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Old 08-14-08, 08:48 PM   #1
Arrowana
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Upgrading Wheels?

I have a 1981 Schwinn Traveler I use as a commuter, and am not happy with the braking on it. It sounds like the main reason for it is the steel wheels on it, so I'm thinking about upgrading to Aluminum. I did look briefly at a LBS, and it seems like they start at around $30 for used ones. Is there anything in particular I should know before buying anything? Such as things to look for/avoid?

I also heard that getting Kool Stops would also help. Any idea what the improvment of these would be vs. buying new wheels?
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Old 08-14-08, 10:17 PM   #2
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In the price range you're looking in, be sure the wheels have a machined braking surface. Not all low-end wheels do. I made that mistake myself. It makes a big difference in braking smoothness and brake pad wear.

Second, be sure they fit. Standards in both hub width and wheel diameter have changed since 1981. Not all older bikes can fit new wheels. There is also the matter of older freewheel vs. the new freehub. If you're shopping at an LBS, they should make sure the wheels fit for you.

Kool-Stops make a difference. Use the salmon ones for wet weather, black for dry. (Salmon works fine in the dry, but black is not so hot in the wet.) They're a cheap place to start.
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Old 08-15-08, 05:42 AM   #3
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You will never have decent braking with steel rims.
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Old 08-15-08, 07:07 AM   #4
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Are you sure this bike has steel wheels? I would have thought that a Traveller came with aluminum rims.

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Old 08-15-08, 08:06 AM   #5
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Yes, I'm pretty sure they are steel, they are magnetic, and have some minor rust on them.

Thanks for the advise TSL, I guess I should bring the bike with to make sure they fit.
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