07/23/23 – Not a True Story

After the fiasco of replacing Greengo’s rear rim in Buenos Aires, I approached one of my colleagues who was coming from São Paulo, where there’s a couple of Brompton dealers. She managed to find the correct rim and brought it to Salta. With the help of YouTube, I rebuilt the wheel myself, but I had to rely on a bike shop mechanic to true it. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as smoothly as I expected. They managed to true it reasonably well laterally, but there was a significant radial deviation. So, I decided to take the wheel to another shop. They improved the overall trueness, but it still wasn’t optimal. Feeling a bit frustrated, I put the bike back together, but then my Lezyne pump stopped working while I was inflating the tires. I found another bike shop, brought Greengo to get the air pumped, purchased a new pump, and had yet another mechanic tinker with the wheel. It’s better than when I started, but it’s still not perfectly true. The good news is that I can cycle now. However, I’m a bit concerned about the tension of the spokes. After several attempts at different shops, I’m not sure if the tension is evenly distributed, which could lead to spoke breakage. I only have a few spare spokes, and I have an upcoming ten-day trip, so it’s a bit worrisome.

To test the wheel and myself before the upcoming trip, I cycled to Quebrada del Toro, a gorge that begins roughly 30 km from Salta and extends high into the mountains. However, I only ventured 25 km deep into it. Despite the gentle incline, my legs felt crushed. I hadn’t planned to go any further anyways, and even if I had, I wouldn’t have made much progress. Throughout the ride, I attentively listened to the noises Greengo was making, trying to determine their source – whether it was the rear wheel, the drivetrain, or the fork. I still don’t know. What I do know is that the lowest gear in the hub isn’t engaging, which is not good. The test revealed that neither I nor Greengo are in top shape. In a week, we will embark on a trip in the mountains, and we need to be prepared.

Quebrada del Toro in numbers:

111 km — distance cycled
1054 m — elevation gain between Salta and the point in Quebrada del Toro where I turned around