the setback post

Category: Wheels

This week in bullshit

bullshitPhoto: Token

Translation: we don’t have a fucking clue what holds a wheel together, we’re just marketing guys.

Rimjob – birth of a crank

In my role as the epitome of Fredly materialistic stupidity, I went through a phase of desperately wanting to own carbon wheels.

The sequence went something like this:

1. Buy expensive and beautiful carbon tubular race wheels. Because black. Because awesome whooshing sound. Because carbon. Use twice.


You can tell I’m bringing the hurt by the cross-chaining. Photo: Jarlath Flynn

2. Realise that swapping brake pads to accommodate said wheels is unbearably tedious. Contemplate selling.

3. Decide to mitigate brake pad problem by buying even more expensive set of carbon clinchers that are no lighter than much cheaper aluminium set I already own. Now I don’t have to swap pads. Carbon party all day long!

4. Realise that carbon braking sucks like Dyson, that in gale-force Scotland even a 32mm rim is pushing it for a gossamer-framed pixie like me, and that on the stiff-as-balls Scott, I need some sproing from my rims. Less clatter, more sproing. Also, realise that wheels are patently unsuitable for trips to foreign mountains, which as 0.1% of my riding must form the basis for all equipment choices.

5. Sell clinchers.

6. Sell tubs.

7. Curate strong opinions about handbuilts because get off my lawn.

Here endeth the lesson.

Achieving Balance

Rumour had it recently that H Plus Son, maker of some of my favourite rims, had updated the grey version of their excellent all-rounder, the Archetype. The new finish is a darker grey, slightly more in keeping with traditional hard anodised rims, as well as with their beautiful (albeit rather weighty) TB-14.

Unless I’m mistaken, this rather lovely Genesis Equilibrium from Fitzrovia Bicycles is sporting the new Archetype, built on what I deduce to be 6800 hubs.

Aesthetically, only the lack of a [see blog name] is letting this ensemble down, but I forgive them because it is nevertheless a fine looking machine.