Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The tale of a broken spoke, or How FiberFix, and the Mavic + Ultegra wheel rule

Two years ago this month, I bought Rory's Legolas. I also bought a new rear wheel for it. You can see the 2-year-old versions of the bike and wheel here. The wheel was a J&B deal: Mavic Open Pro laced to an Ultegra hub with butted DT spokes -- 32 hole. That's a sensible wheel and it's a great deal. Google shows these wheelsets all over the internet for super reasonable prices.

If a customer doesn't go with a custom Matt wheel, then Glen typically puts this wheelset on a lot of his Elephant bikes. It's a good wheelset, already!

Anyway -- I abuse the shit out of that poor Legolas. And I ride it a ton. I've been in and around 200 lbs for the last couple years and I don't ride lightly. The Legolas's main job in life is to get me around the High Drive trails or other local trails; its secondary job is to get me to those trails. It's a rough life. While the trails I ride on the Legolas are not super droppy-downhilly, they are technical, rocky, rooty, sandy, and steep. My point here is that this wheel has done hard time over the last two years.

So, when I heard the tell tale tink tink tink of a broken spoke today -- after hammering down the bluff trails to Sandifur -- I wasn't super surprised. The broken spoke was on the non-drive side, so the wheel didn't even wobble. In fact, it was amazingly true for a wheel with a broken spoke.

Given the lack of wobble, on the way home I decided that I'd fix the broken spoke with a FiberFix spoke. I've carried a FiberFix in my tool kits for at least 6 years and I've never used one. They've always looked sort of complicated and intimidating all wrapped up in their little plastic tube. So I figured hacking through the process in the comfort and safety of my garage would be good practice should I ever need to actually deal with one in the wild.

The FiberFix process was trivial. TRIVIAL. It took about five minutes and would've taken the same amount of time out in the dirt. The directions are excellent. I can't believe how easy it was.

If you don't have a FiberFix spoke in your stuff you should get one. Because now that you've read this, and therefore armed with this knowledge --  if you ever have to call in for a ride due to a broken spoke, you suck. They're like $6. And I got nothing going here as I shill these things -- they just rule.

Oh. And they're reusable. Crazy.

I'm going to ride that wheel until another spoke breaks or until the FiberFix fails. If another spoke breaks, I think I'll replace that one with a FiberFix too.

1 comment:

Jonathan Eberly said...

Sweet. I've been carrying one of these in my kit for a while. Glad to know it's effective.