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wooden rims pear wood ?

Old 06-23-07, 02:47 PM
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soderbiker
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wooden rims pear wood ?

HI ,
I have a friend who showed me some old wooden rims he has never used and i am not sure how long he has had them , maybe 20 years now :/
we were talking about them and i decided to take a picture of the front rim .
burned onto the rim seems to be " JCB - made in france" but i am not quite sure about the "C" does anyone know anything about these beatuies ?
my friend says they are made out of Pear wood .
picture below


Cheers T
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Old 06-23-07, 09:30 PM
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Can't help you with ID of this make, but I was interested in the wood angle: I believe the "new" Ghisallo wooden rims made in Italy (or at least they say they are) are made of Beech or Birch. I'm surprised to hear of a fruitwood (pear) being used for such an application as a wooden bike rim. Anybody who knows wood care to chime in about what types of wood rims were historically made of? Only thing I'm aware of that Pear was favored for is small-scale furniture and small musical instruments (flutes and recorders).
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Old 06-24-07, 05:02 AM
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@ unworthy ...
My friend is a bicycle shop owner and is the most knowledable bike mechanic i have ever met . He has spent his entire life in the bikeshop , basically born in the workshop and inherited the shop from his father .
The doors have been opened sicne 1948 and he has LOADS of really nice stuff laying around .

we were having a beer and chatting about bikes ( Ofcourse ) and he went into the back room´and came out with these wheels ..
I personally have never seen anything like this in person , and they are incredible to say the least !

he says they are PEAR wood . so i snapped 2 pictures and the picture above is the better one even though it isnt great quality still ..
i cant remember what hubs were installed on the wheels but ill get more info this week and post as soon as i can .

I have also done a lot of "googling " about these wheels but i dont really find any proper info on this wheelset . so i thought i would come to the bike-forums and see what you masters can come up with .
Anyway just trying to keep it alive and not let things like this DIE . its always nice to have the info at your fingertips .
CHeers T
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Old 06-24-07, 09:58 AM
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I did a little research into the wood used in rim making. Seems that the modern Ghisallos are beech, birch not being a good choice for this use. Historically, they were often maple or elm, but there were some made of cherry and lemon wood, so fruitwoods are not unknown for bike rims. (and France has a lot of pear trees)
I'll see if anybody at the CR list knows about this "JCB" make, the only French brand of wooden rim I saw (so far) was one called Fairbankes. It might help to have a sharper picture of that logo to direct their attention to, if you can get one.
Just for the few folks who are tempted to build new wooden rims for road use: experts say the spoke tension is very critical and it's advised to use LOOSER tension than used for metal rims, due to the wood being subject to greater expansion and contraction from humidity. When they swell the tension can get too high and the rims may break. Also they are reportedly very strong in impact from direct force, but side-forces can break them much easier than metal rims, and when they DO break it's a horrid explosion of splinters...so be safe...
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Old 06-24-07, 02:33 PM
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My best advice is to keep the rims for period correct restoration. If you have no intention of building a historic bike then put them on e-bay for somebody who will cherish them will bring thousands of flat free mile cycle kharma.
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Old 06-24-07, 02:52 PM
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I would chime in on the wood, but I can't see the grain very well in the photo. It could be pear, but it would seem to be an odd use (because it twists and warps). I would say it's not really very likely. Perhaps a better photo?

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Old 06-25-07, 04:03 AM
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@east hill .
The info i have is from the shop owner . i dont think he would tell me something that isnt true. So i just nod in agreement about them being pear ..
I wish these were my Rims / wheelset but i am not really interested in owning them just to find out what i can about wood wheels .. its a nice pieceof history ...

BTW are wooden rims still in production . ?

I will get some better pictures this afternoon and post them here so you guys can get a better look .
Cheers T
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Old 06-25-07, 06:04 AM
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I haven't heard of pear wood being used for wooden rims, but that doesnt mean they don't exist. Most commonly used wood for rims seems to be beech wood. In the 80ies there also was a company around that made mahogany rims.

Yes wooden rims are still available, check http://www.cerchiinlegnoghisallo.com/

i own a set of their racing rims, they look very nicely made to me. I haven't laced them in, yet. They will be built with some C-Record high flange hubs and all black Veloflex tubs to complete my Mike Appel.

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Old 06-25-07, 07:55 AM
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The wood rims are most intriging. A better photo showing the grain of the wood would be helpful. Pear wood is whitish, but turns a pinkish colour when steamed (as it would have to be in order to make them into rims).

Pear wood is used in woodwinds such as recorders and oboes because it produces a mellow sound.

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Old 06-25-07, 08:43 AM
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Pear wood is a very hard wood--it was the wood of choise for wood screws ,vices,and plains.
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Old 04-05-08, 02:47 PM
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I have an additional sticker on mine that might help. Picture no 20 here: http://www.vitaby.se/cykel/ One is now laced to the track hub in the pictures and the second is awaiting spokes for the campa HF front. I'll use the wheels on the Van Iseghem fixed conversion.

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Old 04-05-08, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Pavoni View Post
I have an additional sticker on mine that might help. Picture no 20 here: http://www.vitaby.se/cykel/ One is now laced to the track hub in the pictures and the second is awaiting spokes for the campa HF front. I'll use the wheels on the Van Iseghem fixed conversion.
That is going to be a beautiful bicycle. Wow!
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Old 04-05-08, 06:32 PM
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I've been tempted to tool up and make some of those. I was thinking ash, thin laminates and epoxy so no steam. maybe when the toddlers graduate.
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Old 04-05-08, 11:13 PM
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"Also they are reportedly very strong in impact from direct force . . . " QUOTE.

Yes, I know; first hand (left) and ankle experience!


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Old 04-05-08, 11:38 PM
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Ric Hjertberg at Wheel Fanatyk in Seattle imports Ghisallo wooden rims made of aged beech wood.

I had a chance to talk to Ric at NAHBS in Portland and look at the rims and wheels he had on display at the Wheel Fanatyk booth, and was surprised at how light they were.
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Old 04-06-08, 09:00 AM
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Aged wood? it gets harder to bend when it's aged. or does he bend it and then set it aside for a while? or does he make it in several pieces scarfed together? (I've seen old old bikes done either way.)
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Old 04-06-08, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin View Post
Aged wood? it gets harder to bend when it's aged. or does he bend it and then set it aside for a while? or does he make it in several pieces scarfed together? (I've seen old old bikes done either way.)
I'm not sure, but there's lots more information on how Ghisallo beech rims are made on Ric's website (link above). My guess is that it's aged to stabilize the moisture content and that the beech laminations are thin enough to be easily bent even when aged.

Here's where I got the "aged beech wood" from:

"Ghisallo rims are made entirely of aged beech wood from Slovenia, laminated in multiple layers with special marine adhesives and varnish - carefully finished for a perfect appearance and function - hand made in the artisan tradition. The rims are very elastic and rugged. They are not easily deformed and absorb road and trail vibration providing comfort to the cyclist."

When I talked to Ric, he said the beech strips are laminated using a "marine epoxy" which I took to mean something like the Gougeon Brothers' W.E.S.T. system. He said they used to use Resorcinol, but switched to epoxy adhesives a while back.

BTW, in an earlier post you mentioned the Schwinn 1899 motor car would go well with your airplane. What kind of airplane do you have?

Here's a photo I took of the Wheel Fanatyk booth at NAHBS:

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Old 04-06-08, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Pavoni View Post
I have an additional sticker on mine that might help. Picture no 20 here: http://www.vitaby.se/cykel/ One is now laced to the track hub in the pictures and the second is awaiting spokes for the campa HF front. I'll use the wheels on the Van Iseghem fixed conversion.
I don't know if this helps or not: did Super Champ make them, just distribute them, or did somebody just put those stickers on? In any case, it adds some direction for the detection....thanks!
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Old 04-06-08, 12:22 PM
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Maybe this will help: http://fixedgeargallery.com/forum/vi...&highlight=jcb
Perhaps JCB was bought by Super Champion who in turn was bought by Wolber.
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Old 04-06-08, 06:50 PM
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BTW, in an earlier post you mentioned the Schwinn 1899 motor car would go well with your airplane. What kind of airplane do you have?
Well, I don't actually have an airplane. my avatar is a picture of a French steam powered airplane built by Clement Ader (google him sometime) in 1890. It didn't really fly but it looks really cool and makes a good story.
b.
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Old 04-06-08, 07:00 PM
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You guys are making my want to put wood rims on my track bike even though the rims were NOS when I laced them last year!

As for the super champion thing... well I think someone would have chimed in by now... it's interesting... I sorta suspect the stickers being stuck or someone else made them and maybe super champion sold them for a short period? I don't know but would be interested to find out more...
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