Sporadically I wander the neighborhood for discarded bicycles before they get scooped up by the metal scavengers or waste disposal engineers. I came across a 3-speed CCM made in late 1977 – or at least the Shimano components date to that time.

Old CCM 3-Speed

Rust has built up on various portions of the bicycle, leaving it’s restoration dubious besides it being too small a frame for me. The reason I had for picking it up in the first place was the three speed Shimano hub on the back wheel. It’s internally geared, sealed and still ratchets fine.

The only problem (or is it…) – the rim is steel and slightly too large to fit a bike designed for 26″ mountain bike wheels. The brilliant plan I have is to learn how to build a bicycle wheel!

Indeed this is what I did this weekend, with eventual success. Following instructions from the late Mr. Sheldon Brown’s website, referencing existing wheels and finally following truing instructions on the late Mr. Ken Kifer’s website. As an aside – it’s very sad that some of the best sites regarding cycling where created by people who are now deceased.

Sadly, while test fitting the wheel to a bicycle I discovered the sprocket teeth are slightly differently spaced than modern multi-speed bike chains. I suspect it has more in common with a track bike.

That basically puts this project on hold. I now need to source appropriate sized chain and cranks to match this cog before proceeding.

The ultimate goal was to convert a mountain bike into an all weather grocery hauler. With the sealed gearing I could eliminate some of the mechanical wear caused by the elements and still have a small range of gears.

Despite the stall to this project, I’m pleased to have learned all about wheel building and truing – this was a gap in my mechanical abilities that should prove valuable in the years to come.