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Tubular wheels for the TiCycles!
Last Post 08/17/2023 01:43 AM by 79 pmooney. 9 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/05/2023 11:02 PM
Looked at the TiCycles today.  (Yes, I've got two, but TiCycles always refers to the first and Jessica J to the second.)

It's been getting neglected  Several, reasons.  Other bikes.  The Mooney, the Pro Miyata, Jessica F.  Little bugs.  Fenders that I tried t pain yellow and look like s***.  A hanger/dropout that made getting wheels in with big tires near impossible (and I always had to pull the skewer clear out.)  Speed wobbles are getting worse as I age, become less confident and less strong.

Well, I want to get back to riding it.  Did a 70 miler and got reminded, yes!  This is a sweet bike that fits like a glove.  No hands as good as it gets.  An all day bike.  Took it back to its birthplace for a little grinder work.  (Dave Levy's a master with that tool!)  Wheel fit is still tight but no longer an issue.

Well, that bike is still on clinchers.  Nice hubs, Mavic Open Pros, light spokes.  IF I re-shop it with sweet wheels, i'd be much more inclined to simply want to take it out!  Went looking at possibilities in the shop.  And found my #3 Campy 9-speed wheel with its so-so non Mavic rim and straight gauge spokes.  (Price used justified buying it for just the hub.)  Well, the hub small issues.  Went to take it apart and re-build it and very rapidly realized I had no idea how.  (Chorus 9-speed with retained but no t sealed bearing.)  So I called Citybikes.  An older mechanic answered.  (Sunday)  He'd be happy to look at it so I went.

He took it apart.  Clean hub bearings.  somewhat dirty freehub so he cleaned and re-greased that and reassembled.  Got it ready to ride or re-use.  Then I started asking questions.  DId he have any sewup rims.  Yes!  A brand new later GP4!  $50  Score!  How 'bout another Campy 9-speed hub?  He went in back and fetched one.  Record.  Great shape.  $70!  Ok, there's TiCycles' new rear!

And found a perfect Cinelli 130 26.4.  $30!  Went to the handlebar rack.  A pair of 64s at 40 width.  (A little wide, but I like 40 now as an older rider.)  Future project for the bike that's going to get stuck on the sweet Mafac Competition brakes I just landed.  High quality old European race bike maybe?)

So, the new wheels - older GP4s (used and glued but not a lot of brake wear.  I won't know until I build them how round they are.  DT Revs and 2.0-1.8 drive side.  That Record rear.  Went looking through my front hubs.  A lot of older style cup and cone hubs.  Just fine but they do not match.  A Veloce hub in good shape.  But ... a rather different finish.  The Record - high polish and a look towards chrome.  The Veloce, a light cloud mattish finish.  Nah.  Went to my wheel build area to clear the mess of a wheel I got stopped on when I realized the spokes were too short at be marginally OK.  Front wheel was still in pieces.  That front hub!  Shimano 600 that I picked up despite being Shimano because it looked perfect.  And the same chrome-like finish!  Weighs 20 grams more than the Veloce but that's OK.  TiCycles is not a light bike.  It was going to go on the Pro Miyata which wold love being 20 grams lighter.

So I am going to build!  Let it rain!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:4209

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03/06/2023 09:38 AM
Nice score of the GP4's....hard to find these days.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/06/2023 07:25 PM
You are a very brave man to build a wheel with used rims, especially rims from our "back in the day" era. Just suggesting: have a white russian ready in case this becomes an opportunity for frustration vs. Dude-like zen :-)
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/06/2023 07:30 PM
(PS in case you aren't familiar with the Big Lebowski references: Recommended movie, with your guard down. Like The Simpsons, the BL worldview covers a lot of real life situations. Such as building a wheel with a used rim and realizing and hour or so later that it was doomed from the start. And the more existential realization that you just wasted an hour of your life, and the soul crushing of crushed anticipation, etc. Doh!) BTDT
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/06/2023 11:54 PM
lsd, yes, I've built rims to find low areas. Got one now. A nice GEL330. I need that magic wheel puller all shops had BITD that seems to have flown of to the world of unobtanium (where life is lawsuit-free).

I said I was going to go off and build wheels. But those GP4s? I've built up all my shallow ones and just have 3 of the newer and deeper ones that want spokes 2mm shorter. And what I thought were GP4s were 300 and 280 gms! Sweet but not GP4s at all!

So I'm frustrated. TiCycles wants GP4s for good robust all-weather wheels. Pro Miyata needs strong rims because 24c is absolute max tire that runs on that bike. There will be rim strikes. Jessica J has clearance, at least if I am not stuffing a big 24 tooth cog in it and pulling the wheel al the way forward. 25cs work easily on it with all cogs. But it had the issue that the rear brake pad needs a vertically deep rim so when the wheel is all the way forward, the pad is still on the rim. (Doesn't have to do much. How fast am I ever going to go in a 42-24?) But until now, the only hubs I knew that were double sided fix-fix were the rather scarce Miche hubs. I got a sweet, new, boxed pair and went to lace it to a Sun Aerodynamic rim I pulled out of an 8-speed wheel but! - that sweet hub is 28 hole! Started the inside puling spokes and ended up with a spare! (Bangs head against wall.)

Went on-line. The local Retrogression fix gear and single speed shop has a bunch of fix-fix hubs! Dia-Compe. Some in colored anodize. Phil, Paul. A name I never heard of before, super high end. Fun!
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/07/2023 07:51 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 03/07/2023 07:51 PM
Wow, I admire that you are going so retro! If you chose to go full in, may I suggest get some Phil Wood hubs and lace them to Weinmann wood filled rims (all from back in the day) - if nothing else for the retro palindrome.
You youngins can look up wood filled rims, mainly for track bikes in the 70s. More stuff you can't make up! Someday our grand grandkids might look back similarly, to the confusion and wonder of our years. Because (I sincerely hope) bikes and racing bike tech will still be topical for them, including the stupid stuff that is mainstream now.
longslowdistance

Posts:2881

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03/07/2023 08:28 PM
aa
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/08/2023 11:28 AM
lsd, this isn't for retro though I gotta admit it's fun. It's about peace of mind. Ever since I blew a clincher and it came off the rim, I've wondered "what if..." on many descents. Completely takes all the fun out. (That crash, at maybe 20 mph, was one of my top 5. In a bike lane, gentle curve, 1-2% downhill grade. Collarbone, ribs, hard helmet hit, acres of road rash. And that was a rear wheel.

I've woken up a few times now to that same nightmare. Now suppose all I had to do to ensure that never happens again is be fastidious with a tube of glue. Sounds to me like a no-brainer. Of course, it does mean replacing 25 years of one system with an older I thought I was never going to do again.

Riding the Mooney last September on GP4s and 28c Vittoria G+ sewups - one descent in particular - steep, Oregon rural chip seal in mediocre condition, blind corners. And fun! Those wheels could handle anything that road was going to throw at them, easily. At worst, a small dent in the rim (but to do that to a GP4 clad in a 28c tire? That'd take one hell of a hit!) And suppose I had a full blowout? On a corner, I'm losing tire grip, going down and sliding, probably bike first into the rock wall on the right or over the edge on the left. Yes, bad. There ARE risks to going 50 mph. Also why I'm riding expensive Vittorias from a quality retailer, not old, patched cottons. And if that blowout happens going straight at 50? NBD! That I love! An angry local could blast that sewup to pieces from the side of the road with a 12 ga shotgun and I'm still riding that tire to a stop (or keep riding if I have to!)

Then there's those tires and those rims. The ride! The strength and reliability. The reliable ride over such a wide variety of surfaces. I'd forgotten. That all these benefits come with a weight reduction?

The Mooney is simply back where he belongs. Wearing the shoes he grew up with. Likewise the Pro Miyata (when I get the right tires on. 23c Conti Giros are not them! Miserable, hard tires. With enough pressure to guarantee no rim hits to GEL333 rims, dead, bouncy and no traction. Downhill stops are a chore. GP4s and Veloflex 23s are coming.

Sewups will be new for Jessica J but she'll love 'em! 25s are an easy fit. Challenge is that rear rim. Needs to be deep enough to keep the brake pad on it as I slide the wheel back and forth nearly 2 inches. The (clincher) Velocity Aeros are just perfect. Hoping the Sun Aerodynamic I just cut out of the 8-speed wheel is deep enough. Just 330 gms so it isn't robust. Might have to see if a skinny 28 tire can be wedged in there.

Just built the front, about half way through the rear for TiCycles. Mix and match. Rear - Campy Record 9-speed! Just picked up at the worker's coop. Used, a little dirty but perfect bearings! (I will "bastardize" it, take it apart and repack or stuff in marine grease to keep those bearings perfect while I use the wheels as my year 'round ride.) Front hub is a Shimano 600 that has almost identical polish and styling. Same narrow band with logo around the barrel. I'll go out and buy some nice QRs. Once those match, only the real lookers will notice they aren't the same. Newer style and NOS, deep and lighter (450gm) GP4s. 2 piece construction. The bottom "U" and the shallow arc for the glue are separate with the U flanges bent inward onto the arc (and welded?) Have the GP4 color but more modern, with flat and deeper sidewalls. Laced with DT Revs, short brass nipples and Competitions right rear with 14mm nipples. I want these wheel to go forever.

I had 2 rear wheels for every bike except my fix gear commuter, each had a front and a couple more fronts spare. This allowed good wheels for county rides and Paselas for the city and winter. With 5-6 bikes, that's a few wheels. Converting this all into sewups takes time! And I've gotta keep at least a good fendered fix gear and good fendered derailleur bike going. (Well, fenders not so necessary in the Oregon summer.)

79pmooney

Posts:3180

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03/10/2023 01:44 AM
Just happened to see this thread title. And I just started taking interest in the bike again. Had the arc of the Breezer style dropout ground down to eliminate contact with the QR nut that was making getting the wheel in impossible with the nut on. (It has its 2nd hanger that places the RD a little further forward and I'm using Campy Mirage that is fat around the mount bolt. It shifts a triple 9-speed absolutely wonderfully so I'm reluctant to take it off.)

So now that I can actually get the wheel in without danger of losing the nut (and certainty of losing that little black spring) I"m back to riding it. And getting reminded that ride is a good one!

So, time to step it up on the list of bikes to sew up. Just finished building a pair of GP4 wheels, Revs and nice polished LF hubs. 9-speed Campy as always. (This time a sweet ridden but cared for Record!) Tires just got put on. Vitt G+ 28s. Year 'round tires. In fact, really sweet year 'round tires. G+, not quite as grippy as Open Paves in the wet but quite OK and that ribbed G+ tread is a real step better against glass and flats.

Went to Portland's best shop today to get the little stuff. Valve puller and sealant bottles to take with me (plus a spare, belt and suspenders). An Ortleib toolbag saddle rail clamp so I can just move my one sewup bag from bike to bike. A snazzy new NR taillight. And bling. A pair of Ultegra QRs so front and rear hubs match. (The front is a 600. But the same polish as the Record in back. And same gold logo band around the hub center.)

Going off now to put that clamp on. A few hours later- clamp on, cassette made up from spares, 13-23; as tight as I can get! 13-19 corncob. New taillight. Sewup saddlebag contents checked. Valve remover and sealant now in. The Vitt 28c I had labeled as a slow leak is sealed, aired and seems to be fine. Bike feels lighter than it's ever been. Not sure that's the case; it's carrying two spares plus and those rims are 450 each, not featherweights. Plus the old (beat up) fenders are on. But I'll settle for the illusion.

Riding it tomorrow, probably in real rain. (Debated doing this with freshly glued new wheels then thought - hey, perfect! Wet roads - no hard corners, no danger of rolling anything. I can't even get tempted. And wet? Tubasti simply doesn't care. When the bike is dry later, I can try rolling the tires and if marginal, glue them again. (I never fully trust first glue jobs to clean rims. I much prefer to pull a tire off and see it the glue stays on the rim. Love old rims that have been glued a bunch of times.)

Going to bed to listen to the rain and get psyched.
79pmooney

Posts:3180

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08/17/2023 01:43 AM
And more of the same only different bike - the Pro Miyata. Its challenge, the rear tire. 24c is the biggest that will spin. I've been riding Veloflexers on it. Sweet tires! but I flatted at decent speed and got the wake-up call. Not much more fun to bring to a stop than my old racing silks. Rear tire got thinking any direction besides straight up the road was just fine. I'm getting too old for that. Don't even want to consider that at 45+ in 3 weeks at Cycle Oregon.

Haven't ridden that bike since. (I haven't seen a lot of any quality 23c tires since I decided to take the Miyata tubular. I had one more of the same Veloflex plus my skinnier Rally spares.) Started thinking I'd pull the drive train off the TiCycles and put it on the Mooney. (The Mooney is super downhill save the rear end being a little light on poor pavement fast corners - chainstays too long and not enough of my weight on the rear tire unless I really push back which does not come naturally to me.

Well Sunday I rode the TiCyles down a fastish decent with a good amount of old rural Oregon pavement. And kept my weight on the pedals, not the seat. Hands in the drops as usual. No speed wobbles! Now I wasn't going super fast but that pavement wasn't smooth. Thinking maybe this bike is CO worthy at my stage of life and confidence.

Today I went online to search for Vittoria Corsa G whizzes (I don't think I care if they are "+" or 2.0.) Score! $48 Corsa Control G2.0s at 30c and 23c Corsa G2.0s at 23c for roughly the same price. Bought millions! I can ride CO on either bike with enough tires to match every goathead. (And we're riding the coast. Someone would have to drive east and bring a truckload.)

So - now I can choose between three bikes! The Mooney with 28 or 30c; the Cadillac or the TiCycles on 28 or close fit 30s. 30s would be too close for fenders but fenders aren't coming. The Pro Miyata on 25 front, 23 rear in totally high end cotton that should be just fine to roll to a flatted stop. And my last CO on a pure, ride to die for, race bike? Does it get better?

The Pro Miyata does have headset issues. Tomorrow morning, Dave Levy's getting a call. I bet facing the HS and crown after its years(?) in the rain might make quite a difference. Plus better eyes/brains than mine never hurts. TiCycles is ready to go and Mooney too except the drivetrain swap which will be as simple or complicated as I want to make it. I forget where that bike is on Q-factor when running gears. The TiCycles has a larger seat tube so the custom narrow FD setup cannot make the switch. I write this and realize I can - if Dave has time to make me another pair of FD shims. The TICycles wears an MTB dia. FD and a shim from MTB to 31.8 where the 31.8 hole is drilled so far off center that the shim doesn't exist on the right hand side. One super close FD. And a short Phil BB. Prehistoric SR or Sugino crankset with the old 5-6 speed ring spacing. (And duh! Mooney is 126. TiCycles 130.)

So tires (and lots of Tubasti) are on the way. CO is soon so I can't waste a lot of time but this is looking good! For a while I was wondering what I was getting myself into. I had been relying on UK's Merlin for my rubber and their good choices were drying up. Yesterday heard that Vittoria stocks were drying up. Well, this morning's search was very encouraging. Chicken Little's nightmare isn't here yet.
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