1.26.2007

Hate Whent that Happens... PART II

yesterday there were a few offers for assistance for fixing my rear wheel
a few comments on the blog
an email
and a phone call

thanks to all who offered assistance
after looking at things more closely it seemed as if there was no damage to the rim
the spoke was in tact
all I would need would to replace the nipple and true the wheel

at home I have a stand for trueing wheels
and I have nipples
I also have a belly button
so... I felt as if I had all things covered

after an evening of crazy kids I went to the basement as the kids went to sleep
once in the basement I fired up the iPod and put the fixie in the stand
went through the simple process of removing the wheel from the bike, the tire and tube from the rim, then the rim tape was peeled away
a replacement nipple was not hard to find and put in place
in no time at all I was on a stool spinning the wheel in the stand

ouch... ugly
the brakeless wheel can step out of true un-noticed
there were far more hops then what was created by the popping of that spoke from the rim
in my less than skilled way I tried to lessen the hops
working for a personal best rather than perfection
as perfection is beyond my scope

not sure who built this wheel but they did one heck of a job
but... the tension is super tight
maybe too tight
as there is not much room for correction
not far into my repair another nipple fails
another spoke pops free from the rim

no worries
I repeat the process
pull the tire and tube from the rim
yes, I should have trued the wheel without replacing the tire and the tube
so I had to remove the tire and tube, then peel back the rim tape
replaced another nipple and put the wheel back into the trueing stand

after a little time and a little frustration I was finished with my personal best
my personal best may not be as good as best possible

and most certainly is a bit shy of perfect
but this is a beater and there are no brakes to hit the rim
so the slight imperfections here and there are no real worries

I returned the tire and tube to the rim after replacing the rim tape
pumped things up to maximum capacity
replaced the wheel to the bike
and locked things down tight
a little lube on the chain and I was done with my quick fix

went upstairs to the television and the blog feeling like a regular mechanic

the morning came as mornings do
the boys were wild as usual
their pre-school attention was on Star Wars figures

not on getting dressed
not on eating breakfast
there were battles filled with more whinning than light sabers
each of them had characters that the other wanted
lisa and I did that over assisted parenting that we know we should not do
but anything to stop the screaming
the boys were eventually dressed
more deals
more promises

breakfast was made little was eaten

finally I was out the door walking the dog in the brutal cold
drinking my second cup of coffee
a cup of coffee that was hot when I stepped outside the house
was cold by the time I finished crossing the street
it was that short pre-work walk in the woods
maybe 15 maybe 20 minutes
strickly maintenance
enough time for the dog to pee, poop, and chase a squirrel

back in the house
down to the basement
layered up for my short ride
once dressed I felt that I should have just thrown on the snowboard pants and some hiking boots and taken the old mountain bike with flat pedals
the quick commuter option
but I wanted to get on that rear wheel so that the spokes could settle and I could try and set things straight in the afternoon

before I stepped on the bike in the alley behind my house I noticed something
I looked in closer
sure enough
with a slight pull on the rear triangle up where the welds meet the seat tube not far from the seat post itself there was a gap
the weld had cracked
it was a small weld on an old bike
not sure when this break occurred
but from the looks of the chipped paint it did not happen as I walked the bike up from the basement

already being late I figured it would be best to just deal with things and pedal in slowly to work

as I rode the bike I tried to feel if there was additional flex
glanced back to see if the gap open and closed as I rode
then I started to think through that long list of "what if..."s
I slowed my already slow pace some more

as that one what if that other weld on the other side were to break as well
what if the brake occured while I were being tailgated by a fast moving car or while busting a move through an intersection
what if
what if
what if

what if I just get to work...

at work safe
need to get in touch with an artist friend who knows how to weld
get this thing welded
make things right again

time for work

1 comment:

iconoclasst said...

Sounds like the wheel was laced using aluminum nipples.

Brass, baby. Aluminum nipples shouldn't be the first choice for Cardiff giants, ha.

Good luck with the welding.