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Old 08-09-08, 11:39 PM   #1
adingfish
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Tire and Wheel recommendations for a rookie.

I am brand new to cycling. I am fixing up my fathers 1970 Peugot PX10 to use to ride 20 miles round trip to work. Currently the bike has sew-up tires on it. My question is would it be better to buy new wheels that would accept "normal" tires, or purchase new sew-up tires for the wheels currently on the bike? I can not spend much money and am trying to do this economically. The wheels on the bike are Mavic, and there is a bit of rust, will this rust greatly reduce the strength and integrity of the wheel. The sew-up tires are a foreign to me. I would appreciate any advice.
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Old 08-10-08, 05:06 AM   #2
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For a rookie your better off getting some 'normal' wheels and tires. This can be accomlished one of two ways....

1. Go to a bike store and buy everything you need. You'll need a new 'freewheel' if the one you have has 'French' threading. (it wont thread onto your new wheels)

2. Find a donor bike on craigslist or at your local thrift store.

Rust shouldnt be an issue but we'll need to see some pictures..
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Old 08-10-08, 09:51 AM   #3
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Is that a 27 inch wheel or a 700c? How much do you weigh? I wonder what the
spacing is on that (the width of the rear axle)

I'd put a good sized belted
tire in the 28-32c range if it will fit the bike.
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Old 08-10-08, 11:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by adingfish View Post
I am brand new to cycling. I am fixing up my fathers 1970 Peugot PX10 to use to ride 20 miles round trip to work. Currently the bike has sew-up tires on it. My question is would it be better to buy new wheels that would accept "normal" tires, or purchase new sew-up tires for the wheels currently on the bike? I can not spend much money and am trying to do this economically. The wheels on the bike are Mavic, and there is a bit of rust, will this rust greatly reduce the strength and integrity of the wheel. The sew-up tires are a foreign to me. I would appreciate any advice.
The cheapest thing you can do is use it as is if everything is sound, though old, and if your roads are not going to present you with a lot of glass and pothole problems. Even to replace these tires with a pair of good new ones need not cost more than $60 /pair for new Vittoria Rallye (with kevlar liner built in) and a couple of tubes of rim cement. You can use one of the old ones if it is leak-free and sound as a spare.

The original RIMS (not wheels) are Mavic, and are aluminum with steel ferrules in the spoke holes. The rims cannot rust, and minor rust on the ferrules does not matter. The spokes might be stainless, but even if they're not, I really don't think rust can hurt them significantly, unless you live near salt water. The hubs are Maillard, Normandy, or Atom (I forget exactly which) aluminum with a steel 5-speed cluster, and should have a 120 mm spacing. You may need, and probably should, have the rear bearings repacked by a shop that understands older high-quality bikes. I really wouldn't worry about the integrity of the wheels if all the spokes are there, the tension is pretty even all the way around and from side to side, and if the rims are true within say 1/8 inch.

The tires might last a long time yet, if they are now holding full pressure (90 to 100 psi, maybe a little more), the sidewall threads are not frayed, and if the tread has adequate thickness. The tread pattern is really irrelevant.

There's really nothing wrong with commuting or doing anything else on tubular tires. The narrower, lighter rims and older style of wheel construction are more delicate, but treated well will give very good service.

The cheapest way to get started is to air up these tires, give everything a good look-over perhaps with your dad if he has a practiced eye, and take it out for a test ride or two. If it's ok, buy a suitable on-road pump and try to commute, steering around fields of glass and significant potholes. Your butt will tell you what's significant.

To keep this going as is, you need a road pump for presta valves, a shop pump for presta valves, a Velox patch kit for tubulars, and a spare tubular to carry as a spare on the road. Any mechanical work to get it moving well is extra. This pile of parts and hardware should cost around $120 max, I think.

I think new wheels and tires would be at least a $200 set to start out, and that does not include the road pump, shop pump, spare tubes for the road, and tire tools.

However, as big a fan of tubulars as I am, I'd not recommend riding for long on tubulars if your roads have a lot of glass and crap and if the surfaces are not good. In this case I would for low cost keep the hubs and freewheel, and have new Open Pro rims laced onto these hubs with stainless spokes. To replace these hubs with totally new wheels will probably require going to a cassette hub rather than a freewheel hub, and unknown other drivetrain modernization to accommodate a minimum 7-speed rear drivetrain. The existing chain will probably not shift well with a narrow-spaced 7-speed cassette, and I have no idea if the original Simplex derailleur system has enough lateral travel to accommodate it, either.

Cheapest approach is to run it as it is, if you can. Those skinny wheels and tires can do a lot more than they look like.

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Old 08-10-08, 11:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by late View Post
Is that a 27 inch wheel or a 700c? How much do you weigh? I wonder what the
spacing is on that (the width of the rear axle)

I'd put a good sized belted
tire in the 28-32c range if it will fit the bike.
It's a 700c. The frame should have lots of clearance. If he wanted to go with say 28 mm, maybe Ultra Gatorskins, it should handle it. But those are not cheap/good tires.

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Old 08-12-08, 10:05 PM   #6
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Thank you for your great suggestions. It can be a bit unnerving not knowing a clincher from a sew-up from a hole in my... Well, I am starting to get a head for what I need to do. Road Fan, you time and willingness to help are greatly appreciated. I think I will use my existing rims and buy a new set of tubular tires.

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Old 08-12-08, 10:16 PM   #7
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A used set of 700 wheels can be had, depending on where you live, relatively cheaply on CL or the bay. You might even put a notice on the WTB section here. There's probably someone around that has a decent set of commuting wheels that they'd sell you for not much more than the shipping costs.
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Old 08-12-08, 10:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by adingfish View Post
Thank you for your great suggestions. It can be a bit unnerving not knowing a clincher from a sew-up from a hole in my... Well, I am starting to get a head for what I need to do. Road Fan, you time and willingness to help are greatly appreciated. I think I will use my existing rims and buy a new set of tubular tires.

adingfish

Don't be too unnerved. There are quite a few 'experienced' cyclists--especially those of the spandex-sporting, newest-latest-carbon-titanium-disposable-frame-of-the-moment-w/obnoxious-graphics-on-it variety who have never even heard the term "sew-up" and think "tubular" refers to inner-tubes.
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