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I recently purchased an 80's Japanese bike off craigslist called "Jupiter King." It has 27 inch tires but I want to switch to 700c for greater wheel/tire selection. I specifically want some nice yellow wheels with yellow rim. Help? I am quite a noob with bikes. Thanks for any help/advice.

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I edited the title of your question so that it would better reflect what you were asking. I also took out the stuff about 10 speed because it's irrelevant to wheel/tire size compatibility. If you want to ask more about that, just ask in another question. Good luck with the conversion! – jimirings Jul 3 '12 at 18:53
Yeah, you'd have to get new wheels. That's $80-150, if you don't get anything fancy. And then you hope that the brakes will still work. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 3 '12 at 20:09

You may or may not be able to make that conversion with your existing brake/frame combination. Your brakes will have to reach farther because a 700c wheel is a smidge smaller than a 27 inch wheel. Depending on your setup, that may be possible. I'd recommend borrowing a 700c wheelset from someone to see if you can line it all up. If it all lines up, great. Purchase whatever 700c wheelset strikes your fancy. If not, you may be able to purchase brakes with a longer reach. Some older frames still won't work with 700c wheels even with the longest brakes available. If that's the case for your frame, you're stuck with 27's.

Personally, if it were me and I couldn't get it to work with the existing brakes, I'd stick with 27 inch wheels. If you start having to swap brakes out, it starts to get iffy and frankly, I think it's more hassle than it's worth. It's a lot easier (and maybe cheaper) to just start hunting for a frame that already has 700s on it.

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A possibility that should always be considered, even in a "classic" bike, is to reposition the rear brake "bridge" on the frame via removal and re-brazing/re-welding, or to use some clever (!) adapter. THAT would be extra work... ;o) – heltonbiker Jul 3 '12 at 20:37
Believe it or not, that was something I considered with a past rebuild. But you can't reposition where the front brake attaches and I was hesitant to jimi-rig an adapter for something crucial like the brakes. – jimirings Jul 4 '12 at 2:47

The difference between 700C and 27" is pretty small. The rims are 622mm and 630mm so the actual change in brake shoe position is 4mm (less than 1/4"). Look at your brakes and decide whether they will suit. You may be able to change the brakes to ones with longer arms (assuming caliper types).

Another issue may be the rear hub as these have got wider over the years. If it's only a couple of mm you can probably spring the rear forks enough to fit. If it's more than that I would advise you to find a frame builder who can reset the forks.

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