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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-16-08, 07:55 AM   #1
tomdaniels
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Flat spot and loose spoke just in time for RAGBRAI

Well, it's time for RAGBRAI (Sunday will be the start) and all of the LBSs are very busy with folks who have waited until now to get their bikes looked at.

Unfortunately, my 26" rear tire on my recumbent is clicking once per revolution and I have found it's a flat spot. I confirmed that it is spoke rub, by putting a bit of masking tape between the loose spoke and its neighbor. It got quieter.
There is a very loose spoke (I can deflect it a centimeter or more with my fingers), at a spot where the rim is a few mm closer to the hub than the rest.

I want to train the next few days and I don't want to leave my bike at a LBS during this time.

Option 1: tighten that spoke just enough to get some slack out without pulling the wheel much.

Option 2: live with the clicking and possible damage to the tire due to uneven tensions.

Option 3: Get there and have my backup, weaker wheel put on the bike.

Any thoughts? I haven't done any wheel maintenance before, but I have read Sheldon's site about 20 times.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:59 AM   #2
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Throw your backup wheel on and get the primary to the shop. Do you really want RAGBRAI to be the acid test of your wheel maintenance skills as a first time try at wheel repair?
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Old 07-16-08, 08:05 AM   #3
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Throw your backup wheel on and get the primary to the shop. Do you really want RAGBRAI to be the acid test of your wheel maintenance skills as a first time try at wheel repair?
The voice of reason as always.

I hate to take it over to the shop, but I think I will. I could swap wheels myself, but I've never changed out a cassette. I hate dealing with this sort of stuff!
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Old 07-16-08, 08:07 AM   #4
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I'd beg and plead the LBS to fix it for you. A couple days off before RAGBRAI shouldn't hurt, in fact it will probably help.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:13 AM   #5
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what is ragbrai
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Old 07-16-08, 08:17 AM   #6
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Maybe your backup weaker wheel isn't so weak after all if it's rideable and your strong wheel is falling shabby!

Changing the cassette is very easy! 2 or 3 minute job!

Chainwhip to hold cogs in place while turning cog tool($7)...some make them out of an old chain.
Cog tool ($10?)
Wrench to hold/turn cog tool on cogs for removal.

Slide it off and onto the new wheel.

BTW, sometimes a few days of before a big event is beneficial!

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 07-16-08 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Forgot the BTW's
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Old 07-16-08, 08:27 AM   #7
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what is ragbrai
http://www.ragbrai.org/
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Old 07-16-08, 08:33 AM   #8
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Maybe your backup weaker wheel isn't so weak after all if it's rideable and your strong wheel is falling shabby!


BTW, sometimes a few days of before a big event is beneficial!
My backup is a mavic 717, I think. My "good wheel" is a Sun Mammoth. I can't figure out how I could have walloped it enough to do this, but you never know.

I'm not doing big rides right now, just going out and doing an hour or so of moderate intensity intervals. Not pushing until I break, just getting the heart rate up, and then easily pedaling for a bit. My legs will make RAGBRAI, my lungs may explode trying to spin up the hills on the second day.
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Old 07-16-08, 10:41 AM   #9
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My wheelbuilder mechanic, Tom at Ames's Bike World, is awesome. He worked me in and worked most of the flat spot out in no time! He will be Bike World's mechanic on RAGBRAI and he is a top notch wrench. I highly recommend his services if you need them.

Because he built the wheel, he wouldn't let me pay anything. BTW, the Sun Mammoth wheel is such a brute that despite having one ridiculously loose spoke, it was absolutely true side to side! It now rides like a dream without a noticeable problem.

They were turning away people, but since it was "his wheel", he fixed it. This is why we support our LBS!
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Old 07-16-08, 10:59 AM   #10
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My wheelbuilder mechanic, Tom at Ames's Bike World, is awesome. He worked me in and worked most of the flat spot out in no time! He will be Bike World's mechanic on RAGBRAI and he is a top notch wrench. I highly recommend his services if you need them.

Because he built the wheel, he wouldn't let me pay anything. BTW, the Sun Mammoth wheel is such a brute that despite having one ridiculously loose spoke, it was absolutely true side to side! It now rides like a dream without a noticeable problem.

They were turning away people, but since it was "his wheel", he fixed it. This is why we support our LBS!
+1000

My wheel guy, Jared at Cycle Works in Lincoln NE, is the same way. Back in town Saturday after the century, Cycle Works was a zoo (as is any LBS at 1pm on a Saturday!), but he replaced the busted spoke, then re-tensioned the wheel on the spot for me. I offered to bring it back later, but they wouldn't have any of that, they spent the 20-30 minutes during a crazily busy day to do that for me - then refused payment.

My riding buddy had a mishap on the ride which ended in his rear brake cable housing being frayed. Stopping at his favorite LBS, Monkey Wrench Cycles, at around the same time with about the same workload they dropped everything to replace it for him. Then also refused payments.

Stuff might be a little cheaper at big box stores or on the Internet, but I have to remember service from the LBS is worth it's weight in gold.
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Old 07-16-08, 12:49 PM   #11
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Bleh!!! Not a support you LBS kinda guy!

Ride their wheel a thousand miles, it breaks take it back. Fix it for free. Wait 30 mintues for them to work on it. If it breaks again, I'll fix it again...Time, hassle,worries eventhough they are nice to ou.

Build your own, 14,000 miles without a worry!....and cheap!...Ultegra hub $50, Deep V $25, spokes $23! Try getting that done at the LBS for cheap!....Not even $100 for a top notch durable wheel with NO broken spokes!
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Old 07-16-08, 05:32 PM   #12
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Bleh!!! Not a support you LBS kinda guy!

Ride their wheel a thousand miles, it breaks take it back. Fix it for free. Wait 30 mintues for them to work on it. If it breaks again, I'll fix it again...Time, hassle,worries eventhough they are nice to ou.

Build your own, 14,000 miles without a worry!....and cheap!...Ultegra hub $50, Deep V $25, spokes $23! Try getting that done at the LBS for cheap!....Not even $100 for a top notch durable wheel with NO broken spokes!
I really want to learn how to do my own wheels - It would make a really good winter project. If I got good at it, I'd help others out with wheel problems, maybe make a few bucks.
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Old 07-16-08, 05:59 PM   #13
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I really want to learn how to do my own wheels - It would make a really good winter project. If I got good at it, I'd help others out with wheel problems, maybe make a few bucks.
If some of the wheel abusers on this site lived local, I think it would be interesting to build some Deep V's for testing! Don't think I could do it for money. I'm more the "that's my creation" type of guy. It's a beautiful site to look down between my legs and see the sparkling spokes spinning true!
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