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12mm 700c rims - obsolete?

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12mm 700c rims - obsolete?

Old 09-28-18, 09:26 AM
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WizardOfBoz
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12mm 700c rims - obsolete?

My stepfather recently passed away. Allow me a brief digression before I come to my question. Jim was probably the smartest guy I've ever met. Working class upbringing. His dad was a Milwaukee police officer. Worked his way through Marquette (hauling trash), earning a degree in Physics. Worked for Milwaukee battery company with Jack Kilby,where they designed and built the first integrated circuit audio amplifier. Kilby, you may know, left to work with Texas Instruments and won a Nobel Prize (in part based on the work he did with Jim). Jim left Milwaukee and started grad school at the U of Washington. Heard a lecture by a guy from the state department. Sounded interesting, so he took the Foreign Service Officer Test. It has a failure rate of 80%, and people study for years to take it. Jim passed it without any prep. Became a Foreign Service Officer, and was stationed in Paris and in Germany in the1960s. These were the premier places to go then. The guy was a rock star.
For family reasons he returned to Washington, and commuted to the State Department on an Easy Racer recumbent he built himself. He also rode a custom bike that he had Bill Boston make the frame for. Built his own wheels. Studied the Bicycling Science book and other sources to calculate optimal rake for his bikes. RIP, Jim. I'll miss you.

In any case, I inherited some bike parts and a lot of cool tools. A few 700c rims, with 12mm or so bead hook-to-bead hook width. The trend in recent years has been to wider rims, like C15 or C17 for road and obviously much wider for off-road. While these would work for up to about a 25mm tire, they aren't "trendy". So does anybody still use rims like these? Should I ebay them or toss them into the bin?

Thanks!

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Old 09-28-18, 10:22 AM
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Condolences on your loss. For what it's worth I'm still riding 23mm tyres on some of my bikes....but I'm not trendy. I can remember riding TTs way back, using 18mm tyres as well. If the rims are in good condition I'd Ebay them - there's plenty of people like me out there who'll pay a good price for parts that are still useable.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:24 AM
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Skinny rims/tires will make a comeback. While fatter tires have less rolling resistance (to over-generalize), skinny tires have less air drag and are overall more efficient at speeds over 22 mph.

Skinny tires are the next big thing.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:25 AM
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I enjoyed reading the story about your stepfather. Sorry for your loss, and it sounds like you appreciate many things about him. Thanks for sharing that.

On the rims, I wouldn't choose them for a new build, but I used 13mm internal-width rims for years with 28mm tires. I'm now shifting to 18mm internal-width rims, and wider in some cases, but you can still use the rims with 12mm internal width for general road riding.

A lot depends on what kind of riding you do. Riding on pavement with 25 or even 28mm tires should be fine.
Skinny rims with wider tires aren't very aerodynamic (a tire "light bulbs" out wider than the rim is a poor aerodynamic shape compared to tire being more flush with the rim), but not too important if you're not racing. (So, I think the previous poster is wrong about aerodynamics.)
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Old 09-28-18, 10:31 AM
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What brand and model rims are they? Could be some valuable vintage items that would be better to sell than hang on to.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:42 AM
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I believe 23 and 25 mm tires will be in widespread use for many years to come since there are so many existing bikes with frames and forks that won't clear anything wider. Three of my four bikes are in this category and there is no way I'm going to replace then any time in the foreseeable future. So, there will be a good demand for those rims for quite a while and if you can't use them, there are plenty of riders who could.

BTW, your step-dad must have been quite a guy. You are lucky to have known him.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:51 AM
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For what it's worth, I have used 13.2 mm inside width rims with 25 mm Vittoria Rubino Pro tires for years.


-Tim-
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Old 09-28-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Crankycrank View Post
What brand and model rims are they? Could be some valuable vintage items that would be better to sell than hang on to.
Yeah, Jim was a good guy - thought you'd enjoy hearing tales of an inveterate "bikie".

Two rims are nashbars. A third rim is laced onto a specialized low flange hub. They look pretty good, too. Box construction. Ferrules. One rim has through-ferrules (weight supported by both layers of the box rim, and one has only a single ferrule. The laced one I'm not sure of. Would have been from the 80s or 90s, but the things look like they came off a rack at the LBS.

Given that my average speed is less than 22mph, I think I'll ebayify these and get modern C17s or some similar size.

Thanks, guys (and as the case may be, gals).

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Old 09-28-18, 07:15 PM
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I would check out the brake caliper/pad clearances WRT the wider rims before spending $. I have seen customers switch to wider/trendy rims and find that their calipers not only loose the QR widening clearance but sometimes needed thinner pads to have no pad rub when riding.

I've run Mavic MA2/Open Pro/Open Sport rims with 25/28/32 tires for decades with no problems of handling or tire fit. But I don't care about aero stuff, it's the bike's flow that counts in my book. Andy
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Old 09-28-18, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
So does anybody still use rims like these?
Some people are still riding on them, but they're not popular for new builds. Even in the budget box-section segment, they're basically discontinued now. Fr instance, the Sun M13II rim still has plenty of inventory out there, but restock seems to have moved entirely to the Sun CR18 for the same applications.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Skinny rims/tires will make a comeback. While fatter tires have less rolling resistance (to over-generalize), skinny tires have less air drag and are overall more efficient at speeds over 22 mph.
Where are you getting 22mph from? Any such claim is meaningless without going into the particular tires, the weather conditions, the riding surface, the particular rims being used, the rider, the ride, what "fatter" and "skinny" actually refer to, etc.

I'd be surprised if the standard road width starts trending downward to below 25mm again in the near future, as I just don't see where that push would come from. Even if it does, I don't see why the market would go back to 12/13mm internal rims; aero rims definitely won't get that small unless the tires go significantly sub-20mm, and even for non-aero rims, 17/18mm internal tends to be better-behaved for tires in the low 20s than 12/13mm (handling, brake quick-release clearance, tire installation...).
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Old 09-28-18, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Given that my average speed is less than 22mph, I think I'll ebayify these and get modern C17s or some similar size.
I don't see how this is a reason to ditch those wheels. Wider rims are more aerodynamic with tires that would "light bulb" wider than the rim when used on narrower rims.
But the differences are mostly marginal.
The bigger value of wider rims is the ability to run lower pressure without the tire folding over in a corner, and less risk of pinch flats. But neither of these reasons applies much if you tend to run higher pressures.

As others have posted here, plenty of us have used traditional-width (13mm) clincher rims with at least 28mm tires without issue. If you're riding on pavement, I don't think there's much downside to using those wheels.
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Old 09-29-18, 04:30 AM
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Your digression is most interesting and I'll take it a little farther. Kilby's invention of the IC had a huge effect on virtually the entire planet. The first commercial application, the transistor radio, some say sparked the social revolution of the 50s. Young people could listen to whatever they wanted on their own radios, not restricted to family programming on the living room set. The older of us here can remember that.

I studied electrical engineering at U of I where John Bardeen, a co-inventor of the transistor, was a professor emeritus at the time. Those guys, including your stepfather, were amazing.
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Old 09-29-18, 08:15 AM
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My Easton Aero's are 13mm internal rim (probably around 17/18mm external width) and I'm running Schwalbe Durano S 23mm tyres.
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Old 09-29-18, 08:37 AM
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I relaced my Wolber profils with new Sapim laser spokes and it rides as good as any new clincher out there. Rim width doesn’t matter as much as the rubber quality when it comes to ride comfort. If the rims are in good condition, you can always rebuild them with quality spokes or ride as it is with 23mm rubber. I use 23mm front and 25mm rear on my 80s Schwinn.
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Old 09-29-18, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Where are you getting 22mph from?
I got it from the internet.

Honestly, I don't remember where I heard that. I was being somewhat facetious. But I have heard that somewhere.
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Old 09-29-18, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Brofessor View Post
I relaced my Wolber profils with new Sapim laser spokes and it rides as good as any new clincher out there. Rim width doesn’t matter as much as the rubber quality when it comes to ride comfort. If the rims are in good condition, you can always rebuild them with quality spokes or ride as it is with 23mm rubber. I use 23mm front and 25mm rear on my 80s Schwinn.
Agreed, but I weigh 240 or so and so my preferred tire width is 28mm or 32mm. On Sheldon's site a table suggests to me that the ideal rim width for either tire is about C17 (or one size smaller or larger). On the bikerumor site, I found a reference suggesting 15-19mm rims for 28mm tires, and 15-20mm rims for 32mm tires. So I'm jonesin' for a set of the newer C17 Shamal Ultra 2-ways.... Also found this cool DT Swiss dimension/pressure resource.

I am rebuilding the wheels on the Schwinn Superior with new stainless spokes. These are 27x1-1/4. Llong deprecated, these rims are very close to 700c (630 vs 622mm) and take tires about the exact size - 32 mm - that a lot of folks now view as optimal for road riding. Truly nothing new under the sun. I'll use the Weinman rims that were original.

If I do build a spare set of wheels, though, they will be 700c, C17. So these rims will be ebayified to a home that wants them.

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Old 09-29-18, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
I studied electrical engineering at U of I where John Bardeen, a co-inventor of the transistor, was a professor emeritus at the time. Those guys, including your stepfather, were amazing.
Cool. Another family story. My grandmother was the daughter of a physician in Chicago. She first went to Wisconsin. Apparently, some cad or bounder trifled with her heart and it became impossible for her to remain. So her dad came up, unenrolled her, and drove her to Champaign-Urbana and enrolled her in a school with students having higher moral and ethical principles. There she met my Grandfather, a Ceramics Engineering student. So I owe my existence to that Wisconsin cad.

Of course, after high school I went straight to Madison.

Bardeen was an astoundingly smart guy (guess the TWO Nobel prizes in Physics were a hint). Did you know that his dad was dean of UW's law school? He got bachelors and masters degrees from UW before going off to Princeton.

I'm a UW Chemical Engineer, and we had an extremely prominent professor named Bob Bird who got his undergrad degree from U of I. (PhD from UW). National Medal of Science, NAS, NAE, etc. He also was an officer in the US army who led his guys over the heavily mined Ludendorff bridge at Remagen to capture it intact("Cross the Rhine with dry feet courtesy of the 9th Armored Division"). So I might never have met him if the German demolition charges had detonated as intended. His book ("Transport Phenomena", written with Warren Steward and Ed Lightfoot) was my favorite book in college.

I'll not relate the story of my fraternity's road trip to Urbana Champaign so that I can sum up that there's a lot of connections between U of I and my family and experience. Learning and Labor!
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Old 09-29-18, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
Agreed, but I weigh 240 or so and so my preferred tire width is 28mm or 32mm. On Sheldon's site a table suggests to me that the ideal rim width for either tire is about C17 (or one size smaller or larger). On the bikerumor site, I found a reference suggesting 15-19mm rims for 28mm tires, and 15-20mm rims for 32mm tires. So I'm jonesin' for a set of the newer C17 Shamal Ultra 2-ways.... Also found this cool DT Swiss dimension/pressure resource.

I am rebuilding the wheels on the Schwinn Superior with new stainless spokes. These are 27x1-1/4. Llong deprecated, these rims are very close to 700c (630 vs 622mm) and take tires about the exact size - 32 mm - that a lot of folks now view as optimal for road riding. Truly nothing new under the sun. I'll use the Weinman rims that were original.
I'll change my prior recommendation, given that you weight 240. I've ridden narrower rims at 200#, but the heavier a rider is, the wider tires (and to some degree wider tires) you'd want for a similar ride.

The downside of 27" (630mm) rims is especially lack of available tires. You can still get Panaracer Pasela in 27 x 1 1/4", which is about 32mm tires when mounted on a typically wider single-wall 27" rim. I have 27" wheels on a few older bikes, and even built a couple of wheels in that dimension, but if I were doing that over I would go 700c for compatibility and availability.
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Old 09-30-18, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TallRider View Post
I'll change my prior recommendation, given that you weight 240. I've ridden narrower rims at 200#, but the heavier a rider is, the wider tires (and to some degree wider tires) you'd want for a similar ride.

The downside of 27" (630mm) rims is especially lack of available tires. You can still get Panaracer Pasela in 27 x 1 1/4", which is about 32mm tires when mounted on a typically wider single-wall 27" rim. I have 27" wheels on a few older bikes, and even built a couple of wheels in that dimension, but if I were doing that over I would go 700c for compatibility and availability.
Tall,

I agree with your analysis. In fact, I put just put 27x1-1/4 Paselas on my new (to me) Superior. I was stunned at how good the ride on that frame with those tires is. I got Paselas because they had gum walls and that's what came on the bike. If that's not an objective, Conti Gatorskins (made in Deutschland!) are also available. Interesting to me that when I worked at the bike shop, I sneered at those bikes because they weren't lugged and were a pound or two heavier than lugged frames.

Tying this back to my stepfather, Jim put Paselas on my Mom's bike back in the day. When we got the bike, the tires were getting pretty old (20 or so Wisconsin winters and summers in an unheated garage without AC) and the sidewalls were cracking, so I replaced them with Bontrager R3s. My wife seems to like the R3s a lot (I ride R3s in but tubed and tubeless form on my bikes). But those are 700c wheels. On Mom's bike, Jim used C17 or thereabouts. So I put 32mm (I think - either that or 28mm) on the rims. At 55 to 70 psi, she loves the ride on those.

Well, we got a 30 miler in yesterday on the Schuylkill river trail, and there was some mud. So I'm signing out to clean the bikes. Thanks, all.
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Old 09-30-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
I'm a UW Chemical Engineer, and we had an extremely prominent professor named Bob Bird who got his undergrad degree from U of I. (PhD from UW). National Medal of Science, NAS, NAE, etc. He also was an officer in the US army who led his guys over the heavily mined Ludendorff bridge at Remagen to capture it intact("Cross the Rhine with dry feet courtesy of the 9th Armored Division"). So I might never have met him if the German demolition charges had detonated as intended. His book ("Transport Phenomena", written with Warren Steward and Ed Lightfoot) was my favorite book in college.
Well, THAT Bird! I'm a '64 Chem E. graduate from Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon but it wasn't when I went there.) and I recall we also used "Transport Phenomena" as one of our texts. It interesting to hear that the stogy sounding professorial types sometimes have a very interesting backstory.
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Old 09-30-18, 12:41 PM
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Bird is about as nice a guy as you'll meet. Very helpful, but EXTREMELY high professional standards. Great motivator (as you'd expect from a guy who was an Army officer in WWII). Lightfoot was another great guy. Visionary. Was doing math modeling of physiology back when almost no one else was. Hugely influential.
Stewart was more intense, but also made great contributions to chem. eng. at Wisconsin and elsewhere.

I was very lucky.

PS Even us rubes have heard of Carnegie Tech. A terrific school. I have a friend who got her PhD there. My Mom wanted me to consider it, but I wanted to try to play football at Wisconsin (as a walk-on, and I wasn't good enough). Given that the athletic scholarship wasn't forthcoming, $315/semester tuition (that's total - not per credit) was pretty good. My son played football at Franklin and Marshall and they played Carnegie Mellon.

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Old 10-01-18, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
PS Even us rubes have heard of Carnegie Tech. A terrific school. I have a friend who got her PhD there. My Mom wanted me to consider it, but I wanted to try to play football at Wisconsin (as a walk-on, and I wasn't good enough). Given that the athletic scholarship wasn't forthcoming, $315/semester tuition (that's total - not per credit) was pretty good. My son played football at Franklin and Marshall and they played Carnegie Mellon.
This thread has drifted about as far as it can get but I do want to make one more comment. You were indeed lucky to have such a great faculty and at a truly bargain price. I'm not sure when you were at Wisconsin but Carnegie Tech has always been expensive. It was $1000/year in 1960 when I started and $1400/year when I graduated and that was tuition alone. Books, dining, dorm room, etc. were all extra. I was a commuter as that was the only way my family could afford it. Now, of course, it's sky-high pricy at $55,000 for tuition alone and over $70,000/year for with fees and residential costs.

I once read that the definition of middle class is; "You went to a school you can't possibly afford to send your kids to". That's us.
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Old 10-01-18, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I once read that the definition of middle class is; "You went to a school you can't possibly afford to send your kids to". That's us.
Heh heh. Yeah. Would be funnier if the cosmos had not aligned so that my son went to a school that pioneered the concept that "If we charge more, people will think that we're more prestigious". We couldn't afford it, but he went there anyway.
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