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Cheese-grater rims

Old 04-23-18, 01:23 PM
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Cheese-grater rims

hi folks

I was adjusting the brakes on my first ever restoration project the other day when I got home from a ride. Felt like the cable had slipped or stretched all of a sudden, but what I discovered was worse. In the space of maybe 50 miles or so of riding (max), my rims had eaten through all but 1-2mm of one of my brake shoes!

The rims are chrome, and had significant rust on them when I picked up the bike. When buying the brake shoes the young shop assistant reassured me that the pitting in my rims would be unlikely to wear the shoes much more than if the rims were flat. In his defence he's probably never heard of anything other than alloy/ carbon rims.

Is there any hope for my rims? I'm not in love with the bike by any means, and despite its appalling 'restored' condition, it's comfy and spritely and fun to ride. I have a nicer bike now, but it would be good to sort the rims a little, even if it's just to give someone else a headstart should I decide to part with it.

Any suggestions welcome.
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Old 04-23-18, 01:53 PM
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Was it your Falcon? Those rims looked pretty rusty. Sounds like your brake caliper was dragging on one side of the rim, that would be the only thing that would cause that sort of wear. The calipers need to be centered, then the mounting bolt tightened down so that the caliper doesn't swing to one side, then you can adjust the closeness of the pads to the rim-sides.
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Old 04-23-18, 02:28 PM
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Ditch the steel wheels. You'll be happier - braking in the rain, which you won't have now, less pad wear, and less weight.
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Old 04-23-18, 03:34 PM
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Not the Falcon jj, it's a Sun Solo 1983 made in what was shortly to become a Raleigh factory. The brake caliper is set on the centre or near enough - it's just that one side of the rim was particularly rusted out and is obviously more abrasive than the other.

Ex Pres, I think you're right. Shame to ditch the whole wheel when the hubs are still good though Steel rims are a pain in the arse. I had a pair of 700c alloy wheels, but the axles/dropouts are a funny size on the Sun, and I'd have to take a file to them to get standard wheels to fit. I honestly don't think the bike is worth it. To anyone, probably!

I'm living and learning I suppose!
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Old 04-23-18, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyfourdogs
Not the Falcon jj, it's a Sun Solo 1983 made in what was shortly to become a Raleigh factory. The brake caliper is set on the centre or near enough - it's just that one side of the rim was particularly rusted out and is obviously more abrasive than the other.

Ex Pres, I think you're right. Shame to ditch the whole wheel when the hubs are still good though Steel rims are a pain in the arse. I had a pair of 700c alloy wheels, but the axles/dropouts are a funny size on the Sun, and I'd have to take a file to them to get standard wheels to fit. I honestly don't think the bike is worth it. To anyone, probably!

I'm living and learning I suppose!
My guess is that you should be able to find alloy rims that match the ERD of the steel rims.
The reason you'd want to match ERD (effective rim diameter) is so you could reuse the hub and spokes with the same lacing pattern. And I know some would say not to do this (reuse spokes), but you're trying to hold down cost. I would spring for new nipples, though. Have you laced wheels? If not, there are some good guides on the web. Everyone starts with their first wheel.
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Old 04-23-18, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres
My guess is that you should be able to find alloy rims that match the ERD of the steel rims.
The reason you'd want to match ERD (effective rim diameter) is so you could reuse the hub and spokes with the same lacing pattern. And I know some would say not to do this (reuse spokes), but you're trying to hold down cost. I would spring for new nipples, though. Have you laced wheels? If not, there are some good guides on the web. Everyone starts with their first wheel.
I haven't, although it's on my list of things to do. I'm hoping to go to a wheel building workshop this year as my LBS is branching out into a more diverse offering. I would have already had a go at building a wheel, but not confident at all about getting the right spoke size etc. Maybe the ERD replacement rims would be a safe place to start. Although being 27" wheels, I wonder how realistic that really is? Thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-23-18, 06:56 PM
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I'm thinking that between a different brand of brake pads and some wearing smooth of the rim surface, that the brake pads should be able to last a fairly long time.
I ride a couple of bikes with 27" Araya and Ukai steel rims here in the hills that are perfectly smooth/pleasant in everyday use, provide generous width, and one set even has fine texture divots on the braking surfaces. Many (most) pads are very much not made for use on steel rims, as the pads are prone to surface melting and rapid loss of thickness, usually accompanied by noisy and/or abrupt operation.
The rims on one of my Varsities are much heavier and have less-smooth of a braking track, but again they do not eat brake pads.
Look for pads with "for steel rims only" or similar printed on their packaging.
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Old 04-24-18, 01:06 PM
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Thanks for your suggestion dddd - I hadn't considered that, and the shop assistant said nothing about the pads being suitable for my rims specifically. Worth one last punt before I leave the old beast behind
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Old 04-24-18, 06:17 PM
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I don’t mind steel rims. I like the way they look and don’t like riding in the rain anyway. Kool Stop makes salmon pads specifically for steel rims.
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Old 04-24-18, 06:40 PM
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I wonder if in this case, Modolo's much lamented "Sintered" brake pads might actually work.....
Not sure about the resulting braking performance, but the quite hard pads would most likely put up a good fight with your "textured" rims.....
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Old 04-24-18, 07:05 PM
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Modolo sintered pads seemed to melt and stick onto even my anodized alloy rims, so I wouldn't use them on steel rims.
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Old 04-24-18, 07:36 PM
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Have you tried sanding down the braking surface? I'd get some 220 wet sandpaper, wrap say 1/4 of a sheet around a 6" piece of 1 X 2 wood and gently go around the rim smoothing off all the highs. Remount the tire, ride it and see if it is behaving better. No much time or money lost and you haver very little to lose.

Ben
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Old 04-25-18, 05:56 AM
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The thought of sanding chromed steel makes me cringe.
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Old 04-25-18, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
The thought of sanding chromed steel makes me cringe.
Me too. But I can't pretend it hasn't also crossed my mind. It's third on my list of things to try, after:
1. trying steel specific pads
2. selling the bike

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