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Best 27 inch rims?

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Best 27 inch rims?

Old 07-31-20, 07:34 AM
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DanBikeFan
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Best 27 inch rims?

Hey fellow C&V fans,

I just purchased a 1950s British bike that I'm looking forward to restoring. My goal is not to do an exact period restoration, but to use a combination of vintage and modern components that are reliable and look good to give me a classy bike to ride around town. I do want to maintain the general look of a classic bike (i.e. towntube shifters). While the bike is being resprayed, I am putting together the components.

Because of brake reach, I want to use 27" rims on the bike (I am happy with the Pasela tires). But what are the best 27" rims to choose? I won't be racing the bike, but I would prefer something a little lighter since I have to carry it up and down stairs. Doesn't have to be the same vintage as the bike--so like Araya is definitely in consideration.

There are hundreds of posts about 27" tires, but I haven't found much on rims. Thanks!!!
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Old 07-31-20, 07:39 AM
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Sun cr 18 27 inch is a pretty nice rim and the price is reasonable.
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Old 07-31-20, 07:51 AM
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Yeah, the CR18 is great--I have them on a ladies Paramount that I restored for my wife. Looks nice, easy to fit tires, and no problems so far.

I guess I'm just curious if there are any vintage rims that are considered as good, and maybe lighter, than the CR18s or the M13 IIs? Since 27" was much more common at the time, were manufacturers making higher end rims in that size? Or has rim technology improved so much that CR18s are just better than even the best 27 inch rims that were made back in the day when they were more common?
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Old 07-31-20, 08:39 AM
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I've used both CR18s and M13IIs (albeit in ISO 622). I have a few wheels with vintage 27" Wolber Super Champions, and although nice, I think I like the Suns better. As far as weights go, I think you're looking at maybe 450g on the light side so the M13 IIs are in the ballpark. The polished ones will look great on a vintage bike.
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Old 07-31-20, 08:51 AM
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Can you even find classic rims NOS ? like Wolber Super Champion # 58 ..


Consider getting some built wheels bike shops get from their wholesale suppliers. ?
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Old 07-31-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DanBikeFan View Post
Yeah, the CR18 is great--I have them on a ladies Paramount that I restored for my wife. Looks nice, easy to fit tires, and no problems so far.

I guess I'm just curious if there are any vintage rims that are considered as good, and maybe lighter, than the CR18s or the M13 IIs? Since 27" was much more common at the time, were manufacturers making higher end rims in that size? Or has rim technology improved so much that CR18s are just better than even the best 27 inch rims that were made back in the day when they were more common?
I've built 27" wheels with vintage Weinmann (single wall) Rigida (double wall) and Sun M13 ll. I like all of them. I also have some nos Matrix rims (double wall, made in USA) that I will be buiding at some point.
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Old 07-31-20, 09:31 AM
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I have a fairly rare set of Weinmann alloy rims sporting the brake surface pattern. They came to me, recently and are in pretty darn nice shape. The wheels were on a late sixties (1968 I think) Raleigh Carlton. If interested in the rims only, I will post them in the for sale forum.

The wheels were fitted to this special US issue Raleigh Carlton from which I have harvested the components...


The 27" x 1 1/4" Weinmann rims have not been cleaned yet. Too many other projects...
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Old 07-31-20, 10:22 AM
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I donít know about best, but not wanting to put CR18s on a high end bike, I found these on eBay. Pretty happy with them after a couple of hundred miles, and they look right on the bike.
Tim

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Old 07-31-20, 10:28 AM
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Probably tough to find, but Iím liking my 27Ē Ukai rims, which happened to be on Sansin GyroMaster hubs. 36 spokes in front & 40 in the rear, so pretty much bullet-proof, for touring. 😎
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Old 07-31-20, 11:17 AM
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A good set of 27" aluminum rims with quality hubs that are in good riding condition are getting harder to find. I purchased a set in very good condition a few years back for about $125, then a few weeks later I found a almost identical set at a yard sale for $5.

My only advice ,dont be too particular on a Brand, as long as they are True dont have any flat spots on the rim and the spokes are not rusted thru any aluminum wheelset will do the job. A few minutes on a truing stand and some grease and poilish will bring out the best in a wheel.
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Old 07-31-20, 11:26 AM
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I wouldn't use Araya if you are looking for something proper for a British lightweight. I am also in love with Sun rims, but I wouldn't put them on a vintage bike. My recommendation is to go with Super Champions. The Modele 58 is a clincher, is aluminum, eyeleted, and goes back as far as the early '70's. The Super Champion Gentleman is a little lighter. You want 40H in the rear and 32H in the front.
Be careful of front dropout width and hub axle diameter, which is probably 95mm and 5/16" (8mm), respectively.
The Super Champions were made in great numbers, so some of them, to this day, can be found N.O.S. Cupertino Bike Shop has some 32H, and I have seen some (Wolber) Super Champion 40H on Ebay for a reasonable price.
If you are looking for as light as can-be, then you will want to go tubular, and Raleigh Katsaris has a nice, N.O.S pair of Birmalux Sprint rims. These would be appropriate for your build. If you really want a period look (actually about 10 years prior), then hold out for a set of Constrictor Asp rims. These alloy rims will probably be hard to find and expensive. Your only other option for period-and-place-correct are the Dunlop Special Lightweights. These are steel, British rims that were used on a lot of lightweights from the 50's to the 70's. I do not know their weight, though. Which marque, model and year is your frame?
,

Last edited by 1989Pre; 07-31-20 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 07-31-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tkamd73 View Post
I donít know about best, but not wanting to put CR18s on a high end bike, I found these on eBay. Pretty happy with them after a couple of hundred miles, and they look right on the bike.
Tim

Yep, the Super Champs are probably the best way for O.P. to go.

Last edited by 1989Pre; 07-31-20 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 07-31-20, 03:28 PM
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Awesome, thanks for the great advice. The bike in question is a 1950s Holdsworth Whirlwind--not exactly sure on the year but it is after the Sirocco (sic) so probably around 1953-1959. It is currently being resprayed and rechromed, which is taking a long time.

I agree that the CR18s and M13 II's, while great, seem a bit out of place on this bike. The Super Champion Gentleman seems like a great choice, so I will be on the lookout for those. Also thanks to 1989Pre for the heads up about hub axle diameter, which I had not even considered. Cheers!
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Old 07-31-20, 06:05 PM
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I've only had one pair of sew-up wheels and that was back in the 1970's. Since I never bought tires for them, I have no idea what size they were. Did tubular rims come in 27" size?
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