Thursday, November 29, 2012

looking good SON!

I discovered that my commuter had several cracks at the rim eyelets and decided to retire the wheel. It was a nice nine speed Campy wheel, a Barcelona clincher rim. I got it well used but true and I guess it finally gave up the ghost. Given that I just fitted a rack and tend on carrying heavy poultry and the like, I didn't want to risk a suspect rim.

The 32 spoke wheelset previously hanging on the Cinelli went to work on the Trek along with the nine speed cassette. They ride a bit more harshly than the old wheels but brake better, more evenly. With 28mm tires it's still comfy. I can't go on enough about the great, tiny difference that going from 23mm to 28mm makes in tires. If you ride in the city or on winter-battered roads, you need 28mm tires. Or bigger. Go with something pricier and lighter and you won't pay much in the weight category.

Something had to replace the missing pair on the Cinelli and it was a great time to check out the new rims from H Plus Son. The hard anodized finish offered on some is a great match of the Cinelli gray and is also a great retro touch. The braking surface, however, is modern, machined, and promises to be way more reliable than the hard ano rims of old. The H+S rims also have the best seam I have ever seen. Almost invisible, completely smooth, and with little hop during build. The rims built really, really easily. I previously used Velocity rims exclusively due to the great mix of price, weight, and reliable building. These are better (but more expensive). It would be fantastic if H+S expand their lineup in the future. I dig the eyletted TB14 and would totally snatch some up if tubular. Hint hint.

The front is a 24 hole radial, my first radially laced wheel. It wasn't too bad. I made sure the tension was on the high side of normal due to the lower spoke count. Getting the early hops out of the rim was a bit tricky, due more to the 24 spokes than the short, radial pattern. The rear is 28 spoke and was almost effortless. I'm looking forward to using more H+S rims in the future. Color me impressed.

I also want to praise my new Bicycle Research nipple driver. (hehehe) It allows for faster assembly and more accurate tensioning. If you build wheels, even one or two every few seasons, it's worth it. Here's to the right tool for the right job!

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