MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"  

MAINTAIN WHEELS - INTRO

WHEEL CHOICES

TIRE MAINTENANCE

RIM MAINTENANCE

DENTED RIM REPAIR

HUB MAINTENANCE

WHEEL TRUING

 

VINTAGE ROAD BICYCLE WHEELS - INTRODUCTION

"Those skinny tires are no good for the roads around here!"  How many times have I heard that statement and, for the most part, the statement is absolutely true!  That's right, Ten Speed wheels are somewhat fragile and tend to fail frequently, when compared to all other bicycle wheels.  Without proper, and I might add, constant maintenance, they will let you down, more often than not.  However; with a little know how, coupled with an acceptable level of maintenance, your "skinny wheels" will serve you very well.

Basically, there are two types of tires available for vintage road bicycles: Tubular and Clincher.  Additionally, there were, and still are for that matter, two fundamental diameters to work with:  700c(metric) and 27"(imperial).

Tubular wheels wore tires that had the inner tube captured, inside the tire, and then held in place, by sewing the tire's edges together - a daunting task, by today's standards.  This "sew-up" tire/tube arrangement was then centered on, and glued, to the tubular wheel rim - again, a great deal of work, when compared to the Clincher system of today.  However, though the use of the tubular tires can be anything but user friendly, riders tend to swear by them, suggesting the ride quality to be vastly improved.  I, personally, feel the same way.

Prior to the middle seventies, the only choices for road bicycle tires were 700c Tubulars or 27" Clinchers (there were also 27" tubulars but they were quite rare).  The 700c wheel diameter is a bit smaller than the 27" wheel diameter.  Tires are NOT interchangeable between these two sizes or types.  All tire maintenance information, for the purpose of this discussion, will revolve around the more common and "user friendly" clincher style tire/rim arrangement used today.  That said, most of the tire and wheel maintenance requirements apply equally to both clincher and tubular systems.

I have had little use for the tubular system which is perhaps best referred to as "sew-ups" to help avoid confusion.  The sew-up system is basically expensive, non-user friendly and undependable for road use, when compared to the clincher system.  For these "practical" reasons, I have avoided the sew-up tire and opted every time for clinchers.  However; I have had a chance to ride quite a few bicycles with sew-ups, and must admit, that part of a vintage road bicycle's appeal, feel, or even charm, is derived from the wheel and tire choice.

These days, I fit sew-up rims and tires to bicycles that would have been issued with them.  This includes bikes like my sixties something Peugeot PX10, my Legnano Gran Premio, and a late sixties Bottecchia Professional, being Street Restored at the time of this writing.

NEXT - WHEEL CHOICES PROS & CONS

 

 

 

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