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Vintage Weight Weenie Wheelset Strong Enough_

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Vintage Weight Weenie Wheelset Strong Enough_

Old 02-13-20, 10:30 PM
  #1  
NHmtb
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Vintage Weight Weenie Wheelset Strong Enough_

I'm building up a "new" wheelset for my 70's Di Lorenzo frame and fork (currently out to be chromed), and I'd like to know if anyone has experience/opinions re. whether these will be strong enough. These are nice hubs and rims, but I'd hate to crack them.
The wheelset plan is as follows:
36h Weyless Hubs
Super Champion Medaille D'Or rims - I think. They had only remnants of the model stickers on them, so I'm going by weight.
Dt Swiss Competition 15g double butted spokes laced 3X front and rear. I have considered using a 14g in the rear.

I haven't found a lot of info on the Weyless hubs (which will be getting replacement stripes btw) but what I have found implies they're for lighter riders. I weigh about 170-180lbs. I'd say I'm on the smoother side as a rider, but I do stand and mash on occasion. The frame is 58cm square, full Columbus SL. This bike won't be ridden a ton, but it will be ridden and I don't want to be overly worried every time I roll out.

So what do you think?


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Old 02-13-20, 10:51 PM
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15g DB is 1.8/1.6/1.8, right? I think that should be plenty since you'll have 36 of them in front and back.

You'll probably want to go easy on the tensions since the rims are so light.
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Old 02-14-20, 01:03 AM
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I'm closer to 200 lbs and frequently ride vintage lightweight tubular wheels, so my 2 cents is that you should be fine. Those are going to be some pretty wheels. Do you know the tire clearance on that frame? My suggestion is to get the widest tires you can you can fit to help soften the road, not to mention ride comfort.
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Old 02-14-20, 01:50 AM
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Ive had great results when I used one size larger spokes on the DS rear, so that would be DT 14ga. Competitions (2.0/1.8/2.0mm). The NDS rear spokes end up at a higher tension when the wheel is properly dished - a good thing.

FWIW, I usually use 14ga. DT Revolutions (2.0/1.5/2.0mm) rather than 15ga. DB for front and NDS rear. If nothing else, the spoke nipples cant get mixed up! Im similar weight and riding style to the OP, but I've never won anything resembling a sprint.

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Old 02-14-20, 03:13 AM
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NDS tension will be exactly the same.
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Old 02-14-20, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by NHmtb View Post
I'm building up a "new" wheelset for my 70's Di Lorenzo frame and fork (currently out to be chromed), and I'd like to know if anyone has experience/opinions re. whether these will be strong enough. These are nice hubs and rims, but I'd hate to crack them.
The short answer is: NO! They are not strong enough.

These would have been special race day wheels only BITD, and that's for a racer with a weight more like 140-150. Special race like a TT or district championships. Absolutely not meant for everyday riding, or even every weekend racing. Medaille d'Or riims and for that matter Weyless hubs were a running joke for years.

Should you build them? Sure. It's a vintage authentic weight weenie combo. Should you actually ride it? NO. Maybe once in a while take it out for Sunday show off short ride. That's it.
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Old 02-14-20, 03:42 AM
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Lighter practical rims for regular use might include Araya CTL-370 and Wolber Super Champion Alpines. My weight has varied between 165 (2017) to 150 (now), and I've ridden those hard on rough rural roads, chipseal, etc. No problems. I mostly use cheap Continental Ultra Sport II tires, but occasionally put on lighter, faster tires that are pricey and less durable to chase a PR.

The Araya CTL-370 weighs, as the number implies, 370 grams. I think the Wolber Super Champion Alpines were around 400 grams. When built into a wheel with tubes and tires, I can't feel any difference hoisting the wheels or riding. Both are very good and only need ultra-thin butyl tubes like Conti's Race 28 Light, or latex, and spiffy fast rolling rubber. My favorite was Schwalbe One V-Guard, although they cut easily. Didn't puncture easily, though, and were so smooth, quick and comfortable even at higher pressure. But depending on road conditions might last 2,500 miles or only 500.

I was unlucky enough to use 'em during a construction boom on my favorite (formerly rural, soon to be suburban) workout route. Lots of construction debris, etc. The worst that finally nicked my rear tire beyond reasonable repair occurred when a flatbed trailer hauling slate must have dropped some. At dusk the shattered slate blended in and was so thin it barely registered a shadow. I managed to avoid most of it but the stuff was razor sharp. It nicked the rear tire, slashing the tread. It just barely nicked the puncture shield and tube, so beneath the soft, grippy tread was some remarkably tough matrix and puncture shield for a lightweight clincher rated at something like 12 watts rolling resistance. That was pretty darned good 3-4 years ago, before the recent influx of 10 watt clinchers.

I kept a piece of that slate. It literally could be used as a knife or arrowhead without any additional chipping. It's not as durable as flint, but Gaia made nature's evil little razors out of the stuff. Kinda makes me wonder about homeowners who choose it for flooring.

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Old 02-14-20, 04:11 AM
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the hubs are not the issue, neither are the spokes, the rims are. Vintage WW rims are nowhere near as stable as anything made from 1990 on - we used to crush them with one hand so they would fit in the trashbin - try that with a CXP30 or similar. Now i don't remember the specific rim you have there, but if it is below 400g, expect at least a lot of fiddling around to build, and not really very much in terms of rigidity.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for all the input and advice! I think these rims weigh about 270g (if memory serves). I will build them up and take it from there, but it does sound like they might end up being more of a cause for concern than I would like. The rest of this build is definitely race-weight, so this wheelset fits with the theme. But the wheelset is the only part that actually gives me pause. If after building and riding I'm still worried, I guess I'll have to find some Campy hubs and a stronger tubular rim for a more robust wheelset.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:35 AM
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45 years ago I raced on these, road and track. I weighted 135.
I would not train on these wheels. Spoke tension has to be respected, one cannot use modern 32 spoke tension with them.
A rim to use 14/17 ga double butted spokes.
Biggest concern would be dents or flat spots from a pothole or debris you did not miss.

When I built wheels for others, I would often use a Super Champ competition for the rear, front wheels can often be lighter rims.
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Old 02-14-20, 11:29 AM
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BITD the rule of thumb was always over 150# rider weight and no more 15 gauge spokes for you. When I went from under 150 to over 150 all my wheels started breaking spokes just to prove to me the rule of thumb was correct. All 32 and 36 spoke wheels then.

In principle a 260 gram aluminum tubular rim could be strong enough for a 170# rider but Medaille d'Or ain't that rim. Nisi or Scheeren would work. The Super Champ rims were never as light as claimed so maybe a few more rims might be eligible alternates.
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Old 02-14-20, 11:57 AM
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The OP's rims and hubs are beautiful and appear new. I'm jealous.

Always fun to tinker with this old 'weight weenie' stuff but certainly requires extra care and precautions. I do ride various bikes with parts, wheels (and old tubulars) that some would think is nutz, but I don't just jump on it and take them for any riding.

OP is planning a RACE wheelset that should be realized for smooth surfaces. Also consider the large stress on them during climbs.

In other words, the planned rim such as the OP's was designed for special use. Good or poor type, I would feel confident long as used for the appropriate ride conditions. Pre-plan and know what the route and surface consist of. No surprises on some century club ride with a section of trashed road, pot hole, etc.. Deviate from that rule, one rail crossing, or attempt to bunny hop it and it may end your fun.

Build and use for the proper application and enjoy the ride. Otherwise, have a more robust second wheelset for the majority of riding.

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Old 02-14-20, 12:58 PM
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You should be fine, as long as you have a neutral service card.


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Old 02-14-20, 01:05 PM
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Rode with Mavic Gel 280's and 32h campy hubs for a couple years at a race weight of 210 lbs. laced radially in front and radial on Nds 3x drive side in rear

did not use these to train on but they were used to race every available weekend for 2 years - probably 30-40 times
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Old 02-14-20, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
The OP's rims and hubs are beautiful and appear new. I'm jealous.

Always fun to tinker with this old 'weight weenie' stuff but certainly requires extra care and precautions. I do ride various bikes with parts, wheels (and old tubulars) that some would think is nutz, but I don't just jump on it and take them for any riding.



snip . . . .
It's not like I haven't seen you ride a bike while carrying spare parts in a backpack, just in case your bike might shed a few parts on the ride.

I'm not saying that's nutz . . .

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Old 02-14-20, 01:43 PM
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Folks talking about the spokes? Sorry, the spokes are not the problem. It's the rims. I don't have time to wade through all the answers, just going to pass along my experience/opinion..

​​I raced on Super Champions, Bitd. 36 and 32 Medaille D'Or in front. 36h Arc-en-Ciel rear. I weighed between 147 and 153. I had difficulties keeping the Medaille D'Or true especially on rough courses. It's too flimsy. But It's an awesome race-day rim. Only. Never intended to be ANYTHING else. Under the right circumstances, it was a kick-ass wheel. Remember, they will not take modern spoke tensions. Too much and it will distort, right away, or over time.
They will be a beautiful set of wheels! Just be super careful where you ride them. And don't mash up hills or your rear wheel may deflect, and...
Good Luck, Eric

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Old 02-14-20, 01:53 PM
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FWIW one of the dudes in my bike club BITD crashed pretty badly because a Weyless quick release failed in the middle of a training ride. So keep in mind that while the hubs are probably fine to use regularly, that doesn't hold true for the QR's.

I'm sure this is dependent on region and era, but here's some more rules of thumbs from BITD:

A typical training weight tubular rim was around 350g. For example: a Fiamme red, Super Champion Arc en Ciel, or perhaps the slightly lighter Mavic Monthlery at 330g. A Mavic Championnat du Monde at about 400g would be a better choice for a heavier rider.

Typical race rims were more in the 300g range. In my area were Fiamme gold labels were popular. These were only 30g more at 290 (allegedly) but they were IIRC 70xx alloy and were a bit stronger than a typical 60xx rim as a result. 260g rims are just too light for anything other than race day wheels for a light rider.

In the early 80s it started to become fashionable to use heavier 400g rims, which quickly lead to 32 spokes becoming the norm instead of 36.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:04 PM
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[QUOTE=Salamandrine;21327958]FWIW one of the dudes in my bike club BITD crashed pretty badly because a Weyless quick release failed in the middle of a training ride. So keep in mind that while the hubs are probably fine to use regularly, that doesn't hold true for the QR's./[QUOTE]
8888
Failed how? If you can remember, that is.

Asking because I have a set, that I think about putting on my weyless hubbed Teledyne Titan. I'm currently using a high-e front skewer and a modern ti weenie skewer in the rear. Cheers, Eric
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Old 02-14-20, 02:05 PM
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There's a lot to be said for a 400g tubular rim like the GP 4 or the monthlery pro.
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Old 02-14-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
There's a lot to be said for a 400g tubular rim like the GP 4 or the monthlery pro.
Bah!......
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Old 02-14-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
Failed how? If you can remember, that is.
Asking because I have a set, that I think about putting on my weyless hubbed Teledyne Titan. I'm currently using a high-e front skewer and a modern ti weenie skewer in the rear. Cheers, Eric
I wasn't on the ride and only heard about it later. Best I can recollect it was the front skewer that broke and the wheel hopped out, or something like that. There may have been some exaggeration through the grapevine. I did know the guy, but never asked him about it.

On a Teledyne Titan, it's totally appropriate really, and you'll pretty much need to keep a careful eye on the whole bike regardless, so it's just one more thing.

Keep in mind that the area where I grew up was very hilly with many very fast and bumpy descents, and the local training rides could get pretty competitive. I think you'll be fine for casual recreational riding. Just something to keep an eye on. I'd probably avoid high speed descents on potholed roads.
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Old 02-14-20, 05:31 PM
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In 76 I bought a 2nd hand Windsor Pro and equipped it with wheels made from Phil Wood hubs, trois etoile spokes 14/15/14 and Super Champ Arc en Ciel rims. I weighed never less than 200 and these worked fine for a long time including my once-only race experience.
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Old 02-14-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
FWIW one of the dudes in my bike club BITD crashed pretty badly because a Weyless quick release failed in the middle of a training ride. So keep in mind that while the hubs are probably fine to use regularly, that doesn't hold true for the QR's....
Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post

Failed how? If you can remember, that is.

Asking because I have a set, that I think about putting on my weyless hubbed Teledyne Titan. I'm currently using a high-e front skewer and a modern ti weenie skewer in the rear. Cheers, Eric
My pair of Weyless hubs have aluminum nuts on the quick releases. The front one is smooth. The rear one has small serrations which have gotten smoother over the years. I am at the point where I can not use the rear skewer anymore because it gets insufficient purchase on the chromed dropout, so the tension on the chain pulls the drive-side end of the axle forward in the dropout causing the tire to rub against the non-drive-side chainstay. I am neither a powerful or heavy rider. I don't know if this will be an issue with a painted frame or your titanium frame, both of which probably provide a little more friction than the chrome on my bike.

Also the hubs have developed a bit of side-to-side play and I've yet to figure out how to replace the bearings.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
My pair of Weyless hubs have aluminum nuts on the quick releases. The front one is smooth. The rear one has small serrations which have gotten smoother over the years. I am at the point where I can not use the rear skewer anymore because it gets insufficient purchase on the chromed dropout, so the tension on the chain pulls the drive-side end of the axle forward in the dropout causing the tire to rub against the non-drive-side chainstay. I am neither a powerful or heavy rider. I don't know if this will be an issue with a painted frame or your titanium frame, both of which probably provide a little more friction than the chrome on my bike.


Also the hubs have developed a bit of side-to-side play and I've yet to figure out how to replace the bearings.

Brent

No worries, in that regard. Titans were ahead of their time. Vertical dropouts in 1973.


After I suffered a really annoying wheel pull going up a hill due to using a modernish Roval rear skewer, someone here recommended adding a serrated washer. Seems like a reasonable solution.


I describe the wheel pull as really annoying, because I was unable to get out of my toe-clips in time. I keeled over in ridiculously slow motion, twisted my shoulders sideways, and was able to thrust out both hands, preventing the bike from hitting the pavement, but snapping my left ring finger on the cobblestone curb. I regained full use of it, can make a fist, but it will never lay flat again. The bike, my newly restored (at the time) Ron Cooper, suffered zero damage, ditto the mint condition NR/SR parts. I would make the same decision to protect the bike today, but use my old flat blade campy skewer once more, so situation does not arise.

Best regards, Eric
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Old 02-18-20, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and input!
I'm happy these rims/hubs are passing for new... they're not. I don't think they've seen many miles, and I have put in quite a bit of time polishing (progress photos below).
FWIW, these rims come in at 280g per rim. I will build these, but I will go very slowly since I've never built such a lightweight vintage rim. Also I'm now be on the lookout for something a little more substantial.

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