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30year old bike: wheel rebuild or tubulars ?(11 posts)

30year old bike: wheel rebuild or tubulars ?PeterRider
Nov 17, 2002 12:42 PM
I found at school a very old bike lying, and would like to put it back into working order. Equipped with shimano crane rear der, stronglight 58 cranks (look quite much like the 57model on, campy for the rest (didn't manage to find any place with the name of the campy group, just "campagnolo patent" everywhere), dura-ace brake levers. Don't have a digital camera within reach of hand, when I do I'll post a picture. It's in really good condition, I bet it's about 30 years old and was a racing bike at the time. Hubs bearings run smooth, I just greased and repacked the front hub. The frame has been repainted so I don't even manage to identify the brand.

So, my question was: the wheels are tubular, out of true but not very very badly out of true. Well, maybe 3-4mm. I don't have tubular tires, but I have some 700c clincher tires, new, lying where I found the bike. Of course I want to put as little money as I can, I don't even know what this bike is.

-> should I look for cheap tubular tires ? Where to buy them ? I know nothing about tubulars. I think the wheels are 700c (not sure, how do you measure ? they are slightly smaller than 27inch wheels). Problem is, with the wheels as they are, I can't true them. There is some kind of rubberish loctite on the spokes, when I turn the nipples the spokes turn too. Remember, it's 30 years old :)
-> or should I look for cheap rims and rebuild ? This has the advantage that I can true the wheels, and also I have clincher tires for free, and know how to use clincher tires... But then, where to buy cheap rims, and what to buy ?


Since you don't seem too concerned with keeping it as original..Lone Gunman
Nov 17, 2002 1:53 PM
And rims seem to be the major concern, Sun M13II rims can be had from for around $25 each. I believe Rivendell uses these, they are a box shaped polished alu rim and I use them on the few rebuild projects I have. Your description of the rims is typical for something that old, cut the old spokes out of the rim, overhaul the hubs, get some new rims and have them rebuilt. Total cost should be around $100, I would go with clinchers, especially if you just want a bike to ride. Before ordering rims or buying from a shop as a rebuild, make sure you have the right size.

One other small caveat; find a decent wheel builder in your area before commiting any money to this project, it might be easier sending the rims out to Colorado Cyclist if you do not have someone reliable in your area. Being the bike is 30yo, spacing of the rear hub and trying to find a rear hub that will fit without cold spreading the rear is an issue, if you can use original parts on hand obviously cheaper than needing to buy new.
I'll do the rebuild myself... anybody selling rims here ?PeterRider
Nov 17, 2002 2:35 PM
100$ ? I hope I can do it for less ! In any case I'll keep the hubs, they are in good shape, and were probably top of the line 30 years ago. They even have a grease hole in the middle.

By the way, how can I identify what campagnolo group I have on this bike ? I see "campagnolo patent" everywhere and nothing else.

Here is why I say $100...Lone Gunman
Nov 17, 2002 5:12 PM
Unless you can rebuild the wheels yourself, the labor will be $45-$50 and the parts (rims) will be roughly $50. My experience was that the spokes, nips, prep and build was included in the $50 labor/build price. Also from checking CC, their price is double what I payed locally per wheel. $100 for a solid set of wheels providing your existing hubs are good is not bad.
More than 30Kerry
Nov 17, 2002 4:18 PM
The Stonglight 57 was replaced by the 63 in about 1966 or so, suggesting that this bike is more like 36+ years old if it was truly top of the line. That suggests that the Campy stuff is pre-Nuovo Record or less. Derailleur parts are possibly brass instead of "duraluminum". Is the bike 5 speed or 4 speed in the back? What brand freewheel? The components could also be Campy Sport, which would make them interesting but not that desirable. You'd have to post pictures.

The 700c clincher of today is the same diameter of tubulars, so you could swap rims by rebuilding the wheels. It's not likely that there is Loctite on the spoke nipples - they have just corroded in place. You're going to have to rebuild these things anyway, so if all you want is transportation, you might as well find some low cost clinchers - you local shop might have some used rims from somebody else's upgrade fever attack. If you want to get away with less than $100, that suggests you are not into restoration, which would get you into some more serious territory. One can raise the question of whether this bike is worthy of anything but restoration, and if that.
a few more derailsPeterRider
Nov 17, 2002 6:02 PM
I just brought it to the LBS, who said like you suggest that it was more of a mismatch of components, and that if was a reasonably good bike but not top. I left it to him, it needs tightening of the bb, and the LBS has to dig for a 16mm crankpuller :-)

The reasons why I was thinking it was a race bike are:
- tubulars (were they not used mostly for race ?)
- high flange hubs (had the impression that they are used mostly for race, but maybe I'm completely wrong...)
- 2 rings, with large number of teeth for both (49 and 52 I think). This stronglight crankset seemed funny to me, the chain can be between both rings, without interfering with any, like if there was a third position...
- sheldon brown says that shimano crane was top of the line touring group a while ago.
- the front wheel, although 36 spokes, seems much lighter than the velocity aerohead/15-16-15 spokes 2x/28h DT95 mtb hub wheel that I just laced. Well, maybe ANY tubular wheel would be lighter than my wheel.

Is there a way of identifying the campy group ? I am a shimano rider, so I know nothing about campy. Or do you know a website with pictures of old campy stuff ?

The freewheel is 6spd. I suspect this is not the original freewheel, it is rather shiny ! Forgot to look at the brand and I left the bike to the LBS for a couple days.

I am still on student budget, so I am not all that much into restoration ! But I thought that since everything but wheels is in good condition, I could put it back into working order and see how a bike older than me rides, do a century with it, etc...

I'll post pictures as soon as possible. To complicate the problem, the bike has been repainted a not too attractive green, so I have no info about the frame.

Many Euro bikes used tubulars, there weren't clinchers around.NMSpunout
Nov 18, 2002 7:06 AM
Rebuild the wheelsWalter
Nov 17, 2002 5:24 PM
While your crank indicates a mid-60s or earlier bike the Japanese components pushes it into the 70s. "Crane" was the designation for the first DA rear derailleurs. I'd guess that bike had a large # of part refits over it's life so there's no harm in another. If you can rebuild the wheelsb yourself you can get the parts pretty cheap hunting around esp. if you got a line on free tires.

The Campy hubs will spin real nice as will that Stronglight BB if nothing's scored. Should be a nice ride for minimal $.
Have you seen the RBR Retro forum yet?Humma Hah
Nov 17, 2002 6:48 PM
The "General" forum is fast-moving, and this topic will scroll off in a day or two. Post in the Retro forum and it will stick around longer. And we'd LOVE to see a pic of your oldie over there, and discuss fixing it up.
good remark ! :-) I forgot about that forum...PeterRider
Nov 17, 2002 11:13 PM
Keep it the way it is!Alexx
Nov 18, 2002 5:09 AM
Get yourself a set of Tufo S22 in the tan sidewalls (cheap, round, and good tires). Don't upgrade-keep it a classic! for tires.