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Consensus on freeing TOC hubs

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Kennewick Man

Look Ma, No Hands!
The general consensus is don't cut old tires and use care and patience and you should be able to free the spokes.

If you can add some heat to them after the JD magic sauce tires will become extremely soft. I had a pair of single tubes from the teens.. I brushed them with JD and put them in a black contractors bag on my dash in the summer and they were like spaghetti after an hour. I was able to reshape them and get them back on the wheels before they hardened.

Good luck with your project
Thanks for the additional advice. This is definitely the direction I’m heading in.
 

C M Gerlach

Finally riding a big boys bike
If I had that setup, I would leave it together, and clean it up without removing the spokes or hubs, but that's just me..original is just cooler in my opinion although I have relaced old hubs/hoops when the condition is poor..if you want to do serious riding, you will want modern wheels/anyway, but your stuff looks pretty nice the way it sits.
 

Kennewick Man

Look Ma, No Hands!
And to answer the original question, ...maybe buy some toc hubs, lace them to modern hoops, and keep the originals with the tires on....then its both original, and rideable.
This was exactly my initial inclination. However my bank account called for another course of action. But I think this is going the be the way to go. Everything on the bike is in near immaculate condition and I don’t want to compromise anything that would ultimately devalue it.
 

Two Wheeler

Finally riding a big boys bike
I’m currently working on a minor restoration of a mid 1890s safety bicycle and I’m planning to have new wheels built. I would like to utilize the existing hubs as they appear to be in excellent condition and pretty easy to refurbish. However, I want t remove those hubs in the most orthodox way possible. Meaning, should I simply snip the current rusted spokes and remove the that way or should I sacrifice the desiccated tires and remove the spokes intact?View attachment 1744917
Make sure you have replacement spokes before destroying the old ones. I have lots of NOS spokes in their original boxes. Send me what size you need and I’ll see if I have them.
Maybe the old nipples are reusable? You might try installing the new spokes in the old nipples. I’ve never tried it but if you are hesitant to remove the old tires it might be worth a try.
Let me know your spoke size and good luck.
 

dasberger

I live for the CABE
At the end of the day if the hoops are true and the spokes good.. service the hubs and get some Robert Dean single tubes. You aren't going to ride a century with them but they're rideable. Then if you really want to ride the bike you can just build a set of modern wheels for it when budget allows
 

fattyre

I live for the CABE
Seeing as the spokes are tired and soldered, unless you plan to spend an entire work week deconstructing the ties there is really no easy way to save them. You are probably also going to run into a nipple or two (or more…) that will most likely be seized. So plan your attack slowly and carefully.
New straight pull spokes are made in nearly every size so that’s not the issue, but for you material may be. Stainless is your only option unless you somehow find nos. In witch case what will you gain in the end?
Who doesn’t love wheels and the plethora of choices they come with!??
 

New Mexico Brant

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
That is a very valuable set of wheels and tires. Please do not do anything to them except the John Deere tire elixir and maybe a light cleaning and application of a light coat of furniture oil to the rims! @Drosentreter , the JD spray doesn't hurt the wood rims; it actually rejuvenates the finish binders a bit.

A tip, when applying the John Deere liquid, do not spray! You will end up wasting a heap of it. Just pour a bit in a small bowl or jar and apply with a small piece of sponge or a paint brush. One bottle will then go a long way.

If the intention is to make the bike a rider than please listen to @C M Gerlach Chris's post #13. The cost will be lower than the value you will lose by blowing those wheels apart! If you are budgeting, then find a pair of 28" English wheels to use until you can upgrade down the road or find an affordable wood rideable wheel set. Many of us have two sets of wheels for our bicycles; the cherished originals that are safely saved and the second rider wheels.

Good luck! Please post pictures of the tires and and bicycle for us to see. I am very curious as those hubs/wheels are sexy as Mr. McCauley would say!
 
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Kennewick Man

Look Ma, No Hands!
At the end of the day if the hoops are true and the spokes good.. service the hubs and get some Robert Dean single tubes. You aren't going to ride a century with them but they're rideable. Then if you really want to ride the bike you can just build a set of modern wheels for it when budget allows
The hoops aren’t true as it stands and it’s difficult to gauge the integrity of the spokes with the light coating of rust that’s present on them. And you touched on something that I agree with; I’m not interested in taking it on long rides but the occasional trip around a park or two. A while I’m convinced I could ride it, the frame is a tad taller than what I’m accustomed to so I’d take it super easy. I think at this point I’m convinced by the collective expertise here that leaving them alone is the way forward.
 

Kennewick Man

Look Ma, No Hands!
Seeing as the spokes are tired and soldered, unless you plan to spend an entire work week deconstructing the ties there is really no easy way to save them. You are probably also going to run into a nipple or two (or more…) that will most likely be seized. So plan your attack slowly and carefully.
New straight pull spokes are made in nearly every size so that’s not the issue, but for you material may be. Stainless is your only option unless you somehow find nos. In witch case what will you gain in the end?
Who doesn’t love wheels and the plethora of choices they come with!??
I feel like thinking about the wheels has been the most challenging aspect of this restoration. Everyone’s input here has given me a greater degree of clarity so now ill just have to heed the advice and build a modern set
 
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