A Gift

If you want to know the measure of who you’re riding with – ask them what their favorite part of the bicycle is.

Now, mine is a double butted spoke and it probably says more about who I am as a person than I’d care to admit or consider. Anyone who’s built a wheel can tell you that a good spoke just feels right. They’re lighter, have more bounce in them and tend to just look really good. Wheelsmith Double Butted Silver is my spoke of choice, and if I can get away with it I won’t ride anything else.

If they don’t respond with at least a type of component, you can tell they haven’t done too much of their own work. To wonder if they would know how to deal with a mechanical issue if one were to happen on the ride isn’t that far of a jump. To assume they probably don’t take much care or pride in their bicycle’s maintenance isn’t either. This is not to say that they’re necessarily the wrong people to ride with, some can afford to let their bicycle’s maintenance fall on other’s hands, but knowing how to fix what is working between your legs is always a good idea. Especially if you plan on riding that at twenty-four miles an hour an inch away from another.

So when a fellow cyclist not only tells you what their favorite part is, but the number and manufacturer you know you’re in good company. When they go so far as to hand you that part and tell you to use it yourself, you’ve made yourself a friend. When I finally made the jump to ten-speed this last spring, Mr. Krawczyk was kind enough to bequeath onto me his favorite component – a Shimano Ultegra 6600 cassette. She’s a thing of beauty; shifts well, makes little to no complaints when put to the test and has that finish that just looks expensive yet durable. Lovely.

As I was taking apart my Campeon to get it ready for the second session of indoor training I had the opportunity to take the cassette apart and really give it a good cleaning. As it slid back on the freehub body and made a satisfying clicking as the lock-ring tightened it down I thought back to how I had obtained such a gem.

I also realized I probably owe Brandon something for it.

Um. How about beers on me buddy?

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1 comment
  1. Hoped you torqued it down to 30 – 50 N·m (261 – 434 in. lbs.)!

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