Saturday, 24 January 2009

I feel the need........

but not for speed, though that may perchance come as standard with a pair of new wheels.

Being a fat bloke, when I obtained the Trek last February, I opted to upgrade the wheelset from the standard Bontrager wheels to a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Equipes. This was on the basis that they were a pretty bomb-proof pair of wheels, and I shouldn't have the spoke snapping problems I had 2 years ago.

This was indeed true, I never snapped a spoke on them. However, they may have been bomb-proof, they weren't bum-proof. After 12 months of hard braking trying (mostly successfully) to arrest the huge momentum of descending lard it appears that it hasn't been just the brake blocks wearing out, but also the wheel rims. The wear indicator is long-gone, and the braking surface is now largely concave, especially on the front wheel. Time to replace them before the rim folds over mid-ride, jams the brake, and brings me to an unexpected messy halt.

I initially toyed with the idea of hand built wheels based on Mavic Open-Pro CD rims (harder braking surface, lasts longer) but in the end was swayed by a just-about second-hand pair of wheels. These wheels had been on a display bike at the bike shop, the bike now being sold, but with the wheels surplus to requirements as the owner had a pair of ridiculously expensive Zipps. The bike shop wanted rid, so I am now the proud owner of a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elites, a step up from my existing wheels, and a bargain as they were already shod with Michelin Tyres and tubes. A snip at £150 when the RRP of the wheels alone is more than twice that.

Chuffed. Playing with the rear wheel tomorrow, the front can wait 'til the Sportive Season. I still need my handbuilt dynamo-equipped front wheel for Winter Audaxes that finish in the dark.

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