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Speedy, Retro-looking Rims for Vintage Merckx

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Speedy, Retro-looking Rims for Vintage Merckx

Old 11-02-20, 10:39 PM
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calamarichris
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Speedy, Retro-looking Rims for Vintage Merckx

The bike (in the middle):



The specs:
700c, clincher, 32h, rim brake (naturally), mated to Shimano Sante hubs.


The current choice:
Velocity's Quill rims.


What other rim options are there? I'm open to actual vintage rims, but as a fat old MAMIL with a FUBAR heart valve, I'm hoping for something speedier than the current box-section rims, and something a little more forgiving than the current 36h heavy gauge spokes. The current wheels feel like riding on cinderblocks underwater.


The cranks above have been replaced with a NOS set of Sante cranks, so I'm learning toward getting the rims in white, but am interested in guidance and other options out there.

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Old 11-03-20, 06:09 AM
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I plan on using Quills on my next 650b build, but my upcoming 700c will use H Plus Son Archetypes
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Old 11-03-20, 06:36 AM
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@calamarichris - What rims are on there now?
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Old 11-03-20, 06:49 AM
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H+Son TB14 sure look the part for vintage. Don't know how speedy they are.
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Old 11-03-20, 06:58 AM
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I have both TB14s and Archetypes and will probably use Archetypes on my next 90's touring bike build. The TB14s have held up pretty well on my rando bike though. Even over MTB trails with lots of rocks.
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Old 11-03-20, 07:15 AM
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Matrix ISOII-C come to mind.
Mavic had a similar aero version, in older aero.

Aeroheads were great but separated at the seams.

CXP-33's look good, heavy.

I think the Quills are a good choice if you're lacing them to existing hubs.

Um, you're a Middle Aged Mother In Law? I didn't know...
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Old 11-03-20, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
H+Son TB14 sure look the part for vintage. Don't know how speedy they are.
Had a recent discussion on Paceline about the TB-14. My experience on 2 wheelsets is they look good, well built, but not a racer rim and IMO more appropriate for touring use or when the aesthetics are the main goal.
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Old 11-03-20, 07:53 AM
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I like TB-14's and consider them a pretty fast rim. Set two PR's on the Merckx Pro-SLX on them last summer, so there's that.
Mostly though, I build with Mavic rims- Open Pro, Open Elite and CXP33. Flat and round, build up nicely, reliable as a rock, hardly ever need attention, machined brake surface. Have ridden them at Eroica as well, which is tough on wheels.
Have also had good luck with Kinlin rims, although not sure who sells them these days.

Whatever you wind up with, use nice stainless DB spokes for a better ride. And buy great tires- e.g. Conti GP 5000, Vittoria Graphene, Panaracer GK-they are worth the investment.
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Old 11-03-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
@calamarichris - What rims are on there now?
Unlabeled. They came laced to Shimano 600 (6400, Ultegra) hubs, and the brakes have barely started wearing the paint. You want 'em?
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Old 11-03-20, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Matrix ISOII-C come to mind.
Mavic had a similar aero version, in older aero.

Aeroheads were great but separated at the seams.

CXP-33's look good, heavy.

I think the Quills are a good choice if you're lacing them to existing hubs.

Um, you're a Middle Aged Mother In Law? I didn't know...

I know you're joking, but just in case you're not: Middle Aged Man In Lycra.
You know, when you can't remember what you came to the supermarket for, so you just meander around hoping you'll see and therefore remember the item; then you hear what sounds like high-heels clicking the next aisle over, so you look around the corner and instead of the anticipated, smartly-dressed woman, you see chubby, sweaty me clacky-clack-clacking around in shorts too tight to conceal the outline of an ugly circumcision scar.

Thanks for the tip (said the mohel).
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Old 11-03-20, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Unlabeled. They came laced to Shimano 600 (6400, Ultegra) hubs, and the brakes have barely started wearing the paint. You want 'em?
Not without knowing what they are and then it is questionable. In the process of moving back to sew ups.
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Old 11-03-20, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by natterberry View Post
I plan on using Quills on my next 650b build, but my upcoming 700c will use H Plus Son Archetypes
Thanks for the guidance! Those Archetypes look interesting indeed. Any idea where they're made? (I've boycotted a certain country.)

Was also considering these IRD Cadence Aeros, but with 28mm wide tires, they'd look a little light-bulby. This Merckx frame is stiffer than a 19-year-old at a strip club, so I'd prefer a little cushion.

For spokes, I'm just using Sapim CX-Rays. I like using a holder on the bladed spokes to avoid wind-up, (and those blades just slice through the wind so much quicker.)

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Old 11-03-20, 10:08 AM
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Here's what the Archetypes look like on my old Vent Noir for reference. They're good rims, well finished, and easy to build with.
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Old 11-03-20, 10:22 AM
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I couldn't tell you about speedy, because everything I ride seems to be slow.

However, here are the Araya AR-713 rims. If I remember correctly, the spoke holes are/were drilled backwards, left handed, whatever. You have to start your build 1 hole away from where you normally start.

https://www.araya-usa.com/700crims/ar-713



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Old 11-03-20, 11:18 AM
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Not too shabby.

Here's a shot of the bike I just took with the new Sante cranks installed. The pedal threads don't go all the way through the crank arms, so I have to stick with the old vintage Look pedals, because 7810 and other modern bottom out and won't thread in all the way.
Still learning toward getting the Quills powder coated in white.

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Old 11-03-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Thanks for the guidance! Those Archetypes look interesting indeed. Any idea where they're made? (I've boycotted a certain country.)

Was also considering these IRD Cadence Aeros, but with 28mm wide tires, they'd look a little light-bulby. This Merckx frame is stiffer than a 19-year-old at a strip club, so I'd prefer a little cushion.

For spokes, I'm just using Sapim CX-Rays. I like using a holder on the bladed spokes to avoid wind-up, (and those blades just slice through the wind so much quicker.)
h plus son are as secretive about their place of manufacture as IRD. They’re almost definitely both Taiwan. Less secretive is Boyd. Their Altamont looks interesting. I discovered them just after having a set of Archetypes built on aerolites.
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Old 11-03-20, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Not too shabby.

Here's a shot of the bike I just took with the new Sante cranks installed. The pedal threads don't go all the way through the crank arms, so I have to stick with the old vintage Look pedals, because 7810 and other modern bottom out and won't thread in all the way.
Still learning toward getting the Quills powder coated in white.

Go for the Velicity Quills, I say!
Your 32x32 Shimano Sante’ hubs with their pearl white would most likely look cool with the Quill rims in white, though matte Silver or polished would also look classy with your EM.
The Quill rims are reasonably lightweight, and they have a roomy 21mm internal rim width which you could really exploit to full effect with higher performance tire choices.
Since the 32 spoke hubs will build up plenty strong, you could have your wheel builder use lighter stainless butted spokes such as DT Swiss Revolutions. If it were me I would do the rear 3 cross and the front 2 cross. Radial lacing the front seems wrong, but you can do whatever you want. I would use aluminum spoke nipples and color match them to your bike.
This rebuild of your wheels will save a bit of weight but I doubt they will make you “fast”. What the fat rims will do though is make 25 or 28 mm tires handle better and maybe roll smoother over rough pavement since the sidewalls will be better supported, permitting lowering tire pressures.
For tires, these would be nice to run tubeless and there are lots more great tubeless options now.
if you stick with tubes you can get an upgraded ride from latex inner tubes & open tubular (high thread count/supple) tires from Challenge, Veloflex or Vittoria. For these choices, you should use good tubeless rim tape (24 or 25mm wide) one or two laters thick, not Velox.

I’m assuming you are sticking with a UniGlide cassette since Sante’ hubs were not HG compatible AFAIK.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:04 PM
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You can easily swap the freehub body to one that accepts Hyperglide.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Not too shabby.

Here's a shot of the bike I just took with the new Sante cranks installed. The pedal threads don't go all the way through the crank arms, so I have to stick with the old vintage Look pedals, because 7810 and other modern bottom out and won't thread in all the way.
Still learning toward getting the Quills powder coated in white.

What size tires are on there now? If they are < 28 you might have clearance issues. I'm not seeing much room under the brake bridge.
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Old 11-03-20, 02:31 PM
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Just to unpack this a bit, especially since I'm the Prince of Generalities, in general, "fast/speedy" does not usually go hand-in-hand with "more forgiving." Also, in general, a deeper-section v-type rim is going to be more rigid and somewhat less forgiving than a shallower-section box-section rim. I'd also think that for a heart-valve-challenged MAMIL, unless you're still averaging over 20mph on your rides, I doubt any rim aero advantage of v-section vs box-section will make you any racier.

'Twere I you I'd start with tires. It looks like you're pretty close to maxed-out width-wise, but if you ain't, you should be. I'd reckon 27mm actual is likely max on that frame.

You're riding high-end-ish Spec'l tires, but if I got the label right they're using a 60tpi casing and aiming for robustness. Switch to something more supple from Spec'l or anybody else, 120+tpi, and make sure you're not riding at overly-high pressure, figure 80-85psi max on a 27-28mm width. Add latex or ultralight butyl or Tubolito tubes for some subtle added performance/speed.

If you're sticking with your 36h hubs, a wider box-section rim with lighter-gauge double-butted spokes might help smooth things out a bit. The wider rims will let whatever tire you use be a little wider, without getting much taller, so if your pinch points are under the bridge/crown that might help you get some more width. More width means you can run lower pressure.

None of the stuff to make the wheels/ride more forgiving will make you much faster, excepting that you might be able to ride faster/further if your MAMIL body is being less beat-up from road vibration.

I'm not going to delve into wide-vs-skinny tire width/pressure impact on speed, 'cause that can get messy fast. I will mention that Josh Poertner at Silca, whose done a ton of performance-oriented tire pressure testing, says that when your tires feel/sound fast, your pressure is likely too high----what you're aiming for is when they change from feeling "fast" to "smooth." That's when you're getting the optimum tire contact patch, not losing energy to hysteresis, and minimizing energy lost to shock/bouncing.

As far as rims go, I just had some vintage Campy hubs built up on Pacenti Brevet rims, vintage-looking, silver, box-section modern rims, and they're swell rims. I've ridden Archetypes, have a bunch of semi-aero HED-rimmed wheels, which are nice but to my eyes are not vintage-looking at all. I like 'em on restomod builds, not so much on all-vintage rigs. And I'm generally riding minimum 30mm actual-width supple tires on them, minimizing any additional road vibration guff I might get from the more rigid v-section designs.

And keeping in mind you're not riding wheels, you're riding a bicycle that includes a frame and 3 human contact points, is there anything you can do with your bars/wrap/saddle/pedals to minimize body shock?
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Old 11-03-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Go for the Velicity Quills, I say!
Your 32x32 Shimano Sante’ hubs with their pearl white would most likely look cool with the Quill rims in white, though matte Silver or polished would also look classy with your EM.
The Quill rims are reasonably lightweight, and they have a roomy 21mm internal rim width which you could really exploit to full effect with higher performance tire choices.
Since the 32 spoke hubs will build up plenty strong, you could have your wheel builder use lighter stainless butted spokes such as DT Swiss Revolutions.
Thank you! As enticing as the options presented so far have been, the other thing that makes me lean toward the Quills is custom powder coating. The more I look at the bike, and more of this excellent Rousanne I drink, the more I think I could go white rear rim, green front rim.

The best test of an idea is to see if it lasts through the hangover.


Originally Posted by seypat View Post
You can easily swap the freehub body to one that accepts Hyperglide.
Very good to know, but really? These hubs are only 126mm wide. Seven speeds is enough. I don't intend to suffer on this bike much.

Originally Posted by seypat View Post
What size tires are on there now? If they are < 28 you might have clearance issues. I'm not seeing much room under the brake bridge.
Sharp eye! 28mm on the front and 26 was the largest that would fit on the rear without rubbing, and even that becomes iffy if I pump them past 110psi.
She still had the original Specialized tires (19mm! Remember when we all thought 19mm tires pumped up to 125psi made you a real racer?!) from 1986 when I bought her. The rubber tread was flaking off the threadbare sidewalls and the tubes dissolved when I levered the tires off.

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Old 11-03-20, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb View Post
Just to unpack this a bit, especially since I'm the Prince of Generalities, in general, "fast/speedy" does not usually go hand-in-hand with "more forgiving." Also, in general, a deeper-section v-type rim is going to be more rigid and somewhat less forgiving than a shallower-section box-section rim. I'd also think that for a heart-valve-challenged MAMIL, unless you're still averaging over 20mph on your rides, I doubt any rim aero advantage of v-section vs box-section will make you any racier.

'Twere I you I'd start with tires. It looks like you're pretty close to maxed-out width-wise, but if you ain't, you should be. I'd reckon 27mm actual is likely max on that frame.

You're riding high-end-ish Spec'l tires, but if I got the label right they're using a 60tpi casing and aiming for robustness. Switch to something more supple from Spec'l or anybody else, 120+tpi, and make sure you're not riding at overly-high pressure, figure 80-85psi max on a 27-28mm width. Add latex or ultralight butyl or Tubolito tubes for some subtle added performance/speed.

If you're sticking with your 36h hubs, a wider box-section rim with lighter-gauge double-butted spokes might help smooth things out a bit. The wider rims will let whatever tire you use be a little wider, without getting much taller, so if your pinch points are under the bridge/crown that might help you get some more width. More width means you can run lower pressure.

None of the stuff to make the wheels/ride more forgiving will make you much faster, excepting that you might be able to ride faster/further if your MAMIL body is being less beat-up from road vibration.

I'm not going to delve into wide-vs-skinny tire width/pressure impact on speed, 'cause that can get messy fast. I will mention that Josh Poertner at Silca, whose done a ton of performance-oriented tire pressure testing, says that when your tires feel/sound fast, your pressure is likely too high----what you're aiming for is when they change from feeling "fast" to "smooth." That's when you're getting the optimum tire contact patch, not losing energy to hysteresis, and minimizing energy lost to shock/bouncing.

As far as rims go, I just had some vintage Campy hubs built up on Pacenti Brevet rims, vintage-looking, silver, box-section modern rims, and they're swell rims. I've ridden Archetypes, have a bunch of semi-aero HED-rimmed wheels, which are nice but to my eyes are not vintage-looking at all. I like 'em on restomod builds, not so much on all-vintage rigs. And I'm generally riding minimum 30mm actual-width supple tires on them, minimizing any additional road vibration guff I might get from the more rigid v-section designs.

And keeping in mind you're not riding wheels, you're riding a bicycle that includes a frame and 3 human contact points, is there anything you can do with your bars/wrap/saddle/pedals to minimize body shock?
I'm the admiral of abstractions and the duke of half-truths, and I appreciate the benefit of your majesty's experience. HED has been echoing in the back of my mind, and I'm more interested in speed in comfort than in being correct. e.g.: My other current project is building up my 753 Look Hinault with (Campy C-Record? Nope!) with Suntour Superbe Pro, just to watch the panties of the correct-police twist themselves into knots. 8D But admittedly, this bike is going to spend more time appealing to my 6th and 7th contact points than to my feet, hands, and botox.

I'm busting my ass to average 18 on rides now, but hope springeth eternal and I'm burning off my quarantine fifteen. A lugged steel frame makes a fearsome paddle to punish these kids on their plastic-fantastic disposabikes. The two kindest compliments I've received in my life were at stoplights when guys asked me if it was an E-bike.

And thanks for the mention of the contact points. That's a cushy Specialized Avatar 155 (circa Armstrong-era, which is the apple of my ass' eye), and I'm probably going to swap out the stiff track-style stem*bars, and get some cushy modern tape. Probably stick with quill though. A mountainbike stem & carbon bars on this just wouldn't work as well as it does on my Schwinn:


Last edited by calamarichris; 11-03-20 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 11-03-20, 05:14 PM
  #23  
masi61
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Thank you! As enticing as the options presented so far have been, the other thing that makes me lean toward the Quills is custom powder coating. The more I look at the bike, and more of this excellent Rousanne I drink, the more I think I could go white rear rim, green front rim.

The best test of an idea is to see if it lasts through the hangover.




Very good to know, but really? These hubs are only 126mm wide. Seven speeds is enough. I don't intend to suffer on this bike much.


Sharp eye! 28mm on the front and 26 was the largest that would fit on the rear without rubbing, and even that becomes iffy if I pump them past 110psi.
She still had the original Specialized tires (19mm! Remember when we all thought 19mm tires made you a real racer?!) from 1986 when I bought her. The rubber tread was flaking off the threadbare sidewalls and the tubes dissolved when I levered the tires off.
Velocity rims are made in USA now. I have heard that their quality control has improved quite a bit. That photo with the different colors of anodization is cool. I bought a set of matte orange anodized Aileron rims which are waiting to be built up into Industry 9 Torch disc through axle hubs for a disc wheel build I have been planning. The price for special orders does go up when you add the anodizing but to me it is worth it.
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Old 11-03-20, 05:45 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
Velocity rims are made in USA now. I have heard that their quality control has improved quite a bit. That photo with the different colors of anodization is cool. I bought a set of matte orange anodized Aileron rims which are waiting to be built up into Industry 9 Torch disc through axle hubs for a disc wheel build I have been planning. The price for special orders does go up when you add the anodizing but to me it is worth it.
With a name like Masi, it has to be good. 8D

This is my rifle, this is my gun! This is my Gran Criterium (since 1988!) If you are bored, here is our story.



$30 an a few more weeks ain't no thing, I just wonder if this green rim at the front:

Will match this green sparkle flake at the front:
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Old 11-03-20, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Thank you! As enticing as the options presented so far have been, the other thing that makes me lean toward the Quills is custom powder coating. The more I look at the bike, and more of this excellent Rousanne I drink, the more I think I could go white rear rim, green front rim.

The best test of an idea is to see if it lasts through the hangover.




Very good to know, but really? These hubs are only 126mm wide. Seven speeds is enough. I don't intend to suffer on this bike much.


Sharp eye! 28mm on the front and 26 was the largest that would fit on the rear without rubbing, and even that becomes iffy if I pump them past 110psi.
She still had the original Specialized tires (19mm! Remember when we all thought 19mm tires pumped up to 125psi made you a real racer?!) from 1986 when I bought her. The rubber tread was flaking off the threadbare sidewalls and the tubes dissolved when I levered the tires off.
Swapping the freehub body isn't necessarily about adding gears. It will give the hub the ability to run Shimano's current Hyperglide cassettes which replaced the Uniglide cassettes that are no longer being made.
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