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Opinion on older wheels for short tours

Old 11-27-10, 06:23 PM
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TugaDude
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Opinion on older wheels for short tours

I just bought a 1985 Schwinn Le tour Luxe that is in very nice shape and I've cleaned it up, replaced old cables/housing, etc. and am thinking about a short tour next year, probably 100 miles out and back. I might do most of the ride on the Katy Trail in Missouri, leaving St. Louis area and going to Jefferson City or Columbia and then back.

My question is, do you think the original wheels will hold up? They are nice Weinmann rims with sealed hubs, 36 spoke front wheel and 40 spoke rear wheel. They are not stainless spokes, just 14 ga. galvanized.

They roll very smoothly and I will be replacing the tubes and tires.

I also would like an opinion on a 27" tire that will do well on crushed gravel like the Katy Trail. I have ridden on it with smooth road bike tires with very iffy results. My 26" mountain bike tires which are a "street" tread, Serfas Drifter, worked great.

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 11-27-10, 06:33 PM
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storckm
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If the spokes are in good shape, then the wheels sound tough enough. Ride it a lot beforehand, and try carrying some weight, and if the wheels don't give you trouble, go for it.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:35 PM
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As long as your wheels are true and spoke tension is ok, you should be fine, I imagine. I rode the Katy Trail earlier this year running Conti Ultra Gatorskins in 27x1 1/4 size, and they worked out just fine. As far as I know you can also get Panaracer Pasela TGs in that size too, probably the two best 27" wheel touring tires.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:40 PM
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If the rims show no signs of damage and the spokes are sound then I don't see a problem there. You don't mention repacking bearings though - have you done that? '85 vintage without ever being repacked could have tar for grease.

+1 on the Gatorskins
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Old 11-27-10, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
You don't mention repacking bearings though - have you done that? '85 vintage without ever being repacked could have tar for grease.
Knows what he speaks of
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Old 11-27-10, 11:25 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. I will definitely be getting some better tires. The Pasela's sound like a great choice. I have just finished a thorough cleaning and replaced cables and housing, now I will true and tension the wheels. If I can, I'm going to try to work in a couple of 30 to 40 mile rides to make sure that all is well before taking off on a longer ride.

I appreciate the feedback! Hope everybody had a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-28-10, 07:13 AM
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I ride wheels that are much older than that. If the hubs have been greased, the wheels have been carefully inspected are true and properly tensioned I see no problems at all.

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