Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ye Olde Wheels

I rode on a brand new shiny front wheel this morning. I decided it wasn't worth risking it anymore with my old wheel, with spokes that were made when New Order was popular (the first time), and dents from the pothole on the road to my old busboy job. The wheel served me well for many thousands of kilometres, earning a lavish retirement as a wall ornament or maybe a coffee table.

I bought a rim with full double walls (some just have double walls on the side, but this had double walls along the bottom too), which cost about $10 more and I'm sure is heavier. On the other hand, it's supposed to be stronger, and my bike already weighs a few dozen pounds (that's how they're measuring bike weight now). It also weighs a few stone, another appropriate bike weight unit.

I hope the extra wall helps with making the wheel less likely to dent or need to be trued. The rim is made by Alex Rims. Looks good to me. The ride was smooth.

In the wheel world, I'm thinking of starting to resurrect an old Italian road bike I have sitting around, and the first thing it needs are new wheels. Really, my neighbour had this bike sitting around, but he doesn't want it and said I could have it. It's made by Atala. The wheels, saddle, cables and brake hoods all need to be replaced. The bottom bracket and headset, however, are solid and rotate as smoothly as the old man stirs the spoon in his espresso. (I was badly in need of an Italian metaphor there).

That said, I don't know how good of a bike this is. To refer to Sheldon Brown's site, the Atala bikes are not necessarily that special. I can't find much information about them online. I still like the idea of making this bike work again and hopefully having it as a fair weather exploring-the-city bike.

The Atala has 27 inch rims. Replacements are available at the local shop, but I can't see any reason to stick with the old size. So I think I'll get a set of new 700C rims that will let me install a new cassette, and give me lots of choice in tires.

Darren J 6/06/2006 12:38:00 PM

3 Comments:

Get Darren or Martino or myself to take a look at your Atal it might have some old school parts on that and maybe you should think about making it a single speed first then switching it to fixed and I am VERY glad you changed that wheel
The only reason you might consider staying with the old wheel size is the brake reach. Put your new 700c wheel in the frame and see if the brakes will work, otherwise you'll have to figure on a new pair.

A singlespeed or fixed would be fun to play on, too.
I'd say all the parts on the Atala are very old school :-)

If some components were special in some way, I guess it would be the derailleurs? They're made by Simplex, and they still appear to work well.

As for single speed, I'd like to try riding one, but I don't know how people do it on a regular basis unless they live in Saskatchewan. There are so many hills in Toronto.

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