I'm back on the bike and loving it.
Last Saturday I did my longest ride so far this year, over 16 miles. Now by many standards that's not a long ride, but it was an accomplishment for me. The good news is I felt good and probably could have gone farther. The bad news is as I mentioned before, I had 3 broken spokes.
Monday I took the bike into Broken Spoke, a newer bike shop here in the Las Vegas area. When I dropped it off, the gentleman said it should be done the next day. Unfortunately when I called on Tuesday afternoon, there were still 2 bikes ahead of mine. That meant the soonest it would be done is on Wednesday. I wasn't thrilled, but could understand that delays happen.
My 2 concerns were that it be done right and it be done quickly since I hadn't ridden since Saturday. I called Wednesday about lunch time and was told there was a problem. Apparently they didn't have the right length spokes in stock and it would be another 2 days to order them. I was obviously upset and wondered why this was when they had the spokes in stock when I dropped it off. As the mechanic was looking t the order, he noticed that there were 2 different spoke lengths written, one with 2 of the numbers transposed. He said he would do some investigation and call me back.
The next thing I know, I got a call that the bike was ready to be picked up. To say the least I was very happy. It meant I could ride Thursday morning, the first ride in 5 days. I stopped by the shop on the way home from work and picked it up and all was well.
This morning 4:00 am rolled around and I got up and went for a ride. I was feeling strong and very happy to be rolling again. I had missed it over the last 5 days. In fact, I felt so strong that I decided to try something I had not previously done - ride my entire morning loop with out down shifting on the incline. Now its not a very steep incline, but it does add extra work, especially at my size. I made it up to the highest point and started on the downhill and was feeling good. I rounded the next to corners and carried a decent amount of speed into the ascent (OK slight uphill grade). I made it to the middle of the grade and was still going strong, I kept pumping and made it all the way up and I wasn't worn out. I couldn't believe it.
I was feeling strong and said to myself "you made it once, let's try it again." i did and I made it the second time, then the third. Then the fourth. In fact I made it through 8 laps without downshifting. Unfortunately at right about the 9 mile made I heard a thunk and noticed a wobble in the rear wheel. I took it easy the last .3 miles home and looked to see that I had broken another spoke. I was not happy. First because I had planned on at least another mile this morning, and second I had another issue with the bike.
I pulled the wheel as I was headed out the door to work and headed to the bike shop on my lunch hour. When I walked in I talked to who i think was the owner/mechanic (wish I was better with names to give him his proper credit). He let me know that he had hoped to catch me when I picked up the bike. The diamondback comes with single walled wheels and for someone my size, with the larger wheels, a double walled wheel would be a better option.
My thought was maybe just replacing all the spokes might be a good option. The information about the wheel flexing made me think twice about that option. Besides that Broken Spoke said they weren't capable of doing the re-spoking. The other shops in town changed at least $40 for labor plus the cost of the spokes which were between $1.25 and $1.50 each or 36 spokes. I was looking at around $100 to get that done. Broken spoke had a stiffer, double-walled wheel for $80. That made a lot of sense. So I pulled the trigger and in 10 minutes was out the door with my tire mounted on my new rear wheel.
I won't make 5 of 7 days this week but I will ride 3 for 3 with a working bike!