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Commuting on the Lotus. Need wheels

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Commuting on the Lotus. Need wheels

Old 11-14-13, 05:23 PM
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Commuting on the Lotus. Need wheels

Hello guys,

So after looking at all my bikes, talking to the concierge in the building etc. I've decided to use the Lotus to commute. It seems like a less brutal gearing for commutes and a much more comfortable bike. I also believe that if it weren't for commute the bike would not see too much action since the Panasonic is a much better road bike.

So the issue is, wheels are thrashed so need to get a new set. They are Ukai 27x1 and it has a 6 speed cassette and Suntour BL rear derailleur. While I've found some wheels in harriscyclery that look OK I am not sure what other options I have. I've done searches all 'round the forum and couldn't find anything other than those Harriscyclery wheels or people saying to swap to 700c.

Ideas please? I also found some used Ukais on eBay but god darn it they are expensive! The bike is ready to roll, just need the wheels and I'll be happily commuting

Thanks,
Luis
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Old 11-14-13, 05:35 PM
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i used to think there was a magic or special skill in building wheels, until i did it myself once. i used the bike frame as a truing stand, and merely followed the sheldon wheelbuilding page like i was reading a cooking recipe. it's a lot of fun and generates great pride in your own work.

i suggest sapim db spokes from danscomp and sun m13ii polished rims from anywhere other than green canyon outfitters.
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Old 11-14-13, 05:48 PM
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Under $80 per set.

https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Front-Al.../dp/B000AO9KN4

https://www.jensonusa.com/!Lm9fRWPXXk...FcxaMgodekgAHQ
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Old 11-14-13, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Forget ebay for wheels, pick up a set used locally on Craigs List...

...

Or these for $25
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/4156860517.html
This seller has posted at least three times. Not sure what is up with this guy. Could be a sketchball.
The seller says, "I don't know what size the wheels are" which is certainly affecting the interest.

+1 to look for used wheels locally.

I wouldn't limit yourself to 27" wheels, assuming you have enough reach with your brakes. There's about a 4mm difference in radius between 27" and 700c. If your break pads can move down this slight amount (usually not a problem), you will find many, many more tire options at 700c. I still use 27" wheels on occassion, but usually only because they are original and I'm a retro-grouch that way. In this case, I would recommend 700c replacement wheels if the original 27" ones are beyond saving.
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Old 11-14-13, 05:56 PM
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replace them with 27's, they look better imho. just be sure and get alloy rims and if you can find them on 27's look for sealed bearings. Happy commuting.
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Old 11-14-13, 06:02 PM
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Or buy this bike (comes with extra rear wheel), keep what you need and sell the rest. Might just come out ahead.

Vintage 86 Trek 56 cm Racing bike - $125 (Atlanta)

Actually, you might like it more than the Lotus...n+1 is a slippery slope.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
i used to think there was a magic or special skill in building wheels, until i did it myself once. i used the bike frame as a truing stand, and merely followed the sheldon wheelbuilding page like i was reading a cooking recipe. it's a lot of fun and generates great pride in your own work.

i suggest sapim db spokes from danscomp and sun m13ii polished rims from anywhere other than green canyon outfitters.
Well, I gave truing the wheels a shot. Ended up getting to an acceptable range where it doesn't rub against the brake pads. However had to remove the broken spoke. Might go buy a spoke tomorrow and give it a ride around the block see how it feels. I think the bike just needs some professional tune up. at least the wheels spin good and it shifts great.

I'm afraid the tension on the spokes is not even and that may be a safety issue. Not sure how you guys feel about HUGE change on spoke tension. I got it from probably 0.5 inch lateral travel to about 1-2mm lateral travel. I stripped a few nipples in the process though .

Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Forget ebay for wheels, pick up a set used locally on Craigs List. I have picked up dozens of sets that way, usually they cost less than just the shipping on ebay wheels. 27s go even cheaper. My last set of 27s came off a Cannondale, in great shape, plus six new tires, all for $30. It wasn't a lightning fast pickup either. Wheels sat on C/L for a couple of days at least.

My last several wheelsets came in the form of a complete bike. Bikes were parted out, leaving the wheelsets for future projects. OK, I admit I like the challenge of finding good usable wheels used, at low prices.

If you are up to it, I have also picked up about ten wheelsets at garage sales this year, anything from modern FG/SS wheels to nice Campy Record vintage wheelsets (that was lucky).

ebay wheels are best suited when you are looking for something special and high end. Even then, if you are resourceful, you will find something better locally.

Doubtful you have a six speed cassette, more likely a freewheel. Totally different technology.

You searched the forum and never saw anyone recommending used wheelsets bought locally? That's strange, as I have recommended it here on the forum at least 100 times, and many others have recommended it as well.



Building wheels is fine, but I often find complete wheelsets for less than the price of just spokes on line. So when I build them, its all about wanting to use a certain set of hubs. Financially, used are the best deal for me, and I have an ample supply on hand.

One thing about new wheels vs used. Used wheels typically come with tires, tubes, rim strips, skewers and even a freewheel or cassette. While the tires and freewheels are often toast, sometimes they are not. On new wheels, all of that is extra $$.

bill
I had seen that ad on CL and thought about it but for some reason my gut says doesn't like them. Maybe I'll go take a look at them on the WE and offer 10 bucks. It won't hurt much and that is an extra pair.

Sweet! you are good at showing me exactly what I am looking for .

Originally Posted by 7/8timing View Post
replace them with 27's, they look better imho. just be sure and get alloy rims and if you can find them on 27's look for sealed bearings. Happy commuting.
Yea, I wanna stick to 27 since the bike came with a brand new set of Panaracers pasela GT. Can't wait to get out on that cold and freeze my bum off!

Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
Or buy this bike (comes with extra rear wheel), keep what you need and sell the rest. Might just come out ahead.

Vintage 86 Trek 56 cm Racing bike - $125 (Atlanta)

Actually, you might like it more than the Lotus...n+1 is a slippery slope.
No more +1. Already 2 last weekend! I am very happy with both. Let's wait till I got the lotus up and running then I'll bite into something cool like an old school bianchi or a cinelli . Need to please the italian side of the family too.
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Old 11-14-13, 08:51 PM
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A little vid. Whatcha guys think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvjgfTqvQQY
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Old 11-14-13, 09:19 PM
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for the front, buy a new spoke and true it up.

for the rear, it may be the nds spokes are too long. but it shouldn't be that much of a problem. if you feel the ds can be tightened any more, you may try to tighten all on the rear the same small amount. you might want to remove the tire and rim tape so you can see if the spokes are too long.

sheldon says not to worry so much about rear nds spokes having such travel, given the ds is in good tension and the wheel is dished properly. i don't know. i'd like to hear what others think about a rear wheel like that.

if you're experiencing pinging when truing the wheels, you may wish to start by dripping a lubricant on the spoke/nipple, and let it work down into the nipple.
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Old 11-14-13, 11:54 PM
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These are pretty nice and not too expensive
https://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=633

The have the same thing with a CR18 rim - which is a little wider and double walled
And they have both in a 700 size if you want to change sizes.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:05 AM
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+1 on buying locally. I'd be a bit more agressive in the search and put a WTB ad on Craigslist. There must be people in Atlanta who have done a bunch of fg conversions and are sitting on stacks of 27" wheels. They probably just don't list them because they can't imagine someone wanting them.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
+1 on buying locally. I'd be a bit more agressive in the search and put a WTB ad on Craigslist. There must be people in Atlanta who have done a bunch of fg conversions and are sitting on stacks of 27" wheels. They probably just don't list them because they can't imagine someone wanting them.
No. 1. I'm sitting on a bunch of older wheels in great shape that I'd probably sell if someone took the trouble of posting an ad on CL. Also if you don't mind dropping some money on your wheels but you want ukai rims and suzue hubs, these look pretty decent (they're 700c and 130mm rear but it's not hard to make these work on your bike):

https://www.universalcycles.com/searc...suzue+wheelset

The suzue touring wheelset looks pretty solid for your purposes and isn't too bad price wise.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
No. 1. I'm sitting on a bunch of older wheels in great shape that I'd probably sell if someone took the trouble of posting an ad on CL. Also if you don't mind dropping some money on your wheels but you want ukai rims and suzue hubs, these look pretty decent (they're 700c and 130mm rear but it's not hard to make these work on your bike):

https://www.universalcycles.com/searc...suzue+wheelset

The suzue touring wheelset looks pretty solid for your purposes and isn't too bad price wise.
The Oracle recalls that OP paid under $125 for the bike, so wheelsets costing 2X are perceived as a bit pricey.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
A little vid. Whatcha guys think?
I think that rear wheel isn't original to the bike (too wide, no eyelets for the spokes, and the hub looks different).

The front wheel/hub looks correct, though.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:31 AM
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That is a nice looking bike...

Used wheels are a good deal if you know what you are looking for and know how to service them if they are less than 100%... and most are.

If you are commuting it makes sense to get a decent set of wheels and upgrading to a 700c wheelset with double walled rims and a cassette hub gives you a stronger hub, more tyre options, and the modern 130mm rear hub should fit in the steel Lotus frame with a little gentle persuasion as it is 126mm.

Conversely...

The stock Suzue / Ukai wheels are / were pretty decent in their day and the rims were very strong... yours appear to be in fairly good shape and I have a near identical set up on my old hybrid which just has Shimano hubs and a 7 speed cassette.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:53 AM
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I would trust the velomine set a LOT more than the others. Bike shop "replacement quality" rims are pretty dismal until you spend a little. Heavy, and very wide/soft alloy which is usually non eyelet single wall. They're almost hybrid width, as well. "New" wheels that are under $120 a set are worse than what you have already, and will not stand up to daily commuting. Riding with a missing spoke, you're about one hard bump away from disconnecting the brake cable to get home. Also seven speed freewheel rims are likely to snap the rear axle when subjected to curb jumping, potholes, etc. I am sorry to be so cynical about most of the "new" wheel offerings, but most are twice as bad as the wheels from back in the eighties. Just personal experience from three years wrenching in a bike shop (2010-2013),,,,BD

Most replacement wheels that say 27 x 1 1/4 mean exactly that. The rim is actually 1 and 1/4 inches wide, which is huge if you think about it. Most 27's back in the day were about 3/4 to 1 inch on average, no matter what the size stamped on the rims. The new wheels seem to take the rim size literally, instead of going by what tire sizes fit on the rim.

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Old 11-15-13, 07:56 AM
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Looking at the video, they don't look that bad to me, have you taken them to your LBS & asked them what they charge to true and tension them properly vs replacing them, picking up a used set doesn't guaranty that they won't turn out as bad as what you already have after a few miles. Also remember when looking at used 27" wheels to at least make sure they have a hooked bead for high pressure tires as a lot of the 27" wheels from back in the day had straight sides designed for lower pressure wire bead tires only.

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Old 11-15-13, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by eschlwc View Post
for the front, buy a new spoke and true it up.

for the rear, it may be the nds spokes are too long. but it shouldn't be that much of a problem. if you feel the ds can be tightened any more, you may try to tighten all on the rear the same small amount. you might want to remove the tire and rim tape so you can see if the spokes are too long.

sheldon says not to worry so much about rear nds spokes having such travel, given the ds is in good tension and the wheel is dished properly. i don't know. i'd like to hear what others think about a rear wheel like that.

if you're experiencing pinging when truing the wheels, you may wish to start by dripping a lubricant on the spoke/nipple, and let it work down into the nipple.
Yes, they pinged quite some, and then I went ahead and stripped clean a couple of nipple with the little wrench. I think that was the last adjustment that could be made to them.

Originally Posted by Vefer View Post
These are pretty nice and not too expensive
https://www.velomine.com/index.php?ma...roducts_id=633

The have the same thing with a CR18 rim - which is a little wider and double walled
And they have both in a 700 size if you want to change sizes.
I like these a LOT! They aren't exactly what I wanted to pay but I guess good stuff cost good money. Thanks for that link.

Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
I think that rear wheel isn't original to the bike (too wide, no eyelets for the spokes, and the hub looks different).

The front wheel/hub looks correct, though.
I thought the same. It is HUGE! The hub on the front isn't marked as Sealed bearings etc. so yes, they are two different hubs as well.

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
That is a nice looking bike...

Used wheels are a good deal if you know what you are looking for and know how to service them if they are less than 100%... and most are.

If you are commuting it makes sense to get a decent set of wheels and upgrading to a 700c wheelset with double walled rims and a cassette hub gives you a stronger hub, more tyre options, and the modern 130mm rear hub should fit in the steel Lotus frame with a little gentle persuasion as it is 126mm.

Conversely...

The stock Suzue / Ukai wheels are / were pretty decent in their day and the rims were very strong... yours appear to be in fairly good shape and I have a near identical set up on my old hybrid which just has Shimano hubs and a 7 speed cassette.
Now that you mention you hybrid with the 7 speed cassette I think my fiancees vita has a 7 speed cassette on it. I might be able to switch cassettes and use her wheels . Set of Alex R500 wheels.

Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
Looking at the video, they don't look that bad to me, have you taken them to your LBS & asked them what they charge to true and tension them properly vs replacing them, picking up a used set doesn't guaranty that they won't turn out as bad as what you already have after a few miles. Also remember when looking at used 27" wheels to at least make sure they have a hooked bead for high pressure tires as a lot of the 27" wheels from back in the day had straight sides designed for lower pressure wire bead tires only.

Glenn
I took it to the LBS with the hopes of doing exactly that yesterday but the mechanics seem to work only when I am at work so I guess I'll have to figure that out somehow.

So far the Velomine wheels are winning. Hopefully I can get the $$ before they sell since they only seem to have one pair!
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Old 11-15-13, 10:06 PM
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Alright! Found some good stuff I think. What do you guys think? I can probably go get them tomorrow if they are still for sale.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/4186455333.html
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Old 11-16-13, 04:44 PM
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I won't say you're crazy if you stick with 27" wheels, but I recommend you switch to 700c, because the selection of tires is better. I have one bike still running 27's, and I don't plan to change soon.
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Old 11-16-13, 11:05 PM
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I have to say that there's nothing inherently wrong with 27" wheels, but I'd never buy a new set of them. Whatever came on the bike, or a take-off set: Sure, no problem.

I would, however, go to the LBS and buy a handful of new spokes in the size of the busted one. I've gone to bike shops (not in the expensive SF-Bay area!) before with a broken spoke and asked for a handful of matching replacements (don't buy only one, they tend to be cheap) before and walked out with a bill of about $1. Truing a wheel with a missing spoke is a recipe for disaster.
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Old 12-05-13, 01:55 PM
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ZOMBIE THREAD!

Ok, so after looking fora set of 27" wheels around in CL I have found nothing worth paying for. I am still hesitant to buy NEW wheels since they run for about 80 to 120 bucks and they are crap wheels.

I have a set of shimano RS80 wheels that are carbon / alum that I don't use. They are 700c which the bike lotus can fit since the brakes work. However they have a 10speed freewheel and the lotus has a 6 speed casette.

Can i change the freewheel to fit the 6 speed casette of the lotus?
HOw much would it cost?
Am I still better off buying another set of wheels?

Those c24 RS80s are my spare racing wheels but I can use them for the lotus.

Thanks for all your help!
Luis
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Old 12-05-13, 05:02 PM
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Luis, you have the terms reversed. The old clusters were called freewheels, and the new ones are called cassettes. Anyway, you can't put the 6-speed freewheel on the 10-speed freehub, but you might be able to use the freehub as it is. The way to find out is to try it. Do you have tires and tubes?

Given that you have these wheels on hand already, they're the best thing to try next. They cost no extra money. They might work!
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Old 12-05-13, 05:19 PM
  #24  
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Did you ever have someone look at the wheels in the video? I just watched it and agree with Glenn, they don't look bad to me.
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Old 12-05-13, 09:28 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Luis, you have the terms reversed. The old clusters were called freewheels, and the new ones are called cassettes. Anyway, you can't put the 6-speed freewheel on the 10-speed freehub, but you might be able to use the freehub as it is. The way to find out is to try it. Do you have tires and tubes?

Given that you have these wheels on hand already, they're the best thing to try next. They cost no extra money. They might work!
Commenting or enlarging on Tom"s post, to Luis:

No argument with trying the 10-speed wheel set. I generally have the frame cold-set and the dropouts re-aligned to establish spacing that fully matches the wheel (130 or 135?) when I make this sort of enhancement, because I greatly value the lifetime of my hub bearings. But there is bound to be argument about this point. However, it is one of the choices you face, Luis, in considering this swap. In my experience it costs about $40, even at Ann Arbor's best shops.

I'll also ask, is there an additional 4 mm of brake shoe adjustment slot on both the front and rear brake calipers? That's how far "down" the brake shoes need to move to be able to properly interface to the brake track of the 700c rim, if they were properly adjusted for the 27 inch rims.

You'll probably need to be vigilant about potholes and significant road debris with these wheels. If you've already used them on a road frame you probably already know how to do that.

The wheels with the 10-speed cassette have a much narrower spacing sprocket-to-sprocket than the old 6-speed. The old chain, which might have the same width as the old 5-speed chains, should be replaced with a low-cost or best-value 10-speed chain. I don't know what chain to recommend - my indexing bikes are mainly Campagnolo so I use Campy chains on them. I would probably try the basic model of SRAM or Shimano chain. It does not need it because of indexing, it needs it because the wider chain will catch on the next larger sprocket and shift itself to lower and lower gears with no input from you. This can result in noise and chain jamming - not pleasant to stop on the public road to clear chain jams, getting your hands really dirty on the way to work.

If this cost (chain plus frame adjustment plus possible calipers) comes close to the cost of lacing and tuning some good rims like Mavic Open Pro on there, I would just replace your old rims with new Open Pros and carefully tension, true, and dish the resulting wheels. When made well with stainless spokes they have made very strong long-lasting wheels. If you will be looking over your shoulder (looking for tragedy to come and get you, so to speak) with either the original wheels sans spoke, the 700c's with reduced spoke count, or with low-priced factory wheels that may not have been finished correctly (tensioned, stress-relieved, trued), it might be better just to build good rims onto the existing hubs. Done right they should be better than when the bike was new. And if you sell the bike, you can always keep the good wheels and sell the bike with a set of $25 replacements.
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