|Okay, I admit I'm always on the lookout for Araya rims. I love the squared off edges.|
I'd rather dream about bar tape, a new seat, panniers, what upcycled bike bag should I work on next, different handlebars, changing the Ross's shifters - anything but replacing a wheel until it's either broken or worn. Because, well, wheels aren't exactly glamorous* or cheap, are they?
Yet, if a spoke breaks, I panic. Egads, can I make it home? Should I head immediately to a bike shop? Do I have my phone with me to call for help? We roll through mud, salted roads, potholes, a spring shower, washboard dirt roads, rock and root choked trails, over sticks, wet leaves, snow, curbs, and of course, during as many sunny days as possible too.
And much like car tires, I don't exactly inspect them for wear. Rather, it goes like this: noisy rims or a wobble is a clue that I should check on something down below.
So, I'm toasting these spoked wonders. They're quiet (or should be), understated, functional, full of simple beauty. Because let's face it, with bearings, grease, hubs, rims, 36 spokes, and someone's wheel building expertise, those circular things really are ingenious.
*And then there's always the front derailleur...