

otherwise you could replace the wheels for about $150 (and you can often get 20% off) with something like this Vuelta Corsa HD Road Wheelset - Road Bike Wheels / Wheelsets and add a cassette for $25 SRAM PG-850 8-speed Cassette - Road Bike Cassettes

there is a good chance that you derailer would have enough range to cover the 8 spd. The only other thing would be if the brakes have the reach for the 700C rims Lots of the older brakes have plenty of reach.

that said i have cr18 rims on my commuter utility and they are strong and pretty easy to build (did my first wheel build on them) good luck and have fun

you most likely would not have to cold set he frame unless you go to a mountain bike hub.

By "cold set" do you mean bend the rear triangles to achieve proper spacing for the longer hubs?

Man, if that's the case my options just grew tremendously.

I actually do have a budget, but the wheelset you referenced are close enough to it to be an option. As far as the brake reach goes, I've read about people doing that conversion on the same model that I have and the stock calipers supposedly worked fine.

I had a CR18 on the bike that was stolen. Never had any problem at all out of that wheel - which is not something I can say about other wheels I've had on that bike.
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