Monday, October 11, 2010

The F word

The "not race wheels" are now the "cross race wheels".
What was originally built as a set of special wheels for long leisurely Sunday fixed gear rides, will now be abused on Autumn weekends, 45 minutes at a time.
They were my cheapest route to light(ish) cross wheels; just needed to buy tires.
I took them out for a test shake down today. I wanted to test both my glue job, and the puncture resistance that the tubulars would afford me.
I glued the tires in my typical manor. I use 3M Fast Tack, putting a layer of glue on the rim (over the existing glue), a layer on the base tape, and then mounting them with a wet layer on the rim. I've read about people having problems with Fast Tack, and about the Belgian tape method, but my way has worked for me for over a decade, so I figured I'd stick with what I know.
But I only had about a third of a tube on hand, and the company I ordered more from sent me some other 3M adhesive by accident. That being said I planned to go as far as I could with what I had on hand without skimping or trying to stretch the glue out.
I got my first layers on the rims, and base tape, and started in on the wet layers. I had plenty for the front wheel, and figured if I ran out on the rear, just look at it as an extra dry layer. I look at gluing tires sort of like roofing; you can put on a few layers before you have to strip it down and start fresh.
So to make sure I didn't skimp, I was really generous with my glue on the rear, and had a tiny bit left in the tube. Having that little bit left made me wonder if I could have used more on the front.
I wanted to give the tires and wheels a good workout so I could race with peace of mind. I went to the res with about 38 psi of air and 35 ml of Stan's in the tires. Lately I've been getting a lot of flats at the res. Saturday I had a little tube patching party after flatting there twice in the morning.
With the rockiness of the trails I banged my rims multiple times, actually even knocking the front wheel out of true enough to hit the brake blocks.
But the air stayed in the tires where it belongs.
I tried to take some corners as hot as possible too, and the glue job held up to whatever "G's" I could generate.
I seemed to be breaking loose a little easier than with the clinchers, but I was also faster, so I guess a little wheel slip on loose, sandy, gravel fireroad climbs isn't so bad.

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