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bike bling

Gradually the lure of the sparkling world beyond Shimano is making itself felt – it could be a long and slippery slope.

New hubs! They're pretty and they are smooth as butter.

The old wheel - the Shimano hub has seen 25 000 kilometres and is in a sorry state at this late stage of its life. To its credit it has endured many a torrid river crossing and plenty of tough terrain. The rim is a cheapie emergency replacement that never had a true moment in its short life.

Rigida Sputnik rims, Hope Pro III hubs and Sapim Strong spokes - quality parts are a good start, but wheel building is a serious business requiring...

... expert hands...

... and a sense of reverence that honours the solemnity of the task. As luck would have it, Aaron - a touring cyclist on a world trip - has just decided to stop off for a six months to a year in Quito as the chief mechanic at Tatoo's bike workshop and so is available to take the job in hand. I lace the wheels while he supervises and then he trues and tensions the wheel. And while he's at it he checks out the rest of my bike.

Ah, look at that!

My old front wheel was not, strictly speaking, a write-off but... while I was replacing the back wheel I couldn't keep myself from going the whole hog...

...and if a box of parts is arriving from afar then why not replace a few other worn out bits and pieces.


Gratuitous bike part photo - I love my thumbies!

{ 6 } Comments

  1. Tony | May 4, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Wheel building certainly is an art. Finding a good builder can be difficult. You’d be interested to know that Quentin is a very good wheel builder. It looks like you have done your homework and you should have a very, very durable wheelset. Remember to have a quick check of the spoke tension after a short running in period.

    It’s interesting to note how many ks you got on your original hubs. Whatever your opinion is regarding Shimano, they build very reliable stuff.

    Just got a new wheelset myself recently, and it has increased my riding enjoyment. Hope (pardon the pun) these do the same for you. Cesca sends her love.

  2. Cesca | May 4, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Looking good! I remember sporting a set of Rigida rims back when I was a bike courier and from memory they were great.

  3. anna | May 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi Tony and Cesc, great to hear from you both.

    I’ve had no real complaints about my Shimano hubs – they did really well – but I’m hoping that these require less fiddly maintenance over the long haul.

  4. Lindsay Badenoch | May 5, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Fabulous! I never got to look at any of them. Now the mystery is revealed….

  5. Sarah | May 17, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    All this bike part talk – you’re getting to be like the boys! (-;

  6. anna | May 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I had that very same thought, Sarah!

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