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Where do you get cheap wheels?

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Where do you get cheap wheels?

Old 07-15-16, 04:10 PM
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Where do you get cheap wheels?

As I've been participating in the Clunker Challenge I've discovered that one of the most difficult things about restoring an old beater without blowing up the budget is finding decent wheels. I spent days de-rusting the steel wheels that I got with it, but one of the races on the rear wheel was dimpled beyond salvaging, so I needed another set of wheels.

Poking around on CL the best I could find for 27" alloy wheels was a guy who wanted $50 for a pair that didn't have all the spacer and locknut hardware with a rear hub that felt a bit gritty. I ended up buying another $25 bike just to get a working rear wheel (also steel). And frankly riding in traffic with steel wheels scares me. I don't know how cycling survived that era.

So is there a secret to finding old wheels in working condition at a reasonable price or do you just pass on bikes that don't have decent wheels?
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Old 07-15-16, 04:13 PM
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I know our local bike charity shop (not quite a co op) has a ton of wheels it salvages from bikes that are hopeless otherwise or have that the wheels alone have been donated... maybe look that way
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Old 07-15-16, 04:22 PM
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Purchasing used wheelsets sight-unseen is risky. I've had sets that are like-new or totally useless. Purchasing in person is better, but not fool-proof.

These are inexpensive and well made: http://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=739 & http://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...&cPath=235_243
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Old 07-15-16, 04:39 PM
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20+ years ago, in Olympia, WA, there were lots of lower end bikes available at thrift stores for $10-$20($9.95-19.95). At that price, they were usually heavy, Hi-ten frame sets and always dirty from years in a basement or garage, also always with flat tires. Often barely ridden, but with made in Japan, Araya rims/Sansin hubs, Dia Compe brakes and SunTour derailleurs. Easy to clean/lube and adjust into daily riders. But also could be stripped for parts to renovate other bikes. I haven't seen anything that good or that cheap in the thrift stores in our Salem area though. Seattle's Re-cycled Cycles near the U of W had bins full of good parts at reasonable prices. Haven't been up there for years, don't even know if they are still operating.

Now a days, Bicycle swap meets, local Garage sales and Estate sales are still possibilities. Better to go late, on the last day and be willing to haggle like a true bottom feeder. CL works too, but bargains go fast. Don

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Old 07-15-16, 04:50 PM
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Not funny, @AlexCyclistRoch.

I think you should do well at velomine, but I've heard one or two bad reports about Quando hubs. Get Shimano or some other brand if you can, even if they cost a bit more. Skimping on hubs seems like false economy. You want them to last a long time, and you don't want to rebuild a wheel because of a failed hub.
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Old 07-15-16, 04:50 PM
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I looked at those, and for the right build I think they'd be great. At the moment I'm trying to find a way to turn a $30 bike into a $100 bike, so while $115 wheels would do that they aren't quite what I'm looking for.

My main interests here are indulging my fledgling interest in bike restoration and getting some bikes that are down on their luck back in circulation, so maybe I can work out an arrangement with a place like Bike Farm (a local group that I think is very close to what @squirtdad suggested) where they provide me with wheels and I give them the bike when I'm done with it.
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Old 07-15-16, 05:20 PM
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I was in Chicago Wednesday, and I stopped by Working Bikes Cooperative. I found a used 26" Sun rim that was round and true that would be perfect on my Clunker Challenge Trek MTB (after the contest is over due to the $100 budget). Since the freehub wasn't working properly, they gave it to me for $10 instead of the usual $15. I have a couple functioning freehubs I could use, so that was a deal IMO. Although I live in the middle of nowhere, there is a co-op within an hour's drive that sells parts and also a used bike shop with C&V-friendly mechanic who is happy to sell me parts and wheels. I bough at set of Araya 700c hard anodized 6-speed wheels for $30, they are not perfect but I was planning on using them for riding on gravel anyway. If you have any coops or junky bike shops nearby that may be an option. But used wheels are sometimes dicey, particularly rear wheels. If the bike is a keeper for me, I usually buy a modern wheelset, but I'm a clyde that is hard on wheels.

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Old 07-15-16, 05:54 PM
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Off of cheap bikes that are worth twice in re-sold components.
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Old 07-15-16, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Off of cheap bikes that are worth twice in re-sold components.
Bingo.
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Old 07-15-16, 08:47 PM
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I've done well at flea markets, my best wheel deal was three pairs for $5 each at a Salvation Army, Mavic cosmics, Rolf and gipemme. All were in great shape
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Old 07-16-16, 12:00 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I looked at those, and for the right build I think they'd be great. At the moment I'm trying to find a way to turn a $30 bike into a $100 bike, so while $115 wheels would do that they aren't quite what I'm looking for.

My main interests here are indulging my fledgling interest in bike restoration and getting some bikes that are down on their luck back in circulation, so maybe I can work out an arrangement with a place like Bike Farm (a local group that I think is very close to what @squirtdad suggested) where they provide me with wheels and I give them the bike when I'm done with it.
PM me, I might have what you're looking for.
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Old 07-16-16, 06:09 AM
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Sometimes you find a deal on a bike that has your wheels that you really wouldnt buy otherwise. When looking for a tubular wheelset recently, I found a junk Jeunet with a nice set of Mavics on beautiful Normandy hubs. Sell or keep the extra parts for your cost.
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Old 07-16-16, 10:02 AM
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Seems as though I'm always giving away wheelsets.
I have a nice set of high flange Shimano, 27'so and another set, Dura Ace hubs, 27'so.
Anyone near to me is always welcome to pick through my wheels!
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Old 07-16-16, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post

Bought those for one of mine but didn't care for the profile of the rim, nice wheelset but didn't look "vintage" enough for that bike so I bought these for it............

Sun M13 Silver 36h 126mm fits 5 6 7 speed Vintage Road Bikes [072774731008] - $119.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

They look a bit more vintage, at least to me. Only $4 more, I've purchased several wheelsets from Velomine, have never been disappointed.
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Old 07-17-16, 07:32 AM
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The sad and real fact is that a bicycle IS the wheel set! If you buy a bike to flip, you buy the wheet-set. If it is dodgy, you dodge the sale. If you have a garage filled to the tits with old and decent wheel-sets — flip away!

A cheap machine will never, ever recover the cost of a decent wheel-set replacement unless you have special resources. And you wanna re-spoke, tension and dish some better, vintage hubs on some old rims? You will earn more per hour at McDonalds. (Well, maybe you like working with your hands — like cheap therapy?) Believe me; I've been though this mess!

So the answer to your question is [AFAIK / IMHO]: you get cheap wheels on the machine you buy!
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Old 07-17-16, 11:28 AM
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I have good luck finding wheels at thrift shops, of all places, but I check weekly. Not just wheel sets- yesterday I bought some bike-specific tools. It boggles my mind how this stuff finds it way to thrift stores.
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Old 07-17-16, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Insidious C. View Post
I have good luck finding wheels at thrift shops, of all places >>>SNIP>>>
That's something I overlooked in my post above. In Japan, shops that resell used goods are pretty thin on the ground. There are some national chain stores that resell all sorts of stuff, but very rarely have I ever see any bicycles or parts of bicycles. Good point though ... if you are in Canada or the US.
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Old 07-17-16, 07:25 PM
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I've gotten several quite excellent wheels off of local Craigslist here in San Diego:

I got a Shimano RS-10 rear wheel in good shape with a decent condition 9-speed cassette for $25.

I got a Felt wheelset with Mavic CXP 22 rims for $50 in almost brand new condition from a guy who was upgrading the wheels on a nearly new bike, and finally,

I got a used but quite nice condition wheelset with Campy Omega rims, Shimano 600 Tricolor hubs, a nearly new Shimano 8-speed HG cassette, and virtually brand new Forte Pro+ folding clinchers and tubes for $60 all in. And I use those tires, and the tires/tubes alone are worth $30 or so.
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Old 07-18-16, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
A cheap machine will never, ever recover the cost of a decent wheel-set replacement unless you have special resources. And you wanna re-spoke, tension and dish some better, vintage hubs on some old rims? You will earn more per hour at McDonalds. (Well, maybe you like working with your hands — like cheap therapy?) Believe me; I've been though this mess!
Not all time must be spent maximizing one's earning potential.
Hobbies exist for enjoyment and wasting time.
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Old 07-18-16, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Not all time must be spent maximizing one's earning potential.
I could not agree more, otherwise I'd not be the exiled, ex-pat ... never able to afford to return to the natural magnificence of my homeland that has been in the fibre of my being since childhood.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Hobbies exist for enjoyment and wasting time.
True hobbies are never a waste of time that you claim. They are a range of activities that stimulate, refine and train our brains toward something that is usually outside of ourselves and larger than we are in about ourselves.

In other words: within these endeavours — however arcane — we enter and become involved in a new world. If if there exists a true craft (take wheel-building for example) we may never master the full course.

We learn crafts and/or gain knowledge as we gain experience. These activities are commensurate with imagination and therefor connected with language.

As for the mechanical skills in dexterity and mechanics, this is the match for the kinaesthetic mode of experience and learning. Anyone who truly loves being on a bicycle can identify with that bit. Building the actual machine is a process that involves the same mode.

Of course you can go to a bicycle shop and drop down $3-10K on the cashier and just groove! Who am I to judge on that score? As just for me: I just have to use my hands at something — like it or not! I have been like that all my life, and I have spent too many hours wrenching under oil dripping clunkers to deny it — often just to pay for breakfast.

Sometimes I just wanna ride the bikes! Sometimes I just say — I'm too old for this building and budgeting sxxt! Then again, I get back from a ride all sweaty and start thinking about how to make changes: old crank-sets, new chain-wheels, free hubs/ freewheels, BB's and spindles for chain line and blah blah.

The ancient greeks had the idea that when you stopped being active, you were effectively dead! Hobbies — even if it is stamp collecting ... such as for someone in such a state that they are in a wheelchair or bedridden ... is not wasting time. They are just more alive because of what people dismiss as a mere "hobby".

To understand this further, you might look into history and observe how the passion for "hobbies" grew as the industrial revolution was grinding the pulp out of people in meaningless, soul-destroying, repetitive work that was replacing the crafts of the village.

And among the early enthusiasts there were — ahhh — cyclists! And, at first, they were not at all liked very much by the general population! In some precincts, that distaste may still remain — although not here in Japan.

Cheers ... excuse the blah-blah — can't help it. It's a hobby! Lenton/Lorne
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Old 07-24-16, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Off of cheap bikes that are worth twice in re-sold components.

+1 - here is a late 70's Zebra thunder for 30 bucks!!!!! bike looks to be in excellent condition, but even if you only wanted the 27 " wheels.... - Mens 24" Golden Sports ZebraKenko Road Bike
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Old 07-25-16, 06:55 AM
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find somebody who used to ride tubulars - he will have several sets to give away
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Old 07-26-16, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bulldog1935 View Post
find somebody who used to ride tubulars - he will have several sets to give away
It may not work out very well here on "Mars" ... but this is an excellent suggestion! NOTHING is gonna get me back on clinchers!

I lie ... a modern Ultegra wheel-set awaits my Woodrup if I ever get the damn thing built! And BTW — they are brand new and cheap from Isreal! Go figure!??? Sometimes, cheaper but excellent stuff just come up — this time on eBay. Even the shipping to "Mars" didn't hurt much.
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Old 07-26-16, 04:48 AM
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If you were in Atlanta, I have TONS of wheels. Since I "strip" bikes and sell the components/frames...and not flip bikes, I build up three items a lot...wheels, hbars and saddles. Hbars and saddles will sell on eBay...I just have to be patient...but wheels...they are a PITA! Shipping on wheels is almost as much as a frame...and, of course, for the most part, not worth it.


I typically will sell wheels to some of the local flippers for $10-20 a pair for decent wheels...if they are more valuable, then I do sell for more...and...if I get some really nice ones, I will go through the effort of truly selling them...


I also donate a good number of wheels...if they are decent, but lower end. And, finally, a TON go into the trash/recycle...
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Old 07-26-16, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
To understand this further, you might look into history and observe how the passion for "hobbies" grew as the industrial revolution was grinding the pulp out of people in meaningless, soul-destroying, repetitive work that was replacing the crafts of the village.
Either that or the women were no longer frisky.
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