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60's vintage Raleigh Gran Sport-wheel problems

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60's vintage Raleigh Gran Sport-wheel problems

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Old 11-23-09, 09:26 PM
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bmwstbill
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60's vintage Raleigh Gran Sport-wheel problems

Hi everyone.
I need some help deciding what to do. I am working up a Raleigh Gran Sport-60's era. It will not be fully restored, rather made ridable, preserving 40+ years of use and abuse. The BB is rebuilt and the headset, the Brooks saddle is oiled, the frame is straightened. I am only missing a couple of small brake pieces.

But the wheels. Steel. They are 27X1 1/4, the rear is a 40 hole. This is the problem. The LBS wheel man say no way to true the old steel wheels, wants to replace them with alloy at around $30 each, they would be 700c size.

I think I could get the brakes to work with 700c wheels as there is adjustment in the slots but what do you say?

Save the old steel by finding a wheel man who will get them sort of true or replace. Ideas??
Can old steel wheels be brought back to life??

If anyone has a true set of 27's, including a 40 hole rim please let me know.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks,
Bill

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Old 11-23-09, 10:11 PM
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I just searched around. I couldn't find anything. Velocity and Sun both make rims in 40 hole drillings, but sadly only in 26" or 700c sizes. I hope you find something.
-Gene-

Edit: Though I think your mechanic just doesn't want to deal with truing the rims. You CAN true steel rims, you just have to want to. He probably is also making comission off the sale of the new wheels. It's still reasonable. But don't listen to his lie about not being able to true them.

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Old 11-23-09, 10:34 PM
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As long as you're not hung up with doing a faithful restoration and the brakes will adjust I'd just go with a set of (aluminum) alloy 700c rims. They'll be much lighter, provide dramatically better braking in wet weather and you'll have a lot more choices in tires. The LBS charge of $30 / per wheel seems really reasonable to me.
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Old 11-23-09, 10:45 PM
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Pick up a set of '70s-era Weinmann 27x1-1/4's off of eBay. Laced-up if necessary. Try to get the variants with the bulged bead.

-Kurt
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Old 11-23-09, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Amani576 View Post
I just searched around. I couldn't find anything. Velocity and Sun both make rims in 40 hole drillings, but sadly only in 26" or 700c sizes. I hope you find something.
-Gene-

Edit: Though I think your mechanic just doesn't want to deal with truing the rims. You CAN true steel rims, you just have to want to. He probably is also making comission off the sale of the new wheels. It's still reasonable. But don't listen to his lie about not being able to true them.
I just trued a few steel rims. It's very possible. The LBS is giving you the run around.
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Old 11-23-09, 11:32 PM
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And dimes to donuts that $30 doesn't include spokes. Spokes are expensive. At a bike store, they'd run at least $40.

I've got two sets of wheels that could use new spokes, but I just don't feel like spending all that money on spokes.

You should just true the wheel yourself. It's a two dollar tool, and even if you screw it up, you can just find another shop to fix it, since you were gonna do that anyway. It's really simple to true a wheel. Just go slow, and tighten the appropriate spokes a little at a time to bring it into true. There is no mystery involved - the left spokes pull left, and the right spokes pull right. Tighten adjacent left and right spokes to flatten a hump - loosen them to fix a flat spot. A quarter turn at a time, then measure.

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Old 11-24-09, 06:21 AM
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I don't understand why the LBS mechanic is giving you the run around about truing steel wheels. They are no different than truing alloy wheels. Is there a low/high spot on the rim, or is there a sudden S shape bend in it ? If there is a warping of the existing 40 hole steel rim, then I can understand. Nonetheless, as stated, a nice set of aluminum alloy wheels do have major advantages over steel. As for the $30 price tag -for what ? 1 rim ? Labor charge to build up each wheel ?
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Old 11-27-09, 04:00 AM
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Thanks everyone.
I will grab the wheels back and have at them myself...and report back in a couple of weeks.
I'd rather have the old wheels just for the 'old bike' look of them.
bill
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Old 11-27-09, 07:51 AM
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You might be hearing what the LBS guy is saying wrong. Is he saying "There's no way to true steel wheels", or "There's no way to true THESE steel wheels"? If a rim is badly enough out of true, it can be impossible to bring it back whatever it's made of.
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Old 11-27-09, 01:17 PM
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Good point Sammyboy. But the OP didn't say that his wheels were taco'd or anything, so I'm still pretty sure that mech was just trying to make a sale.
-Gene-
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Old 11-27-09, 07:04 PM
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Jacksbike is right - steel rims are no harder to true than alloys. Alloy rims would be better of course, if you can find the 27" Weinmanns Kurt describes it would be perfect. However, no reason you can't true up your current steel rims in the meanwhile - you only need a good spoke key (wrench) and a little patience.
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Old 11-27-09, 08:36 PM
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...so I'm still pretty sure that mech was just trying to make a sale.....
Never seen the wheels, never met the OP, yet you're OK with slandering the LBS. Nice....
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Old 11-28-09, 07:30 AM
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If his wheels have dents, and the LBS guy knew that denting cannot be removed by truing, and the LBS statement was wrong (LBS mis-spoke, OP mis-heard, OP misunderstood), then we shouldn't blame the OP. Bottom line is the OP will learn the truth by trying to true his wheels, or perhaps by going to a different LBS that is willing to make it as good as can be.
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Old 11-28-09, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwstbill View Post
Hi everyone.


But the wheels. Steel. They are 27X1 1/4, the rear is a 40 hole. This is the problem. The LBS wheel man say no way to true the old steel wheels, wants to replace them with alloy at around $30 each, they would be 700c size.



Save the old steel by finding a wheel man who will get them sort of true or replace. Ideas??
Can old steel wheels be brought back to life??

If anyone has a true set of 27's, including a 40 hole rim please let me know.
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Thanks,
Bill
I think you can get a wheel guy at a shop to make it as good as reasonable, by saying that to him. Maybe they'll let you watch to see for yourself how to make the adjustments. The request "true this" might mean a lot more to him than "just get it into line."

If you can slide the brake shoes down 4 mm each, and can afford the new spokes, nipples, rims, rim strips, tubes, and tires, go for the 700c upgrade. It WILL make a better wheel.
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Old 11-28-09, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Never seen the wheels, never met the OP, yet you're OK with slandering the LBS. Nice....
Sounds much like many corporate chain bike shops I've been to. I'm surpised a whole new bike wasn't the sales pitch, instead of new rims?,,,,BD

But yes, alloy 700's might be the way to go, or even respoked wheels with different hubs and new 27"/700 rims.....
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Old 11-28-09, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
Sounds much like many corporate chain bike shops I've been to. I'm surpised a whole new bike wasn't the sales pitch, instead of new rims?
Hmmmmm, OP never mentions name of shop and lives in northern Wisconsin, not many coporate shops up there. And you never ask OP any questions about the condition of the rim. Yet you're sure that the OP is getting ripped off.
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Old 11-28-09, 04:20 PM
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Hmmmm, me thinks you own or run a corporate bike shop Bottom line is he was being sold something he didn't need rather than trying to repair something. They
have to make a living too, right? So yep, it sounds like most bike shops to me, corporate or otherwise? You can't change my mind with a guilt trip, I've experienced it first hand.
I have personally seen some NASTY steel rims made almost perfect by the right person. Granted steel rims aren't the best thing in the world, but a majority of the time
they don't require replacement unless they're rusted through, or the braking surfaces have been splayed outwards from a bad impact. The odds of both rims being that bad are slim,
and there are NOS alloy rims out there if the OP wants to stay with the current rim size.,,,,BD
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Old 11-28-09, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
...majority of the time they don't require replacement unless they're rusted through, or the braking surfaces have been splayed outwards from a bad impact. The odds of both rims being that bad are slim,
and there are NOS alloy rims out there if the OP wants to stay with the current rim size.,,,,BD
I wrenched during the age of steel rims and saw many totalled steel rims. You just keep speaking garbage, why be such a fool? Ask the OP what the rims loook like....
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Old 11-28-09, 08:02 PM
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Okay OP, what do the rims look like?? You happy now.....,,,,BD


I remember jumping makeshift ramps as kid, and never even put a steel wheel out of true...... much less totalled one.
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Old 11-29-09, 02:05 AM
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Best pics I have, frame is stripped. tires were cut off the wheels. Wheels are still at the LBS. It is an independent shop with a young mechanic who is my friend...he says the wheels disgust him. They are not rusted through, they are a little rusty. Nothing major.
biill

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Old 11-29-09, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
You just keep speaking garbage, why be such a fool?
Whoa there bucko...That kind of tone is usually reserved for A&S or P&R...C&V is the civilized forum.

Anyways...Back on topic. OP that's a nice bike...I'll jump on the bandwagon and say look for an aluminum wheelset that's suitable. If you insist on cleaning those steelies up make sure you give those spoke nips a good soaking with a penetrant oil a couple days in advance and be sure to wipe all the excess of the nips before you stick a wrench to 'em. Use a good degreaser/cleaner like cleanstreak or something. If you get 'em true oxalic acid will clean 'em up real nice and pretty like with minimal work. Plenty of info on the forums about the procedure but you might not be able to find it 'cause the search function sucks...Still.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kpug505 View Post
Whoa there bucko...That kind of tone is usually reserved for A&S or P&R...C&V is the civilized forum....
Now that we've seen the pictures, I guess it's clear the LBS employee was correct in recommending new rims/spokes...Perhaps some of us shouldn't be so quick to make unfounded accusations about someone we've never met....

70's era 10 speed steel rims could be very bad, esp the ones that came on French bikes, the Raleigh Record rims weren't very good either, Schwinn and Araya steel rims were tough but very heavy, Huffy, Sear etc had very weak rims.
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Old 11-29-09, 08:45 AM
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First, I like those old Raleighs. Nice!!!

I just got a UO-8 with a set of wheels in that condition. I was able to true them to a nicely rideable condition using a normal spoke wrench and a few fingers holding the spoke to make sure the nipple actually turns. Didn't need to oil or Liquid Wrench anything.

Your brakes are real good ones, and to my eye easily have enough slot left to accommodate 700c wheels, even 700c tubulars if you wanted.

From those pictures I don't see what makes those rims obviously past any use, other than style. Can you see denting? I can't. Can you see excessive spoke tension needed to hold it straight? I can't. Can you see crushed sidewalls? I can't.

You should basically plan on stripping down everything except perhaps the headset pressed cups and the BB fixed cup, depending on condition. Obviously the chain needs to be cleaned and lubed, tight links loosened, and checked for wear. It should all respond really well to cleaning, inspection, new bearing balls, and nice fresh clean grease on nice clean grit-free bearing races, with proper adjustment. Maybe the pedals are secondary. It won't feel like a NOS Campy Nuovo Record, but it will result in a surprisingly nice-riding bike.

Modern aluminum rims make a very strong wheel largely (IMO) because of better spoke and rim quality that enables using correctly high spoke tension. In the days of this bike spokes didn't get tensioned that way, for some reason. I don't know if a wheel with a new steel rim can be fully tensioned and hence make a strong, long lasting wheel. One question is, why bother? You can do better with modern 700c. Some wheel sources have 120 or 126 mm rear hubs on them, too, I think it's Niagara.
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Old 11-29-09, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
Now that we've seen the pictures, I guess it's clear the LBS employee was correct in recommending new rims/spokes...Perhaps some of us shouldn't be so quick to make unfounded accusations about someone we've never met....
I see a set of steel rims that I could have cleaned up, lubed, and trued inside of three hours, including a quick lunch break? There's not even rust on the spokes? I stand by my original assumptions.,,,,BD
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Old 11-29-09, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikedued View Post
I see a set of steel rims that I could have cleaned up, lubed, and trued inside of three hours, including a quick lunch break? There's not even rust on the spokes? I stand by my original assumptions.,,,,BD
+1 BD, I do too. I mean, sure. The OP did say the Mech was his friend, and maybe IS looking out for his friend in regards to better braking instead of a quick sale. But, still, there's nothing wrong with those wheels.
-Gene-
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