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  1. #1
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Need ideas for wheels: 700c, 36 spoke, 135mm rear spacing

    I "modernized" my '83 Schwinn le tour luxe a few years ago, setting it up more as a true touring bike than a road bike as it was originally. I actually use the bike more for loaded commuting than loaded touring, but anyway........I've got Dura-Ace nine-speed bar-end shifters on it, a nine speed mtb cassette and RD, 46/36/24 crankset, etc. I've ridden it since the "modernization" with some inexpensive but functional 700c Sun M13II rims and lower end Shimano "road" hubs (130mm rear) w/36 spokes. Well, I bent the rear rim a couple of weeks ago in a pothole incident, and now I'm wanting to upgrade the wheels. I thought I had found a wheelset that would suit me, Sun CR-18's, Shimano Alivio hubs, w/36 spokes. I went ahead and cold set the frame to 135mm for the Alivio hubs, aligned the rear dropouts, I was ready for the wheels. Turns out they're actually 32 spokes instead of 36, so they're not gonna do. I don't want to spend a fortune (say not much over $200 if possible), and I'd like to go new instead of used...........Anyone have a lead on a 36 spoke wheelset that would have sturdy rims suitable for tires in the range of 700 x 28c to 700 x 32c and "mountain" hubs (135mm rear spacing)?
    Last edited by well biked; 05-30-07 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    I just finished the Southern Tier (3,169 miles) on my LHT with built up wheels from Universal Cycles. I had them build my wheels using XT hubs and Alex Adventurer rims. I put the wheels on my truing stand when I returned home and the wheels were in great shape and only needed a tiny bit of truing. I'm pretty light (145 lbs) and I used a BoB, so they were'nt heavily stressed, but they worked flawlessly. I think they cost me about $210 for the pair.

  3. #3
    Since 1938... JunkYardBike's Avatar
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    I bought the same wheelset you describe, but with 36H, for $100 shipped. They claim they are handbuilt, but I doubt it. They may need to be retensioned. I haven't put many miles on mine, but I've already had to true them up some after some light trail riding (unloaded, with the exception of my 185 lbs).

    See here.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkYardBike
    I bought the same wheelset you describe, but with 36H, for $100 shipped. They claim they are handbuilt, but I doubt it. They may need to be retensioned. I haven't put many miles on mine, but I've already had to true them up some after some light trail riding (unloaded, with the exception of my 185 lbs).

    See here.
    I think you were lucky in getting a 36 spoke wheelset . I've actually ordered that same wheelset from two different companies now (including that one), and it turns out the wheels in the boxes marked "36h" are actually 32 spoke wheels. There's a problem with the supplier putting the wrong wheels in the wrong boxes apparently. I spoke to the guy at that company a couple of times about it and he was very nice, willing to give a full refund, etc. I'm convinced it wasn't his fault, just a mistake with the supplier. But after talking to these two different companies I've ordered from, apparently there simply are no pre-built 36 spoke wheelsets in that configuration (Alivio hubs, CR-18 rims, 36 spokes) to be had right now.

    P.S. A friend of mine was looking for some 700c wheels with 135mm rear spacing for her 29" mountain bike (to run road tires when she's not mountain biking with her other wheelset), she ended up buying one of the 32 spoke wheelsets I received. I spent a little time with them on the truing stand, re-tensioned them, trued them, touched up the dish on the rear wheel, they seem like good wheels after that. For mail order wheels, I don't mind doing that stuff at all, the way things are with wheels nowadays you can get a very good deal on pre-built wheels if you're willing and able to do your own "quality control" check. I can build wheels from scratch, but I can't buy the individual wheel parts for nearly the price I can buy pre-built wheels-
    Last edited by well biked; 05-30-07 at 10:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    "I can't buy the individual wheel parts for nearly the price I can buy pre-built wheels-"

    Certainly true. By legend, they are economising by buying cheaper spokes, including spokes that fascilitate machine building but don't have as tight a fit at the hub.

  6. #6
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    "I can't buy the individual wheel parts for nearly the price I can buy pre-built wheels-"

    Certainly true. By legend, they are economising by buying cheaper spokes, including spokes that fascilitate machine building but don't have as tight a fit at the hub.
    Yep. In the above mentioned wheelset (Alivio hubs, CR-18 rims, 36 straight gauge no-name spokes), though, the price was $79 for the wheelset plus shipping. For $79, I'm not sure I could buy two new CR-18 rims and two new Alivio hubs separately (without any spokes at all). I'd like to have better spokes, but I'm looking at cost as a big factor on this particular wheelset. I've bought inexpensive mail order wheelsets before, and as long as I do my own "quality control" regarding spoke tension, trueness, dish, etc. I've found them to be pretty good wheels-

  7. #7
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy
    I just finished the Southern Tier (3,169 miles) on my LHT with built up wheels from Universal Cycles. I had them build my wheels using XT hubs and Alex Adventurer rims. I put the wheels on my truing stand when I returned home and the wheels were in great shape and only needed a tiny bit of truing. I'm pretty light (145 lbs) and I used a BoB, so they were'nt heavily stressed, but they worked flawlessly. I think they cost me about $210 for the pair.
    Thanks for the info on that. I worked up a price on their website for a set of 36 spoke wheels with XT hubs, double butted DT spokes, and either Salsa Delgado or Sun CR-18 rims, it came out to around $240 with the Delgado's and $220 for the CR-18's. They also offer Mavic A319's, which I'd really prefer over the others, but I couldn't figure out how to enter those rims into the worksheet with the other components I wanted. I did find out it would take 2-3 weeks to get the wheels to me, I'm wanting them sooner than that but that's not unreasonable (1 1/2 weeks to fill the order, then about another week for it to get here). I'm thinking seriously about going for this, thanks again for the lead-

  8. #8
    Senior Member jcbryan's Avatar
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    Might build your own, good way to get comfortable with the mechanical side of touring. I built Sun CR-18 rims, XT hubs, and db Wheelsmiths for $145. Not cheap but have worked out great for the 3K miles I have on them, Hope this helps.

    Best, John

  9. #9
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcbryan
    Might build your own, good way to get comfortable with the mechanical side of touring. I built Sun CR-18 rims, XT hubs, and db Wheelsmiths for $145. Not cheap but have worked out great for the 3K miles I have on them, Hope this helps.

    Best, John
    Yeah, I've built wheels before, it's the cost that seems to add up fast when buying the components separately. If I might ask, how in the world did you find the parts you mention for $145? After shipping, DB spokes seem to run upwards of .80 each (often more). That's around $60 for spokes alone. Please tell me where you got those parts for that price, I'm ready to order-
    Last edited by well biked; 05-30-07 at 08:25 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy
    I just finished the Southern Tier (3,169 miles) on my LHT with built up wheels from Universal Cycles. I had them build my wheels using XT hubs and Alex Adventurer rims. I put the wheels on my truing stand when I returned home and the wheels were in great shape and only needed a tiny bit of truing. I'm pretty light (145 lbs) and I used a BoB, so they were'nt heavily stressed, but they worked flawlessly. I think they cost me about $210 for the pair.

    HOw did the Panaracer tires hold up Hammer Boy
    George

  11. #11
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    This ebay seller has some nice wheels for a good price.

    Mavic A719's(sweet) on Shimano XT with DT 2.0 gauge spokes, brass nipples, handbuilt.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-XT-Mavic-A7...QQcmdZViewItem

  12. #12
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca
    This ebay seller has some nice wheels for a good price.

    Mavic A719's(sweet) on Shimano XT with DT 2.0 gauge spokes, brass nipples, handbuilt.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/2007-XT-Mavic-A7...QQcmdZViewItem
    I agree, that's a good deal. I've looked through all the wheels they have, though, and it doesn't seem that they have exactly what I want. Some of their touring wheelsets have 32 spokes, some have disc hubs, etc. My aesthetic standards are pretty low , but still, I'm just not going to put disc-compatible hubs on an '83 Schwinn le tour luxe. I found a phone number on their website, I'm going to give them a call and see if they have something I'd like-

  13. #13
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    I called the bike shop that sells the wheels Robert_in_ca linked to, they did indeed have 36 hole non-disc XT w/Mavic A719's (w/silver rims and hubs, as I wanted) in stock, the guy was extremely nice and easy to deal with, I should have the wheels in a few days. Thanks to everyone for the replies-

  14. #14
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    Cool, glad I could help. Good luck on the build.

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