Wednesday, 1 August 2012

cracked rims

No, this isn't a post about saddle sores or unseemly ailments.  As we headed towards Svolvaer in the Lofoten Islands I discovered at one point something rubbing on my front brakes.  I looked for dirt on the wheel but couldn't find any.  And then I spotted the bulge in the rim - the wheel rim had cracked - worn down.  

Before we left home a couple of people asked us about our bicycle maintenance know-how.  Well, we joked, we can fix a puncture.  (This turns out to be untrue - as on the one occasion thus far that I've had a flat tyre I failed to fix it properly - the patch blew as soon as pumped the tyre up hard again.  I ended up putting a new tube in.)

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered reading about using a lollipop stick to line the cracked rim until a safe haven was reached.  Well, we had no lollipop sticks and Svolvaer was only 30 km away, so I just disengaged the brake and rode a little more cautiously.  Thankfully the town had a couple of sports shops and the sports shops here all seem to sell and fix bikes.  I had to buy a new wheel though.  In Norway things don't repaired, they get replaced.  I asked the guy in the shop about crack.  He talked about age, weight and fatigue and said he thought the wheel was knackered too.  On the TV in the shop, Bradley Wiggins was wearing yellow in the Tour de France.  I bet his rims don't crack.

Ten days later my back wheel rim cracked too.  So I bought a new rear wheel in the next town we came too.  Obviously I had been using my brakes more than Gayle.  Well, at least, that's what I thought, until Gayle's rear wheel rim cracked too - with quite a nice bulge to it.  At this point we thought it prudent to replace both her wheels.   In for a penny, in for a few pounds more than we'd have liked.  At least we're not stuck in some remote desert...


  1. Out of curiosity, what rims were those? I've seen a few reports of Mavic 719 (the ones I have!) and starting to worry. Many thanks and best of luck with your travels

    1. These were Bontrager rims that came with the bikes - they're 2009 Trek 4300 models with V-brakes and they've done about 7000km touring.

  2. Greetings you love people, cracked rims, yes thecyclingbear had fell foul of failing rims in the south of France and bonny Scotland bit of a mare, did you not get a new set of wheels before leaving Blighty?