As I have probably mentioned previously on this site, I am not really the most mechanically inclined individual. I’m certainly no handyman, though I continue to do my best when necessary. One positive aspect of delving into trials biking has been the impetus to gain hands-on experiencing in maintaining mechanical devices. Due to ongoing battle due to the apparent incompatibility between Continental bike tires with Inspired Bicycles rims in a tubeless configuration, I have decided to spend a crap-ton of money on a set of new bike wheels for my Inspired Arcade trials bike. You know, to avoid spending a few dollars here and there replacing inner tubes due to the inevitable pinch flats caused by the abuse with which I punish my poor bike as slam wheels into harsh edges while I struggle to learn bigger moves.

It’s not as simple as replacing rims. Sure, it’s theoretically possible that I could just disassemble the old wheels to build new ones using new rims, but… why? So, I selected rims known to ‘play nice’ with the Continental tires and work well in a tubeless setup. Then I figured I might as well upgrade to a freehub (versus a hub and freewheel). And if I’m upgrading, I might as well get great components (though not the top-end, of course). Plus, it needs to look badass. So apparently these new wheels set me back about 1/4 the cost of the whole bike. But at least the tire bead should seat properly (so they aren’t lopsided on the rim, burping tire sealant at every little bump), the wheels should hold air for longer than a single session, the hub will provide finer control (and sound way cooler!), and my bike will certainly be more pimped out.

There is one minor issue: I’ve never built a bike wheel before. I have no idea what I’m doing. But, I’m not going to let that hold me back. I have YouTube, Google, and a recently acquired book on wheel building (shoutout to @jfmic2 on Instagram for the recommendation!). I’ll borrow, build, or buy the tools I need, and figure it out. Hopefully I’ll end up with beautifully built bike wheels, or maybe this will be a ‘train wreck’. Regardless, I’m doing it, and I’ll course correct as necessary to accomplish my mission.

I encourage you to stretch yourself and learn new skills as well. Push yourself. Try something challenging. Learn through both your successes and your failures. Even if your initial results are less amazing than you initially envision, that’s ok. Take pride in the fact that you made the effort, struggled through it, and learned new things along the way.


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