Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A problem I've encountered

My commuter bike is a lugged steel frame Takara three speed road bike with 27" steel wheels. The problem I've encountered is this: the steel wheels get just a little bit out of true in a place or two on the wheel, as steel wheels are wont to do, and then they make contact with the brake pads; I attempt to alleviate this problem by adjusting the brakes out just a little so they won't make contact with the wheel, but then the stopping power is diminished. If I adjust the brakes in tighter, then the contact with the steel wheels increases.

This would not be too much of a problem if I already possessed the skills necessary to true a steel wheel. It's probably easy. However, I don't already possess those skills. There's few things more irritating to me on a bike ride than riding with the brake, at least partially, applied.

So, my next task as a wannabe self-sufficient bicycle commuter in the midwest is to check out youtube videos to see if I can learn how to true a wheel. I suppose I should research to learn if truing a steel wheel is advised.

I stopped by the local gas station to make use of their air compressor and topped off the front and rear to 75 p.s.i. I run Schwalbe Marathon 27" x 1 1/4" tires. I've been very pleased with them and they have increased my confidence level tremendously. So much so, that I've taken to not carrying the requisite gear for a repair on the road. I researched user reviews on these tires and the majority opinion was they were bombproof. Some people cite their heavier weight as a drawback, and a lower level of handling/performance. However, for my commute I have been pleased and have grown accustomed to the weight and I've also not noticed the handling aspect as a drawback. A dedicated bicycle commuter needs to value reliability over technical edges.

Streets take a toll on bicycle tires and wheels. As a bicycle commuter I'm constantly on the lookout for the smoothest path on the roadways; the smoothest way to transition over large cracks and joints in the road. It also saves your body at least some of the jarring which can also occur from these obstacles.

I'll go on line now and research what I can find out about learning to true my wheels and report back at some point.

Keep on commuting by bike!

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