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My Bike Works Again

The Wheel Master 365-MACVXT5 wheels as shipped, built with Mavic XC 717 Disc rims and Shimano Deore XT HB-M756 six-hole disc hubs.

I’m very happy, my bike works again. Today I received a package containing the new wheels and front brake and got everything installed and working. The delivery was supposed to come yesterday, but at 8:30pm UPS changed the status to indicate that it would be delayed and delivered today.

When the box arrived the label on it indicated that it was a Wheel Master 365-MAVXT5 set, consisting of Mavic XC717 Disc rims, 32 hole, in black, with matching Shimano M756 hubs and black DT spokes. I’ve been unable to locate any info on Wheel Master online, but it appears that they assemble wheels in the US for sale through other shops. I’m quite happy with these wheels, as they were almost perfectly true when received, reasonably well packed, and cheap. There was no rim tape, prompting a quick run out to REI to pick up some 17mm Velox rim tape. It also seems that the rims are painted (or powder coated) black, so there is the risk of scratching them and exposing metal beneath. Hopefully this won’t happen.

I had a bit of difficulty making the rim tape stick, but hopefully it’ll get better as it sits under pressure from the tube. Mounting the disc brake rotor was trivial, and it was particularly easy to fit the tires on to the rim. The size of the rim seems just perfect, and my normally-difficult Continental TravelContact tires seated automatically, without the need for glass cleaner as a lubricant.

The Avid BB7 brake received was listed as a 07 version, but it was manufactured in 2008 and doesn’t match my rear brake dated late 2006. They don’t match, but they do both work. Part of me is considering returning the one from REI and getting a new rear BB7 to match, but it’s probably not worth it

Everything else with reassembling the bike went great, and I took it for a ~8.5 mile test ride in the dark (with lights, of course) after everything was done. There is a slight creaking-ish sound coming from the bike, but I can’t tie it to any particular effort or movement, so I think that it may either be a brake cable housing rubbing against a cable tie or possibly the seat post. I’ll try and sort it out tomorrow.

The brakes themselves are working better than they were when I first left on the ride, but they still aren’t properly broken in. I’m not able to lock up the rear brake yet, and squeezing hard on the front brake while pushing the front end along by hand still allows the wheel to turn, albeit with quite a bit of effort. I imagine that with another 10-20 miles and some more good hard stops the brakes will start wearing nicely and they’ll stop like my BB5s did.

Overall I’m quite happy with things. The wheels are lighter and the bike seems to move better than it did before, and having nice, true, non-flat-side wheels makes everything seem like it rolls by better. Hopefully soon I’ll get to go on a nice, much longer ride; maybe this weekend.

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