Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Wheel Destroyer Strikes Again

I happen to enjoy riding in the dark.  Strangely, I feel that the darkness makes my illuminated self more visible to the other people, cars and bikes on the road.  So this morning, I headed out extra early for a ride that would get me to the office still in the darkness.  And heading up Alexander to the Bridge, I got passed by a group of three guys (not unusual).  Rather than let them pass me like I usually do, I tried my damnedest to close the gap.  Upon reaching the peak, I gave up, totally gassed from keeping up.  On the path down to the Bridge, I rolled unconsciously just trying to catch my breath.  All of a sudden, I hit something in the road and was almost ejected from the bike.  At the same time, I heard a huge crack coming from the rear wheel.

Crap.  Did I really just snap another frame?  Not my new steel frame?!?  At best I cracked the wheel.  Crap, crap, crap.  I immediately felt that uncomfortable wobble coming from the back wheel going flat.  I pulled over, flipped the bike onto the handlebars and got to work.  Pulling the rear wheel from the frame, besides the tube being flat, I was caught off guard by the cassette falling off the wheel to the ground.  Usually the wheel and cassette are physically attached to each other.  I changed the tube, jammed the wheel back together with the cassette in place and flipped the bike over.  I checked the wheel and frame but couldn’t find any cracks.  I got the chain lined up and quickly realized that there would be no shifting for the rest of the ride.  Making it to my parking stall, I was thrilled to be in one piece.

After work, I was impressed with myself that the rear tube held its air.  I opted for the Ferry ride home and rode straight to the bike shop.  Under the shop’s lighting, upon dismantling the rear wheel, and the cassette falling to the floor again, it became obvious that the rear hub was struggling.  I was informed that there is an axel inside the hub, which is almost impossible to damage, that I succeeded in snapping in half.  Woohoo!!  A new hub has been ordered and we can hopefully make the repairs.  Otherwise, its another $400 for a new Velocity wheel.  I must say, however, that these Deep V Wheels are the best wheels that I have ever ridden.