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  1. #1
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Is this wheelset worth it?

    Looking around for a decent wheelset for my "new" late eighties Davidson touring bike. The frame is 125mm, but a 130mm hub slipped in pretty easy. I like to run 32mm tires max, which is good cause that seems to be close to the top of what this frame will take.

    I am 220 pounds, generally carry a max of 20-25 pounds with water and food. Wheels up to now have been Ukia rims on Sansin hubs, 40 spoke rear/36 front. Freewheel.
    Its time to consider a new wheelset, and found this one on closeout.


    DT Swiss 370 Onyx hub (non-disc)

    14G Stainless DT Swiss Spokes

    130mm rear axle width

    100mm front axle width

    Super-tough Velocity 700c Dyad rim with machined braking surface

    Black anodized rim and hub

    Remaining stock available in 36-spoke lacing only




    With shipping I can get this set for around $350 US. Right now that's a fair chunk of money for my budget, But pricing the separate parts, and considering its handbuilt, should I go for it? Ebaying a bunch of my vintage parts for the last few weeks has brought me close to paying for it.

    Untill I found this I was thinking about the Velo Orange Gran Cru, as it comes in a 130mm. But they seem to call for a wider tire than I want to run.

    And as a preemptive answer to the suggestion I spread the frame, thanks but no. I will not be doing that to this one. Not while they make 130mm hubs.

    Oh, and here is a pic of the bike, still working on it, but rode it for a forty miler the other day and its a joy to ride. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/crawdadslim/14019385398" title="003 by onedollarmiyata, on Flickr"><img
    Last edited by shipwreck; 05-24-14 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    The wheels from Harris cyclery look good. Also this suzue touring wheelset from Universal cycles (suzue sealed bearing hubs laced onto ukai double walled rims). If you sign up for the website, you get a coupon that you can apply to the wheels:

    Universal Cycles -- Suzue RXC Touring Wheelset

  4. #4
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links bikemig and bradtx.

    One nicer thing about both the suggested sets is the alloy color. I like that a lot more than the black. The only reason I am waffling is the Handbuilt VRS Machine built. The wheels I was asking about are handbuilt(so the site says)by Co-Motion, and were used in a touring model they discontinued. I imagine that they are built very well.
    Co-Motion Cycles

    I usually build my own wheels, and did so with the Ukia Sansin freewheel touring wheels I am currently using(rebuilt actually). I have pounded the crap out of them on some rough roads, with very little trueing needed. SO I am not to afraid of trueing and stressing a machine built set, I just don't want to very much
    Last edited by shipwreck; 05-24-14 at 10:22 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    I bought the same set of wheels from Co-motion last year. They were used in the past for the Nor'wester Tour which my wife has. I got them for my bike as my wife "borrowed" my new Ultegra/Dyad/Wheelsmith wheelset when I was building up her new frame. She preferred silver, and I prefer black so it was a win/win. The Co-Motion shop is about a 45 minute drive from our house so I had a pair built up when they put them on sale. They are a high quality wheel, and built by a very reputable shop. The folks at Co-Motion are great to work with.

    The one thing you might want to look at is the servicing requirements of the DT hubs: preloading the sealed bearings when adjusting them. It seemed overly complicated to be for a sealed bearing hub. They also don't come with QR skewers, which is OK. I was not happy with the DT skewers that I got and think there are some better ones on the market. Actually the QR skewers was one of the reasons I did not keep them very long. They didn't seem to hold the rear wheel tight enough when I put a lot of torque on the rear wheel. I also decided I wanted both my wife's and my hubs to use the same parts, spoke sizes and be easily serviced, so I had another set of wheels built on 105 hubs, Dyad rims, and Wheelsmith DB spokes at Universal Cycles.

    I guess I'm not much help because both Co-Motion and Universal Cycles produce excellent hand-built wheels. It is just a matter of what you want in a wheel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member shipwreck's Avatar
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    Doug. That is very helpful, thank you!
    one of my reasons for wanting a wheelset like that is the lack of messing with it after purchase.
    I think that I may go for the universal cycles option. I like the silver, and it may sound funny but having ukia rims with suzue hubs will be more in keeping with the vintage suntour components, in that there will be no shimano on the bike. I generally like cartridge bearings as well, as it sort of takes care of the preload issues.

    All I have to do is sell the NOS specialized touring pedals, and a couple other things that came with the frame when I bought it, and I will buy some wheels.
    what I get ultimately depends on what stuff ends up going for on eBay.

  7. #7
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    Harris Cyclery used to offer to "touch up" machine built wheels for a reasonable fee, $10 I think. Maybe they still do, I don't know. IMO this brings the build quality up to hand-built without all the cost. In fact, this is my front wheel and the review on the site was written by me. Still using the wheel, still works great. Never seen a spoke wrench since I've had it.

  8. #8
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I have purchased a few super cheap sets from bike wagon (on ebay). They all seemed to have over tightened cone bolts and slightly uneven tension. Easy to fix. I figured they were cheap because of the flaws.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    LBS here takes wheels off the bikes on the floor , when tourists arrive needing one . then have the distributors supply a replacement wheel
    for the inventory bike..

    they're not premium wheels , as the Locals are not that flush with cash ..

    when the fancy ones get munged , the owner gets the Hub to ship home.





    FWIW AFAIK , machine built wheels use the hubs, as supplied to them , typically Tight , then the store's mechanic adjusts them.
    and deals with hand truing , before delivery to the customer ..

    Online bought machine wheels, bypassing the LBS, That's Your Job..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-25-14 at 08:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Universal Cycles' Custom Wheelset Builder? The program allows you to specify the components you want. The prices seem to come in under buying the components separately including the build. You may be able to get a wheelset closer to what you want, and still be within budget.

    Universal Cycles -- Custom Wheelset Builder
    Last edited by Doug64; 05-25-14 at 12:35 PM.

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