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Old 01-14-14, 07:28 PM   #1
Jonnythecanuck
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Touring on cheap wheels.

Last year a build up a budget touring bike for my girlfriend constructed of discounted parts, used bits, and spares I had kicking around. Overall she loves the bike. We have completed a few short tours on it and she finds it very comfortable.

When we built the bike we found a cheap set of Alex ace-18 36 spoke wheels laced to deore hubs. Knowing these aren't exactly heavy duty wheels, we planned to replace them at a later time.

This summer we plan on doing a 3 (isn) month long trip through the BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. I'm a bit concerned about the wheels. So far we have had no issues with them, but I don't exactly trust these cheap narrow rims.

What are your thoughts? She's far from a heavy weight and her gear load will be limited to two rear panniers.

cheers!



20130310-IMG_3078 by jonathanreid85, on Flickr


20130517-IMG_3280 by jonathanreid85, on Flickr

If interested, full specs listed at the bottom of my "build" page

http://www.tworollingwheels.com/?p=485
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Old 01-14-14, 07:56 PM   #2
hueyhoolihan
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i wouldn't think twice about it. deore hubs are fine and 36 spokes? more than enough. and i'm not sure why you think those alex-18 rims are light or cheap. they look like all modern double walled semi-v rims to me.

of course if you're just looking for a project (not uncommon for me too ) i wouldn't discourage you any more than i already have...
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Old 01-14-14, 07:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnythecanuck View Post
Last year a build up a budget touring bike for my girlfriend constructed of discounted parts, used bits, and spares I had kicking around. Overall she loves the bike. We have completed a few short tours on it and she finds it very comfortable.

When we built the bike we found a cheap set of Alex ace-18 36 spoke wheels laced to deore hubs. Knowing these aren't exactly heavy duty wheels, we planned to replace them at a later time.

This summer we plan on doing a 3 (isn) month long trip through the BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. I'm a bit concerned about the wheels. So far we have had no issues with them, but I don't exactly trust these cheap narrow rims.

What are your thoughts? She's far from a heavy weight and her gear load will be limited to two rear panniers.

cheers!
I have a pretty budget wheel set on my touring bike also and as they've not been a problem, I don't worry. For quite awhile I did keep a close eye on them and it just wasn't necessary. If however you just are uncomfortable with them a higher end wheel set will ease your mind, which accounts for a lot.

Brad

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Old 01-14-14, 08:10 PM   #4
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If in doubt build up a new rear wheel.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:13 PM   #5
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Your wheels should be perfectly fine for loaded touring. I wouldn't hesitate to use these on a fully loaded bike with four panniers especailly for a small woman.

I've got a set of Ace-19 wheels (very similar to the Ace-18) on my Tricross and they've taken considerable abuse with no issues and haven't even needed truing. Yes they are heavy but also durable. Your Deore hubs are even better very durable and servicable too.
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Old 01-14-14, 08:38 PM   #6
Jonnythecanuck
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Ah, great to hear! I am not one to shy away from projects, but the money that would go into a new wheel set could definitely be used elsewhere as we prepare for this trip.

I recently moved to Montreal and built up a bike based on a '95 Gary Fisher for my daily commute as there is no way in hell I will leave my trucker or steamroller locked outside all day. I've been nothing but impressed by this bike and its old Shimano Acerax group set.

I've put about 2,000km of HELL on this bike, since September having only missed one school day of commuting so far this winter. I've beat the hell out of these old acera wheels with the Montreal potholes and frozen footprints and ice, so far they're holding up great! That goes for the bearings too, I repacked them before my christmas break to see if the seals were.. well, sealing! Perfect!


afterglow by jonathanreid85, on Flickr


IMG_1453 by jonathanreid85, on Flickr

Cheers,
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Old 01-14-14, 09:59 PM   #7
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I did a 1000km tour with a rear wheel just like that and it held up perfectly fine to another 1000km before I passed the set on to my neighbour and she's riding it around now. They might not be expensive wheels but they are plenty strong.
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Old 01-15-14, 05:03 AM   #8
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I think those wheels will be fine but personally I'd check the spoke tensions ensuring that these are the proper tension and also evened out.
Even very cheap machine-made wheels which originally come in a dreadful condition with no dish, low and uneven spoke tension and spokes unstressed, with a little work can and do perform well for considerable periods.
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Old 01-15-14, 10:53 AM   #9
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NB: Have resources on hand to replace them in a Bike Shop, should they fail , mid trip..
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Old 01-15-14, 03:28 PM   #10
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Those 36 spoke wheels should be fine for such a light load.

If you change them, don't make a mistake I made and just concentrate on a strong rear wheel. Consider that the front wheel sees most of the bike's weight when you brake. It's like when you stop running, you use your front foot to stop.
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Old 01-15-14, 05:44 PM   #11
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I think those wheels will be fine but personally I'd check the spoke tensions ensuring that these are the proper tension and also evened out.
Even very cheap machine-made wheels which originally come in a dreadful condition with no dish, low and uneven spoke tension and spokes unstressed, with a little work can and do perform well for considerable periods.
Yes, onbike. I didn't want to butt in with an opinion, as I know nothing at all about the wheels the OP plans on using, but I did want to squeeze in a remark about spoke tension. I won't even tell you guys how cheap my original factory wheels are, but I have logged several tours on them and have only had problems twice. Both times, I had neglected to check my spoke tension before heading out, and both times, I popped rear spokes at the worst possible time. Otherwise, these basic wheels were just fine.
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Old 01-15-14, 05:52 PM   #12
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Regardless of how much they cost, if they have proven themselves, they are likely to keep working. And they have, haven't they? The bigger the ride, the more time your equipment should spend proving itself before you set out. No last minute changes!
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Old 01-16-14, 01:51 PM   #13
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Regardless of how much they cost, if they have proven themselves, they are likely to keep working. And they have, haven't they? The bigger the ride, the more time your equipment should spend proving itself before you set out. No last minute changes!
+1! Last minute changes is asking for trouble. Check your spoke tension- go and have fun! BTW, good on ya for riding in the snow like that! I'm in Winnipeg, and ya, forget about it. (Although there are plenty that do) Montreal is much more accepting of cyclists on the roadways.
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Old 01-16-14, 04:44 PM   #14
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Wait until they start to fail and then replace them at the local bike shop if they do.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:04 PM   #15
Jonnythecanuck
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Thanks for the advise guys! I have a park tensiometer on the way from Amazon that should be at my door tonight! I'll give the wheels a good look over.

Thanks again.
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