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Old 03-24-08, 08:45 PM   #1
cradduck
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20" 3-speed wheelset

I have been trying to find a rear 3-speed 20" wheel but have been VERY unsuccessful in finding anything. Tried google and every online bike shop I could think of. Anyone have a site that sells these?

I was going to stick with my bike setup as a single speed and put a set of sealed BMX wheels in place of the super cheap non-sealed wheels that run true for about 15 feet or so, but I am not quite sure which route to go.

I have also considered building my own, but have absolutely no experience.

Suggestions? Help? Personal Experiences? I'm lost.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:53 AM   #2
DLBroox
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I was wondering, also, if anyone has a source for 16 and 20 inch rims.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:27 AM   #3
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Have you tried Gaerlan or Harris Cyclery? They would probably build a wheel for you by hand.

www.gaerlan.com
www.sheldonbrown.com
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Old 03-25-08, 08:31 AM   #4
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I just found gaerlan a minute ago. They have what I want.

I just want the rims. I like to build wheels myself.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-08, 09:18 AM   #5
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Swift's Peter Reich is selling them. I got one with my original Swift. The 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub worked fine for the short time I had it, but the trigger was trash and self-destructed almost immediately. I returned the 3-speed wheel and now use SS. Apparently they don't make good internal hub gear triggers anymore. I guess you can get a twist grip gear changer, though.
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Old 03-25-08, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cradduck View Post
I have been trying to find a rear 3-speed 20" wheel but have been VERY unsuccessful in finding anything.. I'm lost.
If you can't find a wheel the next best thing is to find a three-speeed hub and a 20" rim (with the same number of spoke-holes) and then get a local bike shop to build the hub into the rim for you. (or learn how to do it yourself if you're feeling game - it's certainly fun).

It's a bit more expensive than finding one pre-built, but 20" wheels are a lot more specialist than 700c or 26" wheels so I think you're gonna have a hard time finding pre-built ones that aren't BMX ones.

Good three speed hubs are made by both SRAM and Sturmey Archer; Do a bit of research on the gear ratios the two manufacturers offer and go from there.

The other thing you could do is keep your eye out for an old english three-speed bike that's heading for the junkyard - salvage the hub for your own use (3-speeds last forever and usually just need a bit of an overhaul) and then convert the donor bike to fixed gear and sell it on to a hipster to cover the cost of the wheel-build.

My bike had a three speed when I bought it (a vintage 70's Raleigh) and I did exactly what describe to upgrade it to a 7-speed: buying a BMX rim, 7-speed SRAM hub and getting the local bike shop to build it for me. I've learnt to lace my own wheels since then but it was a simple enough job and even though some shops might seem puzzled at the request - they're likely used to building bigger wheels - they still shouldn't have any problems doing this for you.
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Old 03-28-08, 11:05 PM   #7
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Cradduck,

Is there a bike store serving BMXers around where you live? They probably won't be too excited about an internally geared 3 speed, but will be able to build a 20" wheel for you, have appropriate spokes or be able to cut some, and have experience with 20" wheel builds. You should be able to order a SRAM or Shimano 3 speed from just about any bike store.
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