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Wheel recommendation for touring?

Old 05-25-16, 06:01 AM
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Wheel recommendation for touring?

I recently bought a 1994 Trek 520. I have been posting a bunch of questions so you may recognize it: https://goo.gl/photos/kShPJGkSKmsQDqURA

My next question is what kind of wheels to get to suit it up for touring? I am coming from ultralight backpacking, so it probably won't ever hold more than about 180 pounds fully loaded including me. I plan to get 28 or 32 schwalbe marathon tires or something similar, leaning toward 32s. My goal is to have the wheel/tire as strong light and low-maintenance as possible.

Right now it has a 700c back wheel but no front wheel. There are 7 gears on the back and 2 in front. The back wheel has a shimano parallax hub with a mavic cosmos rim, both pretty old looking.

What matters when I am looking for a wheel-- old or new? How many spokes? What brand?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-25-16, 06:18 AM
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I've had excellent results with Velocity Dyad rims laced to Shimano Ultegra and LX hubs, 36 spokes. My best set of wheels has Ultegra hubs and double-butted spokes and cost about $350-400. However, I bought a much less expensive set with LX hubs and straight spokes (about $200 for both wheels off eBay) and it also has been trouble free, although a little bit heavier. I also have a dynamo front wheel with 32-H Dyad rim laced to a Shutter Precision hub and double-butted spokes that I use mainly for commuting but may take it on my next tour.
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Old 05-25-16, 06:30 AM
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Ok great. so I will look for double-butted with about 36 spokes... What about these hubs makes them good? What specs should I look for?
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Old 05-25-16, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel
Velocity Dyad rims laced to Shimano Ultegra and LX hubs, 36 spokes.
It looksl ike this first wheel is what you are recommending, but it seems a bit pricy. Thoughts?
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bop/5599632927.html

Would any of these work:
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bop/5591439782.html
https://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bop/5567031650.html

Last edited by milofilo; 05-25-16 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 05-25-16, 06:43 AM
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milofilo, You'll receive many good suggestions from economy to expensive. The most often suggested parameter is to have a minimum of 36 spokes. Some are comfortable with fewer spokes and some opt for more, but 36 spokes work well for a load that can't ride light. Do you know what the rear hub spacing is? I'm guessing 135 mm because of the rear hub.

I built my primary touring bike with a budget wheel set using Sun CR18 rims, straight 14 gauge spokes, and Alivio hubs, and following an initial tune-up session, no problems.

Brad

PS I've used 32, 35, and 37 mm tires, the 32s are fine.

Last edited by bradtx; 05-25-16 at 06:46 AM. Reason: PS
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Old 05-25-16, 06:43 AM
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That's one wheel and it's a disc. The price isn't bad if it's brand new but you don't know how well it has been built. It's probably fine, though.

You're probably better off buying a pair.
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Old 05-25-16, 07:03 AM
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I think this is the place that I ordered my last Dyad wheelset from on eBay. Price has gone up since I bought but shipping is free. I think that I paid about $225 for my set about two years ago. Seller also takes offers.

New Shimano XT T780 Velocity Dyad 36 Hole 700c Touring Commuting Wheelset Silver | eBay
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Old 05-25-16, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by milofilo
My goal is to have the wheel/tire as strong light and low-maintenance as possible.

What matters when I am looking for a wheel-- old or new? How many spokes? What brand?
To your 1st comment- plan on getting 2 of 3, unless you want to spend serious coin. Whichever 2 you get, dont doubt your decision.

To your 2nd comment- Old can be fine. I have a lot of old wheels. New means there will be less issues, typically. Cost is also higher, obviously. Older wheels, unless they have been properly taken care of, typically have pitting on the cones of the hub. The cones are one of the 2 points inside the hub where the balls make contact, and pitting is little wear areas that are like small gouges. Pitting will make the hub feel rough as the rolling surface is no longer perfectly smooth. I have a 25 year old wheelset with slight pitting and still enjoy them a ton, even though the hubs and rims are pretty entry level.
New wheels allow you to not care about possible pitting and the wheels will start out straighter than used wheels(typically) due to lack of use.



You should set a price level and start from there. Excellent wheels can be had for $1000, $500, $250, or even $200. The lower costs just mean some tradeoffs which typically dont make for a 'lesser' wheel, only less convenient maintenance or heavier weight. With that said, a lot of times a heavier wheel is also a stronger wheel, so that negative isnt really a negative.
More money will get you better quality hubs. Cartridge bearing hubs are typically significantly more expensive than loose ball hubs. I use all loose ball hubs and they are cheaper in cost, but work perfectly fine. All Shimano hubs are loose ball hubs, fyi. Better Shimano hubs will have better rubber seals to keep out gunk and moisture from the bearings, and they will also have a higher quality bearing surface(the cup and cone area is harder for less potential damage).
I have 30 year old Shimano Ultegra(600), new Shimano Tiagra, 25 year old Shimano Exage, 25 year old Shimano RX100, and a handful of Japanese hubs(Sanshin and others) from the 80s. All of them spin great. The only difference is the quality of how each keeps water and gunk out of the bearings.

If you used Shimano Deore or higher level hubs- your wheels would have excellent hubs in both quality and weather seal.
Sun CR18 rims are low cost, but I have a set and they built up great. They look period correct on an older steel touring bike too.
Other rim options- Velocity Dyad, Mavic A319, Mavic A719. These are 3 commonly mentioned rims for touring.
Whatever rims you choose, just make sure they properly fit a wider tire. No need for very narrow rims that are meant to only hold racing tires.

Straight gauge spokes arent as strong as butted spokes because the butted spokes can flex more and absorb impact better. But ultimately, both should be really good if they are built well.
Below are a couple suggestions to give you an idea.


https://www.universalcycles.com/wheelkit.php This will allow you to custom spec your wheels. Wheelsmith butted spokes are the least expensive butted spokes they have. You can compare Shimano Deore hubs with White hubs, King hubs, Velo Orange, and more. They have the CR18, Mavic A319, and Velocity Dyad rims too. Select brass nipples.
There are so many options, it can be tough to even narrow down options. but 36H hubs, to me, are best due to strength. That will help eliminate a lot of options that are less spokes.

Last edited by mstateglfr; 05-25-16 at 08:44 AM. Reason: mistook wheel as road instead of MTB hub size
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Old 05-25-16, 07:39 AM
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I also come from a lightweight backpacking perspective (trailname Garlic, PCT'04, CDT'07, AT'08) and a few years ago came back to bike touring on my '90s touring bike. I upgraded wheels inexpensively by shopping used bike parts in shops, Craigslist, and friends' garages ($40 total--got lucky). I carried the same weight you're planning on a 4500 mile tour a few years ago with 36/32 spoke rear/front and 25mm wide tires on 21mm rims. I was unhappy with Schwalbe Marathons on that tour--way too heavy and stiff, and now use Conti Gatorskins. I really enjoyed the light wheels and skinny tires with a light load (but I ride almost all pavement).
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Old 05-25-16, 08:00 AM
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what's your budget?
(you've linked to several $30 used wheels.)

do you want to get a pair, or just a front wheel?
what condition is the rear?

7spd mtb.......is that 130 or 135mm?
either way, front will be 100.

assume no disc brakes....

what happened to the crank?
methought 520 would havea triple.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:06 AM
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rebuild the wheel with a new rim of your preference, and overhaul the hub .. Flush & re-oil the driver

get A shimano K , 13-34t Cassette & new [KMC is OK], chain stick with 7 speed, (ratio-range matters more than 'speeds')


no front wheel? so many people Must have their Phone with them 24/7~365 , a dyno hub in front wheel will have 3w,6v of electricity

to use via a converter to USB to trickle charge the phone as you ride ( it is insufficient to run the phone , on at the same time)

Shimano Dynamo-hubs come in low cost pre=built wheels , German Schmidt hubs, a custom build will get that done..



I toured on a 48 rear , 40 front, 88 spoke pair of wheels I built myself , fortunately I never damaged a rim..
(Only 1 spoke in 10 years..)

those who did, now that I live in a place where people come from around the world to see ,

damaged rims with exotic hubs tend to have a low cost common wheel sold , & your fancy one shipped home.

few want to spend a week+ getting a custom rebuild .. rim ordered, etc..

[no shortage of Motel/hotel rooms food and drink if you are on a casual schedule]



IN SHORT : ride what you have , bring Money.. if you get them damaged Buy something else along the way.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-04-16 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:18 AM
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36 spokes for sure. This is why: it gives you extra insurance to be able to continue to ride even if you break a spoke, allowing you to fix it later at camp or in the next town, rather than call for help.

36 spoke wheel does not mean heavy btw. We used to race on them. Heavy or light is a separate decision. I'd think frankly at 180lb total, you could ride something pretty light and be just fine. BITD I did long tours on 36h sew up wheels with ordinary 350g training rims. With clinchers the equivalent would be about 100g more. Perhaps a Sun M13 is a good choice, or maybe go up to CR18 for a bit of extra insurance. I would choose 28c tires if riding on asphalt, go to 32 if you will be mixing in some gravel roads.

Butted spokes make a more durable wheel, but they aren't strictly necessary.

I suggest you don't buy used wheels unless you are a pro mechanic. Rebuild yours at your LBS, or if you are on a budget, get a pair from velomine. I couldn't build my own wheels for what they sell a new pair for.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 05-25-16 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine
36 spokes for sure. This is why: it gives you extra insurance to be able to continue to ride even if you break a spoke, allowing you to fix it later at camp or in the next town, rather than call for help.

36 spoke wheel does not mean heavy btw. We used to race on them. Heavy or light is a separate decision. I'd think frankly at 180lb total, you could ride something pretty light and be just fine. BITD I did long tours on 36h sew up wheels with ordinary 350g training rims. With clinchers the equivalent would be about 100g more. Perhaps a Sun M13 is a good choice, or maybe go up to CR18 for a bit of extra insurance. I would choose 28c tires if riding on asphalt, go to 32 if you will be mixing in some gravel roads.

Butted spokes make a more durable wheel, but they aren't strictly necessary.

I suggest you don't buy used wheels unless you are a pro mechanic. Rebuild yours at your LBS, or if you are on a budget, get a pair from velomine. I couldn't build my own wheels for what they sell a new pair for.
+ 1 on all of this.

You don't want a wheel to fail on you when touring. Unless you know what you're doing buy new.

Velomine is a great place for decent quality wheels at a reasonable price.

Velocity makes first rate touring wheels but they're aren't cheap at $400 a pair. Still you get a quality product at that price that will be (or should be) trouble free:

Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA

quality bikes also makes fine wheels like this pair

Quality Wheels Pavement Rim Brake Rear Wheel 700c 36h Deore LX T670 / Velocity DYAD Silver - Modern Bike

Quality Wheels Pavement Front Wheel 700c 36h Shimano LX / Velocity Dyad / DT Champion All Silver - Modern Bike
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Old 05-25-16, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
what's your budget?
(you've linked to several $30 used wheels.)

do you want to get a pair, or just a front wheel?
what condition is the rear?

7spd mtb.......is that 130 or 135mm?
either way, front will be 100.

assume no disc brakes....

what happened to the crank?
methought 520 would havea triple.
Looks like a triple to me.


I didnt realize it had 135 OLD Deore LX hubs originally. Shoulda looked closer @milofilo The rear hub is a Deore LX Parallax, correct? Anything wrong with it right now? If not, as fietsbob suggests, just build a new wheel around it. You have a perfectly good hub of good quality as it is.
If you want new wheels, Deore or higher Shimano MTB hubs for rim brakes should be great.
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Old 05-25-16, 08:54 AM
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wider tires for more comfort, and nice rolling, also they do not suffer from weight. 32mm is skinny.
35mm better 37mm
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Old 05-25-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Looks like a triple to me.
Originally Posted by some dude named milo
There are 7 gears on the back and 2 in front.

i'm just reading the post, photo looks like a double to me,
but my eyes are old.
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Old 05-25-16, 09:07 AM
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Also have some backpacking background (100% of AT, ~25% of PCT), but more in bike touring.

I use Velocity Dyads, 32 double-butted spokes, and XT hubs. I'm a fan of all three. You're definitely on the right track with getting Schwalbe Marathons, 32 mm. If you're sticking to pavement, I recommend the Marathon Supreme. I had a rear tire last 8,000 touring miles before I ditched it (and it could've kept going!), and I notice no difference in puncture protection between the Supreme and the Tour Plus. The biggest difference is the Supreme is noticeably smoother, lighter, faster on pavement.

I'm not a big guy (135 pounds) and I pack relatively light. Maybe 36 spokes is better for a guy who weighs 180 pounds and brings 50 pounds of gear for a total of 230, compared to my 135 + 30 = 165 total. There are plenty of guys that weigh more than 165 pounds on their own, riding carbon road bikes with 16 spokes on the wheel. I feel like 32 is plenty.
32 front, 36 rear would be an excellent compromise.
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Old 05-25-16, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
i'm just reading the post, photo looks like a double to me,
but my eyes are old.
Wow, strike 2 for me.
I did not read this OP's first post well!

Regardless, that picture looks like 3 rings to me. 2 aluminum larger rings and a rusty small granny ring The chain even appears to be set on the granny ring as the bottom of the chain is above the smaller of the aluminum rings, so it doesnt look to be connected to the smaller aluminum ring.


Anyways- something I can see clearly is the awesome STI drop bar brifters connected to the mtb flat bar. Thats a rare sight for sure!
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Old 05-25-16, 09:13 AM
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That's a triple. It's shimano RSX triple and derailleurs. That's such a weird set up with the brifters mounted to straight bars and a tubular front wheel. This is bike was a great price but it was also a real odd mix of parts.
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Old 05-25-16, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bradtx
Do you know what the rear hub spacing is? I'm guessing 135 mm because of the rear hub.
How do I tell the spacing? I measured roughly and the front spacing between forks is around 4.25 inches, the back is wider, almost 6 inches (dont have a ruler with millimeters). Is there a more official way to find this out?
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Old 05-25-16, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
That's a triple. It's shimano RSX triple and derailleurs. That's such a weird set up with the brifters mounted to straight bars and a tubular front wheel. This is bike was a great price but it was also a real odd mix of parts.
Yes I think you are all right it's a triple not a double... I can't believe you can tell from that tiny photo!
https://goo.gl/photos/ecNt1rMWGXbZo2sNA
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Old 05-25-16, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob

get A shimano K , 13-34t Cassette & new [KMC is OK], chain stick with 7 speed, (ratio-range matters more than 'speeds')
Can you point me to something that will explain what you mean by "ratio-range matters more than speeds"? I am not sure I follow...
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Old 05-25-16, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
+ 1 on all of this.

Velomine is a great place for decent quality wheels at a reasonable price.

[/URL]
Originally Posted by bikemig

Velomine is a great place for decent quality wheels at a reasonable price.
Is there one particular from Velomine that is good? Many of their wheels say "fixed gear" which I assume I don't want. But it looks like they only have Sun (no velocity dyads). Based on all the above advice I would guess one of these?

Sun CR18 Road Bike Sealed Bearing 27 REAR Wheel 126mm 5/6/7 S [72758] - $59.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
Sun CR18 Road Bike Sealed Bearing 700c Wheelset 126mm Rear [072774744381] - $120.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
Sun M13 Black Rims 36h 126mm fits 5 6 7 speed Vintage Road Bikes [072774738373] - $115.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
Black Sun M13 32 Hole Silver Spokes Black Hubs Flip Flop Hub [0072774711826] - $125.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
Sun M13 Silver 36h 126mm fits 5 6 7 speed Vintage Road Bikes [072774731008] - $119.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
Sun M13 REAR 700c silver 5,6,7 speed freewheel hubs wheel 36h [72385] - $69.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
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Old 05-25-16, 09:07 PM
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Your bike is 135 in the rear right?

These would make good touring wheels and the price is right at $119 a pair,

Sun Rhyno Lite Silver 29er Wheelset 6 Bolt Disc & V Brake 36h [740775] - $119.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike


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Old 05-25-16, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by milofilo
How do I tell the spacing? I measured roughly and the front spacing between forks is around 4.25 inches, the back is wider, almost 6 inches (dont have a ruler with millimeters). Is there a more official way to find this out?
seems you don't know all that much about
bikes and wheels and stuff.
no problem, gotta start somewhere.

spend some time in a bike shop looking at
the stuff, read the details on some wheelsets
on the online sellers. go to sheldon brown's
site for lotsa wheel and hub information.

4.25 in = 108mm

no. either your ruler is off, or your fork is seriously bent
or you're measuring outside the arms...but where?
pretty sure it's 100mm (unless a tiny 74mm dahon).

6 in = 152mm

no. should be 135, or perhaps 130.
or did you buy a mislabeled "boss hoss"?

the internets has lotsa sites that will show you
how to measure frames and hubs.

youtube will talk you through it.

i suggest you spend some quality time with
your browser before buying new wheels.
saddlesores is offline  

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