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alaskanb3arcub 08-04-12 01:08 AM

Wheel replacement help
I have a early model Dahon which does not brake reliably(OLD drum-and-belt system), and I want to fit it with caliper brakes(I have seen pictures of similar frames with calipers). If I have to replace the back wheel to do so, I'd rather replace the front as well(as it's corroding anyway). Here's the catch: the rear fork is approx 119 mm wide, while the front is 65. My LBS's supplier doesn't have ANY wheels with a OLD(which, if I read it right, is a length measurement) less than 100. So here's my question:

Can anyone point me to a place where I can buy said wheels, or a place where I might be able to get a new wheel built(using the existing hub for the front wheel) that con;t cost an arm and a freaking leg.

If neither can be done, I'm thinking I'll just put it back the way it was, and buy a new machine WITHOUT an archaic brake system.

badmother 08-04-12 05:27 PM

I had a bike like this and upgraded the wheels but just put together new ones from stuff found locally. Is the front hub ok? How many spokes in the front wheel? If you search the forums (try the Bike mecanic forums) you`ll find it described that if you find or buy a rim with same amount of holes as the old one you first loosen all the spokenipples in the wheel and then put the new rim on top of the old wheel. Match the spokeholes exactely and mowe the spokes over to the new rim one by one. Secure the spoke with the nipple the whole way around. Then true the wheel or have somebody do it.

Maybe same could be done to rear wheel but remove or ignore the drum brake thingy and add caliper if possible (pix needed)?

It should be possible to buy a rear wheel or you need to bild or have one built. Is it IGH or der geared bike? Mine was a three speed hub with coaster brake. That way the whole rear brake problem was solved.

To be sure we give you a correct answer to the caliper question we need pictures of the bike and close up pictures of where the brakes would be atatched since not all frames have pre drilled holes for mounting caliperbrakes.

Dynocoaster 08-04-12 05:40 PM

I would opt for the new bike.

alaskanb3arcub 08-04-12 08:40 PM

Link to a thread which has pictures of the bike/rear wheel(sorry for the low quality):

The wheels are painted chrome(or the chrome plating, not sure which), and that layer is coming off the front wheel, causing corrosion. All the decent wheels in the shop have machined sides, not sloped, which I would consider MUCH better for braking.


Front and rear hubs are in great condition. Both wheels are 32 spoke. Rear is 5 speed freewheel with Shim Tourney derailleur.

I probably will take this to the mechanics forum, but would rather link them to a stale thread for info, rather than reposting.

That said, thanks!

prathmann 08-04-12 08:59 PM

If you can mount a caliper brake for the front wheel (does the fork have a hole in the crown for one?) then I'd just rebuild the front wheel with a new rim and leave the rear wheel alone. Most of your braking power comes from the front wheel so a decent brake there even if combined with a mediocre one in the back should be fine.

If the spokes are in good shape you may even be able to reuse those provided the new rim has an ERD (eff. rim diam.) that's close to the same as the current rim. I've replaced rims by taping the new one alongside the old one and then moving the spokes over one at a time before finishing the wheel build and truing.

Chromed steel rims work fine for braking when it's dry, but are terrible when they get even a little wet. So I'd use an aluminum rim for your wheel rebuild.

az2008 08-04-12 11:28 PM

For the rear wheel you could go with something like a Sturmey 5-speed IGH. It comes in 119 OLD. That would let you get rid of the derailer, have a cleaner appearance, shift gears while stopped. You have the horizontal axle which is perfect for it. Just buy a new rim like a Sun Rhyno Lite. Lace it together. I recently did one. It's not hard.

Is the front dropout really 65mm? I thought Dahon used 74mm. (I haven't found hubs with that OLD. But, thought it would be worth clarifying.).

You indicated you weren't clear what OLD is. It's the distance from the outer face of one locknut to the other. It should be the same as the dropout space. You can increase or decrease the dropout space a little. For a small triangle like you have, you can't alter it much.

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