Back in the early/mid 80's, I bought my Europa. She was my only ride (though I rode on and off) until I bought a new bike a few years back ... and discovered I loved the old girl and reincarnated her as a fixed-gear ... then changed the wheels for 700c with a track hub at the back.
Meanwhile, her old wheels sat in the shed.
The humble old Road Chief, which has had more configurations than a supermodel changes dresses, is currently being kitted out with old style bits, but better quality than I've been using, so my gaze fell upon those old wheels in the shed.
I pulled off the old rubber, spent an aeon or three with the Autosol cleaning off the crud and corroded alloy (all nice and shiney now), then popped them into the wheel truing jig.
Guess what - after a quarter of a century or more, those wheels are still within half a mm of true! You can see a tiny wiggle if you have a reference mark but you wouldn't touch it (be happy to get it if starting from scratch).
Exceltoo (France) hubs.
Obviously well built in the first place ... and a sizeable dose of luck.
How many modern wheels will still be true in 25 years time?
Richard, you are obviously a supporter of recycling . . . cycling bits.
I hate the modern concept of disposable bikes. Sure, bits wear out but the industry would have you believe you need a new bike when the rear cassette's worn or the shifters are a bit sloppy.
Still can't believe them old wheels.
perhaps it depends on how many thousand Ks they have done.
marketing curently is aimed at lightweight rather than being robust.
Nah Don, you walk into a shop and start asking about a frame to ride for the rest of your life and you'll get a blank look, with maybe someone reaching for the phone to get the doctors.
Interestingly, when I told Paul Hillbrick I wanted a frame to last me out, he knew exactly what I meant, and still built me a light bike ... for the budget I had. Yes, your carbon racer is a couple of kilo lighter, but this isn't a racer and wears a carrier and 'heavy' Brooks, it never was going to be a lightweight rocketship, that's the next bike I build (if I can finance it).
With these wheels, if they'd done many more thousands of kms, sure they probably would have moved a bit, but they've been ridden hard, commuted on, used on worse roads than the ones we get now, generally ignored and abused, and they're spot on - that's a pretty good effort for any component, and they aren't superheavyweight items either.
I hear you. Im still rocking wheels from 1990. The bike I road today (my "fast" bike), is from '86 and is still rocking, got some great wheels with circa 2003 hubs and 32 spokes - some bikes dont have that many in total let alone in one wheel. Will go to my grave with me.
Like a Viking buried with his boat.
There's a lot to be said for a long term relationship with a bike. I say the vikings got it right.
often you don't really know if you have a bargain until you have had many years use from it.
many products these days seem to die young.
Sorry to be nit picky but Ambrosia is a salad or drink im sure you mean Ambrosio - the symbol of everything that is beautiful and sexy in cycling and the choice of pros for smashing pave for decades see http://www.velominati.com/nostalgia/the-seduction-of-symbols/. Once again sorry to bring this up but not a good mistake to make in this holiest of holy weeks.
Rats, where'd I leave my ashes and sackcloth.
Come rain, hail, heat or getting out of bed far too late, I WILL ride my bike to work tomorrow as penance.
You are a good man Richard. Obviously, look at the wheels you roll
Thankee kind sir, and now that I think of it, the Hillbrick wears wheels, cranks, seat post and brakes by Miche, another Italian firm that's been around since the early days of cycling. Her frame is made of Columbus tubing, Italian again. The saddle is pommy while the bars and brake levers are Japanese, but the important stuff features Italian engineering with Australian artistry. No wonder she works so well.