Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bonus Post

I've been riding my Eddy Merckx 7-Eleven bike to work the last few months, as well as a few rain rides on the Mountain. The front brake has been getting really grabby though, and on a downhill section where I would ride the brake, I'd get a violent chatter out of the fork. I wasn't sure if it was the brake, the headset, or the rim but it was getting too bad to ignore. My wheels are conventional Mavic Open Pro's on DT Hugi hubs and suspecting the front rim was getting worn (remember this is my rain bike so the brake surfaces get a lot of abrasive abuse), I popped in my old sew-up front wheel and - voila! No more grabbiness at all! So the front wheel is shot, the rear is probably not far behind; I figure why not ride my sew-ups all the time? I've got a few (really) old tubulars hanging in the garage for spares, so I made sure the glue was still good on the tires that were already mounted and I had a tubular commute bike.

I desparately wanted to believe the guys on that say sew-ups are no more prone to flats than clinchers but it wasn't my experience. I don't think I ever went more than about 200 miles without getting a sew-up flat. But I was really enjoying riding my sew-ups to work and I figured I could keep on doing it until I used up all my old tires and then I wouldn't have to build up a new set of clinchers so soon and then I at least would have a reason to finally throw the sew-up rims away for good (or maybe not). Anyway, I got 7-3/4 commutes on the tubulars before my flat. Screw that, my nostalgic feelings for rim glue and latex evaporated in a big poof of compressed air. I'm building some new clinchers on those DT Hugi hubs next week.

Time to start riding my Rockhopper to work anyway - the only bike with lights attached.

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