Thursday, July 14, 2016

I Built Wheels!

A video posted by Cody Stringer (@stringdaddy) on

I decided to have some fun on the Panasonic Touring Deluxe project by building my own wheels. I considered buying a set of vintage wheels that would closely match the ones that originally came on the bike. After all, wheels with Araya rims aren't that hard to find, and are usually pretty inexpensive - even in excellent condition. But the original wheels would've come with Sansin touring hubs, which are much harder to find. So instead of buying used wheels that wouldn't have been original, I decided to do something a little different.

I picked up a set of new, unused 700C Velocity Dyad rims, with 36 holes and a V-shaped cross-section, from a guy locally for a fraction of what they would've cost retail. Then I bought a set of used Shimano 105 hubs - a rear hub from my LBS and a front hub from eBay. I laced them together with straight-gauge 2mm spokes.

The result is a beautiful set of old-meets-new touring wheels that are ready to ride. Because I used vintage hubs, I don't have to worry about cold setting the frame to fit a wider modern hub. But by using modern rims, I can have a more heavy duty, touring-ready wheelset that is also exceptionally lightweight.

There's only one snag that could render this whole effort useless: if the brake pads can't reach the braking surfaces on the 700C rim diameter. And unfortunately, the only way to find out for sure is to build the bike and see if it all harmonizes.

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