Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Well, I finally ditched the steel wheels on my Fuji about three weeks ago and put some aluminum ones on. It cut about 2 pounds off the bike. Now it only weighs 30 pounds. The wheels came off a mint condition Schwinn Worldsport with a frame too small for anyone around here, so I figured, "why not?". I took it out for a ride, expecting to go faster, but, to my amazement, I didn't. I was slower. Consistently. I tried harder, but it never seemed that the speed matched the effort I was putting in, and I couldn't figure out why. Put on lighter wheel and have my average speed drop a full mile per hour. It didn't make much sense. Saturday morning before I rode I decided to pull the bearings apart and clean and grease them. When I did I found 9 balls on one side and 8 on the other. I didn't have enough balls! Fortunately I had some of the right size bearing balls in my tool box, so I cleaned and greased everything and put it back together. Saturday's ride was a half mph faster than before I changed wheels, and Sunday's was 1.5 mph faster - and it was a recovery ride, so I wasn't even trying. Lighter wheels sure help, but only if you have enough balls.