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Saturday, March 03, 2007
EMERGENCY WHEEL FIX
Pop quiz, you're riding down the road minding your own business when all of a sudden you crash and seriously bend a wheel on your faithful ride to the point that it looks like a taco. What do you do? Let's say that you have no tools, you're miles away from home, there is not a bike shop anywhere in site and no way to get a lift home. Supposing that you have survived the incident intact and you don't require ambulance transport, you're on foot and you need to get back home.
At this point, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your wheel is busted and you'll have to replace it anyway. You can work the wheel roughly back into shape by putting it on a hard surface, place your feet on the raised side of the "taco" and with both feet, jump firmly on the wheel to press it down. It should come back into a rideable shape. Do some more spot presses if you have to. The idea of this maneuver is not to have a perfect wheel, you'll have to replace it anyways, but to bring it back to a decent shape so you can ride back home slowly. At this point, the wheel will do it's job, but it won't be balanced and safe. So avoid any serious speed, especially downhill.
Let's face it, the worst ride beats the best walk! In the images, I used a wheel without a tire. Wheels with a tire usually come back in pretty good shape if I refer to the few times that I actually had to do this. Don't kid yourselves after this, the rim and spokes are shot, so go to your local bike shop and get another wheel once you get home safely.
Til next time, ride safe and Godspeed.