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  1. #1
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    New Rear Wheel for my Tokyo

    You will remember that I was exploring options for getting a faster 16" folder than my Citizen Tokyo. I wasn't in any hurry.

    But the bike let me down, and now I'm faced with a problem/opportunity. I'm not sure if it was inferior components, or my abuse, but the spokes on my rear wheel have worked themselves loose, and my LBS is telling me that I need a new rear wheel.

    My choices:
    1. I've found an on-line store that has a wheel that looks like it will work: http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/par...l/wheel16.html
    2. My LBS has a guy who builds custom wheels - $60 plus the cost of components. But what components should I use?
    3. Buy a new bike?
    4. Something else? Ideas anyone?


    What would you do?

  2. #2
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    How did your bike "let you down". I would build the wheels myself or buy a new bike if you can afford it. $60 for labor is above average. They usually charge $40 - $50 for labor.

  3. #3
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    The rear wheel suddenly started rubbing as if out of true, but not just a small place - almost half the wheel. I got out the spoke wrench and fiddled with it, and slowly but surely got it back to where nothing was rubbing. I took it for a test ride, and everything seemed fine, until I downshifted to go up a small hill. I felt the bike move under me - very strange sensation, and then it began rubbing as badly or worse than before. I decided that this was beyond my capabilities to fix, so I took it to my LBS. The guy put it on a stand and took a look and said "Hate to tell you this, but I think that wheel is beyond repair. Half the spokes are loose in the sockets. You need a new wheel." He showed me what he was talking about.

    Unfortunately, while the frame and fork are still under warranty, the wheel is not. It also may be at least partially my fault in that I am close to the maximum weight rating of the bike, and early on I rode for a few days with the tires under inflated. I was too much of a newbie to realize that you need to check pressure every day.

    Anyway, if I get a new wheel, at least I have the opportunity to get one with better gears for a small wheel. The one I saw on the gaerlan site can take an eight or nine speed cassette in place of my original six speeds, and the highest gear could be 11t-48t instead of my 14t-48t. A Capreo would be even faster.
    Last edited by JCFlack; 07-23-09 at 09:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCFlack View Post
    Anyway, if I get a new wheel, at least I have the opportunity to get one with better gears for a small wheel. The one I saw on the gaerlan site can take an eight or nine speed cassette in place of my original six speeds, and the highest gear could be 11t-48t instead of my 14t-48t. A Capreo would be even faster.
    are you sure it's 11-48T cogs ? i haven't seen one that slow. maybe you're talking about 11-34 ? anyway i checked gaerlan and my - 16" rear wheel cost a fortune. it is even more what i paid for my tokyo. go to your LBS and i am pretty sure they have a ready made 16" wheel. our local LBS has them and they only cost around $39-49 for the whole set of rear wheel. you need to tell them that you have a freewheel. they can even install it for you. my advise, as what the others told me before, is not to upgrade the tokyo. it might be better to get a used dahon or something else off CL and upgrade it. that's what happened to me. when i had my tokyo the first thing i noticed is the gear setup. it is so slow. so i decided to get a used boardwalk and upgrade it. i ended up paying more for the components than the cost of my boardwalk. i save a ton of money though as i did the upgrading myself. investment might be pretty high also since i have to buy all the tools. think of this a time to add a new folder to your collection.....

    thanks,
    vic

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    are you sure it's 11-48T cogs ? i haven't seen one that slow. maybe you're talking about 11-34 ?
    I probably said that wrong. I meant that the original high gear of the Toyko is 14t with a 48t chaingear. A wheel built with a standard 8-9 speed hub could take a cassette with an 11t high gear. Build a wheel with a Capreo hub, and you can get a Capreo cassette with a 9t high gear. Of course, I've priced this, and the Capreo hub and cassette together add up to more than I paid for the bike. But it is still less than a new better bike - with the wheel, my bike would still be slightly less than the now defunct Downtube Mini.
    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    anyway i checked gaerlan and my - 16" rear wheel cost a fortune. it is even more what i paid for my tokyo. go to your LBS and i am pretty sure they have a ready made 16" wheel. our local LBS has them and they only cost around $39-49 for the whole set of rear wheel.
    My favorite LBS doesn't have them, and doesn't know where to get them. I asked before I left. That's why they suggested having one built. Bikes@vienna is a bit farther away from me, but they specialize in folders and recumbents, so they might be worth checking.
    Quote Originally Posted by vmaniqui View Post
    it might be better to get a used dahon or something else off CL and upgrade it. that's what happened to me. when i had my tokyo the first thing i noticed is the gear setup. it is so slow.
    That is a possibility, and I will start watching CL again, but generally, I LIKE my Tokyo. A new wheel (which I need anyway or I might as well throw the Tokyo away) could solve its major flaw.
    Last edited by JCFlack; 07-24-09 at 06:03 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCFlack View Post
    My favorite LBS doesn't have them, and doesn't know where to get them. I asked before I left. That's why they suggested having one built. Bikes@vienna is a bit farther away from me, but they specialize in folders and recumbents, so they might be worth checking.
    i once went to my LBS and they showed me all their built 16" wheel hanging by the ceiling. i guess it's limited in your LBS. i was about to tell you to check for a downtube mini as that will be a nice replacement. i have a dahon curve d3 that replaced my tokyo and i love it. although the gears are limited ( 3 speed) it's quite enough for my commute. who knows i might upgrade and add more gears. anyway good luck on finding a new bike or new rear wheel.

  7. #7
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    jcflack

    check this out. i think this is a dahon 16" wheel. is this any near your area ? might be worth cheking it out. and it's only 300 for 2 bikes....i would love to buy it if it's near me...

    http://norfolk.craigslist.org/bik/1256577450.html

  8. #8
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    Piccolo was the predecessor of your Curve. So how's the Curve for speed? Faster than the Tokyo, I gather. Lower gears okay for small hills?

    Newport News is just over 3 hours from here - doable, but only if I KNOW I want to buy.

  9. #9
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    my curve's speed is sufficient and good for me. definitely faster than a tokyo and to think that it has only 3 speed. my wife sometimes will use it and both of us will go biking. when we go around the block there is some uphill climb and she's not complaining at all. that's the long drive though. tell the seller you're 3 hours away. maybe he'll give you a discount.....

  10. #10
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    FWIW I am looking for a source for 16" (ISO 305) rims for the Downtube Mini. Can't find any (although this may be the right size, the seller can't confirm it's ISO 305. Do you need an ISO 305 or a 349 rim? 349s are much more common and available.

  11. #11
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    The original wheels on the Tokyo are 16 x 1.75, which I believe are ISO 305, with 28 spokes. There are both 349 and 305 wheels and rims on http://www.gaerlan.com/bikeparts/par...l/wheel16.html. The 305 I'm interested in is 16 x 1.50, with 36 spokes, which I hope would still fit my bike. Someone want to confirm this? Anybody bought from these people?

  12. #12
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    That is a great deal on the Piccolos.

  13. #13
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Be sure to have the LBS check out your front wheel while you are there...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
    Be sure to have the LBS check out your front wheel while you are there...
    Good idea. He did take a quick look while the bike was on the stand to check the rear. He didn't see anything in a quick inspection, but I'll have them take a better look when I have the new rear wheel put on and gearshift adjusted for it.

    The strange thing is that my one major wipeout on the bike was when I hit a rock with my front wheel. I was going down to a ford over a creek on a bike trail near home. The rock was buried in sand and I didn't see it. It knocked the front wheel out of true, but I was able to get it back in true myself, and I rode for weeks afterward with no trouble until the latest trouble with the rear wheel.

    At least a front wheel seems to be easier to find and cheaper to buy. 16" wheels tend to be for kid's bikes, and that means single speed with a coaster brake for the rear wheel - maybe that is what vic saw.

  15. #15
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    Found a wheel

    Just an update. I finally found and ordered a new rear wheel from aaabicycle on ebay. It is a 16" 28 spoke freewheel, which means that it is essentially the same as the original wheel. The price was about $27 plus a ridiculous shipping and handling charge of $19. As far as I can determine, while I could go from 6 speeds to 7 speeds or get a larger low gear, the best I can do with the high gear is get a set with a 13 tooth cog instead of my original 14 tooth cog. 13t would give me a slight improvement in speed, but not enough to be worthwhile. Looks like Shimano once had 12t and 11t cogs on freewheel gear sets - I'll keep watching ebay for an old one. I've seen something like that from Regina on ebay, but I don't think it would fit.

    I think I'll have my LBS remove the gear set from the original wheel and put it on the new one. I'll get a new tire (old one shows considerable wear from the rubbing) and have them put on the wheel, check the front one, true them both, tension spokes properly, and adjust the gearshift. If I'd had them tune up the bike like that when I first got it, maybe I wouldn't be in this situation.

    This is the inexpensive solution to get me back on my bike, basically back to where I started. I hoped I'd be able to turn my problem into an opportunity to get a faster bike - kind of like my own version of a Downtube Mini. But the only way to do that was to have a wheel custom built, then have the bike altered because the new wheel would have a wider hub. I was looking at several hundred dollars - enough to get a new bike. Which I will probably do - eventually, but not now.
    Last edited by JCFlack; 08-01-09 at 08:14 PM.

  16. #16
    Schwinnasaur Schwinnsta's Avatar
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    I am not undertanding this. Are you saying bought a wheel just to use rim? It looks like his rims are chrome so that implies steel. Strong but bad breaking power when wet. Also, heavy but that would be less important to me.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
    I am not undertanding this. Are you saying bought a wheel just to use rim? It looks like his rims are chrome so that implies steel. Strong but bad breaking power when wet. Also, heavy but that would be less important to me.
    No, I'm using the wheel as built. Having a wheel built is the road not taken - if I had, it would have been with a 36 spoke rim to give me a better choice of hubs. And I'm too much of a wimp to ride in wet conditions much. As for weight, it is already a fairly heavy steel bike, and I think this wheel is pretty close to the original one.

  18. #18
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    JCFlack,

    Are you saying this new rim you ordered is steel? Because if it is, when it gets wet due to rain or running through a puddle, the brake pads will not provide as much adhesion as an alloy wheel.

    If I'm not mistaken, you bought this Tokyo new earlier this year. Am I correct? Have you called Citizen Bike to see if this issue is covered by any warranty? If that's the case then you can have them replace your rear wheel with an appropriate one at no cost to you. Now if there is no warranty, or it's expired, then I guess you do what you must do to get your bike back on the road.

    Good luck to you.

    Edward Wong III
    Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

    Edit: I just checked on Citizen Bike's website and it states that the frame and fork are covered by a 1 year warranty but the components for only 60 days. So I guess you are on your own as far as replacing that rear wheel since you've had this bike for at least 5 months. But you know what, in your situation, I would still inquire with their customer service and see if they'll do something about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by JCFlack View Post
    No, I'm using the wheel as built. Having a wheel built is the road not taken - if I had, it would have been with a 36 spoke rim to give me a better choice of hubs. And I'm too much of a wimp to ride in wet conditions much. As for weight, it is already a fairly heavy steel bike, and I think this wheel is pretty close to the original one.
    Last edited by edwong3; 08-01-09 at 09:11 PM.

  19. #19
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    Another Update

    So, I ordered the 7 speed, 11t-28t gear set that Ed Wong found at ItsElectric - http://us.itselectric.ca/Freewheel_7...l-7-spds-n.htm. It arrived today - that's REALLY FAST Service - Thanks ItsElectric. It fits the new wheel perfectly, but it will be the weekend before I get time to put some rim tape, a tube and a tire on the wheel. And I want my LBS to check it out, make sure the wheels are true and spokes tensioned properly before I ride. I'm not sure if I'll need a new shifter - I'll get the LBS to put one on if needed and adjust the gears.

    I'll update this thread again once I ride my newly improved Citizen Tokyo.

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