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Need to replace vintage wheels. Gah! Help!
Hi guys. This is my first forum experience.

Ok I have a set of old Ukai rims on my 1983(?) Lotus. I want to keep this baby intact as much as possible but my rear wheel is FUBAR. Everytime i bring it to a repair shop they... make it seem like i have to buy a whole new bicycle because everything that connects to the wheel also needs to be replaced.

Sigh. OK its time to get my hands dirty. What do I need to do here? What measurements do I need to look for so I know what I need to go to ebay to find? Anyone know of some cool light strong wheels that will replace these?

Im not afraid to assemble the wheel, keeping my old hub and gear ring thingy. I am NOT going to replace the deraileur. this old shimano stuff is totally rad.

Thanks guys!
-bicycle geek in training

My current wheels (totally love the look of these. all the new stuff looks too wide and chunky)
OK i will upload some pics tomorrow.
I have friction deraileur. old suntour freewheel 7 spd
If the bearing cups in your hub (assuming it is cup and cone, with loose balls) are in good shape; definitely build up a new wheel on your existing hub. I follow these instructions (more or less) on my wheel builds:

My favorite rims are Velocity Dyads. You might desire a lighter rim, such as a Velocity A23 or Aerohead. My experience is that Velocity's rim are rounder and flatter than Sun or Alex rims.

A Sun CR18 might be closer to the style that you are looking for. It is also a nice rim, not as easy to build as a Dyad, but still results in a very serviceable wheel.

Spokes: Wheelsmith. See Peter White's website for discussion.

If the cups of your rear hub are damaged or pitted, you need a new hub. The critical measurement is O.L.D. Over-Locknut-Dimension

If your OLD is 126mm, and you do not want to cold set your frame; go here: scroll down to: "Seven Speed Shimano 105 SC (almost) Wheelsets" You can put on a seven speed Hyperglide cassette which will provide much improved shifting with your current RD. NOTE: you also need to replace the chain. I suggest:
You are the man nigel. Thank you.
Hi welcome to list.

I have a Fuji del Rey from 1985 and it too has Ukai rims and Suntour friction shifters. Do not be seduced by gizmos the old friction shifters work fine and are less finicky the the new stuff. That said I do like my double trigger SIS on my MB. That's where friction down tube shifters my be a bit cumbersome.

As per your wheel, Nigel is very experienced and can do stuff many of us do not try to do. He also invested in tools and equipment. I recently restored my Fuji and the wheel hubs were rebuild. It has cones, I got the last cones in my neighborhood(went to every bike shop around) and If I were to do that again I just would get new wheels. Your size and weight my help you chose proper wheels.

If you do want to build your own, listen to Nigel.

Scroll down here for some wheel examples. This is a good site so look around, there are wheel building tips and lots of tech info. also check out Sheldons site.
Never Give Up!!!
OK so thats several mentions of size and weight. I am tall, I weigh around 215. I was looking at for a new pair of rims, and figured I would just swap rims, and get my first practice with wheel truing and spokesetting.

There is a link on this site on how to swap rims.

It is HIGHLY likely that you will need new spokes also, as it is highly unlikely that your current spokes are the correct length to work with your current hubs and the new rims.

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