Guess it’s time to have another review on my second wheel set from The BikeSmith
Getting back in shape is always tough especially after laying off for a few months of serious riding.
Well, it’s time to get back on the saddle and ride, with that said time to thrash out my new component, The BikeSmith Climber’s wheelset. Built for me was this pair of Super lightweight alloy clinchers, weighing in at a scanty 1.2kg (without tires) with a 20/24 spokes count and custom BikeSmith hubs.
First few rides with the wheels were amazing. Roll was sublime all thanks to the custom hubs from BikeSmith, it allowed me to keep up with the pack despite the lack of training (albeit a near death experience due to lack of training but I survived). Put it through loops at Mt. Faber and it performed well. No flex perceived at all on the wheels despite churning out more than 600 watts at a segment, having such a light wheel for the first time was an interesting experience and one would have thought that it would flex due to my weight and the power that it’s loaded. It was so light so that when I went out hard at climbs, the rear wheel lifted off the ground at multiple occasion. Rear wheel “bounce” actually generates more shock loading to the wheels and that’s detrimental to the spokes when you have a spoke tension that’s built to the maximum limit of the rider’s weight.
En route home after one of my rides, a spoke on the non-drive side broke. Ending my ride there and then, luckily getting a cab was easy that morning.
Contacted Gabriel that the spoke broke and was then unable to continue riding. Wheel was sent back to The BikeSmith, feedback session underwent and after this session we identified that bouncing of the wheel could have potentially caused the spoke failure. Damaged spoke was inspected and it was a clean shear off the thread. Nevertheless, Gabriel began to replace the spoke and re-tune the wheel, reducing the tension by a tad to facilitate my riding style. This is something that I will have to correct, my off the saddle technique has to be polished to compliment the weight of the wheels. The feedback sessions allows him to get the necessary information not only for the build, but simultaneously starts a bond between the builder and cyclist and I do consider this a very important aspect of custom wheel set.
After re-tensioning the spokes, the wheels are performing just as well and I have also begun polishing my riding style consciously when getting off the saddle. Kudos to Gabriel of The BikeSmith for yet again another job well done!
Definition of Custom:
- made or performed according to personal order
- specializing in custom work or operation
Forming this relationship helps both the cyclist and the wheel builder gain clarity and insight into the other. This is also what makes the process of a custom wheel truly “custom”. This is Art.