Wheels On The Bike

After three days of singlespeeding interrupted only by a Monday morning jaunt on the Rivendell, I reverted to Fred mode this morning and headed out on my New-To-Me Titanium “Forever Bike:”

This bicycle wears two pairs of shoes; the once ubiquitous and now dated Mavic Scaryums that were originally on it when I received it from Classic Cycles one (1) year ago this month:

And the timeless Mavic Open Pro (ceramic!) rims with Record hubs you see on it in the first photo in this post, with which Classic Cycles furnished me after I endowed them with one of their most culturally significant museum exhibits:

They say people travel from as far as the other side of the shop just to gaze upon it’s rust spots.

Anyway, I’ve grown quite fond of the Scaryums, though they’ve been something of an emotional rollercoaster. They were a bit creaky at first, and the infamous bushing int he freehub seemed to be worn, so I attempted to replace it with a bearing by using something called the “Hubdoctor Rebuild Kit:”

The short version is that I made a mess out of that (the longer version is here), so then I ordered a proper replacement freehub as well as a set of upgraded pawls from a Mavic specialty shop (according to Mavic the upgraded pawls create less dust, which results in less wear on the bushing), put everything back together, and lubricated it all liberally with synthetic motor oil. Since then everything has been working more than satisfactorily, and while I was initially put off by Scariums’ proprietary nature, they’ve since won me over with their light feel and mechanical simplicity. (Assuming you don’t try to install aftermarket bearing systems, that is.)

Still, I’ll always be partial to “traditional” wheels, and when wrapped in a nice pair of tires they’re the perfect complement to this (relatively) classically proportioned road bike, both aesthetically and in terms of ride quality:

This particular tire is the Donnelly LCV (25mm of course), which I originally wrangled from them in order to determine whether or not they’d enhance the ride quality of the Tresca. Well, that bike’s gone now, and instead I’ve been using them in this capacity. Granted, this bike didn’t need much improving in terms of ride quality, but even so they felt significantly better thano the Vittoria Rubinos Classic Cycles had included with the wheels. I mean sneakers are fine, but a bike like this deserves ballet slippers. Yet despite their decadent souplesse they’ve proven quite durable; I’ve had them since October and they’re still in excellent condition:

Okay, fine, not only do I regularly alternate between wheelsets, but I also regularly alternate between bikes, so this is not what you should expect if you were to ride them every day for six months. Still, I do ride them often enough, and the roads here suck, so for a lightweight 240 TPI tire I’d say they’re doing pretty good. (And I’ve also got another pair in reserve!)

Speaking of having things in reserve, I’m so fond of this particular bicycle that I recently found myself contemplating selling my plastic Fred sled and finding another old Litespeed. This of course would be a completely ridiculous thing to do, inasmuch as I already have too many bikes, so acquiring duplicates of bikes I already own would basically amount to hoarding. However, during These Trying Times, I’ve found that one of the greatest escapes is pulling the plug on the media and looking at bike stuff that you’d like to have on the Internet. So next time you’re pawing at your phone and find yourself falling into a state of despair, close the window, open another one, and conduct a virtual scavenger hunt for that bike you’ve always wanted, or spend way too much time comparing the weights, thread counts, and tread patterns of various tires, even if you have no intention of buying any of it.

Whether it’s riding them or just looking at them, bicycles can be profoundly succorous.

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