I find that as time goes on I am becoming fussier about the workings of my bicycles. Whereas I used to be happy recycling existing bits unless they were really trashed, I can now much more appreciate the smooth workings of new modern components, in particular hubs, bottom brackets and sometimes steering headsets.
I am going to try consolidate and improve some of my existing bikes to this end, but keep the aged appearances where I can.
Take for example this Miche Primato 32H front track hub that I ordered for the 28″ Speedwell wheel. It spins like butter – so why then lace it to an ancient steel rim ?
Well, nostalgia for one thing – I was going to strip the old paint off to respray this wheel black, as I’m thinking of fitting it to my “heritage” Grandfather’s Speedwell, along with the matchng rear. There’s nothing wrong with these rims apart from the extra weight over aluminium ones and a limited 642mm tyre choice – but for a “slow bike” like the Speedwell, this won’t really matter.
However, as the worn but original pin lining magically appeared under the wet and dry rubbing I didn’t have the heart to proceed further. I’m a sucker for hand lining, you see.
So, I put a little paint inside the rim once the rust was removed, fish-oil sprayed into the little rim ‘breather’ holes, and sprayed clear coat over the outside rim.
A few days later, in a couple of hours of quiet therapy, the wheel was re-laced as a 2-cross with 32 x 299mm spokes, and trued.
The large flange hub was used to shorten the required spoke length, as was the 2-cross pattern.
I used spokecalc as the calculator and it worked very well and was easy to use – recommended ! Spokes aren’t cheap, and I already had these new 299mm ones. The originals were 3-cross and 312mm on a small flange “Durex” brand German hub.
For a front wheel without hub brakes even radial spoking would have been OK.
Also recommended is Lennard Zinn’s book “The Art of Road Bike Maintenance” for its step-by-step wheel lacing guide. This is only my third wheel re-build to date following the recent two Road Chief wheels.
The one minor issue is that this rim’s spoke offets were apparently mis-drilled in manufacture and I had to sacrifice the spoke symmetry around the valve to correctly offset the spokes each side by shifting them all by one hole around from ideal placement – ( Thanks again, Mr Zinn ).
I know it seems a little like putting tractor tyres on a Ferrari, but here is the free rolling result :
I probably don’t need to say this again, but if you are re-wheeling an old bike, pay attention to the dropout widths. I can use this modern 100mm hub only because it’s going into a newish 100mm fork, but many old forks are 95mm or less, which will put stress on – and maybe bend – the new spindle, if a 100mm axle is forced in and tightened.
Have a look at this “To die for” Saracen that I saw in Kotara today.
Reynolds frame, modern brake hoods and shifters, canti brakes, triple ring front mech ( though a compact double would do for me ).
The only thing that spoils the looks a bit is the rearward slope of the rack, but I would love this bike in a slightly larger size !
And in Blacksmiths you can now hire a beach cruiser Xmas tandem – cool !
Happy Cycling !