Wooden Wheels

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Wooden Wheels

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:26 am

Wooden wheels have been discussed before, but I just saw this on cycling tips and thought I should share. Apparently, they're available in Australia.

http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2010/04/ ... #more-9914

There is a video montage of the wheels being built by an old, small Italian man

http://thecyclingedge.wordpress.com/201 ... heels-101/

A shipment has left Italy bound for Australia. Details here:
http://cyclingedge.com.au/bikes/

Enjoy.

David
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by BNA » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:33 am

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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:33 am

I wonder what their braking is like in wet conditions...
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Torana68 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:00 am

brakes?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:45 am

Torana68 wrote:brakes?


That would be the two pot hydraulic disk brakes to give that much desired 'Retro-Tech' SteamPunk look :wink:
(or Tech-Retro maybe..... too much anime.....)

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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby spirito » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:14 pm

Wheel Fanatyk is the US dealer for the Ghisallo rims. He has lots of experience, an ebay store and probably the best prices. A lot quicker/simpler than dealing with Italians. His site has lots of good info and practical information.

http://wheelfanatyk.blogspot.com/

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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby cycles gitane » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:48 pm

spirito wrote:Wheel Fanatyk is the US dealer for the Ghisallo rims. He has lots of experience, an ebay store and probably the best prices. A lot quicker/simpler than dealing with Italians. His site has lots of good info and practical information.

http://wheelfanatyk.blogspot.com/


These rims are imported into Australia by a retail shop in Sth. Melbourne that deals with high end road stuff.
Name escapes me at the moment but they are listed on the Ghisallo web site. Very expensive in Oz :cry: around $280 per rim.
The first shipment has arrived and a second is being ordered according to the grapevine.
cycles gitane


edit: just noticed the name listed above.
There is NO room in the shed for the next bike! New shed rqd.
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Torana68 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:52 pm

http://wheelfanatyk.blogspot.com/ [/quote]. Very expensive in Oz :cry: around $280 per rim..[/quote]

not really the sort of thing Id be taking out in the rain or attaching brakes to :roll: , nice addition to a restored older track bike as long as your not fussed about them being "new"
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:04 pm

hartleymartin wrote:I wonder what their braking is like in wet conditions...


On your Raleigh 20 it's easy enough to just put your feet down to stop :P (especially at the speeds you ride).

This is definitely a product for track bikes or ultra-cool retro fixie hipsters who have no need to stop for things such as red lights (or good taste).

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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby spirito » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:42 pm

cycles gitane wrote:
spirito wrote:
These rims are imported into Australia by a retail shop in Sth. Melbourne that deals with high end road stuff.
Name escapes me at the moment but they are listed on the Ghisallo web site. Very expensive in Oz :cry: around $280 per rim.
The first shipment has arrived and a second is being ordered according to the grapevine.



As I mentioned Wheel Fanatyk has an ebay store and is good to deal with. He has quite a range of items, delivers to oz and is a bit cheaper too :wink:
http://stores.ebay.com/Wheel-Fanatyk
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby p47mike » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:10 am

If you did have a desire to fit wooden rims to a retro bike, they do look the cats whiskers, and also a wish for brakes, would it be considered too much sacralidge to lace up a coaster hub?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Torana68 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:07 am

p47mike wrote:If you did have a desire to fit wooden rims to a retro bike, they do look the cats whiskers, and also a wish for brakes, would it be considered too much sacralidge to lace up a coaster hub?


its your money...... but really if its just the "look" your after try the Velocity wood look rims?, I know wood didnt stand up to constant around town use way back when, they were saved for track only (unless you had nice roads for racing on without big holes in them or cost didnt bother you). You realy want to spend $600 on rims and fit a coaster brake?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby elk » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:45 am

I sent an enquiry to the mob in the states but they referred me to Cycling Edge in Sth Melbourne . I've ordered a pair to go on the 5 star with some Prior hubs ( not the ones recently sold on ebay ) . There's a pair of rims in the shop that have been ordered . For a mountain bike . Just doesn't make sense .
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby spirito » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:46 pm

Torana68 wrote:brakes?


c'mon ... it's not impossible. I've ridden a few wood rimmed bicycles with brakes and the braking is OK, just not as good as on alloy rims and that's mostly because of the pad material. Dare I say some of the pads designed for carbon might prove more effective and others say that using cork for pads is an ideal solution.

To quote Jobst Brandt in his book The Bicycle Wheel ...

Wooden rims are strong and light, and are ideal for gluing tubular tires. Since wood is a good insulator, heat produced by braking will not soften tubular tire glue and cause tire creep. However, the disadvantages of wood outweigh these positive features. Wood is brittle and will not dent or fail partially. Wooden rim failures usually result in wheel collapse and dangerous splinters. Moisture causes wooden rims to distort and lose spoke tension and makes repeated truing necessary. Low thermal conductivity keeps wooden rims from absorbing braking heat and causes brake pads to burn away rapidly. In addition, wooden rims require greater braking force than metal rims because high temperatures soften the brake pads and reduce their coefficient of friction.


That is unedited to show I'm not trying to gild the lily.

These days Alu rims rock over everything else but back in the day, especially around or before the war Alu rims were so variable in quality and longevity that wood rims were an alternative and used by racers on the track and on the road. To say you can only use them on the track is misleading. If you're aware of the limitations and use appropriate pad material then I'd say wood rims for the road is fine, and braking is certainly better than half the clapped out supermarket bikes I see being used every day. I'd also sooner ride on wood rims in the rain rather then steel rims.

And for wood rim (and historic bike) nostalgia read about Jobst touring Europe in 1959 ...
http://www.trentobike.org/Countries/Europe/Tour_Reports/Tour_of_the_Alps/1959/
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Torana68 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:28 pm

elk wrote: There's a pair of rims in the shop that have been ordered . For a mountain bike . Just doesn't make sense .



... dont think anyone said track only I said track or good road and thats how they were originaly used (excepting when there was no alternative to wood) , todays roads are better than most older tracks :) (pre 60's people! before anyone starts) and why would you want to run brakes on them? they are EXPENSIVE rims, varnished etc, feel free as I said its your money :roll: mountain bike rims? bloody hell , some people.... Ill assume they will go on a coffee shop special, possibly even one of those you see strapped in the back of the big ute/truck, upright like a motorbike so everyone can see :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby hartleymartin » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:38 pm

I think the situation would have more been that you saved your wooden wheels for races and would have trained on a set of steel ones. Wouldn't want to take a tumble in training and splinter your expensive racing wheel set? I believe that it would have been much this way with a lot of racing cyclists. Mudguards, steel wheels, etc for getting about and training, and stripped down and wooden wheels for races.
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon May 03, 2010 5:14 am

My 1937 Carbine was purchased new in August 1937 with REX wood rims. By the time it was one year old the original owner [Herb Robey] also had a second pair of REX wood rims & another pair of [unrecalled brand] wood wheels.

This bike was raced in the 1937 & '38 Goulburn to Sydney Classic as well as hundreds of other races & still had its wood wheels in place in 1963 when it was completely rebuilt with some contemporary components.
Now the Hume Highway was not the comparatively smooth road in 1937 that it is today & the racers passed through the villages & towns of the Southern Highlands on their way to the finish line in Joseph St Lidcombe.

Sure there were failures of the rims along the way, but aluminium technology of the time meant that they too suffered their share of damage & structural failures.
Steel rims were the norm & the lightweight Dunlop rims were so narrow & thin in order to try & compete in the weight stakes that they too suffered their fair share of problems. Nobody escaped unscathed.

Yet wood rims held up to this punishment & like a good horse, if you looked after them, then they looked after their caring rider.
The real death knell came about as a result of WW2.
Aluminium technology surged ahead due to the needs of the aviation industry & the prime source of suitable timber was Europe, which had been bombed into submission thanks to the British & their policy of 'carpet bombing.' Poor bomb aiming, particularly at night, meant that many forests were mortally wounded in a single pass.

Many of the forests were destroyed & what was left was harvested for building, re-building, & heating.
Post war there were many industries that were desperately looking for markets & the bicycle industry gladly switched to high quality Dural alloys in the manufacture of a wide range of cycle components, including rims. The displaced metallurgists from the aviation industry found a new home in the bicycle.

High grades of alloy were abundant [well, relatively abundant] & suitable timber for rims was in short supply. The new alloys proved much better, were affordable & available, & best of all, needed much less maintenance than wood rims so wood passed into history thanks in part to Mr. Hitler & co.

After many years I now have a serviceable pair of REX wood rims for my Carbine & they will remain in place for as long as I can keep them serviceable.

Image

These would be the best brake blocks for them too
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby elk » Mon May 03, 2010 2:48 pm

Mr Carbine ,
Thanks for the very informative post and a great looking bike . I notice it has a K pattern Williams chainring . Do you know much about them ? I have one in alloy with 3/16th teeth . Were they made wider to allow for increased wear of the alloy ?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby silverlight » Mon May 03, 2010 6:50 pm

Heres some other wooden brake blocks i have which are to be used on wooden wheels.
Each look to have 2 pieces which slide into to meet as 1, nuts on either side holding them together, never tried them so don't know how good they are
apologize for the big picture,

Image

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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Torana68 » Mon May 03, 2010 7:25 pm

what are they made of? Chris's are obviously cork but those ones?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon May 03, 2010 11:28 pm

Torana68 wrote:what are they made of? Chris's are obviously cork but those ones?
Roger


It looks like felt. Couldn't be, could it?
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby silverlight » Mon May 03, 2010 11:46 pm

hi,
its kinda like a hardened surface, quite rough.
I have a blank at the moment and can't think of anything similar, I will ask around here and see if i can get thoughts on the material.
back soon with an answer
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue May 04, 2010 10:41 pm

elk wrote:Mr Carbine ,
Thanks for the very informative post and a great looking bike . I notice it has a K pattern Williams chainring . Do you know much about them ? I have one in alloy with 3/16th teeth . Were they made wider to allow for increased wear of the alloy ?

It's OK elk, you can call me Chris [which is preferred to some other names I have been called.] Thanks too for the flattering comments. [I like flattery]

The chainwheel on the Carbine is also alloy but is made for the standard 1/8" chain. I can only speculate that your chainwheel was made for track racing as the wider standard was used on the inch pitch chains, so perhaps it was used on some 1/2" pitch ones as well.

The whole chainset [crankset] will be replaced with a BSA fluted chainset as I have now finally determined that this is what it had when it was new. I have the matching BSA pedals too, so that part of the bike is now just as it was.
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby silverlight » Wed May 05, 2010 12:59 am

hi Kid_Carbine
In my constrictor catalogue of 1936 it shows the same chainwheel as pictured on your Carbine, it is called the Conloy K pattern.
Very Nice bike
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby Kid_Carbine » Thu May 06, 2010 12:16 am

If I remember rightly, my chainwheel is a genuine Williams item & carries either a 1937 or '38 date code.
The Williams cranks carry both a 1937 date code on one arm & a '38 date code on the other.
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Re: Wooden Wheels

Postby 240ZR » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:41 pm

^Hi Chris, I'd be interested to know where these brake pads for wooden wheels are available from as I just prchased a set of Italian wooden wheels (complete) for my 5 Star. I'm running the old school Campy group set on it so I would like to finish it off with the correct pads. Nick.
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