View Full Version : 20" BMX Wheel - 68 Spokes!

03-31-2009, 01:04 PM
Looking to start my first build with a Kyoto Cruiser and looking for 20" wheel sources. I think trikeman has cleared out all the thrift stores around here as I have come up empty handed in the Smyrna, GA area.

From my research here and elsewhere, it sounds like a good price for a 20" wheelset runs around 40 to 50 bucks per wheel. Is that what most folks are paying?

I was looking around online and saw at wally world a 20 inch bmx bike with 68 spoke wheels (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=4990071) for $59.66!

If I plan to lace these to my own hub flanges (after drilling out all those holes) then all I really need is the rim and spokes.

I could pick up a second bike and this would give me the front wheel and fork with an extra rear wheel for a future project :)

The tires look pretty fat but do not have an aggressive tread pattern - looks like a decent road and light trail tire.

Should I keep looking, or would anyone consider this a good find?


03-31-2009, 02:06 PM
Dang - more competition lol. Seriously though I haven't bought a thrift store bike in months, so it is probably someone else. Welcome to the krew neighbor!

The good thing about Wally World bikes is you get a lot of useful components with them for almost nothing. Of course some of the components are worth nothing. The problem with just starting with a rim and buying spokes, is that they want an arm and a leg for spokes (about 50 cents each). How many 20" wheels are you looking for?

03-31-2009, 03:30 PM
Seeing as those wheels cost about $35 each with no tubes or tires or reflectors, I'd say it's a great find. I modded some of those wheels quite easily. The first pic is a front wheel that was modded for a rear wheel for a quad.
I cut two washers with a 1 1/4" hole saw, removed the axles and cups from the hub, and welded the washers in. In this case, I keyed the washer so the wheel could be nutted on and removed, but you could also just weld it to the axle. I threaded the axle a little long so I could screw on a spinner I made. I never got around to making the quad, and used the axles for my DR.
The second pic is a rear wheel. I removed the 3/8" axle and replaced it with a 14mm axle. The spinner was made with a left side BB shell, which threads onto the freewheel threads.



I ended up welding the front wheel to another axle that I threaded to accept the spinner. I'll take a pic to show that.

03-31-2009, 03:41 PM
Here's the welded hub: (Someday I'll get around to that quad!)



03-31-2009, 06:11 PM
Hey there, mrscotty

Just a heads up. If you happen to find yourself heading to downtown Atlanta, check out Sopo Bikes on Flat Shoals Ave. They are a non-profit, community-based bicycle repair shop that is doing a lot of good out there. They have a large collection of donated bike frames and parts, (including 20" wheels), most of which you can buy for $5 to $25. They are a 501(c)3 organization, so your purchase is tax deducible to boot. It's a sweet deal and you get to support a good local cause.


03-31-2009, 09:16 PM
Those wheels honestly aren't worth it, unless all you are after is looks. They are a cheap rim and radially laced, so there isn't much strength. Less than a 36h wheel laced 3 cross. Pretty heavy too.

03-31-2009, 09:59 PM
Stopped by the store today to see what the bike looked like. Not a bad ride, and the standard hub flanges were much larger than the typical ones that I have seen on 24-spoke wheels. The rims were aluminum but I did notice that they had a seam in them. I guess the next price point up gets you seamless rims.

I did notice that the front wheel was laced differently than the rear wheel. The front spokes were threaded sequentially while the rear ones overlapped. This would look rather odd if I tried to use the front and rear off this bike as my two rear wheels on the KC trike. Sounds like I should keep looking or just pick up two of the bikes.

Thanks for the picks, Kid. I can see that it would make sense to try and use the existing hub (particularly with 60+ spokes) and welding the washers into the ends makes sense.

For the money, I think it is a pretty good deal.

trikeman, I am just going to need the three wheels for the KC for now. But based on what I have read here, I will be trolling for parts for my next build in no time. We shall see.

03-31-2009, 10:04 PM
Those wheels honestly aren't worth it, unless all you are after is looks. They are a cheap rim and radially laced, so there isn't much strength. Less than a 36h wheel laced 3 cross. Pretty heavy too.

I wrote my previous post before refreshing the page to see your comment. I think I plan to approach the KC build by finding good deals on mid-range parts. If I get lucky with some second hand stuff off craigslist, then great. Otherwise, I will just source the stuff new.

Where can I get a decent quality 20" wheelset, and how much should I expect to dish out?

Should I just get something at the local bike shop?

03-31-2009, 10:17 PM
These guys have some pretty good deals, especially when they are on sale.


Also try:


03-31-2009, 10:40 PM
Also, since you are going to be building the rear hubs, you may as well just get a rim and some spokes and lace it up. If you build the flanges to a common size (matched with a production hub) you can get the spokes from Dan's too. They have standard spokes for 20 cents each with a nipple. They have a pretty good deal running on rims (http://www.danscomp.com/422009.php?cat=PARTS) too, but it seems they are all out of 48 hole. The next cheapest is these (http://www.danscomp.com/420134.php?cat=PARTS), in 48h. I run the Alienations on my BMX and they are still true, despite being an off brand.

03-31-2009, 10:42 PM
Those wheels honestly aren't worth it, unless all you are after is looks. They are a cheap rim and radially laced, so there isn't much strength. Less than a 36h wheel laced 3 cross. Pretty heavy too.

I used them on my first quad, an American Speedster PVC. Despite the PVC warping with every major temp change, the wheels held up. Mine have steel rims, which are a disaster with caliper brakes on wet roads. Cantilever brakes are much better with steel rims, but they still tend to grip less when wet. Even though they're radially spoked, they're strong enough if you ride normally. If you plan on doing anything radical, then I would go on the safe side and use 36 or 48 spokes with a 3 cross pattern.
The bike pictured is a BMX, so I assume they cross spoked the rear wheel in case kids wanted to beat the bike up.