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Aluminum rim worth the premium?

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Aluminum rim worth the premium?

Old 07-29-18, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Aluminum rim worth the premium?

okay...okay...old school wheel size...

this 26x1 3/8 wheel...the aw3 hub of unknown history is clunking.

so i like to start fresh with new wheel...problem...

Amazon: built wheels with Aw3 hub are all reasonavle price,$100, but all come with STEEL rims!!!

to gets parts to built an aluminum wheel myself would cost twice that much!!!

Is aluminum really worth that much more???

i only plan to do easy slow touring like 60 miles per day. no racing!
most time is just a commuter bike.

how much weight saving are we talking about???

THaNKS




Last edited by mtb_addict; 07-29-18 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:36 PM
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Difference in cost between chinese sourced built up wheels in steel and DIY wheels out of individual parts bought at retail
would account, mostly for this differential. Realistically rim differences are probably less than $20. Weight difference is
perhaps 8-10 oz. Real concern, if you are commuting is the difference in braking, steel rims damp have essentially no rim brake
function, where aluminum rims do have some braking even wet. Disc obviates that but unaware of any AW3 with disc braking.
So safety factors can be significant if you ride when wet.
Chinese spokes probably $0.02 ea where retail channel spokes in US hard to find under $0.25 ea and more typically $0.50.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:40 PM
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the coefficient of friction of the brake pad gripping the rim of chromed steel is lower,
so your stopping distances are so much longer, and really long when it's wet out..

an aluminum rim is softer, brake pads grip it better ,
but though wet stopping is so much better
the pad friction wears a little of the aluminum off..

over time ...then replacing the rim is required.

is your safety worth it?

Consider a wheel built with an AW3C hub then the coaster brake
needs no rim brake..


But since you think low weight is important
The superior braking and near zero service requirements
of Sturmey Archer's Drum brake hubs
is probably not going to be considered ..





.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-29-18 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:54 PM
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Steel rims certainly can work adequately with rim brakes if setup well. But rear brakes don't contribute much to stopping. Compare panic stops using only front brakes versus front and rear.

Do you use your front brake primarily? If so, a steel rear rim will not make much difference.

As far as worth goes, only you can decide that.
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Old 07-29-18, 12:56 PM
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Wow, $200. is that because of the obsolete 26"?
you can get shimano 29" wheels for $85. Now that I look, you can get rear 26" for $90. Those probably have the lower end shimano hubs
Maybe you should find better sources. Assuming this is not a great bike, you certainly can find cheaper wheels than Shimano.

As others said, the heavy rotating mass of steel and bad brake performance will not be good. Steel rims also tend to be cheap and not 100% round etc.
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Old 07-29-18, 01:41 PM
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The Sun CR-18 590mm rim is a drop-in replacement for the OEM 26 x 1-3/8" steel rims used on English 3-speeds. It's not expensive (I usually find them $30-$40 each) and you can simply swap the spokes one at a time directly from the old rim onto the new rim. If you're not comfortable tensioning the wheel, you can take the laced but untensioned wheel to your LBS and have them finish the job at a fraction of the cost of a full wheel build. And the aluminum rim will give far superior wet weather braking performance than the original steel rims. It worth it for this reason alone if you ever find yourself riding in the rain or through puddles.
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Old 07-29-18, 02:02 PM
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Maybe consider buying a wheel with a 27.5" rim. That's a current size for rims and tires. Should fit OK.
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Old 07-29-18, 02:34 PM
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Ever notice how no one in the "steel is real" crowd advocates for steel rims?
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Old 07-29-18, 03:13 PM
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I would fix that hub. Old aws are very easy to repair.
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Old 07-29-18, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Ever notice how no one in the "steel is real" crowd advocates for steel rims?
I still very vividly remember the steel rim times. Not fun to brake in an emergency, and outright suicidal when doing so during wet weather.

Rims made out of steel make a very dangerous ride.
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Old 07-29-18, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Ever notice how no one in the "steel is real" crowd advocates for steel rims?
Yes. I love chrome plated steel rims. As long as they're in good shape I'm keeping them. Some bikes need this to remain real.
Aluminum has it's place as well.
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Old 07-29-18, 04:52 PM
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AAAnd they dont have a hook for the tire bead, so stick to the lower end of the pressure range

a Sun CR-18 rim wheel build is a good idea
maybe go for a Shimano Dynohub on the front ... winter is dark
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Old 07-29-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
Yes. I love chrome plated steel rims. As long as they're in good shape I'm keeping them. Some bikes need this to remain real.
Aluminum has it's place as well.
I stand corrected.
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Old 07-29-18, 09:08 PM
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...I can only speak from personal experience, but swapping to alloy rims on my own Raleigh Sports was a very noticeable performance upgrade.
In order to access a wider range of better tyres, I rebuilt mine with 26" MTB rims, but I think you can fit 700c in there, too, if you don't want a huge fat tyre.

I just think maybe you ought to at least consider going to a more readily available tyre size if you plan on "touring" with it. But you'll need to address the brake reach issues that arise.
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Old 07-29-18, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Wow, $200. is that because of the obsolete 26"?
you can get shimano 29" wheels for $85. Now that I look, you can get rear 26" for $90. Those probably have the lower end shimano hubs
Maybe you should find better sources. Assuming this is not a great bike, you certainly can find cheaper wheels than Shimano.

As others said, the heavy rotating mass of steel and bad brake performance will not be good. Steel rims also tend to be cheap and not 100% round etc.
It costs more because of the internally geared hub.
I'd spend the extra for an alloy rim, in part because the build quality on most of those steel wheels is awful. But mostly the terrible braking and significant increase in weight.
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Old 07-30-18, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Wow, $200. is that because of the obsolete 26"?
you can get shimano 29" wheels for $85. Now that I look, you can get rear 26" for $90. Those probably have the lower end shimano hubs
Maybe you should find better sources. Assuming this is not a great bike, you certainly can find cheaper wheels than Shimano.
It's not 'obsolete' 26" (559) it's ancient 26x1 3/8 which is totally different from 26" or the other sizes your describing, see here for descriptions http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
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Old 07-30-18, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
I would fix that hub. Old aw‘s are very easy to repair.



I did. I tore the AWC apart and cleaned and regreased it. But it makes this clucking sound when I brake...and there's a dragging sound when I stop pedalling. I think the culprit is the coaster brake. Either I didn't put it back correctly or previous owners screwed it up. Anyhow, my understanding is the AWC hubs are junk anyway due to the nature of coaster brake dust getting into the gears and bearings.


Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
It's not 'obsolete' 26" (559) it's ancient 26x1 3/8 which is totally different from 26" or the other sizes your describing, see here for descriptions Tire Sizing Systems
Great thing about the 1 3/8 is that it maintains the correct 26" outside tire diameter. If you put a skinny tire on 559, the outside tire diameter is significant reduced....which lowers the BB and effect the adversely handling of the bike.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 07-30-18 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:29 AM
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when over used, coaster brakes burn the grease, no dust...

Order a new wheel built with a new AW3C and a rim of aluminum. get a new front wheel too....

Sturmey-Archer | S-RC3
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Old 07-30-18, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
when over used, coaster brakes burn the grease, no dust...
But the brake shoes are made out of metal, and they wear thin...so the metal particles from the brake shoe has to go somewhere!
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Old 07-30-18, 08:49 AM
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You are thinking about your car's disc brakes

metal in coaster brakes if any, are contaminating the grease,
... probably the bronze rather than the steel..

have you compared new shoes to the ones you consider worn thin ?

what is that difference? 10ths or thousandths .. unlikely a 32nd of an inch/1mm..





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-30-18 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 07-30-18, 08:54 AM
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the bronze particles will mix with the grease and migrate over into the bearings.
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Old 07-30-18, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
the bronze particles will mix with the grease and migrate over into the bearings.
It really isn't much of an issue. Bronze is softer than the material the bearing are made of.
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Old 07-30-18, 12:30 PM
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Steel frame good. Steel rim not so good.
Actually I don't think I ever rode a bike with steel rims, but it can't be a good idea for reasons stated above, braking performance, weight, corrosion, that's enough for me. Lighter wheels will transform your bike, at not that much more $$$ outlay.
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Old 07-30-18, 12:53 PM
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Well...I found a "AL" wheel with 3-spd IGH on Amazon for only $100. I assume "AL" stands for aluminum.

But I'm scare to order this...because the seller does not specialize in bicycle parts...so I don't know if I trust the seller know the difference between steel and alloy and the difference between the various 26" sizes.

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Old 07-30-18, 01:19 PM
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then get one thru a bike shop you know and do trust.
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