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

 

WHEEL CHOICES PROS & CONS

 

My 1975 CCM Tour du Canada is set up to run with either 700c sew-ups, or 27" clinchers systems.  It takes me about twenty minutes, to switch between the two, with much of the change over time going to setting up the brakes, to accommodate the different rim diameters and widths.  And, I am happy that I took the time to make this very reasonable and convincing comparison.  Hands down, the sew-up system offers the better feel and resulting ride quality!  Dependability and cost are still issues with the sew-up system, and most of my bicycles will be set up with clinchers. But I realize, that if I really want to experience the vintage feel and look, when riding my old bikes, then using the sew-up system is all but mandatory.  With that in mind, these days, I set appropriate bicycles up with sew-ups, including the CCM TdC.

Why do the sew-ups offer such a different feeling ride?  Rolling weight reduction!  The 700c sew-up wheel set, with tires installed, weighs a total of 2,780grams.  The 27" clincher set similarly set-up comes in at a whopping 4105 grams.  The difference between the two is 1325 grams or 2.9 pounds, approximately.  Almost three pounds, and that three pounds is rolling weight.  The impact or rolling weight is much greater than the impact of stationary weight.  The rule of thumb, though I have no idea where it came from, is that one pound of rolling weight equals two pounds of stationary weight.

The extra rolling weight will slow acceleration.  The extra weight will slow down the bicycles responses.  In other words, the heavier the wheel set, the more negatively impacted the performance and feel of the bicycle in general.

But there is a huge trade off when one decides to go the sew-up route.  Cost!  It is very difficult to properly mend a tubular tire.  A puncture will require that the threads be cut where the leak is thought to be.  The inner tube must be pulled partly out of the tire, patched and then inserted back into the tire.

With the inner tube patched, and back in place, the tire edges must be sewn together again.  The, the whole works will have to be re-glued to the rim.  That, boys and girls, is quite a bit of work, when compared to just slapping in a new inner tube into a clincher, and away you go.

So, because, the sew-up is so difficult to repair, most people these days just pitch them out and buy new.  Fifty bucks, every time one gets a flat tire, is no way to increase the fun factor of riding vintage road bicycles.  But every now and again, a vintage bicycle demands the tubular tire, even though maintenance will become an issue.

Tire maintenance is an issue also when the clincher tire is under the microscope.  But maintenance is much more user friendly.  Additionally, the assortment of clincher road tires is astounding these days.  Red, blue, green, yellow, black wall, gum wall, Kevlar impregnated, Kevlar belted, folding, non-folding...  The list goes on, and on, but one thing will be universally true, whether one goes the clincher, or tubular, route - maintenance.  Both styles will demand that the rider knows how to best maintain his, or her, tires.  And good tire maintenance is the foundation of good wheel maintenance.

NEXT - TIRE MAINTENANCE

 

 

 

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