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New wheels or used?

Old 01-12-23, 11:38 AM
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Roypercy
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New wheels or used?

Quick question:

I'm just breaking in my 74 Raleigh Competition (or it's breaking me in) but it came with tubular wheels and I need to switch them out to clincher. I looked into having the existing hubs (Campy Triomphe, pretty nice) laced to new clincher rims, but I'm no wheelbuilder and local shops are giving me estimates of more than I'm prepared to spend at the moment, just to lace the hubs to very basic Sun CR18 or Alex rims. Better quality rims would cost even more. So I'll probably keep the tubular wheels and either get them built up at a later point or learn to do it myself.

In the meantime I've been scouring the 'Bay for a drop-in replacement. I'm kind of stuck between a vintage Wolber Super Champion model 58 wheelset laced to Gipiemme Sprint hubs, or a set of new Sun M13ii wheels with the sealed bearing hubs. I used to have a Sun M13ii set I got built up for my Grand Jubilee that was fine until I ran into a car and trashed the front wheel, but with those the wheelbuilder used the Normandy hubs that came stock on the GJ. I currently run Wolber Gentleman GTAs on my Schwinn Super Sport. I can't say I'm disappointed or impressed with either, but the Wolber Gentleman GTAs strike me as rather heavy for the Super Sport.

Any opinions re: durability, ride quality, weight between the two? I'm no Clydesdale but I weigh in at around 185lbs and ride on New York city streets with an interesting variety of pavement conditions. I'd like something sporty but durable.
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Old 01-12-23, 11:51 AM
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1) don't discount tubular it is not as hard as you think so keep those wheels

2) $149 cr18 option to get you going https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...jspcmqtdsb6hu6


another option if you like the m13 https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=2114
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Old 01-12-23, 12:24 PM
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One other wrinkle, I prefer skinnier tires. Which rim would work best with a 23-25mm road tire?
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Old 01-12-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
One other wrinkle, I prefer skinnier tires. Which rim would work best with a 23-25mm road tire?
Between the Super Champion Mod 58 and the Sun M13, both would be fine with 23 to 25mm tires.
One consideration might be whether they have "hooks", to retain the tire bead at pressure. I believe both do.

I've used both rims in the past, and I think the Sun might be a bit stronger, due to how it is constructed.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-12-23, 01:42 PM
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Oh, just go ahead and bite the bullet and learn to build wheels! At least that's what I did last winter when I couldn't find what I wanted new or used (or affordably..). OK, I also had a couple bike projects in the works all of which would be in need of wheels so I decided it was well worth the investment in the equipment needed and the time to learn. Some frustrations along the way, but each episode served to reinforce a particular lesson. I downloaded the Roger Musson Wheelbuilding book (as well as read Sheldon's stuff and a couple other online things), and built the truing stand and dishing gauge per the appendices in the book (relatively easy to do, and the stand is pretty cool in and of itself- which is nice, so that an in-process build can actually sort of pass as, uh, 'art' sitting in the corner of the living room!). I'm on my 4th or 5th set of wheels now- it gets quicker and easier each time and is kind of fun, in a zen sort of way.

All that aside, I like the Sun M13ii rims in the polished finish. Pull off the ugly sticker and they look reasonably 'vintage', but have the advantage of machined brake tracks for (supposedly) better braking performance, they're pretty easy to build up and can be had for quite cheap- best price I've found has been from Carson City Bikes (they were sub-$30 for a while, but have crept up recently).


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Old 01-12-23, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Oh, just go ahead and bite the bullet and learn to build wheels! At least that's what I did last winter when I couldn't find what I wanted new or used (or affordably..). OK, I also had a couple bike projects in the works all of which would be in need of wheels so I decided it was well worth the investment in the equipment needed and the time to learn. Some frustrations along the way, but each episode served to reinforce a particular lesson. I downloaded the Roger Musson Wheelbuilding book (as well as read Sheldon's stuff and a couple other online things), and built the truing stand and dishing gauge per the appendices in the book (relatively easy to do, and the stand is pretty cool in and of itself- which is nice, so that an in-process build can actually sort of pass as, uh, 'art' sitting in the corner of the living room!). I'm on my 4th or 5th set of wheels now- it gets quicker and easier each time and is kind of fun, in a zen sort of way.

All that aside, I like the Sun M13ii rims in the polished finish. Pull off the ugly sticker and they look reasonably 'vintage', but have the advantage of machined brake tracks for (supposedly) better braking performance, they're pretty easy to build up and can be had for quite cheap- best price I've found has been from Carson City Bikes (they were sub-$30 for a while, but have crept up recently).


Yeah, one of these days I'd love to build my own wheels, but right now between my job and living in a NYC apartment I'm not going to find the time or the space to do it. Nice setup you've got there, though! (And what's in the glass?)
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Old 01-12-23, 02:06 PM
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I'd say don't rule out tubulars, they're working for me (88kg) on London's dodgy streets.

My bike came with some Mavic Monthlery Route which is a relatively heavy training rim from the 80s.
It was my first experience of tubulars but decided I quite liked them and respoked them onto some Record hubs, added some sealant, no flats in 1k miles.

Campy Record hubs + Mavic Monthlery Route + Vittoria Rubino Pro 28mm + Orange Seal

Edit: I weigh 88kg not 188kg slight finger problem.

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Old 01-12-23, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Yeah, one of these days I'd love to build my own wheels, but right now between my job and living in a NYC apartment I'm not going to find the time or the space to do it. Nice setup you've got there, though! (And what's in the glass?)
Honestly, it's not that hard to true a wheel just using the brake pads on a bike. I'm guessing everyone has started that way.

If you do feel like picking up an inexpensive, compact truing stand, I'd recommend the Minoura FT-1 model. It folds up into a compact size for storage, and costs about $90 or so(?). Actually, I think I paid about $35 for one 10 or 20 years ago. Maybe check ebay and other sources for a lightly used one?

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(a dishing gauge is a more essential tool, imho)
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Old 01-12-23, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Yeah, one of these days I'd love to build my own wheels, but right now between my job and living in a NYC apartment I'm not going to find the time or the space to do it. Nice setup you've got there, though! (And what's in the glass?)
Yeah, I hear ya- I did almost 20 years in a 350 sq/ft East Village 5th floor walkup!

That's a summer late-afternoon G&T. I actually just started building up another set of wheels today- Campy Record hubs, M13ii rims again. Bourbon would be more appropriate this time of year, but alas, it's 'dry January'....
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Old 01-12-23, 03:29 PM
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Continental Giro 22mm tubulars go for under $40 each from many sources. They have removable valve cores, so you can use sealant, which will fix a great majority of punctures with minimal hassle. Un-sewing the sew-up casing to fix the tube is a thing of the past (mostly - one of my valve cores just spins, a defect, so check that they actually come out when you receive new tires.) They make tubular gluing tape now, so you don't have to mess with glue anymore, either. Jantex is half the price of Tufo, and works as well. Hooray for tape! No muss, no fuss.

My advice is to just figure that it's n+2 for wheels, and to put on some tubular tires, and try them out!

Totally Tubular
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Old 01-12-23, 03:48 PM
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since these are mentioned several times https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=2114

again keep current wheels and try tubular

you can do it with 3 tires for $60 tubular tire sewup tire Servizio Corse $19.95 tubular tires at Yellow Jersey; possibly the Best Value Tubular In America for 2022!

glue or tape and sealant $30 (jantex tape and orange seal) Tubular Tire Support Products at Yellow Jersey
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Old 01-12-23, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Yeah, I hear ya- I did almost 20 years in a 350 sq/ft East Village 5th floor walkup!

That's a summer late-afternoon G&T. I actually just started building up another set of wheels today- Campy Record hubs, M13ii rims again. Bourbon would be more appropriate this time of year, but alas, it's 'dry January'....
I lived on East 6th between A & B for a time in the 80s. Second floor walkup, though. Man, I loved that neighborhood. Hardly recognizable now.
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Old 01-12-23, 10:01 PM
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I never thought I'd go for tubulars but you guys almost have me convinced. Thanks for the feedback, everybody.
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Old 01-12-23, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
I lived on East 6th between A & B for a time in the 80s. Second floor walkup, though. Man, I loved that neighborhood. Hardly recognizable now.
Back when it was all a little more...... fun! Every time I go back it feels like a little more character has disappeared and it's all increasingly generic. C'est la vie, I guess.
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Old 01-12-23, 10:45 PM
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There are a few reasons that learning to build wheels is worthwhile. I'm not sure saving money is one of them. You'd be hard pressed to buy rims,, hubs, and spokes for what Velomine asks for a set of wheels. On the other hand, their cheaper machine-built wheels usually need stress relieving and re-truing. That's when having previously built wheels comes in handy.
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Old 01-13-23, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
There are a few reasons that learning to build wheels is worthwhile. I'm not sure saving money is one of them. You'd be hard pressed to buy rims,, hubs, and spokes for what Velomine asks for a set of wheels. On the other hand, their cheaper machine-built wheels usually need stress relieving and re-truing. That's when having previously built wheels comes in handy.
(with apologies to the OP for derailing this thread into a to-build-or-not-to-build debate....!)
If it's simple a matter of needing a quick set of wheels, yeah, it probably isn't a money-saving move to build them. But if you think you'll build more than a couple sets, want to re-use vintage hubs, have specific wants/needs, or are interested in out-of-the-mainstream stuff like converting vintage to 650b, etc, it can relatively quickly become 'economic'. The more sets you build up the more your tool investment gets spread out (and the faster you get at it)! I got started on it when I couldn't find 100/126 650b wheels for my PX-10, granted that was earlier in the pandemic when lots of stuff was N/A, & overall it appears that supply-chain issues have eased up some now.

But back to the OP's question (more or less).. Really hard to beat the Velomine sets. The Sun M13ii rims seems more or less just a narrower version fo the CR18, which is a pretty much bullet-proof rim. Devoid of cache, but hard to fault for real-world, hard life (ie, NYC streets). I'd expect the M13 to hold up nearly as well as the CR18, though I haven't put a lot of miles on the M13 wheels I've built up yet. Additionally, if it were me, for what is likely to be somewhat harsh riding conditions, I think I'd want new rims rather than used/vintage of unknown 'history'.
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Old 01-13-23, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
(with apologies to the OP for derailing this thread into a to-build-or-not-to-build debate....!)
If it's simple a matter of needing a quick set of wheels, yeah, it probably isn't a money-saving move to build them. But if you think you'll build more than a couple sets, want to re-use vintage hubs, have specific wants/needs, or are interested in out-of-the-mainstream stuff like converting vintage to 650b, etc, it can relatively quickly become 'economic'. The more sets you build up the more your tool investment gets spread out (and the faster you get at it)! I got started on it when I couldn't find 100/126 650b wheels for my PX-10, granted that was earlier in the pandemic when lots of stuff was N/A, & overall it appears that supply-chain issues have eased up some now.

But back to the OP's question (more or less).. Really hard to beat the Velomine sets. The Sun M13ii rims seems more or less just a narrower version fo the CR18, which is a pretty much bullet-proof rim. Devoid of cache, but hard to fault for real-world, hard life (ie, NYC streets). I'd expect the M13 to hold up nearly as well as the CR18, though I haven't put a lot of miles on the M13 wheels I've built up yet. Additionally, if it were me, for what is likely to be somewhat harsh riding conditions, I think I'd want new rims rather than used/vintage of unknown 'history'.
Really good point about new vs. old wheels.

I think I'll go for the Sun wheelset, and keep the tubulars to experiment with when the weather gets better. After all. if I never try I'll never learn, right?
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Old 01-13-23, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Really good point about new vs. old wheels.

I think I'll go for the Sun wheelset, and keep the tubulars to experiment with when the weather gets better. After all. if I never try I'll never learn, right?
Now I'm curious about clincher vs tubulars..... but I'll save that for a separate thread....
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Old 01-13-23, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
Really good point about new vs. old wheels.

I think I'll go for the Sun wheelset, and keep the tubulars to experiment with when the weather gets better. After all. if I never try I'll never learn, right?
FWIW, I have purchased few sets of wheels from Velomine over the years and always had a good experience.
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Old 01-13-23, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Back when it was all a little more...... fun! Every time I go back it feels like a little more character has disappeared and it's all increasingly generic. C'est la vie, I guess.
The fun, young, un-generic migrated to Bklyn.
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Old 01-13-23, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
Now I'm curious about clincher vs tubulars..... but I'll save that for a separate thread....
When I first got tubulars (Aug 2021) I found a set of Mavic MA2s and made some clincher wheels because when I was a kid that's what I used and I know how to fix them.
The MA2s now sit in a corner and I just run tubular
Good to have some spare wheels though.
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Old 01-13-23, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
The fun, young, un-generic migrated to Bklyn.
That's what I did... but Brooklyn is getting more and more generic as the years go by...
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Old 01-13-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
FWIW, I have purchased few sets of wheels from Velomine over the years and always had a good experience.
I've never mail ordered wheels before. Would it be smart to take the Velomine wheels to my LBS and have them trued and tensioned when they arrive?
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Old 01-13-23, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ehcoplex View Post
(with apologies to the OP for derailing this thread into a to-build-or-not-to-build debate....!)
If it's simple a matter of needing a quick set of wheels, yeah, it probably isn't a money-saving move to build them. But if you think you'll build more than a couple sets, want to re-use vintage hubs, have specific wants/needs, or are interested in out-of-the-mainstream stuff like converting vintage to 650b, etc, it can relatively quickly become 'economic'. The more sets you build up the more your tool investment gets spread out (and the faster you get at it)! I got started on it when I couldn't find 100/126 650b wheels for my PX-10, granted that was earlier in the pandemic when lots of stuff was N/A, & overall it appears that supply-chain issues have eased up some now.
There's not a lot to debate, I think. I built the wheels for most of my bikes. Usually it's because I can't find the rim/hub combo I want off the shelf. If you can get vintage hubs at a cheap price, that can be the start to a reasonably priced wheelset. Plus Campy Record hubs are a whole lot nicer than what you're likely to find in a new wheelset for freewheels. My experience is that it is a skill you can teach yourself in a weekend or so. Also, it's just satisfying to do. Someone on Bike Forums once said it's like knitting for men. I'm OK with that description. I do find myself wanting to build wheels more often than I need them.

I just built a set for my Cannondale using Salsa Delgado Cross rims that I've had in the garage for 10 years that I got on clearance because they each had a defect in one of the eyelets, Tiagra hubs that I bought on clearance for around $10 each about five years ago, and spokes that were part of a bulk group purchase I went in on when the local Performance Bike shop went out of business. The whole shebang cost me about $75 and all of that money was spent so long ago I don't even remember it. So, yeah, that was a economical wheelset.

With the OP being in an apartment, building the woodworking project from the Musson book might not be feasible. I got by for years with a cheap Minora truing stand. Things like that pop up cheap used from time to time. I know some people just use the bike frame and zip ties. That's probably OK. The more wheels I build the less worried I am about getting them true to the last micrometer, as long as I'm building them for myself. Now I just shoot for truer than the wheels I ride most days.
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Old 01-13-23, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Roypercy View Post
I've never mail ordered wheels before. Would it be smart to take the Velomine wheels to my LBS and have them trued and tensioned when they arrive?
I have found their wheels to fine out of the box. I would ride them for a couple of hundred miles check them at that point and if they need a touch up, then I would drop them off at the shop.
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