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  1. #1
    ... tlupfer's Avatar
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    helicomatic et al

    hi. i'm tim. i've finally gone and purchased a proper touring bicycle--a 1985 trek 720--so i figure i'm now at liberty to hang out in the touring forum. the bike was in pristine condition when i got my hands on it only a couple weeks ago, and after unnecessarily repacking everything and truing the wheels i've found no good reason to replace anything, aside from a lurking suspicion that it's not a wise idea to keep the helicomatic rear hub. does anyone have experience with these beasts? it's in great shape at the moment, but bicycle lore has imperviously suggested to me that they are prone to failures at the worst times. basically, i've been skulking about philwood.com looking for a reason to get one of their freewheel touring hubs, and now i've turned to bikeforums to help convince me that it's a reasonable and i daresay absolutely necessary purchase. now, just for fun, i'll post a very bad picture of my new bike.



    ...making good use of the excess length of one of my seatposts...


  2. #2
    Senior Member Rogerinchrist's Avatar
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    Really nice ride!!

    I've yet to try putting the front wheel into a stationary trainer, how's the work out?

  3. #3
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Heliocomatics are infamous for breaking right-side spokes. If you're just riding it around locally, you might be okay. When you take the bike on tour, you should probably get yourself a new rear wheel. You don't need a Phil Wood hub. You can get a freewheel hub if you want to, but there's no reason not to just buy a wheel built around a cassette freehub. Quite frankly, the technology is better (of course, a Phil Wood freewheel hub is much nicer made than any Shimano freehub). I'm assuming that your frame spacing is 126mm, which is pretty easy to spread to the 130mm necessary for a modern road hub. You can use the money you save by not getting a Phil Wood on a new derailer and shifters, maybe new brake levers, something like that .

  4. #4
    ... tlupfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    Heliocomatics are infamous for breaking right-side spokes. If you're just riding it around locally, you might be okay. When you take the bike on tour, you should probably get yourself a new rear wheel. You don't need a Phil Wood hub. You can get a freewheel hub if you want to, but there's no reason not to just buy a wheel built around a cassette freehub. Quite frankly, the technology is better (of course, a Phil Wood freewheel hub is much nicer made than any Shimano freehub). I'm assuming that your frame spacing is 126mm, which is pretty easy to spread to the 130mm necessary for a modern road hub. You can use the money you save by not getting a Phil Wood on a new derailer and shifters, maybe new brake levers, something like that .
    I have a host of road bikes that I could borrow an sti group from, but i don't think it would suit the bike or my goals very well (plus, the suntour barcons are the jam). If I went with a freehub I would probably just get an XT hub and change the axle to a 130, but since I'm not looking to increase the number of gears that I have available I think it would make more sense to go with the phil...you know, because my mind was already made up and I'm just looking for internet forumteers to justify my purchase

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    well, you've just got to get rid of that helicomatic....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
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    If I were you I'd find a Suntour Superb Pro freewheel hub and have that put on. You can still find some really nice 6 or 7-speed freewheels and Sunjoy makes a perfectly workable 13-28 7-speed freewheel that would work well for your intended use.

    Helicomatics have bearing problems, spoke breakage problems and I have no idea where you'd get any cassette cogs for them anymore.

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