Thus spoke the home bike mechanic
0 comment Sunday, August 10, 2014 |
I love broken spokes.
I was pedaling my ass off down Colfax this morning, right in front of my office, when I hit a small lump in the concrete and heard a snap. The third or fourth spoke I've broken on my rear wheel. Dammit, I say. I rode my wobbly bike over to Savage Eddie's Bicycle Workshop after work -- I used to pay $11 (plus tip) every time I broke a spoke to have someone there fix it, BUT, last time, I had Scott order me a freewheel puller so I could start doing my own dirty work. That was $7.
I picked up three spokes and nipples today, at $1 apiece, and busted home to try to get my wheel fixed in time to meet Nick B. for coffee. Man, I've never replaced a spoke before, and it was kind of a bitch. First of all, getting the freewheel off was intense. Vise grips around the freewheel puller, I was cranking on that thing as hard as I could, and it wasn't budging. ("It may take considerable force to free it," says Lennard Zinn, p. 133, Zinn & The Art of Road Bike Maintenance) Finally, I stood on the vise grips with one foot and got the thing to come loose.
Take the tire off, peel back the rim tape, pull the dead spoke out, run the new one through the hub, weave it into the wheel, tighten it, put the rim tape back, put the tire on, and true the wheel. One hour, 10 minutes. Wow. But I saved 11 bucks! Or, $7 for the freewheel puller + $1 for the spoke = I saved $3. Or, I just paid myself $2.57 an hour.
Plus, Brian says I probably just need to buy a new wheel.

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