Miscellaneous Blog Posts

New wheelset built

Just built myself a new wheelset to put on my everyday bike. I built them from scratch so I can swap back and forth with the old set whenever I feel like, and this new set features a regular freewheel, not a freecoaster.

Let me explain simply, in case you are wondering what a freecoaster is. Look at your bike. Hold it, and roll it backward. The pedals start cranking backward too, right? This is the regular setup. On the other hand, if these pedals stay stable in this situation, it may make your life easier when going backward. It will give you some peace and convenience if you want to do tricks or snack on cereal bars while rolling back. Freecoaster hubs were made to address this, and they are the industrial and patient little things that strive to keep your life simple and easy while they are trapped between the dropouts, choked by the chain, and put under stress from the tension of the spokes.

There are certain trade-offs such as being slightly heavy and having some slack when you start pedaling. For myself, I have a solid house rule for my freecoaster to avoid accidental catching in fakie, or going backward, so there is a huge slack. It takes almost half a revolution before the drive train engages and it’s a pretty bad surprise if you are not accustomed to it. A little while ago I just met a cool guy who later tried to show me some good old trick on my bike, but I ended up witnessing him getting puzzled as he was trying to set the pedals in a certain position for the trick. I deeply felt the guilt of having such a setup as peculiar as, say, a truck with three gearshift sticks.

So, I’ve just got a normal freewheel setup for the hell of it, for the first time in about seven years. The rims are for trials, with holes and in the color of purple, neither of which I had ever tried before. How class. The holes are there for weight saving, but need to be sealed to prevent things from coming in or out. It took me a while to figure it out about that part.

Now the only thing left to do is go ride! Hmm, whereto?