Use existing 27" wheels or change to 700C

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by chuck68429, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. chuck68429

    chuck68429 New Member

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    Hello everyone. I haven't posted for a long time. It's good to be back. I ride a 1980's era SR road bike that I rebuilt from the ground up. It has 27 x 1 1/4" wheels that are in very good shape. Is there any real advantage to changing to 700C modern wheels? I have long reach brakes so that should not be a problem. Any advice or opinions would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    If you're happy with the bike as-is, no. There are still decent tires to be had. Only consider if you're hungry for gears and shifter options than aren't compatible with your current hub, or if you've decided to go hunting for aero advantage. Or possibly if you're the only 27" rider in a bike touring group. Certain touring situations, consistent equipment means it's easier to share spares. Long reach brakes doesn't tell the whole story. It's how much unused slot you have left that's important. A frame built for plenty of fender clearance might use all of it up even with the 27" wheels.
     
  3. chuck68429

    chuck68429 New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I am happy with it the way it is for now, but I may want to try different gear ratios in the future. As to my brakes, I'm not using even half of the available adjustment slot. ( I need to measure to be sure. But I think I've got at least 4mm from where the pads are now) I think I'll leave it alone for now. Thanks again!
     
  4. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Different gear ratios isn't the thing, that's probably quite doable already. It's the number of gears and indexed/STI/Brifters that might not be doable with your current rear hub. That's when a change to 700C might be called for due to availability and economy.
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    A 7-speed SunRace Freewheel + Shimano 8-/9-speed rear derailleur + 10-speed Campagnolo shifters are all that are needed to provide indexed "brifter" (I hate that word, BTW) shifting for most older bikes which have 27" wheels whose frames have 126mm rear dropout spacing.

    Users of older bikes with 120mm spacing will either have to re-space their rear dropouts (very tough to do with "gas pipe" [i.e., one-inch SEAMED tubing] tube frames) OR to scrounge up a 6-speed SunTour ULTRA Freewheel.
     
  6. chuck68429

    chuck68429 New Member

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    Thank you dabac and alfeng. You guys gave me a whole lot to think about. I currently have friction shifters on the stem. I know index shifters are much more efficient, but I never considered installing them on my bike. I'm using the ones that were on it when I got the bike. How much of a job is it to convert to index using my existing set up?(double chain rings in front, 6 cogs on rear) what about bar-end shifters? Easily done, or not worth the cost?
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chuck68429 .

    Thank you dabac and alfeng. You guys gave me a whole lot to think about. I currently have friction shifters on the stem. I know index shifters are much more efficient, but I never considered installing them on my bike. I'm using the ones that were on it when I got the bike. How much of a job is it to convert to index using my existing set up?(double chain rings in front, 6 cogs on rear) what about bar-end shifters? Easily done, or not worth the cost?

    FWIW. Beyond finding the funds, I think that the most difficult aspect for most people may be sourcing the Down Tube cable stops ... but, THAT isn't an issue since bike's with stem mounted shifters already have them in one-form-or-another.

    In MY mind, if you can remove & replace the lid on a pickle jar, then you can make the component swap ...

    • removing an old Freewheel can be a nuisance because ... you will need a specific "tool" for the Freewheel on your bike's rear wheel
    • OR, it will be so tight on the hub that the easiest (in MY mind, at least), but barbaric, way to remove a frozen-on-the-hub Freewheel involves a 4.5" hand grinder + a pipe wrench I have used the fore mentioned method when the specific tool was NOT available (no longer sold!) & the Freewheel was damaged beyond repair

    If you are in the Lower-48, then figure on the cost via eBay at around $200 (not counting tools, cables/housing + new handlebar tape) ... LESS, if you are a wise shopper.

    Other than the Freewheel, the replacement components can be subsequently moved to almost any other, (more) contemporary bike in the future, if desired, OR simply re-sold.

    • <$30 for a 7-speed SunRace Freewheel (closer to $25, I think)
    • <$30 for a 'new' Shimano ACERA-or-ALTUS rear derailleur a used XT 750 or a 105/5500-or-better rear derailleur in good condition would be a better choice for about the same OR just a little more amount of money
    [*]~$150 +/- for a pair of 10-speed Campagnolo shifters
    • a used 10-speed Chorus shifters in good condition probably goes for around $120 +/-

    In theory, the SunRace Freewheel is the only cost which cannot be recouped ...

    Excluding whatever you use to remove the current Freewheel, you will need either a 5mm Allen Wrench which has a 4" shaft (to install the shifters) or a T27 Torx driver (for the current style of Campagnolo shifter), a 5mm Allen Wrench (you can, of course, use the same one which you might use for the shifters) to mount the derailleur, GOOD cable/wire cutters (I used to silver solder the ends before I got wire cutters which didn't just crush the cable ... someone has suggested a drop of Super Glue on the end of the cable -- NOT when it is in the housing, of course!), a Flat file to clean up the ends of the cable housing, and a chain tool is a good thing to have,

    If you have the tools & fore mentioned dexterity, then unwrapping & re-wrapping the handlebar tape will probably take the greatest amount of time.

    N.B. If you opt for anything other than Campagnolo shifters, then the cost sky rockets because almost EVERYTHING will need to be changed ... AND THEN, the conversion borders on the impractical.

    BTW. You MAY-or-may-not want to install a new chain ... allow about $25 for a new, 8-speed Shimano chain.
     
  8. chuck68429

    chuck68429 New Member

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    Thanks alfeng. I might just make the swap one of these days. I can do all of the work myself and get the freewheel swapped at my LBS. for now though, I think I'll just leave it as it is and ride! At least until summer is over.
     
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