Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

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Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby overrun on Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:05 pm

The Hill-billy has chrome wheels. I have been looking at RM, CR80R, KX80, and YZ80 wheels, but then I thought, what about just using the same hubs?

So, if I find some aluminum rims with the correct spoke count, will the existing spokes work?

Any way to know what spokes will work, or am I at the mercy of the vendor?
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:59 pm

How long are the spokes? I have never respoked rims (get dizzy all da spokes) so I assume they will still work. Naturally if there are more holes in the spokes that existed, you might very well need some more spokes, although my calculations may be wrong...
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby overrun on Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:09 am

When bicycles went from chrome to aluminum the rims became two layers deep, held together with a ferrule. I think the result was that spoke nipples became longer so that there was still room to get a wrench onto the flats.

I don't know if aluminum motorcycle rims are constructed differently than chrome or if the material is just a bit thicker.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:05 am

No idea. Give Mr. LWC82PE a poke. He recommends 'Sun' brand rims. Going for new not 2nd hand was lesson He learnt.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby kbzx6r on Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:11 pm

I've replaced a few steel rims with aluminum and didn't have to use different spokes. In fact, I used to tape all the spoke crossings before disassembling the wheel. That made fitting the new rim much easier and quicker. Also, before trying to disassemble your old wheel give all your spoke nipples a good shot of WD-40 and a little time to soak in.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby overrun on Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:55 pm

Tape! Great tip!
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:53 pm

There was a recent post on here of a guy that built a truing machine using a dial gauge. Al rims are actually not alluminium. Al is too week. Some form of an alloy. I have no idea of the exact constituent, but I bet there is some chrome or something in them.

All my bikes have dented rims. May be I don't inflate tubes enough?
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby overrun on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:04 am

I understand that the spoke angle coming out of a candidate rim can be incompatible with the angle of the steel / chrome rim. One more thing to think about.
Last edited by overrun on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby kbzx6r on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:29 am

Spoke angle can be important. When you think about it all spoke kits include left and right, inner and outer. Some hubs have same left/right diameters and for those the only spoke difference is inner/outer. The spoke angles are determined by the hub diameter, rim diameter and number of spokes. The smaller the hub diameter or greater the wheel diameter the less the included angle as the spokes cross and thus the spoke angle at the rim. We used to carry alum alloy rims back when I was wrenching and they were popular with the TM customers. The rims had stamped in model numbers to go with an application chart. I bet that stuff is still available somewhere online.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby kbzx6r on Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:47 am

Butcher wrote:There was a recent post on here of a guy that built a truing machine using a dial gauge. Al rims are actually not alluminium. Al is too week. Some form of an alloy. I have no idea of the exact constituent, but I bet there is some chrome or something in them.

All my bikes have dented rims. May be I don't inflate tubes enough?


I bet you have plenty of air in your tyres but an unfortunate magnetic attraction to rocks. I know about that, but in my case it was to trees. As to a trueing machine, your bike is perfect. Just put it up on that bucket so the wheels spin free. A dial gage is good for measuring run-out if you want to know precisely what it is, but really all you need is a grease pencil and some glass cleaner and paper towels and and patience and you can get them true within a few thousandths of an inch (or tenth of a mm for the rest of the world). Hardest thing is getting the spoke tension identical. For that you need is a nice wrench to tap them with and a good ear. How's that for MacGyver?
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:30 pm

"I bet you have plenty of air in your tyres but an unfortunate magnetic attraction to rocks. I know about that, but in my case it was to trees."

Haha. Yea I know all about trees. I met this one called ole' woody. Long story... Got drunk at mates place and me and the skinhead (friend) went riding. He was on an old '84(?) DR250 and me on me old faithful 125. Well, His bike (actually belonged to another friend) had lights but mine didn't (was night time and pitch black) so I was following him real closely. Anyhow, he veered off to the right and I went straight ahead, into said tree! Sobered me up real quickly.

Wont tell you about rocks cause I would steal the show! But yea, "correct" angle and rocks about size of say, well 6 inch diameter are VERY unforgiving. One can feel the force right up one's arm, if you know what I mean?

Salt water is the enemy of all bikes (beach riding).
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby kbzx6r on Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:58 pm

I'll share funny story kind of on-topic story about replacing rims. Back in my shop days, besides wrenching I was the Service Manager. Of course we worked on the brands we sold but when it came to off-brands I had yes/no authority - but only during normal service dept hours while I was at work. The rest of the time the service department had no protection and the counter guys got a kick out of taking in all kinds of weird chit. We did rim replacemnts at a fixed fee, and in the case of rims brand didn't really matter. However, if it was an off-brand the customer had to provide the new rim or the counter guys couldn't take the job. One day I got to work and there was some old british sports car wire wheel sitting there along with a brand new rim. That damn wheel had like 100 freaking spokes. It was too wide to fit our trueing machine and the spoke nipples were some big honking bizarre british size that didn't fit any of normal spoke wrenches. Plus the spoke nipples were rusty. Once you finally got them moving they were so close together you could only turn them like 1/16th of a turn at a time. Worst part is, the counter guys quoted the customer the standard price. I'll tell you, I lost my royal azz on that job ha ha ha ha!!!!
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:02 am

Off topic but back in my electronic servicing days I was counter bitc*. This Guy came in with chilli-bin (eskie for the aussies). A big bin that keeps cold in for camping etc (beer!). Anyhow the guy struggled and asked for a hand to lift onto the counter. I said, nah, just leave it on the floor.

He smiled as he lifted the lid. On the bottom was a cam corder. But the bin was FULL of fresh water! (I thought he brought some food in for us?). Anyhow, story goes he was fishing off of a boat or something. He dropped said camera in the drink! (The Ocean). At pub He was told to flush with fresh water immediatly. He dragged this chilli bin up from bottom of South Island somewhere full of water! Might of been 20L one or similar.

Point is (was) that the thing (camera) was already stuffed! As cam corders were expensive (more money to be charged out for Us!) We gave it a go. We should of said no as ALL the PCBs were toast! Big time waster. -Least I didn't have to have a go at fixing it.

He may of been insured?, can't recall as this was 25 years ago!
Last edited by Butcher on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby overrun on Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:40 am

Sir, had you gotten it into a microwave oven right away....
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Re: Rims chrome to alumin[i]um

New postby Butcher on Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:57 am

Um, my first job was an alarm clock. I remember it well. I thought I knew everything. I knew nothing.

Um, we made most money from TV's. May be say average $100-120. VCR's say $70-80 and cam corders much more time involved.


I recall being asked to fix a VCR. Yea, I can do that (gulp). I think it was something simple like a Pye, Goldstar or Sharp then graduated onto Nat/Panasonic and the mighty (not) Mitsi-bitsy.


I can recall being given TV to fix got a nasty surprise. LIVE chassis, which means that the chassis / frame is floating at asy 120-130VDc. Enough to kill easy. I grabbed the chassis and proceeded to remove the antenna plug. BAD MISTAKE. So shower if $hit, loud yell and my electrocuted a$$ ended up on the floor amongst some curse words..


I don't clearly remember my first MW oven, well sort of. I requested a lead jock-strap. No go and hovered over it with a radiation leakage detector that we later found was defective!

Lesson was to check the door for looseness and bad seals. Pretty safe.

My job comprised of removing all the f&%$en screws and then proceeding to short out the pulse capacitor, that carries charge of coloumbs of about 4KV. Pulse capacitors are used in magnetrons (ovens and radar), x-ray machines etc and dump their coloumbs (charge) VERY quickly due to their low ESR. Loud crack and huge blue flash! My screwdriver was used for that. MW oven now safe.


We had to do live testing (with oven on and cup of cold water) by measuring the HV with HV probe. One slip and bad $hit happens. I was measuring filament voltage (lowly 4VAC) and got the pulsed 100Hz 4KV up it and BANG! Good by $400 Fluke multimeter. Boss was pissed and said nothing!


Yea, after about 1-2 years I was THE MW guy for my town of about 400,000 people ;)


I preferred fixing alarm clocks. I fixed quiet a few Segas and Nintendo's. Stereos, valve guitar amps, you name it.



Sadly today is a throw away society... I fixed over 2000 VCRs and possibly hundreds of MW ovens.



Oh, did I tell you the story of the little old lady that used to dry her dog in the MW oven? she used to dry it in her convection oven so thought? Why not?

Or the Panasonic / Matsushita tech in Auckland that thought it brave and cool to wire up MW magnetron on his test bench and went blind?

The apprentice tech before me ended up detecting mines for the army apparently, hehehehe. I $hit you not. He was a gummy bear! Argh, old times.
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