Overkill for commuting?

Perhaps this wheel is overkill for commuting?

Perhaps this wheel is overkill for commuting?

Whenever I see people cycling through the city and suburbs on their race wheels, all I can think is ‘What a w**k**r’. I know it’s harsh but it seems a bit pretentious to me to be riding around the city on carbon fiber deep rims or, worse, full discs. However, this morning I had to become one of those riders … and I felt a little embarrassed about it. I felt very strongly that riding to work with a Zipp 530 on my bike was a bit overkill.

Do you see the problem?

Do you see the problem?

Unfortunately, I had no choice. Last night I was almost home when I heard a big ‘bang’ from the back of my bike. I didn’t know what it was, initially suspecting the bottom bracket had finally packed it in. On closer inspection (I was actually cleaning my bicycle) I discovered a broken spoke. After much swearing I grabbed my trusty laptop and researched options for replacement / repair.

I concluded that it was probably more economical for me to replace my wheel set than to get the spoke replaced. Why? The wheelset on my bike is the original 1996 wheelset that has not had any maintenance so I anticipate that more spokes will pop. And a full new Shimano 501 wheelset only cost me $137, which is relatively cheap compared to the price of repairing one (or more) broken spokes.

So that’s how I ended up cycling to work this morning on a wheel that is certainly overkill for commuting. And why I can’t wait until later today or tomorrow when my new wheelset should arrive.

Total: 12.9km cycle commute each way to and from work.


2 responses to “Overkill for commuting?

  1. Nah…train on what you like best!

    • You know what, you’re correct. It’s a bit like when people leave their good crockery locked in the cupboard and only use it once ever year or even less.

      Having said that, my racing wheels are also from 1996 and are really lumpy to ride (I really noticed it tonight that the wheels are quite buckled and warped) with huge gear ratios so I’m looking forward to getting my brand new wheel set.

      I will try not to think the same things about people training / commuting on race wheels in future though because it’s a bit judgemental 🙂

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