31 July 2023

Wheel Nos 00030, 00031, and 00032

In the PBP year, new dynamo hub wheels are in order. 

Jerome asked for a new one, together with a new light. So back in June I built him one using a slightly worn H Plus Son rim I had used briefly while waiting for a different (tubeless ready) rim some time back. Jerome says he is done trying tubeless so this was a perfect match. A new SV-8 hub, and DT Swiss aero-bladed spokes, and voila -- Wheel No. 00030:

For myself, I want to try to ride PBP with a more "modern" tubeless setup this year, with carbon rim wheels. I got a slightly shallower Imezi rim than my existing ones (complete with pink decals to match my rear wheel) and built it up with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and another SV-8 dynamo hub, for use with my travel bike. Wheel No. 00031:

After a few weeks of riding the new setup, I worried about carbon rim brakes for PBP. Jerome and I went for a ride to the base of Wada Pass ... and I could not help but remember the time I melted another carbon rim sitting on the brakes descending the pass. And even though the dry weather stopping distance seemed okay, I lack the stopping confidence that I have with regular aluminum clinchers or, better yet, disk brakes. 

I saw that Ijichi-san, one of the regular Tokyo area randonneurs, had just taken delivery of a beautiful new custom titanium rando bike from Vlad at Equilibrium cycles, Tokyo-based Latvian framebuilder, and that Ijichi-san's new steed was using mechanical disk brakes. The thought hit me immediately -- why not swap out my Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork and replace it with a road disk brake fork, including mechanical disk brake that I could use with my current SRAM AXS Force/rim brake brifters? After all, that was the setup that I ended up with on the Yamabushi, where I did not really like the original brakes -- and a front mechanical disk was the ideal solution. After some searching, I decided to go for a made-in-USA Paul Components flat-mount short-pull mechanical disk brake that looks and feels very solid and has strong reviews. 

So I built up Wheel No. 32 today from an SP Dynamo PL-7 hub, Sapim CX Ray spokes, and a fairly wide (22.5mm internal, 28mm external, 40-42.5mm deep "wavy", hookless) rim purchased off Ali Express. Likewise I got a road disk brake fork from Ali Express. Everything has worked fine (so far) except that the fork is designed for M6 bolts, while the Paul and every other disk brake I have ever seen uses M5. Anyway, with a bit of extra elbow grease the new M6 bolts I purchased fit and the brake is attached.

Wheel No. 00032:

The mechanical disk brake:

The wide rim means the Corsa N.EXT TLR 700x28 tire sizes to 29mm wide, but still plenty of room in this fork. I think this should just about be the perfect rim/tire combination for both comfort and speed.


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