This Space for Rent



The shifting on the kit bike’s rear wheel has been periodically funky (a couple of the middle gears need to be nudged when shifting up) and after riding around Powell & Clatsop Buttes & Mount Tabor I took a look and realized that I had the rear wheel in a bit crooked (the rear triangle was a tiny bit offset to the DS, but that’s not why the wheel was crooked – the wheel was crooked because I hand-fabricated an axle end for the 7-8 speed White hub I was using – I bought it cheaply on ebay because it was missing the no-longer-made-by-white axle end – and didn’t put an axle stub on my replacement. So over time the NDS end of the axle would slide backwards and crook everything out of alignment) and when I straightened it out the wheel was shifted noticably towards the NDS.

No problem; I’ve a truing stand, so it’s just a matter of carefully – because of the handmade axle end – putting the wheel in and then sliding the rim sideways by tightening the DS spokes and loosening the NDS spokes.

A good idea up until one of the spokes went PING and the nipple started spinning freely on the end of the spoke.

One of the NDS spokes. One of the “already not very tensioned because it was an NDS spoke on a hub that I’d narrowed to 128mm by fabricating a short axle end” NDS spokes.

Sigh. At least some nice driver had given me a pair of spare wheels by running his car into the bicycle that had them attached to it, which means that the 700D CR-18 rims that I bought from Kevin Brightbill quite a few years ago are now sitting on yet another 650b machine (the Murray Baja Experience!, the GT, then the born-again Trek, then the Mountainhack, and now the kit bike. The only machine these wheels haven’t been on so far is Russell’s Kogswell.) And this will give me an excuse to completely unlace that wheel and relace it with the air valve centered in a spoke window instead of being offset two spokes to the left.

But an NDS spoke? Where did enough tension come from to have it strip the threads out of a nipple?