Friday, March 11, 2005

The parts start coming

Here's the first shipment: wheels, hub, spokes, chain guard.

Most of the money for this bike goes in the wheels. The rims are $50 each. The tires are $50 each. The front hub is about $40. And the rear hub, my fancy internal-shifting baby, is $200. Spokes cost 80 cents each. That adds up. Add some fenders and you're talking over $500 of wheels. Yikes! Luckily the wheels won't look that nice. They don't match. The number of spokes (32 front and 36 rear) screams "old bike." And a ride in the rain will take the shine away.

I did buy a set of locking skewers to replace the quick release. I've never actually seen (or noticed) such skewers before. But they sound great. But they're $40 for a set of three for the bike (two for the wheels, one for seat post). They're not easy to find. Made by Kryptonite, but maybe not anymore as I can't find them on their website. I ordered three sets. One for this bike and two for my other bikes.

Quick-release wheels make absulutely no sense for anybody who isn't ready to fix a flat while riding. But even non-quick-release wheels only need a standard 15mm wrench to steal. About a year ago, somebody actually stole the rear wheel off my locked-on-the-street hooptie one-speed. They had to take off the nuts, the rear rack, the fenders, the coaster brake, and the dirty chain! What a pain. Who would want it? It wasn't even in great shape. Probably a retail value of $20 at most, if you could find a buyer. But it did cost me aggravation and something like $70 to replace with a new wheel and tire. And at least the bastard thief didn't damage anthing. It was actually quite a professional job, all things considered.

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