Thursday, February 18, 2010

Box? What box?

Let's say you spend some time riding a bike, on snow, in Alaska, in February.

Let's assume that the snow conditions are, for Alaska, average. You leave your starting point and the whole bike is shiny and clean. Most of the bike will stay that way, except for the wheels. After a few hours, your rear rim starts to collect snow. A little at first, then progressively more. Lots of factors affect how soon and how much, but pretty soon it starts to look like this:


At first blush you don't worry too much about it. It's just snow, it isn't hurting anything. But snow weighs something, and the more that packs in there the more weight you're pushing around and around and around.

After a few days you can end up with a pretty significant amount frozen to the rim.

I've always just stuck my hand in there and scraped it out when I started to notice the mass. But I've also always thought to myself that there had to be a better way.

I don't know that I've found that 'better way' just yet, but I've started down the road...

I started with a Zipp disc blank. Used a sawzall to get the cut started through the carbon, then finished it by hand.


After too many hours of cutting, grinding, dremeling, sizing, cutting, resizing, and then some caulking:


Curing now, should be ready to ride in the AM.


I'll do a brief fully loaded ride to triple check, well, everything, and then it all gets boxed tomorrow PM and sent north.

How's that for geekery? My only regret is that I didn't start on it sooner. Never enough time, and my black caulk skills could have used some polishing...

Cheers,

MC

13 comments:

  1. blank? freebie? scrap? that's an expensive wheel cover when they sell plastic options...

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  2. You've ridden a disc on a bike in the wind before right? I know you're not much of a roadie but I figured you might have?

    Curious to see how you like it. Maybe it's heavy enough that you won't fly away.

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  3. It may be a little late, but please be careful around carbon fiber dust. Way toxic; think asbestos grade.

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  4. Whoa! Those things sound bitchen when yer hammering as well.

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  5. Uhhhh...are those mannequin legs holding that wheel while it cures?

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  6. i was curious about the mannequin legs, too;-) or did you photoshop some legs in there just for the fun of it --- since you have so much time ;-)

    can't wait to hear ALL about ALL of it!

    jj

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  7. second the wind comment.Maybe the bag weight when you are loaded will keep you stable.
    you really need some colour in your cheeks Mike.Embrace light,whats with this black gothic theme :)

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  8. 1) Not a mannequin, she's a real human being! I call her my Wheel Wench. Everyone needs a wheel wench!

    2) Wind. Have any of you ridden a 140lb bike? With 5" wide tires at 5psi? One that already has a sail of a frame bag, and 4 panniers, and a big human sail on top?

    Being affected by wind is the *least* of my concerns.

    And, did I mention the wheel wench?! ;)

    MC

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  9. hey, plastic or real congratulations Mike. Having a dedicated shop "favor" slave is something we all dream of.

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  10. Where are the secret compartments for straps...so that when it snow 12" overnight you strap that beast to your back and use the wheels as giant snowshoes. Dual purpose, Ha!
    In all seriousness, I dig the experiment.

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  11. you have love from haters: http://www.hipsternascar.com/2010/02/oh-dear-god.html

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  12. Hmmmmm...I find it all very interesting. Especially the "Wheel Wench".

    Do you have to tack when sailing into the wind?

    I'm very excited to here about your upcoming adventure in AK. Hope all goes well and keep enjoying the experiments.

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  13. Hmmmmm...I find it all very interesting. Especially the "Wheel Wench".

    Do you have to tack when sailing into the wind?

    I'm very excited to here about your upcoming adventure in AK. Hope all goes well and keep enjoying the experiments.

    ReplyDelete