Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Okay, I admit I'm always on the lookout for Araya rims. I love the squared off edges. 
Wheels. What would we do without wheels? They propel us onward, sailing with the wind or struggling against it. They are often a metaphor for life: what goes around, comes around. Wheels are so integral to the bi-cycle yet we take them for granted. At least I do.

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...


  1. I bought the Jobst Brandt book "The Bicycle Wheel" last year, and was humbled. What would the bicycle be without them? It's a little weird, I think, that I have never broken a spoke.

    1. I've heard of riders who've also never had a flat!

    2. Brandt's book also gave me a new appreciation for the strength of a bike wheel. Basically nothing more than a fistful of wires bears our weight for thousands of miles without issue.
      Ayara rims are excellent, I have a pair on my Sekai. They've held up very well under the abuse of many miles of gravel rides.


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.