Dropping Out

The snazzy new kevlar-belted tires for the Trek arrived Friday night. I got them mounted on Saturday. I was having some problems getting the rear wheel reinstalled.
I was starting to think I had really messed up the rear wheel when I destroyed the tire. After a frantic post to the iBob list, I realized I had one of the springs in the QR skewer installed backwards. A dumbass mistake, and easily corrected.At long last, I was out the door and back on my bike. After a week on the Diamondback, everything felt wonderful, snappy, and fast. The only downside was that my hands were reaching for bar-end shifters, and now we were back to downtubes. Maybe I’ll get some bar-ends for this bike someday, too.

Anyways, I was rolling up to a 4-way-stop intersection, and a car was coming the other way. I decided I was gonna beat him to the intersection, so I upshifted, stood, and stomped on the pedals with a manly force that I’m sure would have made some truly heroic acceleration… Except what happened was that I tore the rear wheel out of the dropouts. Oops. Didn’t tighten them down correctly.

Yes, this has happened to me before.

This time it was worse. The brake pads dove under the rim, and the whole bike went sideways. I almost crashed, but I managed to get a foot unclipped, saving myself from total embarrasment.
My rear wheel went out of true in a pretty bad way. Luckily, I had some tools with me, and I was able to adjust the brakes and fenders enough to make the bike rideable.

I seriously thought about calling Brandi for the rescue wagon, but I made it home honorably; under my own power.

Last night, I got a belated birthday present from some family members. A gift certificate to the LBS in Mifflinburg. This place is cool because it’s run by Mennonites, for Mennonites. These people ride their bikes all over the place, all year round. I think I might use my gift certificate to have the wheel professionally trued by these people. They probably know what they are doing. I see them carrying large loads of produce to market on the backs of thier bikes, so they must know a thing or two about strong wheels.

Speaking of strong wheels, Jim (of “Oil is for Sissies” fame) is starting up his own shop, and he is building me a custom 48-spoke super-duty rear wheel for the Diamondback. I broke a spoke on my mountain biking adventure, and want something indestructable.

Hopefully, I don’t have to take such drastic action for the Trek. It has 126mm dropout spacing and the cantilever studs are set for a 630mm (27″) wheel. If I have a new wheel built, I’ll probably want to go with more modern 135mm dropout spacing, so I can use standard 8/9/10 speed components. I’d also want to use modern 622mm wheels, so I have a wider selection of tires. That would require cold-setting the frame, and having the canti studs re-brazed 4mm lower on the forks.

By the time I get done having two new wheels built and have the frame reconfigured (and it’ll have to be repainted after that), it probably would have been cheaper to just buy a whole new bike. I’m not sure I want to do that though. The Trek has certain mystical/spiritual properties I’m not sure I could find in a new bike.

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