Sunday, February 12, 2012

bike related...

it's been a while since I posted, and even longer since I posted something bike related... 

As one or two of you might know, I have had my commuting bike for the past 2.5 years, and this is the 3rd Winter that it has had to endure (I bought in October 2009, so that makes sense ;) ...

Well, after several chains, sets of brake pads, a couple sets of tires, and (from my best educated guestimate) 8000+ miles, the first MAJOR part of the bike has failed and has been replaced.

For the last couple of weeks I have felt a slight pulsating in the rear wheel under braking. I didn't think too much of it (as this bike, at this age and amount of use has it's occasional issues) and dismissed it as the wheel being slightly out of true, or a gash/divot in the wheel from one of Bostons ubiquitous pot-holes... I had given the wheel a few quick visual inspections and really didn't see anything too out of the ordinary... that is until last Wednesday...

That is when the brake started to drag in that same pulsating fashion as described above... but much more pronounced and NOT under braking. It was @ 11pm and I was traveling home from class when the wheel (I suspect after one of Cambridge's many road abnormalities) began to behave this way... 

...I stopped, and (in the dark) could not quite figure out why. I suspected that the wheel must've fallen further out of true to the point where it was hitting the brake pad even when not using the brake, so I released the V-Brake calipers and made due w/ the front brakes only, assuring myself that I would inspect and repair everything come the weekend when I had the time...

...the wheel had other ideas. 

I have ridden on a "less than" true wheel out of necessity on a few occasions, and that's what I thought was the case here... that was until I got about 1.5 miles from home the next morning and the wheel began to drag (after another pot-hole) even though the rear calipers were dis-engaged. 

It was at this time that I finally saw and realized what had been (slowly) happening over that last several days and 50-60 or so miles... 


Yup, the braking surface of the rim of my wheel completely failed...

Ok, I admit that once or twice I let the brake pads get low so the actual shoes were rubbing metal to metal... but this is definitely more a testament to the corrosive effects of New England Winters combined with constant use.

This unfortunate event actually spurred me to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time, and that is to build my own wheel ... which is exactly what I did!

I went down to Harris and purchased a new rim, hub, and spokes... I then took these pieces, consulted my copy of Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance , and had at it...

I now have my first "hand built" wheel (and one built by my hand, no less!). 

I used a DT-Swiss TK-540 36 spoke count rim ...


laced to an origin 8 rear hub (120mm)





We'll see how it goes tomorrow on it's inaugural run!

2 comments:

  1. Hi, how are the TK-540 rims holding up? I've just got myself a pair and am planning on lacing them to a Phil Wood rear hub and Schmidt SON 28 front hub with DT Alpine III spokes. Are these rims pretty bombproof?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reuben,

      Sorry for the late reply; yes it has been pretty solid! I only have the TK-540 out back (the front, stock rim is actually holding strong, so I have no desire to replace it until it no longer is viable) but being the back wheel it takes a lot of abuse on these Boston area roads... I have been riding on it regularly since this post, and can't say anything bad about it. Thanks for the comment!

      Delete