Loaded paniers buckling wheel?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jgerard, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. jgerard

    jgerard New Member

    Sep 24, 2003
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    I have an old 10 speed that I commute about 30km a day with. The back wheel is steel, 27" and has a bike rack on which I have 2 fairly large panniers (don't remember the size). Occasionally, I put stuff in a back pack too. Admittedly, the bike is really old :D, and the wheel, which is not so hot, is now making the ride impossible. I've trued it a few times, but it doesn't make a difference.

    Has anybody else had problems with heavy panniers, and since I'm going to replace my wheel what would you recommend with this in mind?


    PS Getting a trailer is problematic since I ride over a bridge, and passing other cyclists is a pinch even without it.

  2. god

    god New Member

    Jul 28, 2003
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    I also commute on an old bike with steel 27 inch rims and panniers. I try not to spend ANY money on my commuter, parts for these bikes are everywhere, you just have to know where to look. Here's what I do.

    Your rear dropout spacing is probably 120 or 126mm, take a measurement. Modern bikes have 130mm and 135mm spacing. You can find new steel and alloy wheels to fit your spacing, if you look, but you'll have to BUY them.

    Instead, re-cycle.
    Try the local town dump or recycling center, or wherever old bikes go to die in your town. You might find a pile of bikes with 27 inch steel wheels that are just fine, maybe a little rusty. The alloy rims won't have rust on them, these are great finds.

    Count the cogs in back. If its 5 or 6 its probably 120mm, 7 cogs is 126mm.

    A more upscale solution is to visit a few garage sales (in the summer) or swap shops in town. A few dollars will buy you a lifetime of replacement bikes and parts for this vintage.

    The weight is no problem if the wheel is in good shape.

    Good Luck.
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

    Sep 18, 2003
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    Paul's suggestions are all very good.
    You might be able to use a 700C rear wheel if your brakes will reach.
    When looking at replacement wheels you can also consider that a wider OLD (over locknut dimension), especially in a 6/7 speed, could give better spoke support.
    You would need to spread your rear triangle, in that event. You can take a look at the process on Sheldon Brown's site URL:
    Use as fat tires as your frame will allow to help absorb the shock.
    Make sure your spokes are properly and evenly tensioned, as well as being stress relieved.
    When selecting a replacement wheel, look for more spokes and a strong true rim to start with.