Vintage bike repair and parts



raymoncarson

New Member
Mar 21, 2013
4
0
0
Help! I am having significant problems keeping my tires on my vintage bike. I have a 1985 Bridgestone 100 with 27 X1-1/4 tires. My problem is I cannot seem to find quality tires that will stay on the rims. I went to a bike shop in little rock and the guys laughed when they saw my chrome wheels with a Suntour 5 sprocket freewheel. They sold me a set of tires and told me to keep the pressure at 65 lbs. I did this and with a matter of weeks, boom, the rear blew off the rim. I did purchase a new bike but I miss riding my old iron beast. The original tires were gum sided and were inflated to 90 psi. Any suggestions? Can I replace the wheels with comparable ones? Does anyone make a 27 X 1-1/4 tire that can hold up to the pressure?
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
74
48
75
Of course, there are lots of tires still made in 27 x 1-1/4. Your LBS sold you a bad tire, maybe old or just poor quality. Was it a $10 special they had laying around? If they laughed at your steel rims and 5-speed cluster, they don't respect what worked so well for millions of riders for decades. A 1985 bike isn't really "vintage", probably millions of those tough old Bridgestone bikes still on the streets of world.

Find another LBS with fresh tires, or buy online from sources like "biketiresdirect". I like the Conti Gator or Hardshell. They cost more than $10, but you know you're getting quality that will mount correctly and last a long time.

Oh, I'm assuming you have "hooked" rims which are in good condition, not rusted or yielded. If the sides of the rim are spread open due to wear or excessive pressure being used, then you'll need new rims, not just new tires.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
Well, your experience demonstrates that not all LBSes are equal, nor are some of the "clerks" whom you encounter going to be equal to others ...

And, supporting an LBS may be both fruitless & thankless ...

Yet, others may be worth supporting.

FYI. I thought that BONTRAGER labeled 27x1.125 tires might still be available, but probably not ... but, if they are, check with your local TREK dealer to see if they have any in stock OR if they can order a set for you.

Regardless, I would think that CONTINENTAL, MICHELIN & SCHWALBE possibly still make 27" tires ... so, it's really a question of finding a source ... that is, contact the North American representative OR distributor.

NASHBAR (and/or its PERFORMANCE subsidiary) may still carry 27" tires -- if they do, choose a recognizable brand.

REI may carry 27" tires.

If you contact HARRIS CYCLERY then they can probably tell you what brands are still readily available.

However, if you are not a purist, then for convenience it may be beneficial to change the wheels to 700c ...

  • either relace your current wheels with 700c rims (you may be able to use the same spokes if you lace 36x4 instead of 36x3) ...
  • or, buy a 'new', 700c wheelset & respace your frame's triangle, as necessary
  • or, possibly, if you want to continue to use Freewheels, then you can buy a Single Speed wheelset & add a 6mm spacer PLUS redish the wheel, accordingly

BTW. My recollection is that 1985 was close to (actually, just past?!?) the "cusp" between when 700c & 27" tires were equally common on new-at-the-time bikes, so there is a chance that if you switch to the slightly smaller 700c wheel size (i.e., there is a 4mm difference in the radius, hence you will need a brake which has a 4mm longer reach) then you may-or-may-not need brake calipers which have a longer reach than the ones which are currently on your bike ...

  • but, if you do then you can find the appropriate length, TEKTRO calipers on eBay.
 

mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,098
179
48
69
Cape Cod, MA, USA
If you really want to keep your old iron beast, see if you can drop your brake calipers a few millimeters, to accommodate 700c wheels. That opens up a whole new world of tire choices for you. I have an old Schwinn with 27" rims (good rims, Weinmanns) and my tire choices get slimmer all the time.
 

stevegreer

Member
Sep 4, 2008
166
12
18
Originally Posted by raymoncarson .

They sold me a set of tires and told me to keep the pressure at 65 lbs. I did this and with a matter of weeks, boom, the rear blew off the rim.
They told you to keep the pressure at 65psi? That is odd. Maybe it was the recommended pressure for that particular brand of tires? I have my '87 Trek 400 with 27 x 1 1/4 and I inflate up to 90 - 100psi depending on if I am riding on my trainer or on the road ( though I mostly use it for indoor training and use my '99 Trek 5500 for road riding).
On another note, gotta love that Suntour! I have a Suntour rear derailleur on my '87 and have a Maillard Helicomatic 5-speed freehub. I love the old girl. She is a beautiful ride!
 

mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,098
179
48
69
Cape Cod, MA, USA
Just to give you an example, I'm not a heavyweight at 6'2" and (currently) 165 lbs, and I run 80-90 psi in my 27 x 1-1/4" tires.

65 psi is too light IMO. You'd probably be risking pinch flats.