Vintage Wheel Builders
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  1. #1
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    Vintage Wheel Builders

    I have an old bike with 36-spoke wheels, and am looking to have a set of handbuilt wheels made for this bike using the original hubs. 2 questions:

    What are the best rims and spokes I can buy to save weight but retain durability? (Without breaking the bank.) I had thought about just going with Vuelta Corsa Lites, which are great on a newer bike I have, but too wide for the chainstays on the old bikes.

    Who are the reputable wheelbuilders these days? (Colorado Cyclist used to be...back when I was riding lots.)


    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    The Mavic Open Sport fits the bill. I've built many wheels with its predecessors, the MA2, MA3. and MA40 and they are reliable rims that aren't too heavy. $50 each.

    I don't know if the mail order firms will take your existing hubs and build wheels around them. I build my own wheels, but I did have good luck with Excel Sports in Boulder, CO when they built a set for me.

    Honestly, any good local bike shop can build them; just ask around.

  3. #3
    a real member's member
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    i always use sun m13ii rims and sapim race spokes. i buy both online. the spokes come from danscomp.com.

    build them yourself in your upside down bike frame. these rims make it really easy to do. just follow sheldon's wheelbuilding page to a "t."

    i surgically remove half the sun rim label -- looks way better without the "m13ii" part.

    these rims come in 32h and 36h and in polished or dark finishes.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  4. #4
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    Appreciate the info. Is Sun even in business anymore? I can't find their website.

    Looking for something light. The Open 4 Pros are about 420 grams apiece from what I can tell. Would love to go lighter, especially since I'm limited to 36 spokes unless I buy newer hubs. The Open 4 Pros are nice looking rims, though, and I think Silver would go well with my vintage, aqua-color, Sirrus.

    Is there a site that allows one to find/compare rims based on cross section shape (looking for V section rims only) and weight?
    Last edited by mml373; 12-13-2018 at 02:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mml373 View Post
    Appreciate the info. Is Sun even in business anymore? I can't find their website.
    are you using google? this is the first result with the search, "sun rims":
    https://sun-ringle.com

    searching "sun m13ii" results in a bunch of items listed around $25/ea. $70 shipped for a pair is a good deal. sometimes, you can find package deals on more than one on ebay or amazon. i've bought them from a number of online retailers. one i will never use again is outsideoutfitters.com, but not because of their customer service. they sent me a number of rims with small imperfections. when i order new rims, they must be perfect, or i'm returning them.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  6. #6
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    two polished sun m13ii 36h rims shipped under $60 on ebay: link

    at that price, i'd buy one or two extras.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  7. #7
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    Thank you... I was using a different search engine, and searching on Sun-Mistral... They've changed names.

  8. #8
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    H+ Son makes the T14 which is a retro style rim. Their rims have a good reputation. I would trust them over anything Mavic.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I would trust them over anything Mavic.
    I wonder what I'm doing right that you or others aren't? I've used Mavic rims since 1974 on road and track and have yet to have one failure. Or maybe it's just ****-luck eh?
    .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I wonder what I'm doing right that you or others aren't? I've used Mavic rims since 1974 on road and track and have yet to have one failure. Or maybe it's just ****-luck eh?
    I've also had good luck with Mavic rims, but have heard horror stories about Mavic wheels.
    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    I wonder what I'm doing right that you or others aren't? I've used Mavic rims since 1974 on road and track and have yet to have one failure. Or maybe it's just ****-luck eh?
    Have you used any Mavic rims that were made in the last 10 years? Also, if I remember correctly, you're a trim 160#. I'm also guessing your wheel building skills help too.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    have heard horror stories about Mavic wheels.
    Pre-built wheelsets or their aftermarket rims?
    .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Have you used any Mavic rims that were made in the last 10 years?
    Yes.

    if I remember correctly, you're a trim 160#.
    You have a better memory than me then.

    I'm also guessing your wheel building skills help too.
    As I've said before - I don't tension the snot out of my wheels and I don't suffer from the lack of said tension.
    .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Pre-built wheelsets or their aftermarket rims?
    Pre-builts, and the problems that I've heard have been about their hubs\bearings and spokes breaking.
    Too old to ride plastic

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    As I've said before - I don't tension the snot out of my wheels and I don't suffer from the lack of said tension.
    I do remember that you said you err on the loose side of tensioning. As I recall, you don't break very many spokes due to lack of NDS tension either. I don't think you use very many asymmetrical rims either. A word to the folks here who insist you can't make a reliable 11-speed freehub wheel without an asymmetrical rim.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
    changingleaf
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    There are very few aluminum rims lighter than 420 grams and being that light makes them less durable. The open pros are probably the best option for what you are looking for.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    There are very few aluminum rims lighter than 420 grams and being that light makes them less durable. The open pros are probably the best option for what you are looking for.
    Do you mean the newest Open Pros? I know the previous Open Pros had a reputation for spoke hole cracking.

    420g is really pushing it IMO. 450-500 is really the sweet spot which is why I recommended the H+ Son TB14:

    https://www.artscyclery.com/product-...on-tb-14-rims/

    https://www.jensonusa.com/H-Plus-Son...SABEgIOqvD_BwE
    Last edited by Lombard; 12-17-2018 at 06:08 AM.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  18. #18
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    I've been using the wider Kinlin rims on my Vintage build (X22, XR26 and Xr31 from BikeHubStore.com ). THey may not be period correct but they seem to have the look that matches up nicely. THese are the XR26 with a offset Rear


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