Sunday 19 November 2017

Catrike wheel

From time to time I see those bikes on the street but I'd never think that I'll be building a wheel for such exotic bike.

In general I like the challenges so I took this job with excitement as I knew it won't be an easy "purchase parts - build the wheel" task.

The requirement of Nic was easy - "strong and as light as possible" 

Looking into the details and taking a second look on the bike I noted that:
- wheel size is 451mm (20inch)
- it's a road setup
- rear dropouts have 135mm

Such combination limits pretty much the rims, hubs and tires selection. After some research and math I collected the following parts:
- carbon rim, 451mm, 38mm deep, 15C, weight 322g
- bitex RAR16, 135mm version, weight 220g
- sapim Laser spokes
- schwalbe durano tire (255g)
- tube + valve extender

All in all the build went smooth and easy.

Because the rim is only 20inch I decided to go for thin Sapim Laser spokes, 32 spokes, 2-cross laced on both sides (the rim diameter and hub flange was no go for 3-cross lacing)
The bitex hub has high flanges so with such lacing it allows to fully leverage the whole power from pedaling and transfer it to the wheel. 
I focused to bend the spokes properly to lay them nicely on the flange. The Sapim Lasers are easy to form and if they are short and with high tension they remain very strong.

In addition to save the weight I decided to go with "velo plugs" instead of classy rim tape. Since there is no brake on rear wheel it's a save choice.

The weight of the wheel is 666g ;-)

Strong, aero & good looking will be definitely a nice upgrade to the extraordinary catrike speed 700


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