Sunday, February 16, 2014

My god, it's full of... holes.

Here's a project which has taken a while to germinate. I've been interested lately in snow bikes, bikes with big wheels, bikes with intermediate sized wheels, and bikes with wheels that "bring the trail alive". Given that I already have plenty of bikes, I decided that this season's new look for the faithful Orange Bike would involve tire enlargement. There are plenty of ways I could have gone about this, but I chose the one which was a) cheapest, and b) involved drilling holes in things. 

Back in the mists of time, bike geeks used to drill holes in their rims (among other things) to reduce the weight. Of course this is pretty futile if you ride in the mud, as they just fill with mud... plus your bike will probably break, but I've never let a thing like sense get in the way of an interesting project. Thus an idea was born.

I've known about a stash of very wide bike rims that I've been trying to think up a purpose for for years, and now the purpose has arrived. A set of long forgotten olde-worlde Alex DX32's were secured for a small sum, and I drilled a bunch of 7/8" holes in them. For the record, this removed about 100g, bringing them to a still fairly weighty 670g each. I now have a vacuum-cleaner bag full of metal shavings.

And here they are, some old rims tempered with with mystic drillium.

This is what it looks like when you put wheels like that on your bicycle.
This weekend we were supposed to go skiing, but a combination of people throwing explosives out of helicopters and general inclement weather made that seem like a poor choice. So instead we ate a fried breakfast in the pub next to the railway line and then headed out in the sunshine to bike (me) and run (Lina) some Mt Fromme trails before the storm hit. It was slightly snowy, but we caught the weather window and I enjoyed my new holey-rollers very much. They weren't startlingly different to my old wheels, but there was lots of grip to be found, and I didn't tear the back tire off the rim in any corners (which had been known to happen with the old narrow-rim-big-tire combination). I did still get a flat, but nothing's perfect eh.

We also happened across a nice man who pointed us in the direction of some covert trails, and everyone knows the best tings are kept a secret. I suspect he was mesmerized by my hypnotic wheels.

Espresso (except it's actually called Expresso) with some white stuff on top... does that make it Cappuccino?