21 March 2011

To Do: Build New Rear Wheel

A dreary, rainy, chilly day. Amazing, how spoiled one can get after a couple of nice days.  But it's officially spring. And  we had a "Super Full Moon" the other night.  No wonder my late night-early morning ride didn't seem so dark!

Tomorrow it's supposed to clear up.  I'll ride to work and, hopefully, for a bit after that. 

I'm going to build a new rear wheel for the rear of Marianela.  A couple of spokes have broken on the one I have.  I think it had to do with the build quality of the wheel.  So I'm going to build with another flip-flop hub (Formula sealed bearing under the IRO brand.) and a Sun CR-18 rim.  Normally, I prefer Mavic rims, and that's what Arielle, Tosca and Helene have.  But Mavic doesn't seem to be making anything in the 27 inch diameter these days, and I don't want to take chances with used rims. The alternatives are Weinmann (which I used to like, but seem to get mixed reviews these days), Alex and a couple of "mystery" brands.

I know, 700 C is the standard diameter.  That's what all of my Mavic rims are.  But Marianela came with 27" wheels, and the rear brake is a long-reach centerpull with its pads about as far down as they'll go.  I really don't want to get a longer brake, as all that seem available are BMX-type brakes, which wouldn't work well on the bike or with the levers I'm using.  Plus, in spite of its length, the rear brake is powerful.  That has to do with the long straddle cable which wraps around the lug that joins the stays to the top tube.

The wheel will probably cost more than the bike did.  But I figure that it's still cheaper than buying a new hybrid or low-end road bike.  I've done that before, and within a year I end up replacing all of the parts.  Plus, for a heavier bike, I like the way Marianela rides.  


  1. Are you planning to build the wheel yourself?

  2. In my opinion, I think that wheels are the most important part of the bike, and I'm willing to invest some cash to get decent, strong, and well-built wheels.

    I used to build my own wheels, but the last couple years I've had Peter White Cycles build some wheels for me. And they have been excellent!

    Since all but one of my bikes is a vintage, steel-framed bike, I've found the quickest and easiest way to jazz it up is to put on a set of good-quality wheels.

  3. Steve and Big Oak: Yes, I am going to build these wheels. I haven't built wheels in a while, so I want to keep my skills from completely atrophying. I agree that wheels are the most important part of the bike, after the frame.