Thursday, September 6, 2012
Today I built my first wheel for Benidorm Bikes.
I've built plenty of wheels, but being the "new guy", the unknown quantity, I've been mostly relegated to the bread and butter work. Basic tune ups, replacing chains, cassettes, chainrings, brake pads, cables, housings, wrapping bars; the essentials.
In my mind, wheel building is a right of passage as a bicycle mechanic, but maybe not so much today. The world of bicycles has changed with the quality of pre-built wheels, attention to aerodynamics, and other technological advances like carbon fiber and hydraulic brakes.
A lot of the "old school" skills I learned over the years are barely utilized; my first week I got all excited about overhauling a loose ball bottom bracket, only to find it was an extremely early cartridge bearing unit.
I also learned I've been doing a pretty good job gluing my own tubulars. The two I pealed off of customer's wheels today came off easier than one of my emergency spares put on when I get a flat.
I feel like I'm living the dream; I ride my bike to a place where I get to work on bikes all day. How cool is that?