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New Wheels for Old Bike...

Old 10-03-12, 10:03 PM
  #1  
trav21
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New Wheels for Old Bike...

Iíve just been given my dadís old road bike. Iíve never riden a road/racing bike before, but would like to get into some casual/recreational riding. The bike is an old, (80ís?), fuji valite 10 speed. Iíve lubed it up and everything seems to be running as it should, however, it has sew-up rims, 700c. Iíd much prefer a set of clinchers.

How do I go about replacing the wheels? I need an affordable (not race worthy) set of wheels that will accept tubes and fit without any modifications. Iím not trying to turn this bike into a project. This is my first bike, and Iím not ready for all that, nor am I ready for the costs. I just want to have some fun riding as cheaply and safely as possible

Where do I look, and what exactly am I looking for?

Thanks in advance for helping a new rider get into the sport!
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Old 10-03-12, 10:07 PM
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http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels/622.html
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Old 10-03-12, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by trav21 View Post
The bike is an old, (80’s?), fuji valite 10 speed. I’ve lubed it up and everything seems to be running as it should, however, it has sew-up rims, 700c.
Badarse! If it has sew-ups and only five cogs, I'm tipping early 70s.

Sew-ups/tubulars/singles rock, dude - they're quicker, faster, softer and grippier than clinchers (quicker because they're lighter, faster because they're more supple).

Of course, it's a huge PITA when you flat, but apparently if you squirt a bit of Stan's tubeless sealant in em, they're a practical proposition.

This possibility has me contemplating building my first set of singles in 20 years...


A bit of googling tells me 'Valite' is the tubeset, not the model.

Last edited by Kimmo; 10-03-12 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 10-04-12, 07:38 AM
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Hello Badarse, welcome to the forums. Any pics of the Fuji in question? A Valite tube frame that came with tubular wheels is undoubtedly a very nice machine.

The wheels option davidad post a link to is a great one but I would recomend another route. Is the a bike shop near you? See what they have off the shelf for a basic alloy rimed QR wheels that the hub accepts a freewheel. You should be able to get a wet of wheels, and tires on them for arouns $150. While they are not as nice as wheels davidad links to they will get you one the road and make sure you enjoy the sport without draining your bank account.

These are a good option and you can have a shop swapp your freewheel on to these and adjust the rear derailleur and brakes. http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=2178



Here is a great Fuji page run by one of the members over in the C&V forum http://classicfuji.com/ You can find lots of good stuff about Fuji and look up your bike to see what year and model it is.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:05 AM
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If you're sure you don't want the sew-ups, I'd just get a pair of clincher rims with the same number of holes and build a new set on the existing hubs. Might even be able to sell the old rims.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:27 AM
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Local craigslist. Post a good photo of your cleaned-up wheelset "in search of" a clincher trade of the same dimensions. Ask that the other party help you swap the freewheel from your rear hub to their rear hub. You'll undoubtedly get takers in the first few days. Cost to you ~$zero for the wheels. Next you'll need to find appropriate tires. If 27", as I suspect, then you can get them now at Performance bike for $10 per (search Forte Strada 27 x 1 1/4). They'll have tubes to match the stem holes in the new rims, too. Check that the rim tape is intact, or else swap to the Forte cloth/weave rim tape in the appropriate width.

Valite tubing wasn't offered in the 1970s. I haven't searched the Fuji catalogs, but I'd guess sometime in the early/mid 1980s...
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Old 10-04-12, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
If you're sure you don't want the sew-ups, I'd just get a pair of clincher rims with the same number of holes and build a new set on the existing hubs. Might even be able to sell the old rims.
While this may seem like a good idea, unless the OP can do the labore himself it will likely cost more than buying new wheels.

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Local craigslist. Post a good photo of your cleaned-up wheelset "in search of" a clincher trade of the same dimensions. Ask that the other party help you swap the freewheel from your rear hub to their rear hub. You'll undoubtedly get takers in the first few days. Cost to you ~$zero for the wheels. Next you'll need to find appropriate tires. If 27", as I suspect, then you can get them now at Performance bike for $10 per (search Forte Strada 27 x 1 1/4). They'll have tubes to match the stem holes in the new rims, too. Check that the rim tape is intact, or else swap to the Forte cloth/weave rim tape in the appropriate width.

Valite tubing wasn't offered in the 1970s. I haven't searched the Fuji catalogs, but I'd guess sometime in the early/mid 1980s...
If the wheels on the bike are tubular the OP most likely needs 700c replacemnt wheels and tires. The first reference I see to Valite looks like '82.

I would love to see some good pics of the bike. Maybe the OP is confused about the tires and for somereason just thinks they are tubulars or maybe has his terminology confused.
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Old 10-04-12, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post

These are a good option and you can have a shop swap your freewheel on to these and adjust the rear derailleur and brakes. http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=2178

These are 130mm OLD? And accept 5, 6 or 7 speed freewheels. I guess the OP would have 120mm rear axle length. Good way to do it on the cheap. But if you put a 5 speed on it to keep the bike a 10 speed then the locknut would be sticking out way past the freewheel. Cut some spacers off of both sides (equally so as not to have to re-dish), but I am wondering how much you could cut from each side and how close could you get to 120mm by cutting them down?
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Old 10-04-12, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
While this may seem like a good idea, unless the OP can do the labore himself it will likely cost more than buying new wheels.
Mavic Open Sport: $100/pair
Wheelsmith Spokes: $30/set
Shop build: $50 pair

New wheels on existing hubs - $180. Could go cheaper with lower end rims and spokes like on the Sheldon site.

OP likely needs 120mm OLD which would be hard to find in an off the shelf new wheelset at LBS.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 10-04-12 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 10-04-12, 12:06 PM
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I would go to the C&V forum and see if anyone has a 126mm OLD 7-speed cassette wheel they'd be willing to trade. That gets you all the benefits of a freehub clincher 700C wheel without having to stretch the frame as far to get it in there.

Otherwise, here's some more tubular Kool-Aid: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...otally-tubular
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Old 10-04-12, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Mavic Open Sport: $100/pair
Wheelsmith Spokes: $30/set
Shop build: $50 pair

New wheels on existing hubs - $180. Could go cheaper with lower end rims and spokes like on the Sheldon site.

OP likely needs 120mm OLD which would be hard to find in an off the shelf new wheelset at LBS.
Your absolutely right! I have no idea what I was thinking.

What is the shop that builds your wheels? At those prices it is worth it to ship them my hubs and rims and have the wheels built and shipped back. Most placed around here charge $40 to 50 per wheel labor, and alot more for spokes.
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Old 10-04-12, 01:31 PM
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TRAV, i expect you have a screw on freewheel.. get a freewheel Hub wheel set
and have the Bike shop make them so they fit your old frame ..

as others note 5 speed frame spread was 120, 6 and the frame had to be wider,
another 6mm.
as how many 'speeds' became a manufacturers competition,

the next leap was to 130..
so Choose : spread the frame to use modern width hubs,
or stick with the perfectly reasonable hub type,
a shop can alter the axle spacers on the hub,
hand tension and true the wheel to suit the frame you have, as it is.
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Old 10-04-12, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
You're absolutely right! I have no idea what I was thinking.

What is the shop that builds your wheels? At those prices it is worth it to ship them my hubs and rims and have the wheels built and shipped back. Most placed around here charge $40 to 50 per wheel labor, and alot more for spokes.
$25/wheel labor is what I paid at Excel Sports for a custom set last year, maybe cheaper when you buy stuff from them.

That was the first set I've had built for me since my GP4 Record sew ups back in '85 though. All my other wheels have either been pre-built or I built myself, so I submit to your apparent knowledge of such things..

We're getting distracted here though. OP needs 700c clincher wheels and his options are:

1. Rebuild with new rims and spokes on existing hubs: medium cost, retain some vintageness, no spacing issues.
2. Buy new stock wheels from LBS: medium cost, may be hard to find d/t rear hub requirements.
3. Buy mail order stock wheels: cheap.
4. Complete custom wheels: not cheap.
5. Spread frame to accept modern hub: unknown risks and cost and compatibility.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 10-04-12 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 10-04-12, 05:38 PM
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I respaced my Trek 1000 to accept a modern 130mm rear wheel with an 8-speed cassette freehub. I still have the older (original?) 125mm rear Matrix wheel sitting around, with a threaded freewheel and 7-speed cogs (12-26 I believe). Hub was overhauled a few years ago and still spins very nicely, and it was trued when removed so it's 100% ready to go. I'd sell it really cheap if it'll work for you, which it sounds like it should. Where are you located?

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Old 10-04-12, 06:18 PM
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What sort of bike are you working with? If it's high end, it may be worth doing custom wheels. If it is a mid quality bike, you are not going to find a cost effective solution unless:

1. You can build your own wheels
2. You can find a donor bike of the same quality with clincher rims. For $50-70 you can get a bike with serviceable wheels. Put the tubular rims on the donor bike and sell it to recoup your outlay.

I would recommend against spreading the stays. Easy to do but a bit of a challenge to do it in a way that everything aligns right.

Personally, I would buy some of those Yellow Jersey Servizio Corsa sewups and try it for a while. Sewups are not as fragile as they are reputed to be and I think it's easier to recover from a flat on the road using a good spare. Granted, actually fixing the flat is a bit of a challenge, but really not as bad as they say.

Welcome to BF and post pics.

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