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Old 05-19-10, 07:34 PM   #1
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Steel wheel is real.

Recently I had to replace 4 spokes on my 27' 25 year old aluminium wheel and thanks to the bicycle mechanics forum I realised that I had to rebuild my wheel. Rebuilding would cost me about $75 bucks and since that was a little steep, I decided to look for an alternative if I could find one.

So I searched ebay and found a rear brand new chromed steel rim, bolt on, steel hub wheel for about $40 bucks shipping included. I was second guessing my purchase a lot, but I decided to give it a shot.

Yesterday it arrived and I put it on my bike. It felt a little a little heavier but I thought it was OK for the price.

Then I went out for my usual 35 mile ride...

SURPRISE

I was blown away.

First of all, acceleration is a bit slower, but when I get to speed it just rolls. I mean it feels so much different then the previous wheel I had. I don't know how to explain it, but I got this extra inertia or something that made pedalling different and more enjoyable like it wants to be pedalled or something. Just wonderful is all I can say.

Also, there is this part of the road I use that has a lot of bumps and it always made my ride so unconformable that I couldn't help but think about it every time passed it. Well, last night I went through that part and when I passed it I realised that I haven't thought about it for a second. I can honestly say that it reduces bumpiness "a lot". So smooth.

Another thing is the brakes. It is much more effective then aluminium wheel I used to have. Rubber just sticks to the chrome I lot better I guess.

I am just so happy about the move I made that I had to share it with you.
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Old 05-19-10, 07:38 PM   #2
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Post again after you ride it in the rain.
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Old 05-19-10, 07:39 PM   #3
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^I'd like to see what happens haha
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Old 05-19-10, 07:44 PM   #4
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Post again after you ride it in the rain.
Please explain...
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Old 05-19-10, 08:05 PM   #5
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Steel rims are inferior braking surfaces compared to aluminum with most brake pads. I really hope you are using either disc or drum based brakes. Otherwise when it rains, well.... you won't be stopping anytime soon.
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Old 05-19-10, 08:08 PM   #6
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Please explain...
Rim brakes perform very poorly on wet steel rims.
Out of curiosity, do you have the same tire on that was on the old wheel?
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Old 05-19-10, 08:14 PM   #7
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Steel rims are inferior braking surfaces compared to aluminum with most brake pads. I really hope you are using either disc or drum based brakes. Otherwise when it rains, well.... you won't be stopping anytime soon.
When it's dry it works better then the aluminum wheel I used to have. I don't know what it's like when the chrome rim becomes wet. Do they become really slippery? I know that the aluminum rims get slippery as well but I never had any problems with that because I ride differently in rain and I compensate with slower and extra careful riding.
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Old 05-19-10, 08:18 PM   #8
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Rim brakes perform very poorly on wet steel rims.
Out of curiosity, do you have the same tire on that was on the old wheel?
Yup. It's just a regular old type 27' 1 1/4 tire in a pretty good shape still. This rim is specifically made for 1/4 tire where my old rim is made for 1/8 tire so it works better in that respect too.

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Old 05-19-10, 08:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for giving me heads up for rain conditions. I probably would have found out on my own but it's good to know in advance. I had no clue.
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Old 05-19-10, 10:32 PM   #10
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. . . but I got this extra inertia or something that made pedalling different and more enjoyable like it wants to be pedalled or something.
I didn't know about the issue of brakes on steel rims, but there is nothing in the world wrong with a bike wanting to be pedaled. Mine takes spells like that, and I just love it.
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Old 05-20-10, 08:52 AM   #11
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Thanks for giving me heads up for rain conditions. I probably would have found out on my own but it's good to know in advance. I had no clue.
The key to best braking with steel rims in the rain is to plan ahead, brake real early and squeeze hard. When you squeeze there will be a few moments where the pads are squeegeeing the rim and you wonder if they failed, and then finally they will grab. So if you plan ahead you will be fine. It doesn't hurt to do a test squeeze to clean your rims just before you need to stop.

But I warn you that you will experience time expansion in those moments while you are waiting for them to finally grab. It's spooky at first, but you get used to it. Its even almost fun.
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Old 06-10-10, 07:52 AM   #12
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Post again after you ride it in the rain.
OK

Yes, you get the feeling that the bike goes even faster when you apply the brake. My front wheel is alloy, so I have some braking power.

I mean there is literally no braking no matter how hard you squeeze.

Anyone know what kind of brake pads work good on chrome rims?
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Old 06-10-10, 08:36 AM   #13
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I don't know what it's like when the chrome rim becomes wet. Do they become really slippery?
When that chromed steel rim gets wet you might as well start looking for something soft to crash into because the brake isn't going to do anything.
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