Sunday, February 05, 2006

More Power Than Magnus

I broke my first wheel this week.

I train on Bontrager Race Lite wheels, the ones that came with my bike. For the price they're extremely sturdy, reliable wheels that hardly ever fall out of true and spin fairly fast. Needless to say, I've put a ton of miles on them over the course of a season and a half, and I always ride pretty hard, even in training.

As I started out on my ride a couple days ago, I noticed a distinct wobble in the rear wheel. Suspecting a pothole had knocked it out of true, I headed to the bike shop just a few blocks away. Got the wheel onto the truing stand when one of my mechanics said, "I can't fix this."

"Huh?" I asked.


Sure enough, the wheel was beyond repair. The spokes had actually started to pull through the rim in three places, with one spot in particular being extremely cracked. The rim was barely hanging on and the integrity of the whole was more than compromised.

Lucky for me I have a spare set, so I rode home slowly and went back to the shop later to change out the cassette. They're going to rebuild the broken wheel when a new rim comes in. In the meantime, I've still got a spare pair of training wheels, so it's not a major crisis.

It takes a lot of stress to break a rim like that, and though I'm sure it was just the combination of a few potholes and thousands of miles ridden that did it, a little part of me wants to think these pistons I call legs are really to blame...

Yeah right.