Arise, semi-dormant thread!
Two items that some folks might find interesting.
Most bike spokes are made from medium-quality steel, and they are engineered to a particular tolerance. If you exceed their tolerance, they’ll flex and probably be just fine. But that over-flexing will cause some fatigue, and if you constantly over-flex they will fail and break. If a spoke breaks, your wheel will come out-of-true and if you keep riding it you can do some major damage to it.
Fixing a spoke is a time-consuming but largely trivial exercise, but you should really have a professional re-true the wheel and make sure that the tension on all the spokes (to include the new one) is equal. Around here, it’s about $25 to get a spoke fixed.
This happens to me all the friggin’ time. I’m six and a half feet tall and while I’m not obese, I am not exactly svelte. I am almost constantly going over the tolerance on my spokes constantly and it’s just a matter of time before they fail. Each and every time I break one, I swear that I will buy a new, stronger wheel… possibly with titanium spokes. Then I look on-line, see how much a high-quality wheelset costs, and simply settle for waiting the day and paying the $25.
Well, so far this spring I have broken three spokes, and I finally bit the bullet and got new wheels. Rather than going for higher quality “normal” wheels, I went in another direction and got a set of solid wheels. You might have had these as a kid – the whole rim, spokes and hub are all one solid piece of steel or aluminum.
It actually looks pretty sharp, although I have gotten a couple cat-calls from passing motorists saying that I look like I’m riding a kid’s bike. The main problem with them is that they are ludicrously heavy compared to even a low-quality wheel: about four pounds each. That’s not a big deal to me… I’m in it for the commute and the workout - not the speed - so adding a couple pounds to my load is sort of a new “plus” if you squint at it just right.
Secondly, and as a complete aside, I’m in a terrible place right now with my audiobooks. My main credit card was compromised a couple months back, which was not particularly bad money-wise, I cancelled it, lost no money and got a replacement card. But I’m now in that consumer hell where every week or two I get a nasty-gram from some service or another that I had linked to that card, saying that it’s been declined. Again, more annoying than bad - the worst thing that happened is that my kids went without a cookie at lunch for a day when the school couldn’t auto-renew their account.
My Audible subscription did get interrupted this month and for whatever reason it wouldn’t re-bill me when I corrected the credit card. So I am without my two audiobooks for the next 30 days. This is especially bad because I’m bike-commuting three or four days a week, and that’s between six and eight hours of time that I usually filled up with a good (or even bad) audiobook.
I know, I know, First World Problems and all that. But it’s still pretty annoying. I’ll fill it up with podcasts for a while. I might also re-listen to A Dance With Dragons, which might get me most of the way through the month.