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Vintage wheels (Olympia Frame)

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Vintage wheels (Olympia Frame)

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Old 06-12-18, 12:57 PM
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TheoGMT
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Vintage wheels (Olympia Frame)

Hello everyone,

I've been now trying to build my own vintage bike from an Olympia Special Piuma frame: INFO on the bike:
I've had trouble lately to find a suitable wheelset (700c), I'm looking for comfort as well as durability, not specifically speed. I will use this bike for commuting which will be done on mainly gravel roads. I've heard that Mavic wheels are a good choice such as the MA or the Open Pros, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. If anyone could help me in selecting a suitable set of wheels for my bike I would really appreciate it.

Thank you, everyone.
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Old 06-12-18, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TheoGMT View Post
Hello everyone,

I've been now trying to build my own vintage bike from an Olympia Special Piuma frame: INFO on the bike:
I've had trouble lately to find a suitable wheelset (700c), I'm looking for comfort as well as durability, not specifically speed. I will use this bike for commuting which will be done on mainly gravel roads. I've heard that Mavic wheels are a good choice such as the MA or the Open Pros, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. If anyone could help me in selecting a suitable set of wheels for my bike I would really appreciate it.

Thank you, everyone.
Comfort comes from the tires, not the wheels. I can’t suggest a brand of wheels because I build my own, but I am partial to Velocity and Mavic rims. I prefer Compass tires in a 32mm width.
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Old 06-12-18, 04:34 PM
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Like you said. Mavic wheels are a good choice, but on the expensive side. Like anything, you get what you pay for...but in my experience as long as you don't TOTALLY cheap out, it's hard to go wrong with a new/true wheel.
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Old 06-13-18, 04:06 AM
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And would you know any good clincher rim models?
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Old 06-13-18, 05:11 AM
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126 mm clincher wheels? Velomine has good wheelsets at good prices. It's tough to beat these wheels built around Sun CR 18 rims for $119,

Sun CR18 Road Bike Sealed Bearing 700c Wheelset 126mm Rear [0072774736515] - $119.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
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Old 06-13-18, 06:27 AM
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Theo, I don't know how old your frame is or what the rear spacing is: 120 mm, 126 mm, or whatever. If it's a '50s or '60s frame, it's highly likely to be 120 mm, which means 5-speed freewheels or a Suntour Ultra-6 with a 7-speed chain. I have seen built-up wheels for 126 mm in many places, but rarely (any more) 120 mm.

When you talk about Mavic MA (model is MA-40) or Open Pro, you are talking about a rim, not a complete wheel. To make a rim into a wheel you need to consider the hub, which is where the 120/126 is determined. 126 hubs are not too unusual, but again 120s are harder to find. A 120 mm wheel can ultimately be more durable than a 126 due to the better bracing angles, but many long-lived 126 wheels exist.

We also don't know about the frame to tire clearances your frame affords, but you want comfort, which is best sought with a wider tire. About the widest that is reasonable for MA-40 or Open Pro rims is a 28 m or 32 mm. Better for 32 is a Sun CR18 rim, which is tailor-made for 32 mm.

If you really want 126 mm, you can have a shop cold-set the frame to 126 mm and re-align the dropouts. Then you could go with an early cassette hub. In my opinion, cold-setting the frame once in its life is not harmful if done by someone who is really good. Amateurs like us can do it, Sheldon Brown put a good set of instructions on his website.
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Old 06-13-18, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Theo, I don't know how old your frame is or what the rear spacing is: 120 mm, 126 mm, or whatever. If it's a '50s or '60s frame, it's highly likely to be 120 mm, which means 5-speed freewheels or a Suntour Ultra-6 with a 7-speed chain. I have seen built-up wheels for 126 mm in many places, but rarely (any more) 120 mm.

When you talk about Mavic MA (model is MA-40) or Open Pro, you are talking about a rim, not a complete wheel. To make a rim into a wheel you need to consider the hub, which is where the 120/126 is determined. 126 hubs are not too unusual, but again 120s are harder to find. A 120 mm wheel can ultimately be more durable than a 126 due to the better bracing angles, but many long-lived 126 wheels exist.

We also don't know about the frame to tire clearances your frame affords, but you want comfort, which is best sought with a wider tire. About the widest that is reasonable for MA-40 or Open Pro rims is a 28 m or 32 mm. Better for 32 is a Sun CR18 rim, which is tailor-made for 32 mm.

If you really want 126 mm, you can have a shop cold-set the frame to 126 mm and re-align the dropouts. Then you could go with an early cassette hub. In my opinion, cold-setting the frame once in its life is not harmful if done by someone who is really good. Amateurs like us can do it, Sheldon Brown put a good set of instructions on his website.
Good point about the likely spacing on the bike being 120 mm. Here is a good thread on the olympia special piuma:

Olympia Special Piuma

Best bet for a 120 mm clincher wheelset may be to put up a WTB (want to buy) ad in the C&V for sale forum. You never know what the hoarders--I mean collectors--on this site have sitting around.
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Old 06-13-18, 11:39 AM
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Thank you for the help. I've found some close to new Mavic Module E rims with Vittoria Competition 22 tires and a 5 set Normandy hub (P24 78)
Are these a good choice??
Thanks again for any advice
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Old 06-13-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by TheoGMT View Post
Thank you for the help. I've found some close to new Mavic Module E rims with Vittoria Competition 22 tires and a 5 set Normandy hub (P24 78)
Are these a good choice??
Thanks again for any advice
Yes if in good shape. Normandy hubs are very serviceable and mod E rims are very good. They're narrow but I've mounted a 32c tire on these rims.
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Old 06-13-18, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TheoGMT View Post
Thank you for the help. I've found some close to new Mavic Module E rims with Vittoria Competition 22 tires and a 5 set Normandy hub (P24 78)
Are these a good choice??
Thanks again for any advice
I would not prefer to commute on gravel roads with a 22mm tire. I would suggest a tire change from Day 1.
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Old 06-13-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I would not prefer to commute on gravel roads with a 22mm tire. I would suggest a tire change from Day 1.
Would 120 euros be a good price then for the rims and the hubs?
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Old 06-13-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TheoGMT View Post
Would 120 euros be a good price then for the rims and the hubs?
I don't know your 'used market' prices. And I really don't have a clue about the European market
Here in Seattle - For used vintage tubular wheelsets, I wait for a price around $100USD, maybe higher if the brake tracks are like new or the hubs are of special interest. No tires at that price.

Sometimes you have to be patient to get a nice wheelset, recently overhauled, for a good price. For 120 euros I would expect a clean wheel, that spins silently and true, and no deep grooves on the brake tracks. Hub has to hold the spindle without any looseness. Also - quickly 'pinch' the adjoining spokes with your fingers to make sure they are tensioned - any loose spokes means someone with experience should check - corrosion on spokes is not desirable.
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Old 06-14-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I don't know your 'used market' prices. And I really don't have a clue about the European market
Here in Seattle - For used vintage tubular wheelsets, I wait for a price around $100USD, maybe higher if the brake tracks are like new or the hubs are of special interest. No tires at that price.

Sometimes you have to be patient to get a nice wheelset, recently overhauled, for a good price. For 120 euros I would expect a clean wheel, that spins silently and true, and no deep grooves on the brake tracks. Hub has to hold the spindle without any looseness. Also - quickly 'pinch' the adjoining spokes with your fingers to make sure they are tensioned - any loose spokes means someone with experience should check - corrosion on spokes is not desirable.
They are vintage clincher wheels should the price be higher lower or the same as tubular sets?
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Old 06-14-18, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TheoGMT View Post
They are vintage clincher wheels should the price be higher lower or the same as tubular sets?
It depends.

You want hard answers - in the international world of 'haggle markets', How good a Haggler are you???
A good haggler will always get a better price. Or a different piece of kit.

I once haggled for a brass table, hand worked - over 3 days, in a Tunis marketplace sipping mint teas.
Maybe I got a fair deal, maybe not. It took a while.
We smiled and shook hands.
Done.
No looking back.
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Old 06-14-18, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Yes if in good shape. Normandy hubs are very serviceable...
And that's a good thing, because they tend to need servicing...
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