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New wheelset vs rebuild

Old 06-12-21, 06:52 AM
  #1  
cadteach
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New wheelset vs rebuild

OK,

I've searched the forums here on this question, but most of the posts I saw were 4 years old or more. I have a set of wheels with Shimano 105 hubs on Wolber Super Champion Alpine rims, and the rims are now shot, pulled thru eyelets and cracking. I am fairly new to cycling, and this is from a bike I bought last summer and rode about 1400 miles total on them.

I noticed they were going out of true and took them to my LBS, but it was too late, they trued the wheel, but one eyelet was already pulling, and another pulled thru and cracks formed within a week.

I would not be trying to rebuild myself, so it would have to be done at a shop. If I did try to rebuild, which rims would I be looking at (32 H, 700C, freewheel), and if I were to buy a new wheelset, which one and where? I know Velomine has or sells sets with Weinmann LP18 or Sun CR18, but I see no description of the hubs used on these, and, though not a high end bike, I would like whatever I do to last enough to make it a few years if possible.

What is the general consensus, new or rebuild, and in either case, where should I source the new stuff from?

Last edited by cadteach; 06-12-21 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Add 700C
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Old 06-12-21, 07:29 AM
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I've got good use out of the Velomine Cr-18 wheelset. I do have to keep messing with the rear wheel to keep it true, so it might be a good idea have a bike shop bring them up to tension for you. If you can find a new rim with a similar ERD geometry, in theory you can reuse the spokes, but in my limited experience paying for wheel work, no one wanted to reuse spokes. 2 Cr-18 rims are $35 each, new spokes are like $1 each, and nipples aint free, multiplied times 64, adding $100 to $150 for labor, it adds up. If you can find a bike co-op to help/teach you how to swap the rims your into win win territory. If your ok putting some cash into the project, take a look at Velo Oranges wheel sets. If they dont have any available with 126m rear hubs, I'm pretty sure Universal Cycle will build you a set with Velo Orange hubs. They will also work with your hubs and their online build calculator will let you try different combinations to get price points that you can compare with the numbers I just pulled out of my "hat" and what you local bike shop can provide.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:45 AM
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I would first repack the bearings- to learn the condition of the internals.

if they pass that test then look for a possible replacement rim.
might even look for the same rim on eBay and then transfer the rim.
maybe new nipples even.
tape the new to the old systematically remove tension and transfer the rim.

Might even uniformly tighten the spokes a small amount and let the shop finish
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Old 06-12-21, 08:02 AM
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I assume you need wheels for your Cannondale? Hang up that 105/Wolber set for the time being and find an ok set on CL, OfferUp, etc. Look for 105 or 600 hubs. Having a shop rebuild with new spokes and nipples is expensive. But later, you may want to give it a try.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cadteach View Post
OK,

I've searched the forums here on this question, but most of the posts I saw were 4 years old or more. I have a set of wheels with Shimano 105 hubs on Wolber Super Champion Alpine rims, and the rims are now shot, pulled thru eyelets and cracking. I am fairly new to cycling, and this is from a bike I bought last summer and rode about 1400 miles total on them.

I noticed they were going out of true and took them to my LBS, but it was too late, they trued the wheel, but one eyelet was already pulling, and another pulled thru and cracks formed within a week.

I would not be trying to rebuild myself, so it would have to be done at a shop. If I did try to rebuild, which rims would I be looking at (32 H, 700C, freewheel), and if I were to buy a new wheelset, which one and where? I know Velomine has or sells sets with Weinmann LP18 or Sun CR18, but I see no description of the hubs used on these, and, though not a high end bike, I would like whatever I do to last enough to make it a few years if possible.

What is the general consensus, new or rebuild, and in either case, where should I source the new stuff from?
Changing a rim isnít that difficult but itís not trivial either. Itís about 50% of the wheel building job. Most people whom Iíve taught find the lacing to be the most difficult part but the tensioning and truing to be easier. You just have to loosen all the spoke nipples, tape an new rim to the old ones so that the stems match, make sure that the spoke holes are oriented in the same direction (they alternately vary up and down from the center line of the rim), and then just transfer the spokes one at a time from the existing rim.

The rub, however, is going to finding a rim with the same effective rim diameter (ERD). The ERD is a measure of the inside diameter of the rim plus the amount of spoke needed to go completely through the spoke nipple. It varies widely from rim model to rim model even within a manufacturers line. It can even vary a bit depending on who is measuring because the amount of spoke through the nipple is something of a matter of taste. VeloBase list your rim as having an ERD ranging from 612mm to 614mm. Iíd probably pick the average at 613mm.

Now comes the really hard partÖfinding the rim. Most rims now have a thicker vertical profile so the ERD is smaller. Your Wolber have a fairly flat profile compared to modern rims. Prowheelbuilder has a database of rims and only one is listed that is close enough but it is a 27Ē rim. You can look through Damon Rinardís data base for similar ERDs and then go looking on Fleabay for rims. It can be frustrating, however. Even with modern rims, it can be difficult to match the ERD (Ī1mm). Often itís just easier to completely rebuild.

On a rebuild, the decision to rebuild should be based on good bonesÖi.e. around a good hub. To be honest, a freewheel hub isnít really a good place to start. Freehwheel hubs generally have weak axles. If the hub were an early freehub, it would be worth the consideration but not with a freewheel. At this point, it would probably just be easier to buy a complete modern (or modernĒishĒ) wheel.
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Old 06-12-21, 08:58 AM
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I had a set of Velomine sealed bearing freewheel hubs with 27" CR18 rims. They were far better than 1980's loose bearing hubs.

As has been mentioned, factor in the cost of having them tensioned.
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Old 06-12-21, 09:38 AM
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What would I do?

If, and only if, the hubs and spokes were 100% okay, I would lace on a new set of rims. I would do this myself because paying to have it done costs too much. It is not that difficult if you are methodical (follow the method).

If the hubs or spokes or both were not 100%, I would buy new wheels. Shop around. Pricing varies quite a bit.

If you just aren't into a repair or don't have time, I would just go buy new wheels.


P.S. - treat yourself top some premium tires and new brake pads when you do this repair. You and your cycling experience are worth it.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 06-12-21 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:42 AM
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Your Ď88 Cannondale might be 128mm wide at the dropouts. If it is you can fit a modern 130mm OLD wheelset. This is probably a deciding factor.

But a lot depends on the condition of the hubs and if it is freewheel or a hyperglide compatible freehub. And how much you like the current setup. But if the hubs are not super smooth, move on.

I am in a similar situation with old Wolber GTX rims and 105 UG/HG hubs that spin great. I just canít pull the trigger on replacement rims and going through the effort to re-lace them.

If you get cheaper Velomine wheels, make sure you re-grease and adjust the bearings before you use them. Shimano factory adjusted cup-cone hubs leave a lot to be desired; especially the lower end offerings.

Good luck.

John
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Old 06-12-21, 11:29 AM
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Build 'em yourself on Sun m13ii rims. (CR18s ard heavy.) It's not hard. Sheldon Brown has a easy to follow instruction page on his site. Afterwards, you'll have the knowledge to maintain your wheels without the need to go to a shop to pay and wait for substandard service and damaged frames.
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Old 06-12-21, 12:32 PM
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Yup, those older lightweight, low profile rims were pretty and great to ride but a bit fragile. Both of my Ironman rear wheels built on Wolber Super Champion Alpine and Araya CTL-370 rims pulled through the spoke holes around the same time a couple of summers ago. The front rims are still good.

No great loss on the Araya CTL-370, which were built on Suntour GPX hubs that were nothing special. But the Wolbers were on older Ultegra hubs, possibly the smoothest hubs I've ridden. Eventually I'll rebuild a similar low profile, lightweight rim on that Ultegra hub.

TBH, I'm not consistently strong enough to get much benefit from those lightweight mountain stage wheels, but I'd like to have a set anyway. To me, they just look right on a C&V bike.

Meanwhile I've switched to higher profile rims that are a bit heavier but more durable. Although to be fair to Araya and Wolber, those rims lasted about 30 years, although I'm not sure how many miles were on each before I got them.
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Old 06-12-21, 06:51 PM
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So if you want to rebuild the old set, I have a pair of lp18's I could sell you and likely at a good price. Lemme know if interested. Smiles, MH
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Old 06-13-21, 04:23 AM
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Here's a replacement set that look to be in fine condition. You'd have a spare set of hubs as well.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/18476907672...4AAOSwQdRgeN4Q
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Old 06-16-21, 04:25 PM
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Being the cheap bastard that I am, I've been known to transfer a rim with a smaller ERD to an existing wheel and re-use the existing spokes by changing from 3-cross to 4 cross. It was just an opportunistic solution that happened to work in that particular case.
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Old 06-16-21, 06:57 PM
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Rebuild with old spokes, good idea or not?

I would retire those wheels. While I have rebuilt wheels by replacing old Mavic rims with new rims with similar erd and reused the spokes, these were wheels that originally built and DT spokes with spoke prep. I donít think I would do it on 30 year old wheels on a bike I recently bought. I also prefer to use cassettes when possible. Sadly, the high cost of the spokes and rims often makes it more cost effective to buy built up wheels. Sometimes you can find deals on spokes and rims though; then you can stock up.
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