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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 01-24-12, 10:29 AM   #1
bendembroski
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rim choice

Getting closer to ordering a Madsen...

Something tells me that I'm not going to be particularly happy with the brakes, or the factory built wheels.

I'm also thinking about building up a rear wheel with the Sturmey Archer CS-RF3 rear hub (http://www.sturmey-archer.com/products/hubs/cid/8/id/58)

So, what rims do y'all recommend? 36 hole, play nice with Big Apples, in 20" (406) and 26" (559) sizes. If I build up a front wheel it will likely be with a Sturmey drum brake / dyno hub, so the rim won't need a braking surface.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-24-12, 06:59 PM   #2
aykew
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I just recently finished spec'ing out a Madsen for my wife through a dealer (Christmas present) and he definitely agrees on the brakes. However, the wheels are reportedly pretty solidly-built for the money. You might want to see how you like them before doing too much more research.

Also, according to my dealer, a 2.0" tire on the back is really tight, clearance-wise and may require a bit of modification. A 2.25 is out of the question. In the front, the stock fender isn't really wide enough for anything bigger than a 1.75" and anything wider might rub on the insides of the wheel lock. We ended up going with 1.75's for both; a marathon plus in the rear and a marathon supreme up front.

For brakes, we went with an Alfine hydraulic disc up front. Unfortunately, the tightness of the rear doesn't allow for discs, but a drum might work. (Ours will have a Bionx motor out back, so we're stuck with rim brakes.)

Also, you might not want to wait too much longer; Madsen has them for a really low price right now, but they're about to go back up to the normal price.
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Old 01-24-12, 08:19 PM   #3
nubcake
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Rhyno lites are cheap and very very proven. Big Apples are also a great choice on tires, if they clear on your bike you should love them, I know I love mine.
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Old 01-25-12, 04:05 AM   #4
bendembroski
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Thanks for all the input!

I'm waiting for Jared to answer a few questions before I pull the trigger. Unfortunately, he was out sick for a bit last week and is just getting caught up now. Fortunately, the nice people at Madsen said they would honour the pre-order price if Jared doesn't get back to me until after the price goes up. (Other companies take note, this is how you are supposed to treat customers!)

Re: Wheel strength: It's good hear that they have a rep for being strong. If bike proves to be as useful as I think it will be, I'm going to to want to fit a dynamo, so a front wheel rebuild is going to happen anyway. I'm a big fan of Sturmey drum brakes -- especially how low maintenance and weather resistant they are. I suppose the other way to go is just to replace the front brake with Avid BB7, and then get a disc / dynamo front wheel built a bit later on...

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to want a bigger gear range than a 1x8 is going to give, so it's either a front mech, or a rear wheel with Sturmey 3x8 rear hub. I know the front mech is going to be cheaper, but in my experience fitting a front mech on a bike that isn't specifically desgined for it is usually a bit of kludge.

The big apple issue is interesting. I'm pretty sure I've read elsewhere that folks have managed to fit BA's (50mm) on their Madsens, but I don't recall if they had the wheel lock or not. Not worried about fender clearance, I've got a front that should work OK, and I don't mind fitting something to to back.

All in all, I'm looking to make the bike a low-maintenance and practical as possible.

PS: It's hard to be critical without actually seeing the bike, but I cannot think of a reason why the bike would't be designed from the get-go for clearance for fat tires. If nothing else, their resistance to pinch flats when heavily loaded should make it a no-brainer (or am I missing something?)
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Old 01-25-12, 10:14 AM   #5
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Trust me, I would have gone for fat tires too if it were possible! If you don't mind losing the wheel lock, I imagine you could probably go up to 2.25.

What eventually convinced me was my dealer's advice about the bulletproof nature of the Marathon Plus. The Big Apple is pretty tough, but the Plus is apparently nearly impossible to puncture flat. He also said pinch flats weren't ever going to be an issue given the (still relatively high) volume of the tires for the amount of weight you'll be carrying on a regular basis. On the other hand, the thought of my wife trying to replace her rear tire after running over a thorn in the Seattle rain is not an appealing thought. (I'm not sure if you need to take off the bucket or not, but with an electric rear wheel, I'm sure she'll at least need a wrench.)
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