I had a chance to race cyclocross for the first time this weekend. It's actually more fun than I thought it would be. Running with your bike is still weird, though. I thought of some music analogies:
Road biking: Classic rock, but only Led Zepplin Mountain biking: 80's Hip Hop BMX: Punk / Crossover (Green Day, Offspring, etc.) Trials: Punk / Underground Track: Modern Jazz Cyclocross: Marching Band (Carrying your instruments for no good reason) Freeride: Adult Alternative Bike Commuting: Techno/House
I had a chance to win a KM recently. It went to a better cause than me. Mine would be geared, with cement poured in the frame tubes, as heavy components as I can find, and a PowerTap. I want to feel the little, baby hills around here.
I'm done rebuilding my Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheel off my HiFi 29". Finishing (truing and tensioning) the wheel was pretty easy. I screwed up the lacing a couple times - I forgot to mention that in the last post. I probably didn't need new spokes, but the nipples were toast. The finished wheel is pretty close, if not identical to the original. Seting both this wheel and its brother tubeless was a priority because: It's lighter (2 tubes = 1 lb.). It provides more traction because of lower pressure. You don't get flats as often (or never).
The tubeless setup was super easy to put together. I did it with just the Stan's yellow tape - no rim strip. It's holding air after 2 weeks. I wanted to make sure the spoke holes were protected enough, but I didn't want to build the shoulder of the rim up so much that the tire bead would not seat. Instead of adding a double or triple layer of tape, which would start to encroach on that space, I cut little squares of tape and ploped them right over the holes. After that, I went over all that with a continuous layer of tape. Before taping, I knocked of the burrs on the rim with some sandpaper. To summarize:
28 spokes, 2-cross lacing Hub: Bontrager Rhythm Elite (DT Swiss 240?) Rim: (new) Bontrager Rhythm Comp/Elite 29" Spokes: (new) DT Swiss 2.0/1.8 X 286mm - Black Nipples: (new) DT Swiss 2.0 X 12 mm - Silver Tape: Stan's yellow tape 25 mm Flow Sealant: Stan's, 2 scoops Valve stem: Stan's Standard
I'm running around 25 psi in the tires, currently. It's surprising how much traction that gives you. Lovely!
In the process of pumping a tire up too much, it blew off the rim. The rim was pretty far gone from the event, but I trued it up enough to ride the rest of the bike racing season. I fixed the wheel with a new rim and all new spokes. That's the first wheel I ever built. I didn't have any tools except a spoke wrench. I used my rear wheel dropouts to spin the wheel as I tightened the spokes and kept it true. My only regret is that I used a really light oil (3 in 1) to lubricate the spokes. There is special spoke prep on the market which would have been better. At least I have a wheel again.
I'm experimenting with a tubeless setup that I will explain in a later post. Almost time to get out the XC skis!