Sunday, January 27, 2008

Velocipete, Wheelsmith

Apparently it's true, there's no such thing as a stupid question. Last week I asked the internets why Jana Ireton wasn't sending me notes signed "kisses" and then she goes and leaves a comment on my blog. Signed "many thanks"! Ah, well, it would never last anyway.

I managed to get my Triumph converted over from a single speed to a three speed this afternoon. I had built the wheel last weekend and spent some time here and there doing final truing over the last week. I'm one of those people who will continue to fiddle with something until it gets broken so this afternoon I finally took the wheel out of the stand and mounted it on the bike. To take advantage of the extra gearing I had to replace the grips, run a new shift cable and housing and mount an old bar end shifter I had lying around. I took it for a quick spin in the neighborhood and everything tested out fine. However I'm packing a 15mm wrench for tomorrow's commute, just in case any post-installation issues should arise. I'm hoping it's fine, but I'm always nervous after making a major configuration change like this until I've got a ride or two under my belt. But my knees haven't been enjoying the hills here in Eagan on the singlespeed, so this was a good way to find a better method.

This is the first time I'd built a wheel from scratch. The wheel itself is built around a Sturmey-Archer three speed hub from 1976. It's a 36 hole hub which I'm told means it most likely was manufactured for Schwinn. Kevin was clearing out some parts and made me a deal on it. I got a Salsa Delgado rim and the spokes from Hiawatha. The wheelbuilding portion was actually quite straightforward. As long as you pay attention and don't miss a hole it's not too hard. It got a little more interesting when I started thinking about dish and roundness and lateral trueness and spoke tension and all those finer points, but I think I built a decent wheel. Time is the revelator, as they say. Either way, I'm glad to have built it. Yet another mechanical item that, while I'm not a master of, I feel much more comfortable with.

Date: January 23
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Triumph
January mileage: 264
Year to date mileage: 264

Date: January 24
Mileage: 10
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Triumph
January mileage: 274
Year to date mileage: 274

Date: January 26
Mileage: 19
Ride type/Bike: Hiawatha/Triumph
January mileage: 293
Year to date mileage: 293


rigtenzin said...

Let's see a photo of the Triumph. Good job on the wheel.

Fritz said...

But she wrote "I wanted to personally send you kisses" so who cares how she signed it!

I regularly ride my bike not far from her home in California. I'd try to get her autograph for you but I don't want to be all creepy stalker like.