My shiny new precious.

Well, yesterday I retired the tired old Velocity Deep V rear wheel before the cracks did me in.  I have now successfully built my first two bicycle wheel from scratch.

The new wheel consists of a Mavic rim (36H variety), DT Swiss spokes, a Shimano 105 freehub and 8 speed cassette. A more detailed post on these items can be found at Another wheely good post or two.  After breaking two rear axles on my old wheel (which was a freewheel hub)  I moved away from these types of hubs after a conversation with one of the mechanics at Pushys at Fyshwick.  He explained the difference of where the bearings sit in relation to the load being placed on them.

See picture: hub differences The bearings are represented by the red circles.  The bearing on the right side of the lower picture is where both of the previous axles broke.

Another advantage of the freehub, is that I can remove this cassette by using the Unior cassette remover instead on carrying a chain-whip around on tour.  A lot of weight is saved.  Plus the Unior tool can be used a spoke tool as well. And I can wear it as a Colonel Klink monocle if/when I get bored on tours.  HOGAANNNNNN.

See below for the cassette:shimano-9spd-cassette-med

And here are examples of the Unior Cassette removal tool (left) and a chain-whip (right).


Before I digress too far, this morning’s commute went fine, a few seconds of tinging as the spokes settled but then they weren’t heard from again.  The brakes seem happier too grabbing a nice flat rim instead of the concaved / cracked Velocity rim.  I have also made a front rim which is almost ready to go on the bike, it has a dynamo hub but I have no lights for it to run yet, plus I’m searching the LBS and the interweb for rim tape in 622 20mm size at a ‘non give up a kidney for’ price.  My new rear is currently using the old velocity rim tape which is 16mm, and well no flats yet. 🙂Chainwhip

Next I upgrade I think I’ll do is replacement is of the front and rear derailleurs, I changed to a triple chainring a few weeks back but I am still using a double chainring derailleur and is at its limit of range of movement, probably have to replace the cable as well due to stretching from doing more than it should and I believe the current Sora rear is bent/twisted but not being an expert on these things I could be mistaken. (It has happened before).

hub comparisions

Trial use of the Fiberfix

If you cast your mind back to my previous article about Fiberfix, you will know that I bought two of these spokes to add to my touring toolbox.

Thinking about technical difficulties one can have on the open road, I realised that there is a difference to actually having a tool/spare and knowing how to use said tool/spare.  I would rather learn and practice how to use a fiberfix in the comfort of my garage than on the side of the road at night in the rain and wind.

fibrefixOnce you start to use one on a wheel you can get an appreciation of how ingenious they are.  I wrongly assumed that you fit the metal parts to the rim and then cinch down on the kevlar string until it’s tight and the wheel is sort of trued.  When in real life you fit the metal parts and use only 3-4 turns of the nipple, then pull the kevlar string tight, wind it through the cam system and then adjust the nipple spoke until good tension is had.

Anyhow enough of my jabbering, here are some youtube videos (actually mine this time).  Only 10 seconds long each one.

1. Before I removed a spoke.

2. wheel without a spoke.

3. Fiberfix fitted.

FiberFix – it’s not about getting regular.

Ah shoot, I’ve broken a spoke in the middle of no where, what to do?

No touring cyclist should be without a couple of these little beauties.  No need to remove the wheel or cassette and this will get you back into town.  This system comes with good instructions and can even cope if you can’t remove the spoke.  Weighs almost nothing.  The flat metal tool type looking thingy is actually a spoke wrench.

fibrefixEasy To Use
String up the FiberFix Spoke using the simple instructions included. Then turn the device with a spoke wrench to the desired tightness.  Tie off the excess cord and continue your ride.

Tested Tough
FiberFix Spoke is made of a strong Kevlar cord with an extremely durable cam slide mechanism.  Unique design works on the freewheel side of the rear wheel without freewheel removal.  FiberFix Spoke has been torture tested over thousands of miles.

Bring Anywhere
With FiberFix Spoke you can true a bent rim caused by a broken spoke.  There’s no need to carry a freewheel remover or risk opening your brakes to make it home. They’re perfect for long-distance rides and back-country adventures.

What To Do If You Break a Spoke

Remove the broken spoke.  If you cannot remove the broken spoke, see fibrefix instructionsthe related section below these instructions.

  1. Thread FiberFix Spoke a few turns into the spoke nipple.  Not too far, 3 or 4 turns only.
  2. An extra spoke nipple is provided, if it is necessary.
  3. Loop the Kevlar cord in a nice even line down to the old spoke hole in the hub flange, then back up to the cam near the spoke nipple.
  4. Thread the Kevlar cord through the cam as shown in the illustration.
  5. Give it a few quick tugs to cinch it down firmly.



Whilst you are perusing this article, check out BikeHermit1 youtube video on the Fiberfix spokes.









Two tools for the price of one

Cassette Removal Tools, Yeah the name doesn’t make me want to go there either, but on the bright side they do sell the Unior Spoke Freewheel Removal tool.  Originally I was looking at buying the Stein Mini Cassette removal tool from Jenson in America, but upon discovering the Unior tool which also adjusts the spokes plus it looks lighter and less bulky and costs half the price, I decided that I just had to have one.

cassette removal tool

cassette removal tool










Unior on the left and the Stein on the right, not to scale as far as I know, but going by the cassette ring, the Unior is smaller.

On a long cycling tour, a cassette removal tool is one tool that you can’t really bodge up a fix for.

A bit of advice, If you do buy one of these cassette removal tools, then I would suggest that you practice using it before you need to in the middle of nowhere.  Food for thought.