Friday, July 30, 2010

Human error, continued

After much delay with my original plans to get the Lady Raleigh her new rear wheel, it finally seemed like it was going to happen yesterday.  The shop had ordered my new Sun CR-18 26 x 1-3/8" alloy rim (foreshadowing!), and I was excited to see the whole process.  (For anyone interested in reading about what's involved in wheel-building, Sheldon Brown can of course explain it better than I can.)

First, we had to free the Lady's Sturmey-Archer hub from the old wheel by snipping all the spokes with a heavy duty wire cutter.
Can you see the ones that I snipped?

Here's a close-up of some of the worst rust on this rim.  I bought the bike from a little old lady who said that she kept it up at her vacation house in Maine; now I wonder if I should have asked if that was on dry land or actually in the ocean...

Next, we pulled out all the remaining spoke bits and measured the hub so we could calculate the spoke lengths.

Once we had our spoke length (which I think was 190 mm?), we began to prepare the new spokes by dipping their ends in Spoke Prep, helpfully left over from a previous customer's expensive wheel build.

We then began lacing the rim to the hub, when (can you guess? can you guess?) we discovered that whoever placed the order had got a 36-hole rim instead of the 40 holes needed to match up to the mid-1960s Sturmey-Archer hub.  Sigh.

I really like Quad Bikes.  They're so nice and unassuming, they're a nonprofit business, and they  frequently don't charge me anything for the little jobs I stop in for.  The guy helping me was super embarrassed, since he was also the one who cut down my kickstand the day before.  But just a patch of bad luck.  A misjudgment here, a careless mouse click there; really, these things can happen to anyone.  I still like Quad Bikes.

So now I wait for a 40-hole rim, and the Lady Raleigh just waits.

Side note #1: Opinions on what color tires I should get for when all of this is done?  Stick with the gum wall (very mid-century)?  Jazz it up with white walls (which would pick up the white on the rear fender)?  Go for plain black, or black with reflex?  For whatever reason, cream tires just aren't speaking to me on this one.

Side note #2: On kickstands, instead of another Pletscher, we're trying the Porteur Double Kickstand from Velo Orange.

Adjustable legs mean no saws necessary, so hopefully there will be no problems this time...


somervillain said...

oh, i'm anxious to hear a review on the VO porteur kickstand! do keep us posted. as for tires on that color sports: i was very happy with black tires with tan gumwalls on my wife's raleigh sports (same color as yours). it looked *so* much better than the original all-black tires.

sorry for all the mishaps! patience... she's going to be such a nice rider when she's done!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this bad luck turns around and you can ride your Raleigh soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh cream tires all the way. They look so nice on my green Raleigh sport. Many people comment of them. My husband had the same bike with black gum tires. Nice look but not a stand out. I'm thinking of replacing the tires on my Pashley Sonnet with cream once she needs new tires. Check out Lovely Bicycles before and after pictures of her many changes to cream tires. Sorry, if I went over the top in my love for the cream tire - they just look so classy.

Amy said...

Oh no! Sorry to hear that you and the Lady Raleigh are going to have to wait. Bummer.

I really like the look of gum walls, but for me they seems to be something that goes on 70's something 10 speeds with little skinny tires. I put black Delta Cruisers with reflex on my Hercules and really like both the way they look and ride with the added benefit of being more visible in the dark.

Corey K said...

Oh man. Sorry for the further delay & frustration.
She'll be worth it.
That 36 hole rim ≠ 40 hole hub dilemma has bitten a whole lot of people.

Good luck with the V.O. kickstand- I can think of three bikes here that would benefit from a stand like that, and I'm curious to hear your impressions.

As for tires, I vote for whitewall (first) or gumwall (second) if you can't stand cream with the green paint job.
Velouria's old 3-speed Lucy looked really great with the cream Schwalbe Delta Cruisers though. And the reflective stripe really works wonder when it gets dark early.
The Panaracers, Michelins, and Schwalbes are all fine tires. One of each?

Corey K

Anonymous said...

Cream tires are definitely trendy right now, but as the current owner of Somervillian's green Raleigh Sports, I agree that tan gumwall tires look quite nice. I hope you get to enjoy your Raleigh soon, she's a treat to ride!

Velouria said...

You know I am biased, being cream-tire-crazed. But if not cream, the next best thing is gumwalls IMO.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your set backs but patience will get you the kickstand your wanting and just think of that first ride on your Raleigh, it'll be worth it.
As for tires, I'm voting black tires with tan gumwalls, it fits the era of your bike. By the way I discovered your blog about a week ago and have read it from back to front a very good read. I might not be your average reader, I'm an old guy who rides a Green, ever miss yours?...Frank

margonaute said...

I just want to say, lest this post seem too down, that even though it was kind of a bummer to have to stop the build midway, I did really enjoy the first part, so it was still a pretty good day!

Frank: Thank you! That's so nice of you to say. The Green was a very fine bike for me; just what I needed to get back to cycling. But I'm afraid I've since fallen head over heels for the Fryslan, and rarely look back! It was a very good bicycle, though, and when I do think of it, the sentiments are good.

Anonymous said...

I'm drooling over those kickstands...I think I may order one for my Pashley when I get it as I dont think it would work with my Raleigh (who is getting Cream tyres:)

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, one of the joys of older bikes. We had the reverse of this issue with my wife's Raleigh. We had to replace the hub, and it turns out SA makes almost all 36 hole hubs now, so we had to replace the rim too.

I vote for the gum wall tires, I think they fit the bike well.

Good luck!

2whls3spds said...

If I am replacing a Raleigh Westrick pattern rim with a CR-18 I typically reuse the old spokes unless they are completely trashed, it is a straight swap out. Just place the old rim adjacent to the new (taping them together doesn't hurt) then swap spokes. But it appears you were planning on all new spokes.

I vote for coloured walls, whether white or gum is up to you. They seem to fit the Raleighs the best. But I did discover my 1972 came from the factory with Dunlop white stripe tires, so perhaps the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes with the reflective strip would look better?


Herzog said...

Do you know how much they want for that rim? I'm thinking of rebuilding my wheel. :)

Corey K said...

Uh Lady Raleigh still in traction?

Corey K

Unseelie said...

Anyone know why this blog is quiet, is our host alright?
Hoping for the best!

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