Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, December 02, 2011


Many of you recognize the fact that my Fuji Touring bike was built for 27" wheels.  Of course, I wish to convert it to 700c.  I've done this with dozens, maybe hundreds, of old road bikes throughout the years.  Some have been a straight swap of the wheels, adjustment of the brake pads and ride away-type conversions.

Others have involved various levels of modification to the brakes, or frames.  Most have not involved cantilever brakes.

The last touring bikes I got ahold of and converted to 700c were a couple of Panasonics.  Luckily, the cantilevers were mounted in a spot on the frame and fork which allowed the smaller wheels to be run with a minimum of adjustment.

You probably have figured out, by this point, that this is not the case with the Fuji.

Here is a close-up shot of the new brakes and new wheels on the bike:

At the lowest setting of the pad, it hits the tire.  So, it would seem that the pad needs to be lower.

With that in mind, I clamped the brake arm into the drill-press, and punched a lower hole to mount the pad.  (So much for any warranty...)

Unfortunately, even with the lower position, the pad still hits the tire.  The cantilever mount on the fork (and the frame, on the rear) is too close for the brake to swing through a decent arc, with these rims.

Since I can't move the pivot outward, I decided to try a narrower rim.  These rims are 25.4mm wide; a full inch.  I really wanted to use them, since the burly cross-section makes me feel more comfortable on mixed-terrain rides.

I have a set of wheels with 19mm Wolber rims on them, and they seem to work, though just barely.

As much as I love the look of these brakes, I may have to try something else.  Even with the narrower rims, they are barely useable, and the fit certainly doesn't leave much room for knocking a rim out of true, or out of round, on a rough ride.

Stay tuned.



At 11:46 AM , Blogger Christopher said...

Argh! that sucks.
This is so much easier with calipers isn't it?
Would mini v-brakes work? I have them on my hybrid/cyclocross bike with drop bar brakes with no problems, but I don't know if they have the range though...

At 2:49 PM , Blogger Big Oak said...

That's a bummer! I thought that kind of stuff only happened to me.

At 3:59 PM , Blogger nordic_68 said...

I've mostly standardized on 24mm rims (Velocity Dyad) for 700c bikes, whether loaded touring or faster day touring bike. The weight penalty is minimal, it better supports a 27mm or wider tire cross section, and I can swap wheels between bikes without adjusting brakes as long as all the rims are the same.

Too bad about the fitup issue on your Fuji. Looks like your fork should take a centerpull. How about the rear brake stay?

At 11:52 AM , Blogger Jon said...

I could easily run centerpulls, but the big attraction of this bike, for me, is the cantilever brakes. I'll be more likely to run 27" wheels than swap brakes.

The only drawback to the 27" wheels is a relatively small tire selection. I have some cool 27" wheels, if push comes to shove.

At 11:35 PM , Anonymous Scott Loveless said...

If I were you, I'd look into getting those canti posts relocated. Then, I'd look at what a repaint costs. Finally, still being you, I'd chuck those 27" wheels in the dropouts and call it done.

Paselas are available in 27x1-1/4 and 27x1-1/8. My favorite, though, is the lowly Michelin World Tour. I like the way they ride and, strangely enough, I like the hum they produce at speed.

At 7:41 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Scott: I actually ordered some Tioga Bloodhound cross tires, 27x1-3/8. They suit the use to which I will be putting this bike. If I decide I need road tires for it, I actually like the Forte' brand at Performance (which has a store 1/2 mile from my house).

Since I am going with the 27 inch wheels...well, that's another blog post. I'll finish that thought later.


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