Sourcing 16in/305 rims + hub compatibility?

Hi, I have been creeping this forum for months, but am finally starting to make some moves towards actually building something!

In the pursuit of a tiny little cargo bike, I’m looking for a decent quality 16in front rim, and some info on whether that will work out fine with standard hubs. I was thinking about using a SA dynohub with the integrated drum brake. Seems like it would be a good compromise between my skillset, wallet, and ability to decipher disc brake mounting standards.

It looks like iso 349 has some availability, but I was having a hard time coming up with iso 305 that seemed like a good fit width-wise for a wide tire like the Schwalbe Pick-Ups.

My goal is to keep the cargo platform as low as possible, while still keeping it over the tire to avoid the length of a Long John style cargo.

I see other people do similar with 20in/406 wheels, but after seeing Colin Woof’s tiny cargo, I’m pretty enamored with the idea of a really little wheel on the front.

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I have a 15 year old 70mm drum version of that hub in the cursed parts bin. Mine was a dangerous brake. The post that the shoes pivot on is too far inboard of the drum and not rigid enough for safely consistent self-boosting geometry on the leading shoe. As the shoes bed in, the servo geometry on the leading shoe improves, and keeps on improving until it occasionally wedges itself locked on. Sometimes you have to roll the wheel backwards a couple of inches to release the brake. I stubbornly persisted at trying to make mine more reliable until a couple of surprise stoppies changed my mind.

The 90mm drums might be better. If the pivot doesn’t move inboard from the brake surface, the increased diameter should improve the geometry. They’re often used on velomobiles, some of which rack up extreme milage, and a quick search doesn’t turn up any complaints.

Anyway I don’t want to derail. I am intrigued to hear what comes up for those rims! Love Colin’s unconventional steering geometry on that bike too. 305’s would be nice for carrying volume and COG on a transit compatible mini cargo I’m thinking about building.

I built some 305 wheels during the pandemic and I had to buy complete wheels and then unlace them to get the rims. I’d also check AliExpress or eBay. 349 has more options because the Brompton is an enthusiast bike, but 305 is pretty much exclusively kids bikes and cargo trailers. I’d also check recumbent shops online, some trikes use them.

If you can fit 406 you’ll find much better rims and tires. 349 tires are generally narrow, the widest that I know of is the Greenspeed Scorcher which is about 40mm. Bromptons don’t fit anything over 35, so that is what most tires measure.

Thanks for the responses.

I’m open to buying a wheel and disassembling it, but what I see out there seems to be fairly narrow in regards to width - these for example are 19.9mm, which seems a poor match for the 2in+ wide Schwalbe’s.

If that isn’t a problem, I’ll just buy that and move on!

Farimiter, noted on the hub. Was just trying to think of something low maintenance and simple to build around. Might just do a rim brake, I’m not toting 50lbs down hills in the rain all that much. Avoiding a collision with a car pulling out in front of me is the bigger concern.

Depending on where you are located, St John Cycles in the UK has a dizzying selection of smaller rims and wheels. I am in the US and have purchased from them without issue (pre-Brexit).

St John Cycles - Wheels