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new aluminum wheels on Fiona

November 11, 2010

Bikes and Bridges

Here is another picture taken during our ‘heat wave’ this week. This was taken on Monday after work as I was riding around and taking lots of detours on my way home.

The reason for my meandering around town was only in part the gorgeous weather. My other motive: to test my brand spankin’ new aluminum wheels on Fiona. Yes! I got new tires and aluminum wheels on my 1968 Raleigh Sports. This was my combined birthday and Christmas gift (a wee bit early) from my husband this year and I couldn’t be more thrilled with this upgrade. Thanks, T!

This bike upgrade is the last of several bike upgrades and purchases this fall. For those of you following Simply Bike out of an interest in vintage bike restoration, I plan on writing a more detailed post on all the bike work done on my vintage Raleighs (and the reasons behind it) this coming weekend. I will also provide you with the cold hard facts about how much things cost me. If you’re planning on restoring your own vintage bike, this forthcoming post may be of help to you in at least preparing you for what this may entail financially.

I needed to replace my cracked tires regardless of keeping or replacing the steel wheels. We decided to replace the entire thing – wheels and tires – because of the huge difference aluminum wheels make when riding in the rain. Steel rims just don’t brake that well and I came to hate using Fiona on days it rained. I would opt for my Raleigh Grand Prix (which had to have new wheels because the wheels and tires purchased with it were unusable). But ironically, it’s Fiona that has the much-needed fenders for rainy day cycling. So that settled it: T., errr, Santa, brought me new aluminum wheels and new bike tires this year.

And just in time for all the rain we’re supposed to be getting for the rest of the week.

(On a side note – don’t you hate how dark it is already at 5 pm? This and yesterday’s photos were taken after work and with a long exposure setting. You can already see the sun setting. Winter is definitely upon us.)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2010 16:03

    Definitely not loving the early lack of sun light myself. I have a class that starts at 7p, and going in to it in the dark just makes me feel as though I should be in bed. The first half of the semester it was light until at least 8-8:30p. Oh well. I suppose we all adjust to these things. :)

    Congratulations on the new tires/wheels. I’m sure they will get a lot of great use as the winter months approach. Santa was very kind (he must care a great deal about your well-being and safety).

  2. November 11, 2010 17:10

    Congrats on the new wheels! I hope they work out great! The aluminum rims with the KoolStop brake pads on my Raleigh Sports have worked out great for the most part. My early Christmas present from my wife was two pairs of nice boots to keep my feet dry and warm during the winter :)

    I know I’m unusual in this regard, but I actually like riding in the dark (or walking). To me, it feels kind of peaceful and private. Then I get home to warm light shining out of the apartment windows, come in, unwrap and get to work cooking in the kitchen, warming up and making wonderful smells, snuggle the cats, snuggle the wife, have some wine, eat dinner. I like the autumn :)

    Granted, if it’s dumping rain it’s a different story, but all the stuff after getting home is still the same, and then I’m even more grateful to be inside, dry, warm and with my family :)

    All in all, though I don’t always enjoy riding my bike every day when it’s dumping rain and cold, I still would rather that than just sitting on a bus in traffic or driving, which really stresses me out in the rain and dark.

  3. Janni permalink
    November 11, 2010 21:59

    Glückwunsch zu den neuen Felgen – wie schön, dass Du nicht bis Weihnachten warten musstest!
    Welch ein Sicherheitsgewinn in der kalten und nassen Jahreszeit!

    Nach der Umstellung von Sommer- auf Winterzeit in Europa nervt die frühe Dunkelheit sogar doppelt! Es ist viiiiel zu früh finster, von mir aus kann man die Winterzeit einfach abschaffen…

  4. November 11, 2010 22:58

    That’s fantastic that you’re getting new wheels for the bike. I think vintage 3-speeds make the best commutes, as well as you are willing to spend a bit of money on that crucial step.

    And yes, the 5pm darkness is a bit depressing : (

  5. November 12, 2010 01:06

    “S” that’s great about your new wheels. Look forward to reading more about your bike restoration. I almost bought a vintage Raleigh Sports, but it didn’t pan out for me. I currently came across a Raleigh LTD-3, but I’m not sure yet whether to buy it, or wait to see if I come across another Sports. Or, if I should wait and take a ride to Maine to try out the Pashley Sonnet Bliss. Restoration or new?? I haven’t decided yet.

    Yes, and this getting dark so early certainly is depressing :(

  6. November 13, 2010 14:26

    I’m not a fan of daylight savings time…I don’t like that it is dark here by 4:30 or 5 pm. Congrats on the new wheels, Fiona is looking lovely these days, and very lucky that you are restoring her in such a thoughtful, caring manner!

  7. November 14, 2010 19:46

    Nice job, Santa!

  8. November 17, 2010 17:53

    What kind of wheels did you get? Someone told me that the sizes are different for English bikes compared to American bikes.

  9. April 9, 2014 13:43

    Nice bike! Having a Raleigh Grand Prix as well, and knowing it would benefit from new wheels, could you tell me which ones size-wise are compatible?

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