Breaking Chains and Not Burning Rubber

BREAKING CHAINS - Freedom: Cycle touring is the greatest way I have found to experience freedom. Whilst I celebrate mine I hope to help others gain and realise theirs, and protect ours, by fundraising for Amnesty International

NOT BURNING RUBBER - Environmental Awareness: Cycling is one of the most efficient and sustainable modes of transport. It's slow speed allows you to become more aware and connected with our surroundings, and therefore the pressures that they may be under. I intent to have a minimal negative impact on the environment whilst I travel, and will share my observations and experiences about my journey, environmental issues, and sustainable living here:

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Keep the wheels going round...

Apologise but this is a wee bit of a rant with information between the lines.

Getting the right wheels for the trip is proving to be a bit more difficult than expected, or maybe I am becoming a cycle-touring snob.....
Following my usual level of research (= check as many cycle-tourist / trekker blog / websites as possible until I get side tracked), I decided I must have hand assembled Sun Ryhno lite rims, shimano XT hubs, with 36 swiss made DT spokes per wheel!
Well my local helpful bike shop just suggested a factory made set of mountain bike wheels with "god forbid" 32 spokes! Around $170 each
And the local cycle-touring friendly shop seemed more interested in the current wheels I had...
Was this quality advice or good-old Kiwi "she'll be right" attitude...?
Well after a few flicker thoughts of me stuck in the middle of the Amazon jungle with a bust wheel and a voodoo doll of Christchurch cycle shop owners, and what I would like to think is respect for (what will hopefully be) fellow expedition cyclists, I decided to stick to my guns and order the Sun Ryhno lite rims...36 hole!

**In an inspirational cycle-expedition book called "Cycling Home from Siberia" I seem to remember the only major problem he had with his bike on the whole trip was a rim busting. Plus I met a female cycle tourist in NZ whilst on my last tour who had a bust rim. You can replace spokes, fix chains, patch tubes, but you only have two rims (and hubs for that matter) and need both of them. I might sound theatrical but I like to take signs like that seriously**

Mountain bikers use DT spokes, great - not a problem..
Hubs with 36h...yes hubs with 36h. Ah...well...now we have a problem;
The cycle-touring friendly shop had one pair, but the front was for road bikes...hurmm. Agreed at first, but then got the brain flickers again. So "no, I need mountain bike ones".... "Ah, can only get them for disc brake bikes". Ah....
So I ordered some "XT's!!" from the other side of the world (yes I know not very sustainable, but I can't beat globalisation all the time). Then after a week of waiting they came back with a "sorry the distributors have cancelled that line". Hurrmm... well now another overseas on-line shop has promised me a set of Shimano Deore hubs 36h, no disc space (*the disc space means the wheel spokes have to be less dished, and therefore puts more strain on the spokes*), great!

So there we are, I can't make anymore preparations to the bike until I get the wheels. Handlebars, gears, brakes, and grips will have to wait another few weeks.... good things come to those who wait apparently....;)

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