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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for a good set of 700C touring wheels?

    I've posted here before on my '89 Schwinn Voyageur that I intend to try and ride to New York from San Antonio Texas beginning in early June.

    Towards that end I've been putting in long miles on the bike loaded with 50lbs+ of stuff.

    This week the bike is in pieces as part of a 16 hour tear-down/rebuild bike maintenance class. The bike is sound everywhere except for the most questionable component; the rear wheel hub. It has loosened up more than I would like since having it regreased/adjusted not too long back, and also tho' without obvious wear it seems to defy perfect adjustment even at the hands of the instructor. Apparently Schwinn was cost-cutting in '89 and installed only average quality hubs.

    Then too, tho having 36/40 spokes front and rear and still in good shape the rims are only single wall, an anachronism in this day and age.

    Fortunately I still have more than three months to put lots more loaded miles on the bike before the tour to see how that rear hub in particular holds up.

    Worse comes to worse, turns out 700C wheels are a drop-in proposition on this bike (it presently has 27" wheels), which would also allow me to upgrade from the seven speed old-style freewheel. The downtube shifters are friction and so compatible with any number of "speeds".

    If it turns out I DO need to replace that back wheel.......

    I have no interest in flash or uber-lightweight wheels, just a solid set that would get me from here to there. I'm hoping ballpark $300 or less would do it. If not I'd consider just switching out the back for a 700 and running the original 27" up front, or else bite the bullet and spend more.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
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    Mike, While changing to 700C would be my preferred tactic, it'll easily break the budget when factoring in tires, tubes and rim tape. I also drew a blank searching for a 126 mm spaced cassette compatible rear hub other than e-bay. Because the drive side bearings are closer to the dropout it would place less stress on the axle.

    One of my touring bikes uses an AceraX 7S hub that has a ~12 mm NDS spacer (135 mm spacing). A reduction of spacer and axle width along with redishing the rim would allow it to be used in a 126 mm OLD frame. I'd match it to a 27" Sun CR18 rim. Talk this over with your instructor.

    I'm in favor of using 130 mm hubs in 126 mm spaced road frames, but may not be a keen idea where the seat and chain stays are under greater strees to begin with when loaded.

    Brad

    PS Using thinner spacers and a shorter axle also applies to a 130 mm spaced freehub.
    Last edited by bradtx; 02-06-14 at 06:51 AM. Reason: ps

  3. #3
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Handspun rear wheel with a 36 hole Velocity Dyad rim, Deore LX hub laced with DT swiss straight gauge spokes for $115 from AE Bikes- free shipping. I think the front one was around $105. They also had Mavic A319 rim wheels for slightly cheaper prices. The tensioning and truing of the rear wheel was nearly perfect so I did not touch it. For the price and the quality of the components and build, I think Handspun wheels are a great way to go. If you wanted to rebuild it with butted spokes you could go that route too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Since your rear drop out is narrower that the 135mm hubs, it would not be hard to remove 5mm of spacers and re dish the wheel if necessary. You could then easily fit the 130mm spaced hub into your 126mm dropout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    One of my touring bikes uses an AceraX 7S hub that has a ~12 mm NDS spacer (135 mm spacing). A reduction of spacer and axle width along with redishing the rim would allow it to be used in a 126 mm OLD frame. I'd match it to a 27" Sun CR18 rim. Talk this over with your instructor.

    I'm in favor of using 130 mm hubs in 126 mm spaced road frames, but may not be a keen idea where the seat and chain stays are under greater strees to begin with when loaded.

    Brad

    PS Using thinner spacers and a shorter axle also applies to a 130 mm spaced freehub.
    Brad,

    I'm, pretty sure I'm at 135mm (???) already, even with the screw-on freewheel hub, a recent-manufacture 700C rear wheel really did just drop right in. I dunno what odd permutation of components Schwinn was using in '89.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by robert schlatte View Post
    I just purchased a Handspun rear wheel with a 36 hole Velocity Dyad rim, Deore LX hub laced with DT swiss straight gauge spokes for $115 from AE Bikes- free shipping. I think the front one was around $105. They also had Mavic A319 rim wheels for slightly cheaper prices. The tensioning and truing of the rear wheel was nearly perfect so I did not touch it. For the price and the quality of the components and build, I think Handspun wheels are a great way to go. If you wanted to rebuild it with butted spokes you could go that route too.
    Thanks for the info. What wa their turnaround time? Did they build it to order or was it in stock?

    Thanks again,
    Mike

  7. #7
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    Thanks for the info. What wa their turnaround time? Did they build it to order or was it in stock?

    Thanks again,
    Mike
    Handspun wheels are distrubuted through QBP(Quality Bike Parts) and carried by many retailers. I believer the wheels are machine built but they are tensioned and trued to within acceptable tolerance by wheel builders. AE Bikes is in Kalamazoo Michigan so I got the wheel within a week. If you could find a dealer near where you live it would cut down on delivery time. Google Handspun wheels and look at the "pavement series" which includes the touring wheels. There is also a tab for dealers so you could find one nearby.

  8. #8
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    I did a similar upgrade a few years ago for under $100 by shopping for used wheels at a couple of local bike shops. I'd make the rounds every week or so. It took a couple of months and a little luck. The wheels recently made a cross country 4,500 mile trip with no problem, along with about 20,000 miles before and since.

  9. #9
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    I think your bottom bracket is going to be pretty low if you opt for 700c, and in my case I put longer cranks on that bike. I'd be striking. I bought a fresh 40h 27" rear wheel on eBay, it took a few weeks for it to pop up. Nice to have in storage. You might want to watch this thread as well: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-quot-Wheelset

  10. #10
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I think your bottom bracket is going to be pretty low if you opt for 700c, and in my case I put longer cranks on that bike. I'd be striking. I bought a fresh 40h 27" rear wheel on eBay, it took a few weeks for it to pop up. Nice to have in storage. You might want to watch this thread as well: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-quot-Wheelset

    I have two 1980 Schwinn Voyageurs that I converted to 700c wheels with no problem. The difference between 27" and 700c wheel is 8mm so converting lowers the bottom bracket by a negligible 4mm. One issue is your brake reach. In my case the existing brakes had plenty of reach and worked fine.

    001.jpg 003.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I think your bottom bracket is going to be pretty low if you opt for 700c http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-quot-Wheelset
    I dunno, here it is maybe ten days ago when I rode a century. Since then the crank has been switched out for a smaller Mt. Bike crankset with sealed bearings, and when I put it back together it'll have an adjustable stem, butterfly bars and a new seat.



    I'm running 170mm cranks, I gotta say the siren song of having all contemporary components on the bike is pretty compelling. Holy smoke! I could have a bike fully as good and about as easy to get parts for as the better touring bikes out there today

    Mike
    Last edited by Sharpshin; 02-06-14 at 12:31 PM.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The old build or Buy question .. off the shelf buy
    when something is damaged will be ciured by replacing ,
    and heading out of the bike shop again quickly ..

    custom bent stuff a may take a few days for spares.. order and ship

    My reliable freewheel touring wheel has a Phil wood Hub , you can build another 40 spoke wheel , or 48.

    with a 48 , even 1 spoke break was no big deal..

    next place that you can borrow a Big Wrench to turn the freewheel removal tool . and then replace that spoke..

    The axle assembly is strong , never bends , 2 sealed bearings of industrial strength ..


    cassettes did axle strengthening by relocating the right bearing without changing the axle itself.

    and so, got a smaller axle .. 10x1.. to work ... but then they got carried away selling more complex 'Speeds' additions

    may have benefitted racers.. provided a widget hook, sales convinced the rabble that they 'needed' that too..

    now 7 speed is passe' (K cassette was perfect for Touring , because of the tooth counts and the Range)
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-06-14 at 04:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Mike, Here are some wheelsets to look at: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels/622.html that you could use to convert to 700C economically. (Verify that you have compatible rear dropout spacing.) I used the WE512 on my touring bike and about 3K miles later required only one tune-up to the rear and that was very early in-service. This includes off road and downtown (w/potholes) nighttime bombing.

    Brad

  14. #14
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Universal Cycles in Portland, Oregon build excellent wheels. We have 3 sets and they have been really dependable.

    Use this Custom Wheel Builder, and see what changing a component will do to the price.

    The wheels I really like are built around 36 spoke Velocity Dyad rims, 105 hubs (Tiagra will also work well), and Wheel Smith DB spokes. With Tiagra hubs the set will be under $300. My wife's wheels have over 10,000 miles on them with about 2/3 of that being loaded touring. They have never needed truing. We have wheelsets with the same rims and spokes but built with Ultegra (my wife's), 105 and XT hubs.

    http://www.universalcycles.com/wheelkit.php
    Last edited by Doug64; 02-06-14 at 11:14 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    I think your bottom bracket is going to be pretty low if you opt for 700c, and in my case I put longer cranks on that bike. I'd be striking. I bought a fresh 40h 27" rear wheel on eBay, it took a few weeks for it to pop up. Nice to have in storage. You might want to watch this thread as well: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-quot-Wheelset
    Tires can reduce that difference if the frame can take them. Some 700x35mm tires are pretty tall and not too far from 27'x1 1/8" tires.
    Last edited by LeeG; 02-07-14 at 12:06 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert schlatte View Post
    I just purchased a Handspun rear wheel with a 36 hole Velocity Dyad rim, Deore LX hub laced with DT swiss straight gauge spokes for $115 from AE Bikes- free shipping. I think the front one was around $105. They also had Mavic A319 rim wheels for slightly cheaper prices. The tensioning and truing of the rear wheel was nearly perfect so I did not touch it. For the price and the quality of the components and build, I think Handspun wheels are a great way to go. If you wanted to rebuild it with butted spokes you could go that route too.
    Ditto on the Handspun wheels although it looks like they've eliminated some prebuilds. I got a rear wheel with Mavic319, 36 straight gauge spokes on LX hub from them and it is solid. I like it better than a custom build wheel with Velocity Synergy OC rim with butted spokes because the wheel is stiffer laterally.
    Last edited by LeeG; 02-07-14 at 07:34 PM.

  17. #17
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    You can also get a touring-quality dynamo front wheel for $95 from this seller on Ebay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/IDC-Stout-dy... /271360496677

    plus a comparable rear wheel for $100.

    http://www.intelligentdesigncycles.c...wheelset-black

    I don't have the wheels, but the seller seems legit.
    Last edited by stevepusser; 02-08-14 at 08:07 AM.

  18. #18
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robert schlatte View Post
    I have two 1980 Schwinn Voyageurs that I converted to 700c wheels with no problem. The difference between 27" and 700c wheel is 8mm so converting lowers the bottom bracket by a negligible 4mm. One issue is your brake reach. In my case the existing brakes had plenty of reach and worked fine.

    001.jpg 003.jpg
    8mm?, with what tires? Knobby 35mm on 700 rims? Compared to slicks on 27" rims? Whatever, I've always liked the ride on 27" with nice high pressure, fast tires. Each to their own but I've considered 700 rims to be a downgrade, and I have more than a few 700 wheeled bikes.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    8mm?, with what tires? Knobby 35mm on 700 rims? Compared to slicks on 27" rims? Whatever, I've always liked the ride on 27" with nice high pressure, fast tires. Each to their own but I've considered 700 rims to be a downgrade, and I have more than a few 700 wheeled bikes.
    8mm is a general reference to the difference in the bead seat diameter of a 27" rim (630mm) and a 700 rim (622mm). I've got several 80s era road bikes that came with 27" rims. I do not know why the bike industry felt the need to change to standard road rim size but they did. I have switched my bikes over simply because I wanted the much wider selection of rims and tires available in the 700 size. I also switched to modern cassette hubs which make a stronger wheel. I cannot say I notice any difference in ride quality between the two size wheels. One benefit of the smaller size is more clearance for fenders, etc.

  20. #20
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Agreed. My 27" bikes have a wheel diameter of around 710mm with tires, compared to around 685 w/25s on a 700. 27" tires seems to be higher profile, don't know why that is. I sense the ride difference between the two, but it's hardly the profound difference you feel between 26" and 29" MTB wheels, and perhaps 27" tires is a part of that feel. There is no doubt you have a much greater selection of stronger wheels and great tires if you opt to go 700C. Funny, I was disappointed that my garage find of a mint '82-3 Miyata 1200 is a 700C wheeled bike, I would have preferred a nice set of Araya 20A 27" that came on the 710 that year. Each to their own.

  21. #21
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ETRO numbers .. It's where the Brakes meet the rim FF. tire bead seat is at about the middle
    of where the brakes grab .

  22. #22
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    Well dang, riding in this morning loaded up I hit a speed bump, flexed the inexpensive Nashbar front rack enough (w/22 pound load) it went into the spokes. Two spokes bent, one side of the rack bent like spaghetti. Only good thing it was flimsy enough to bend back easily out of the wheel tho parts broke off in the process.

    Made me realize the perils of riding with a hard-to-get wheel size, not that this mishap anything to do with that, just that correct 27" spokes, rims, everything would likely be out of stock most places on the road if I needed a quick replacement.

    So 700C its gonna be, tho' not cheap when tires, cassette and deraileur are factored in too. I'm just gonna go retail here (thanks for the links all) as down time from riding now drives me up the wall.

    I'm assuming my old Suntour XRC seven speed deraileur wont cover a modern eight or nine speed casette.
    So now I'm needing suggestions for a workable rear deraileur. Prob'ly looking at a 32 or 34 tooth big sprocket in back. Would a plain ol' Alivio work?

    The downtube shifters are friction so I'm assuming no problem there.


    Thanks,
    Mike

  23. #23
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    Mike, Try the RD before buying another. The only problem you might have is lack of inward travel.

    Brad

  24. #24
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    OP, funny you should mention 27" wheels, touring, and lack of available parts should things go sideways like they did on my last tour. blew all my tubes and ended up riding on a flat for a few miles, like seven, before i remembered the tire was a 27" and i might have a devil of a time finding a new tire if i ruined it. so i walked (thank god for MTB shoes) the last six miles to Hayfork, Ca. they had one pitiful hardware store. no presta valve tubes, but to my surprise the only narrow (like 28mm) tire was a 27".

    and to think i could have ridden the flat all the way into town rather than suffering the humiliation of having to walk!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Mike, Try the RD before buying another. The only problem you might have is lack of inward travel.

    Brad
    Thanks Brad.

    Looks like Harris has some good deals.

    Only question I have is that they don't specify front hub diameter.

    I have a 130mm rear hub spacing and a 100mm front hub spacing.

    Do I need to call Harris or is there a default width?

    Thanks,
    Mike

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