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Affordable metal wheels - your thoughts

1063 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Pete Thornton
Folks in the lower 48, what is your opinion of the better affordable metal wheels for freight cars? I know Ted and Greg probably have researched this…
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the better affordable metal wheels for freight cars?
Bachmann metal wheels are affordable, and if you buy a box of 6 cards (x4 wheels) they are even better. Star Hobby sells the 6 cards for $89. They are cast and not as good as proper turned wheels, but most folk are happy with them.

Al Kramer's Roll-ez wheels, which he sells on eBay are well regarded. I've used USAT wheels and Gary Raymonds Wheels, plus the Sierra Valley, ex-Gary Watkins, wheels now sold by Jason at TTD. Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet - they are all good.
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Pete, I agree. There was a time in large scale that you could ask any price and folks would pay it. Me personally, I only have one set from the messiah of metal wheels. Ive got a bunch of B wheels, a few sets came in wide gauge, nothing a socket, a vise and hammer couldn't resolve.
Hard to beat the price on Bachmann wheels, not as good as the others (cast vs machined) but will do the job. The occasional wobbly one can be tossed at the price. (be careful, the Bachmann come in 2 different sizes)

Better wheels at about $21 per 4 axles from RLDHobbies.com, and as mentioned the Al Kramer ones.

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(be careful, the Bachmann come in 2 different sizes)
There's actually a third type that I've been seeing recently - the Spectrum 1:20.3 wheelsets from their freight cars. A little more expensive.
Better wheels at about $21 per 4 axles from RLDHobbies.com
Keep your eyes out on FB Marketplace and eBay. We picked up 64 USAT silver axles (16 sets of 4 axles/8 wheels) for $50 in a local estate sale.
Pete, thats very true, with the average age of the hobby, mortuaries stay busy and stuff comes up for sale that way.

Greg, i took a peek and RLD's $21.50 for blackened wheels isn't that much more than B wheels. He does offer excellent service at a reasonable price.
There's an FGRS guy who seems to have a deal on the Bachmann wheels - selling 48 axles for $160, which works at $14/pack of 4. I think he wants you to buy the box of 48 (which is 2 boxes of 24 - the normal Bachmann supply is 6 cards of 4 axles in a box.
I guess some guys could get together and order a box and split them, but sometimes that is a pain or a disaster.
I'd give Star Hobby in MD a call. The 48-axle deal might be in stock and they might sell you a few less than a full box.
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