Sunday, November 22, 2009

Road Trip!

Well, after a lot of research, and soul searching, I found a solution to my broken wheel. I am getting a pair of 2010 Mavic Aksium (axiom) wheels from Cambria, and will be driving up to Santa Rosa to pick them up as I just can't see paying $50 shipping for $250 wheels. They reassured me the price in the store for the pair of wheels will be $220 and tax, so it's worth the drive.

Mavic has taken a lot of weight out of these wheels over the last 2 years - at least 200 grams - there are no bendy J-hook spokes, and those straight spokes are bladed aero spokes. These entry level Mavic wheels are now within 25 grams of the much more expensive Ksyrium Equipe, so Mavic is responding to the world-wide recession by offering riders a very good wheel at a great price.

I have some concerns about durability due to my "185 lb" weight (that's my story and I sitting on it), but online reviews report these wheels to be pretty bomb-proof. If I were hard on my gear I  wouldn't risk it, but I'm not, so this will be a pretty big upgrade from the $40 Alex wheels the bike came with. (it seems like the more decals, the cheaper the wheel)

In the meantime I intend to ride my mtn bike, which is long overdue for a good outing. Unfortunately, I sprained my left ankle, which, in conjunction with a (nicely healing) right calf tear has me picking my day rather carefully.

I missed a great mud-fest on Friday out at Lake Natoma led by my friend Marsh Wildman, but that left ankle I almost ripped off my leg sticking the nose of my snowboard at ~ 35mph 2 yrs ago, and with the weather adding to the misery index, it really hurt on Friday.

Speaking of the calf, it seems to be getting stronger still, and the ankle sprain has helped in that I no longer am favoring it. I now stand on my tip toes to get things like canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving down from the top shelf in the kitchen. I'd be lying though if I said I wasn't getting frustrated by the lack of riding. I think it's time to head to the gym and get some core in. Cheers!


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

Very nice find on the wheels!! You must be going crazy with the healing process to only add the ankle sprain to the mix. So sorry...BUT with those new wheels you will come back with major focus and speed. Watch everyone!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't know much about wheels, but hey, I'm happy you found some great new ones.

I know how you feel not getting your fixes in!!!! It sucks - thank god for core!!!!

Lourdes said...

Well, did you get it? Is it installed already? Is this like Mary's tires?

Grey Beard said...

Lourdes, the Aksium wheels are the same ones Mary is riding, so they would have been an updated (and lighter) version.

I had so much to say I decided to make it a new post, but thanks for the thoughtful prompting.

I will soon know more about wheels than anyone but God. There are some really light ones out there that a light rider like yourself (big kudos on all the success getting into the light category btw :D) can take advantage of. Some are under 1,500 grams and under $500.

A great set of custom wheels, perhaps for your Terry, would be as big a step up in performance as your Ruby was from your ???. You can easily drop a whole pound off your wheels - especially the smaller 650c ones - and that rolling weight loss makes the bike much quicker to respond and spin up.

Lourdes said...

Sorry to hear that. I have Roval? on my Ruby which is pretty good and Velocity Rim and Hub on my Terry which is also good. Maybe for my next Steve Rex or Luna Bike. But that is still way in the future....

Grey Beard said...

I think those wheels are perfect for Mary, and would be surprised to hear otherwise. Those Roval wheels are very good, so yeah, next bike.

There is a whole science, and art, of wheels and wheel building. An interesting study in and of itself.

Case in point, the DT Swiss Revolution spokes that are 'Super-Butted' have very thin middles, which makes them a little more elastic. DT knew this, so they used a steel that had a higher modulus of elasticity. This means they will stretch, but will snap right back. The result is a wheel that never breaks spokes, doesn't pull the spokes out of the rims, and is easy on the hub.

For the rider it makes for a wonderful supple and forgiving ride that soaks up mile after mile of road vibration and bumps while being very light and fast to spin up. I assume they slice through the air like aero bladed spokes too. Mtb users reported wheels and spokes that survived really brutal hits with no damage. They bend, and bounce back. They don't break.

It's just more satisfying to me when I am aware of all the cool subtleties going on that benefit me - the general case for a good liberal arts education too as I recall.