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raleigh sports new wheel and hub build...Alex or cr-18s.....and possible parts

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raleigh sports new wheel and hub build...Alex or cr-18s.....and possible parts

Old 04-25-12, 11:54 PM
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Heatherbikes
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raleigh sports new wheel and hub build...Alex or cr-18s.....and possible parts

Hi, I finally picked up my wheels with sturmey archer drum brake and 5 speed hub with drum brake. I had a guy build them who supposedly specializes in them, so I took my hubs to him. I asked him about cr-18's but he had a blank look, but promised he would find appropriate rims. He called and said he had polished silver rims. So, I pick them up, and the rims are alex rims. kind of wide, not polished and definitely would change the look of the bike. Then the mechanic goes on a tirade about how dumb internal geared hubs are! And he specializes in them...
I have had such bad luck with bike shops doing stuff for me, not listening etc...
So, are the alex rims fine or should I be crying?
Also, the original wheels are in much better shape than I thought, so may consider selling as well as the original brake levers and brakes. Is there a market for this 'correct' stuff?
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Old 04-26-12, 03:48 AM
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Yes there is a market for correct stuff, depending on the stuff.

I can't tell you what to do with the sorry mechanic other than to never deal with them again, and make sure others know how you were treated. YOU as the customer requested something and they didn't follow through equals an unhappy customer in my book.

I don't know which Alex rims were used but if they are wider you may have clearance issues. I would check and make sure they are 590 rims and not 559 like is used on an MTB, size should be stamped on them somewhere or possibly on a tag.

Ordering parts and wheel building IS NOT rocket science, but seems to get screwed up on a pretty regular basis.

Good luck on the resolution.

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Old 04-26-12, 05:31 AM
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I'm with Aaron on this. The guy didn't listen and you are not a happy customer. Additionally, it's almost certain that he put MTB (559mm) rims on the bike.

As far as parts, there are frequently folks on the forums looking for them, though they don't usually bring a ton of money.
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Old 04-26-12, 05:39 AM
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I've used Alex rims on a couple of builds and they look and work fine, but I don't think they make 590 rims, so he probably used MTB 26" rims as has been said.

I'd go back - he's clearly missed the boat on this one.
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Old 04-26-12, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, take them back.
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Old 04-27-12, 01:29 AM
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I finally had some time to look at the rims. They are alex 404 rims, and 597x20 is written on the rim! On their website 590x20 is listed, but certainly not a 597 size. The 404 rims are also single walled which I thought was a no no for internal geared hubs! i was a bit overwhelmed having had a similar experience an hour earlier at another bike shop where they ordered the wrong part for me and I felt I had no choice but to pay for it. In this case, the shop was dark, the guy was busy and confusing me with his distain for internal geared hubs. And being canadian and polite and all, I just paid when I realized he wasn't going to help me or even listen to me.
Now, I've tried measuring the rims compared to the 590 rims on the raleigh and the 597 rims on another vintage bike. can't tell.
The guy also put continental cityride tires on the rims without confirming with me if I wanted them or not. We were crushed for time to catch the ferry home, so again, just said okay. I was going to get col de la vies when the tires on the bike got too worn out. They are fine!
So, are the cr-18's really polished? Cause these alex 404s are not going to work with the bike.
As always I have paid too much and not gotten what I wanted. I must remember to just buy online. i want to support small bike shops, but this is what always happens.

Last edited by Heatherbikes; 04-27-12 at 01:30 AM. Reason: missed word
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Old 04-27-12, 02:01 AM
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It is stuff like this that makes this Canadian feel not so polite.

What you need is to return your wheels to the shop and tell them they used the wrong size and type of rim and that you would like your money and your hubs back and then find someone who actually specializes in this kind of thing and will build you some wheels with the proper CR18 rims in the 590 / EA3 size. The CR18 is the best replacement rim for a vintage Raleigh unless you happen to have a small stash of uber rare 590 Mavics in your shop (that are not for sale). The CR18 has a beautiful polish to them and they look wonderful on vintage bicycles and their build quality is also excellent.

I know because I have built a lot of wheels with CR18 rims as well as other similar Sun rims and they offer the best replacement in a 590 size.

Sounds like you live in Vancouver or Victoria and you should not have a problem finding a competent wheel builder there... I am on the other side of those big rocks and do actually specialize in this kind of work which stems from my love my English three speeds and internally geared hubs.

Building a good wheel is not rocket science... seems like finding a shop that actually listens is.
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Old 04-27-12, 03:23 AM
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Yes the CR-18's are really polished. I can get you a picture of some 700C that I built up for my son.

I agree with Sixty Fiver, need to take them and get your money back. Being polite and getting screwed by businesses is not a good combination, it just breeds more of the same. I am not a hard person to get along with and will walk away from a confrontation, but if I pay good money for something I expect to get what I pay for. Do you have a male companion/husband/cohabitant/relative/etc that can go and do battle for you? I can suggest at least one good wheel builder in the US that will build wheels on your hubs and he is reasonable. But I don't know what the across border shipping would be.

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Old 04-27-12, 04:27 AM
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Yes, CR18s are highly polished. It's kind of a pain to keep them that way, though.

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Old 04-27-12, 10:21 PM
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Thanks yes the cr-18's are indeed shiny! I was looking at flickr photos late in the night. I still do not understand why the alex rim size is 597x20.
My husband was with me, and he was trying to say something isn't right here, but the lbs kept cutting him off, being a bit belligerent. My dad is the king of fighting and a lifetime of him complaining to the better business bureau, raging at shop keepers, mechanics, waiters, has made me want to avoid confrontation at all costs. But, he always gets things set straight, free stuff etc..
More and more bike shop bearded fellows are working with internal geared hubs, so I do have choices, but scared of them.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:27 PM
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Old 04-27-12, 11:31 PM
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At the risk of seeming contrarian, I personally have built wheels for
my Raleigh Sports using 26" rims and mounted upon them Schwalbe
tires in a lightly treaded 1.5 " width and used them for a number of
years here as an around town ride.

I like them very much, but i did have to seek out a longer reach brake
to make the modification. I am much more into function than form,
and these rims are pretty bomb proof.

You seem much more concerned with the appearance of your
wheels, and you ought to be able to do this without taking
a bunch of crap from some guy who is too dumb to realize
that the customer is usually (but not always) right. If he really
said that about IGH's, then I'd go elsewhere.

If your brakes are the ones that came standard on this bike, I'm
dubious that they'll actually reach the rims if they're 26".

Where do you live, possibly one of us could hurt him for you?

Edit: I just reread this, and if the rims are 597's, they are the equivalent
of what some of these bikes were sold with as original equipment (26x1 3/8 S6).

Most of the others were 590's.

So while you're a little more limited in tire choices, you cannot
complain about authenticity. Here's a link to Sheldon Brown
on rim sizes............Measuring Bicycle Rim Sizes

Last edited by 3alarmer; 04-28-12 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 04-28-12, 07:24 AM
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Heatherbikes: I looked at the X404 on the site - they do make it in the 590 size for 26 x 1 3/8 tires. Not sure why yours are labelled 597 since according to the site they don't come in that size!

have a look at the tires - are they fitted correctly and marked 590-xxx? It could be the label is wrong on the rims.

Reason I bring this up - when you go to return them you want to hammer him for not listening, but if these are indeed the right size you can't say they aren't.

I agree that the appearance of the rims is a bit, um, modern, but the profile at least attempts to mimic the original.

As far as CR18s go - for whatever reason in our area they are really expensive compared to Alex so you need to be prepared to pay more for what you want.

ps. I have a beard so take this for what its worth.....
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Old 04-28-12, 07:56 AM
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You will be living with these wheels for a long time and that means that this experience will stick in your memory. I say give it a shot and challenge the builder to correct his product.

Like you, I tend to want to avoid confrontation and have, many times, found myself with that sinking feeling that I was "taken for a ride". The real problem is how many and how often vendors screw up. Are they incompetent? In a hurry? Or perhaps they just don't want to put much thought into what's important to the customer. I decided long ago that I couldn't screw things up worse than what I had paid for so I started doing my own work. Even with the cost of tools, the time (including redoing my own screwups), and the occasional horror when things go sprong when you didn't expect it (Try finding a pawl spring after it has launched itself across the room!); I still came out ahead in most respects.
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Old 04-28-12, 03:05 PM
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I think the problem is that there are 2 26 x 1 3/8 sizes! There is the standard old british 26 x 1 3/8 which is 590 and what people want for their old british bikes etc. Schwinn used an evil rim size called 26 x 1 3/8 which is 597 in diameter. I had read about this size ages ago, but forgot about it because I assumed it is obsolete.
The guy who built the wheels happens to love vintage Schwinns and probably thought I wanted the 597 size. And just because a wheel size isn't listed on a website does not mean it doesn't exist. The Sun website does not even list 26 x 1 3/8 cr-18 rims-or I can never find them, but they are indeed widely available. The tires are 590mm.
I can see no reason why the rims would be mislabelled as there is a market for the schwinn rims as well.

ps beards-have you not seen the cartoons about bike mechanics and their jedi powers based on how long their beards are?
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Old 04-29-12, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Heatherbikes View Post

ps beards-have you not seen the cartoons about bike mechanics and their jedi powers based on how long their beards are?
I believe you have been misinformed in this regard. I am
clean shaven, yet I have the powers of a mystical mage
in the world of mechanicking.

Every Saturday i make Huffys and Roadmasters arise and
walk again at the bike coop here.

It's not the length of the beard, it's the depravity that
dictates the level of genius in bike mechanics.
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Old 04-29-12, 01:41 AM
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Although I am often confused with the handsome chap in my avatar and share his superpowers... I rarely get beyond scruffy as Mrs Fiver and she who must be obeyed likes her bicycle repairman to be clean shaven.
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Old 09-09-12, 10:52 AM
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Hi. Wondering how this rim issue played out. I'd actually like to find the Alex X404 rims in the 590 size, since I don't really like the look of narrow cr18s so much. What size are the CityRide tires the LBS installed? I know they came in 590, have some, like them. Doubt they were ever made in 597 though.
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