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Vintage Rim Questions...

Old 06-14-20, 07:10 PM
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Vintage Rim Questions...

My plan for my mid sixties Torpado Professional is that it is to be a rider. With that in mind, I have been giving thought to installing 27" alloy rims because I don't want to run tubulars on this bike. With that in mind, I need to learn a bit about wheels, rims and eyelets.

When did 700c alloy clincher rims become available?

When did 27" alloy rims become available?

When did integral spoke hole eyelets become available?
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Old 06-14-20, 07:39 PM
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Dude, you can get nice brand new machine built alloy 27" wheels with sealed cartridge bearings for less than $150 from several vendors. Not sure why you're interested in old vintage items. But, in my opinion the best old alloy wheels bear the Araya trademark.

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Old 06-15-20, 02:14 AM
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Dude, you can get nice brand new machine built alloy 27" wheels with sealed cartridge bearings for less than $150 from several vendors. Not sure why you're interested in old vintage items. But, in my opinion the best old alloy wheels bear the Araya trademark.
I am not a dude (could be a dudette) but that is beside the point.

I have absolutely no interest in newer rims/wheels as I restore my bikes. I prefer period and model correct components when I can get them. With that in mind, and not wanting to run tubulars on my Torpado Professional, I hoped to glean information regarding what might have been appropriate in the mid-1960s.

If you are not "sure why you're interested in old vintage rims". I hope that I explained that adequately.

As for the Araya rims, I totally agree - great hoops usually. However, if I had to choose my favorite old school bicycle rim, it would have to be these Weinmann concave hoops. Heavy but different and strong as strong can be. I recently swapped out the tubulars on my Legnano for a set of these clincher rims...
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Old 06-15-20, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
My plan for my mid sixties Torpado Professional is that it is to be a rider. With that in mind, I have been giving thought to installing 27" alloy rims because I don't want to run tubulars on this bike. With that in mind, I need to learn a bit about wheels, rims and eyelets.

When did 700c alloy clincher rims become available?

When did 27" alloy rims become available?

When did integral spoke hole eyelets become available?
Circa mid 60s, there were Fiamme yellow labels and -- less likely for an Italian bike, Super Champion Mod 58. The latter are far superior.

700c was a French thing from the 30s. I would suspect that they had dural rims before the war, but I don't have any sources. Hopefully T-Mar will chime in.

27" was Dunlop's response to 700c, also from the 30s. First alloy 27" rims I see referenced are from 1946, obviously just post war. It seems a lot of people were suspicious of aluminum rims well into the 50s.

A lot depends on location. In the US, 700c was more or less non existent until about 1975. Sloane doesn't even mention them in the 1974 edition of his book. Good bikes always had tubulars, that's just how it was. The only alternative was 27" clinchers. Circa the late 70s were still a specialty product for club riders and racers who used bikes that came with tubulars. IIRC I had to special order 700c rims when I laced my first wheels in 1979. I'm sure the situation was entirely different for people in continental Europe.

I don't know when rim eyelets were first used but I'd suspect it's one of those things that goes back to the 1890s and the original cycling boom.
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Old 06-15-20, 05:59 AM
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Check out these fancy rims on a 87 Centurion I recently restored. They've been equipped with 23mm Michelin tires and, they roll very fast.


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Old 06-15-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Dude, you can get nice brand new machine built alloy 27" wheels with sealed cartridge bearings for less than $150 from several vendors. Not sure why you're interested in old vintage items. But, in my opinion the best old alloy wheels bear the Araya trademark.
This forum is titled "Classic & Vintage"
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Old 06-15-20, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
This forum is titled "Classic & Vintage"
Please let me clarify my views on vintage rims. I bought my first steel race bike in 1972. It was a Peugeot PX-10e. I've continued riding vintage steel bikes ever since then for a total of 48 years. My personal current favorites being mid - 80's Japanese steel bicycles. For about the last decade I've been doing laps around Stone Mountain GA for exercise. Lots of very steep hills are involved and, ride speed often exceeds 35mph. So, for the sake of my personal safety, I usually remove the old rims and replace them with modern new ones. I also run the toughest most durable tires & tubes I can find. At 64 years old I'm way to old to fall off a bike at that speed. This also explains my signature below:
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Old 06-15-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Check out these fancy rims on a 87 Centurion I recently restored. They've been equipped with 23mm Michelin tires and, they roll very fast.

I had a set of those, they are nice until you get some miles on them and the coating on the braking surface starts to wear.
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Old 06-15-20, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Please let me clarify my views on vintage rims. I bought my first steel race bike in 1972. It was a Peugeot PX-10e. I've continued riding vintage steel bikes ever since then for a total of 48 years. My personal current favorites being mid - 80's Japanese steel bicycles. For about the last decade I've been doing laps around Stone Mountain GA for exercise. Lots of very steep hills are involved and, ride speed often exceeds 35mph. So, for the sake of my personal safety, I usually remove the old rims and replace them with modern new ones. I also run the toughest most durable tires & tubes I can find. At 64 years old I'm way to old to fall off a bike at that speed. This also explains my signature below:
Are you referring to rims or wheels? Other than brake wear, I don't understand the "Safety" issue of rims except maybe hookless and wooden rims.
My experience is more with incorrect spoke tension related failures. Those can be found not only on older wheels but new ones as well.
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Old 06-15-20, 10:20 AM
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Salamandrine mentioned Fiamme and Super Champ. I think Nisi was making al-alloy 700c clinchers
in the 60s also. Mavic invented eyeletted rims in the 40s (tubulars of course). my all time favorite
clincher is the super mod. 58 (so strong and so pretty) I chose them for my tandem cuz they're so strong
but to be correct for the Torpado you'll need to find the Fiamme or Nisi's with will be DIFFICULT.
the Fiamme's and the Nisi's are not eyeletted but the Super's are
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Old 06-15-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
Please let me clarify my views on vintage rims. I bought my first steel race bike in 1972. It was a Peugeot PX-10e. I've continued riding vintage steel bikes ever since then for a total of 48 years. My personal current favorites being mid - 80's Japanese steel bicycles. For about the last decade I've been doing laps around Stone Mountain GA for exercise. Lots of very steep hills are involved and, ride speed often exceeds 35mph. So, for the sake of my personal safety, I usually remove the old rims and replace them with modern new ones. I also run the toughest most durable tires & tubes I can find. At 64 years old I'm way to old to fall off a bike at that speed. This also explains my signature below:
Is it a known fact that there were more wheel failures in the past than there are today?
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Old 06-15-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I also run the toughest most durable tires & tubes I can find.
Sounds like a hard, unpleasant, unforgiving experience.
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Old 06-15-20, 12:15 PM
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My recollection is that the transition from 27 inch to 700C was the early 1980's, with the high-end bikes, particularly European brands switching first, and lower end/American models towards the end of the decade. I specifically remember the Peugeot line up in 1985-1989 or so switching from the PX/PZ's 700c in 1985 to everything to the Corsair, and the next model up in 1988 being the only ones with 27" wheels. We dropped Peugeot in 1989, so I do not know what happened after that. Lotus was about the same, but I thing we lost them in 1987. We still had lower half/lower end Schwinn models on the floor in '88-89 with 27" wheels, but things started getting weird with Giant at that point and I do not recall when they were entirely gone.

FWIW, those single-way Ayaya w/o alloy rims are probably some of my favorites. Without getting into the falsities of double-walled rims, bicycle marketing BS, and wheel design, they are light and fairly bullet proof.
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Old 06-15-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Is it a known fact that there were more wheel failures in the past than there are today?
I really have no idea about the actual integrity of old wheelsets vs new. Only my personal bias. So, if I have a choice between riding on a 45 year old vintage wheelset (with who knows how many miles on them) or a 1 year old 36h alloy wheelset I definitely "feel safer" on the one year old set.

My observations with tires riding around Stone Mountain have definitely made me choose the safest tubes & tires I can find. I've seen numerous flatting incidents that put people in the hospital there.

One hill on the parkway around Stone Mountain was used for the Annual State of Georgia Soap Box Derby Championships. I used to stop at the top of that one often if I knew there were school buses in the park that day. I would often hit 40mph at the bottom of this particular hill.
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Old 06-15-20, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I really have no idea about the actual integrity of old wheelsets vs new. Only my personal bias. So, if I have a choice between riding on a 45 year old vintage wheelset (with who knows how many miles on them) or a 1 year old 36h alloy wheelset I definitely "feel safer" on the one year old set.
I wouldn't trust any old wheelset either. When I find an old wheel that I want to use, I will remove all of the spokes so that I can inspect the rim for roundness and flatness, I'll then correct any deviations prior to relacing with new spokes.
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Old 06-15-20, 02:01 PM
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if I remember correctly those 60s Nisi clinchers had serrated sides
all my bikes in the 60s had serrated rims. from the steel ones on my UO8
to my first set of tubs with Weinmann rims. I don't know if I could take
that sound again. add to that my Mafac brakes which didn't always be
quiet if when toed alot
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Old 06-15-20, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
My plan for my mid sixties Torpado Professional is that it is to be a rider. With that in mind, I have been giving thought to installing 27" alloy rims because I don't want to run tubulars on this bike. With that in mind, I need to learn a bit about wheels, rims and eyelets.

When did 700c alloy clincher rims become available?

When did 27" alloy rims become available?

When did integral spoke hole eyelets become available?
When did 700c alloy clincher rims become available?
The earliest what you can realistically get are the Mavic Module "E" and Module "3" from the mid-'70s. I think.
(Mavic can be respected on an Italian bike, a Japanese rim isn’t really lifelike.)
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Old 06-15-20, 02:51 PM
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When I rebuilt my 1960 Olmo Gran Sport, I used a set of wheels with campy high flange hubs and milremo branded alloy rims. The hubs on the wheelset are from 1969. It has eyelets and may well be a rebranded superchampion 58. I haven't been able to track down anything on the web regarding the milremo clincher rims I own but the superchampion 58--which is a fine alloy clincher rim--was being manufactured by the mid 60s.

VeloBase.com - Component: Super Champion Mod. 58

Here is a set of the milremo rims I own for sale on eBay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Milremo-28-...75.c100623.m-1


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Old 06-15-20, 03:31 PM
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From Mavic's website:




Antonin Magne used the Dura rims in secret (wooden rims were still mandatory) in the 1934 Tour de France, painted to look like wood. He won.
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Old 06-15-20, 04:15 PM
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Aluminum 700c clincher rims were available from at least 1949, there could be prewar examples, but I haven't seen them. 700c tubulars while available as early as 1933, they didn't get much favor in the pro peleton until the late 30s.

27" was an English and American thing. Italian bikes for domestic use most always used 700c. Italian bikes for export to the US used 27".
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Old 06-15-20, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
(...) When did 27" alloy rims become available? (...)
From the 1963 Kitching catalogue:




EDIT: Weinmann had them at least in 1956, according to this ad:

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Old 06-15-20, 05:03 PM
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27" was an English and American thing. Italian bikes for domestic use most always used 700c. Italian bikes for export to the US used 27".
And it is the last sentence that perfectly fits into my situation. The more I get to know the Torpado, the more I think it was originally fitted with 27" wheels. Now, thanks to others, in this forum, I feel a bit better about using a set of 27" Weinmann alloy rims with or without eyelets. So, I now have a choice. I could go with the Weinmann rims that came fitted to a recently acquired 1968 Raleigh Carlton...


Note the pattern and not sure that I want to listen to the brake buzz every time I want to stop...


So, I think that I am gonna go with an eyelet set, the ones that came on my free Peugeot, that I got at the dump yesterday...




Which ever rims I decide to use, they will be laced to a lovely set of Campy high flange hubs that a fellow forum member sent to me. Hope that I have the correct length stainless steel spokes tucked away in my spoke box. In the mean time, the wheels on the Peugeot are so little used, little worn and smooth to spin. They are true and with a re-lubrication and another freewheel, they will fit the Torpado perfectly, and I intend to give those a try before I build the Campy/Weinmann wheel set.
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Old 06-15-20, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
From the 1963 Kitching catalogue:




EDIT: Weinmann had them at least in 1956, according to this ad:

"Honking Rubbers"

My inner 10 year old finds this hilarious. I think we need to go back to that term for brake lever hoods.

For those that don't know, once upon a time climbing out of the saddle was often referred to as "honking", and this was probably the main thing the hoods position was used for. Also sometimes called "hot dogging". That was archaic when I started riding...
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Old 06-15-20, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
And it is the last sentence that perfectly fits into my situation. The more I get to know the Torpado, the more I think it was originally fitted with 27" wheels. Now, thanks to others, in this forum, I feel a bit better about using a set of 27" Weinmann alloy rims with or without eyelets. So, I now have a choice. I could go with the Weinmann rims that came fitted to a recently acquired 1968 Raleigh Carlton...


Note the pattern and not sure that I want to listen to the brake buzz every time I want to stop...


So, I think that I am gonna go with an eyelet set, the ones that came on my free Peugeot, that I got at the dump yesterday...




Which ever rims I decide to use, they will be laced to a lovely set of Campy high flange hubs that a fellow forum member sent to me. Hope that I have the correct length stainless steel spokes tucked away in my spoke box. In the mean time, the wheels on the Peugeot are so little used, little worn and smooth to spin. They are true and with a re-lubrication and another freewheel, they will fit the Torpado perfectly, and I intend to give those a try before I build the Campy/Weinmann wheel set.
Sounds like a plan
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Old 06-15-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ramzilla View Post
I really have no idea about the actual integrity of old wheelsets vs new. Only my personal bias. So, if I have a choice between riding on a 45 year old vintage wheelset (with who knows how many miles on them) or a 1 year old 36h alloy wheelset I definitely "feel safer" on the one year old set.

My observations with tires riding around Stone Mountain have definitely made me choose the safest tubes & tires I can find. I've seen numerous flatting incidents that put people in the hospital there.

One hill on the parkway around Stone Mountain was used for the Annual State of Georgia Soap Box Derby Championships. I used to stop at the top of that one often if I knew there were school buses in the park that day. I would often hit 40mph at the bottom of this particular hill.
I am a little tongue and cheek here so you are forwarned. If you are concerned about tires issues when flatting on a downhill and safety, you should go for tubular as they will flat and leave you in control. part of safety is good handling, so just getting the most durable tires is not necessarily the safest..... for clinchers I have been super happy with the conti 5000 gp both for handling and lack of flats. as for wheels set and rims it think the anser is "it depends" I am happly riding a 30-35 year old mavic 330 with sanshin hubs wheelset....but it was virtually NOS when I got it and it was a wheelsmith build so quality from day one. On the other hand I had a wheelset with velocity deep V that I got rid of because of rim cracking in 2 years....and that was relaced wheel with brand new rims. ymmv
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