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27x1 1/4 to 700c Conversion
#1
I'd like to convert my 1981 Free Spirit "Pinnacle" Road Bike's wheels from 27x1 1/4 to 700c due to the more selection of tires.

I don't know much about bikes, so you will need to walk me step-by-step through the process of changing the wheels. I was told on another forum that I would need to move the brakes down 4mm.

When selecting the wheel, I'll need to know if it's 120mm or 126mm. How can I find it out?

How can I find out if my bike is compatible with a 700c wheel, what modifications I'll need to make?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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#2
A member named nfmisso (Nigel) is our resident expert on this subject and I'm certain he will be here soon to explain in greater detail...
What you want to do = no problemo. Just cost money.
To start it off for Nigel, 700c and 27" are cousins that don't play well together when it comes to rim-brake calipers. Diff rim diameters enough to require diff arm reach. Your choice to go 700 is wise as to tire offerings.
Something he will ask you - where did you get the 120 and 126 numbers? Is there a typo there? 126 and 130??
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#3
So you want to spend upwards of $200- on a bike that cost a bit over $100- new, and has never appreciated? You choice.

How do you know the OLD? Measure it.

Modifications:

new wheels
new brakes
new tires

at the same time you should get:
new freewheel (finding freehubs less than 130mm is very difficult and $$$).
new chain
new tubes

ISO630 tire selection is very good, though it takes a few extra minutes - not a reasonable reason to change to ISO622.

Get your self a set of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Discovery-Road-Tires-Black/dp/B00165TW7U/

If you still want to do it;
1. measure your OLD.
2. measure the brake reach required with your current ISO630 rims.

hint: Google "Sheldon Brown O.L.D." and "Sheldon Brown Reach"

With the above information, you can go about selecting wheels and brakes.

For ISO622 rims, you will need brakes with 4mm more reach than you measured with your current rims. Most likely Tektro R556 will work. You will need to get "nutted" versions of the brakes, or drill your bike frame for recessed (not for the faint hearted, and make sure you use a good drill stop - test it).

Next to the wheels: machine built (cheap, spokes fail); custom (expensive, but done right - I recommend Peter White) or my choice - build my own (done right, no spoke failures, and not as expensive as custom, but more expensive the machine built).

Peter White has some 32h Shimano Freehubs with 126mm OLD, he will sell only as a pair of hubs or as part of a pair of wheels. I have heard that he is several months back ordered on his custom wheels. If I recall correctly, I will sell the hubset (front and rear) for around $75- (pretty sure less than $100- anyway).

Alternately, you can re-use your current hubs (does not make sense financially, unless you build your own, and many wheel builders will not use old hubs dues to liability).

Rims - my current favorite narrower (but not really narrow) rim is the Sun CR18 - depending on size they run in the $25- to $30- each range.

Spokes: like Peter White, Wheelsmith is my preference. I use SS14 spokes For a set of wheels, you will most likely need three different lengths: front, left rear and right rear. Sometimes you luck out and the front and left rear are the same. $25- per package, plus $10- for nipples.
Nigel
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#4
Should I just get a new bike or spend the money on a new rim set?

I'm doing some shopping right now for a new road bike. But I can't spend over $300 and my father really wants a pre-assembled one.
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#5
(08-19-2012, 05:04 AM)garrett01 Wrote:  Should I just get a new bike or spend the money on a new rim set?

I'm doing some shopping right now for a new road bike. But I can't spend over $300 and my father really wants a pre-assembled one.

Just purchase the tires I suggested above, save your money until you can spend $600- on a new road bike (Nashbar or BikesDirect); AND you learn how to service bikes. A $600- bike from Nashbar or BikesDirect is like a $1000- bike from a LBS, EXCEPT that it needs a total tune up - about $200- labor, plus some oil and grease.
Nigel
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#6
(08-19-2012, 02:51 AM)RobAR Wrote:  A member named nfmisso (Nigel) is our resident expert on this subject and I'm certain he will be here soon to explain in greater detail...

Thank you Smile
Nigel
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#7
(08-19-2012, 05:04 AM)garrett01 Wrote:  Should I just get a new bike or spend the money on a new rim set?

I'm doing some shopping right now for a new road bike. But I can't spend over $300 and my father really wants a pre-assembled one.
Garrett. By 'road bike', I assume you mean the skinny-tired, drop-bar, go-fast machine? If so - I'm afraid you'll not find a New one at that price point. If you have a LBS (local bike shop), visit them as they may have a used one or three for sale. If not, they may know of someone that does!
For example; at my shop I have a 1989 Schwinn 586 (?) in a 56 cm frame that has all original components (it was a garage queen) in pristine condition that we are asking $250 for. It was creme-de-la-creme in its day but, the down-tube shifters turn a lot of people off.
I also have a notebook at my desk where I keep notes of customers looking to buy or sell stuff. I don't mind missing a sale if someone can't afford what I have to offer. My mantra is "Every Butt On A Bike".
Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
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#8
Sorry if I haven't responded in a while.

I've been seeing different things like 700c x 25c then 700c x 23c then 700c x 32c and so on... Which "700c x ??c" is right for my 1981 Free Spirit?

The original wheels are 27x1 1/4. As weird as this may sound, I'd like to try using tubes with presta valves when I get the new 700c rims on.
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#9
27 x 1¼ = 32-630

700c = 622

the two digit number is the nominal tire width in mm. Most bicycle tires have an aspect ratio of 1; which means the width is also the hieght of the tire.

Tire width is a personal thing, depending on many factors. Tires on my bikes range from 28 to 47mm wide; all primarily street bikes.

622 and 630 are the bead seat diameters, the diameter of the rim where the edge of the tire fits.

Presta valves are great for high pressure tires - you'll want to keep an adapter with your bike at all times for emergencies. There are rubber inserts that you can put in your rim if it is drilled for Schraeder and you want to install a Presta valve tube.

So you have decided to spend a couple hundred to convert a low value bike to ISO622 rims, instead of spending $30- on new tires and tubes, and saving the rest towards a better bike?
Nigel
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#10
I decided I'm just going to put new tires and tubes on it.

However, the rims on this bike are old steel rims that can't hold high pressures. And all the 27 x 1 1/4 tires I can find are rated at 90 PSI. (I'm pretty heavy.)

Along with the presta valve thing, I don't think there are too many 27 x 1 1/4 tubes with presta valves. The only ones I can find are Schrader. Anyhow, they both serve the same purpose, I just hate the look of Schrader valves. Smile

I'm 13 years old and need to start saving up for my first car (16 = hopefully first car.) I just ride my bike a lot for now because it's great exercise and it's the only transportation I have until I turn 16. But when I turn 16 the bike will probably collect dust.
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#11
700c tubes fit 27" rims

your rims will handle 100 psi no problem.

These tubes will work: http://www.amazon.com/XLC-Thorn-Resistant-Boxed-Tube/dp/B0037N64WU/

For Presta valves in rims drilled for Schraeder, you need these: http://www.amazon.com/Schrader-Presta-Rubber-Rim-Hole-Adaptor/dp/B000XNZU1S/

Keep in mind; the LEAST expensive part of automobile ownership is the initial purchase price; in a few months insurance, fuel and maintenance overwhelm the purchase price.
Nigel
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#12
Thanks. I'll change the tubes and tires.

BTW, are you sure that my rim will hold 90 or more pounds of pressure? Last time I pumped it up to 90 PSI it blew out on me.
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#13
What "blew out"? If it was the tyre then there might have been some previous damage. If it was the tube check the following:
- rim tape ok? Accounts for... dunno... I guess 90% of the described problem. If the tube can push inside the spoke holes and touch the spokes: boom!
- valve hole: no sharp burrs
- tyre: no protruding sharp stones, glass, metal in the inside (and also no holes in the sidewall etc.)
(also make sure the tube is installed correctly in the tyre, blah, blah, not pinched by it etc. You probably know that)
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#14
I have to emphasize what Joe says above.

I used two or more layers of 3M strapping tape, then a rubber strip - either the rubber band type, or cut from an old thin (not thorn resistant) tube; to protect the tube from the spoke holes.

I did have one bike many years ago that had slightly undersized (like a 1 or 2 mm) rims that would blow out at the most inconvenient times.

Regarding installing tires and tubes. There are many methods that work, and after trying many, what works best for me is:
* put 2 to 5 psi in the tube (just enough so that it will take shape).
* install the tire liner in the tire (I use STOP FLATS 2 liners).
* put the tube in the tire with the valve opposite the overlap of the liner.
* make sure everything is straight, no bends or folds, and the liner is between the tube and thread, not creeping up the sidewalls.
* line up the tube/tire assembly with the wheel, and push the valve stem thru, which will result of one side of tire bead sitting inside the rim near the valve.
* work the first side of the tire on to the rim all the way around, starting from the valve and working in both directions, so that the last part of the tire to go on to the rim is opposite the valve.
* go back to the valve, push the tube into the rim all the way around, again starting from the valve and working in both directions, so that the last part of the tube to go on to the rim is opposite the valve.
* and back to the valve again, push the 2nd side of the tire into the rim, starting from the valve and working in both directions, so that the last part of the tire to go on to the rim is opposite the valve.
* do NOT use tools.
* let air off the tire as required.
* inflate the tube to 10 to 15 psi.
* go all away around the tire twice on each side pushing the side wall inwards to ensure the tube is not pinched.
* go all away around the tire twice pushing the tread towards the rim.
* inflate to 40 psi and repeat
* inflate to operating pressure

ALWAYS use a hand pump, NEVER use a compressor. Compressors produce pressure pulses that are large enough to blow out a bicycle tire.
Nigel
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#15
I'd like to buy every thing at one place so I don't have to pay very much for shipping.

Will these inner tubes work? They're 700c x 25/32 - http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/michelin-a2-airstop-tube

Will this schrader-presta rim adapter work? Will the adapter in the link require threaded or non-threaded valve stems (or does it not matter?) - http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/wheel-mfg-presta-stem-savers

What about this schrader converter (just in case I need to pump the tire up with a schrader pump) - http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/genuine-innovations-alloy-presta-valve-adapter

What about this tire? - http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/kenda-k35-27x1-1-4-inch-tire

My father want's to put a new rim on the bike just in case it is the rim. I told him to go for it. So we'll also need rim tape.

Where can I buy a 27 x 1 1/4 Rim tape?
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#16
(08-29-2012, 10:40 PM)garrett01 Wrote:  ......

Where can I buy a 27 x 1 1/4 Rim tape?
the rubber band type:
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/kenda-rubber-rim-strips

the tape type (preferred by "serious cyclists")
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/velox-rim-strip
Nigel
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#17
Not a big fan of Presta valves. As a former MBU Patrol rider in Santa Monica Mountains, I still stop and offer help to people. Twice I came across flats with Presta valve and two pumps set for Presta could not get a bite on the head. I bought a Shraeder to Presta screw on converter and will try that next time.
Never Give Up!!!
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#18
(08-30-2012, 07:17 PM)GeorgeET Wrote:  Not a big fan of Presta valves. As a former MBU Patrol rider in Santa Monica Mountains, I still stop and offer help to people. Twice I came across flats with Presta valve and two pumps set for Presta could not get a bite on the head. I bought a Shraeder to Presta screw on converter and will try that next time.

OOoops that's a Presta to Schraeder screw on valve converter. This way I do not need to change the fitting in the pump head , which did not work on Presta anyway.
Never Give Up!!!
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#19
I realize this is an old post, but felt it was necessary to add this for future visitors:

@garret01 I replaced my 70s road bike that originally had 27 x 1 1/4 and put on a back wheel that was 700c, while putting on the old tire and tube. All the adjusting necessary was an extremely easy brake adjustment that took about 60 seconds at most, after I got the wheel on and then I adjusted my derailleur to match up the new gears, which was also easy. Still running perfectly fine after a long while.
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