Dale’s Retro Rebuild

Alex Rims Classic Classic and Retro Fixie Racing Retro Road Bike Wheel Builds Sapim Wheel Builds

Picture of custom XLR8 retro road bicycle wheels using Alex DM22 rims on restored Sachs Maillard hubs.

Dale needed to replace some wheels on his 80s Reynolds 501 Raleigh that he scoots around on. It’s not really a training bike, but a bike he loves to just swing a leg over and go for a pedal on.

Picture of custom XLR8 retro road bicycle wheels using Alex DM22 rims on restored Sachs Maillard hubs. Rear hub shown.

After looking across all the internet vendors for some inexpensive wheels, he realized that a new wheelset would require respacing the bikes rear triangle to a modern 130mm. Also, a new cassette and chain would be required. It was also likely that he’d have to migrate up to 8s, causing problems with compatibility with his lovely original geartrain.

Add to that the difficulty in getting hold of a completely silver wheelset (of reasonable quality) and he decided to contact us for some help.

We talked Dale through the options and were pleased when he decided that a new build on the bike’s original hubs was the best solution.

Picture of custom XLR8 retro road bicycle wheels using Alex DM22 rims on restored Sachs Maillard hubs. Front hub in focus.

Dale handed over the Sachs Maillard hubs, and we were a little concerned at their condition. Aesthetically they were reasonable, but the bearings needed some love. We replaced the cones with highest quality items from Wheels Manufacturing, and new Campagnolo bearings were installed. The result is a pair of hubs that are Campag smooth, and should service Dale for years.

In order to keep the build cost down, and stick with a silver retro look, Dale selected the Alex DM18 700c rim. Whilst not very light, they are tough, have thick long lasting brake walls, and have an internal width of 19mm, which is nice and wide for the 25c tyres that Dale runs.

As will the majority of our builds, Sapim Race double butted spokes and brass nipples were used, to ensure the utmost reliability, and great looks.

The rear is laced 3x both sides, and the front 2x, for a cool retro look.


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