Recycling for Cyclocross

Winter in Northern Scotland is a real issue when you want to commute everyday; believe me when I say I try every year to cycle all through the winter and over the last couple of years I have nearly managed it. Winter has been kind for the last couple of years. Ice is however inevitable, and as some of my key roads don’t even make the “b” list, the gritter is something of a myth they could only dream of. One hill in particular is suicidal, as I have found out on several occasions, and so I resign myself to a turbo trainer in the garage and feel like I am wimping out. This is never helped by the regular postings of people racking up miles on the Rapha Festive 500 or other events.
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Dead wheel

When I got my Van Nicholas it came with a set of Easton Circuit wheels.  No matter what you see below please first understand that I have ridden my bike most days, covering between 120 to 200 miles a week and have ridden the bike for four years before this happened.  Other than this final death throw these wheels have remained true and have been fairly maintenance free.

I got into work after my normal commute, pushed my bike into entrance knew something wasn’t quite right.  My immediate thought was a buckled wheel, and on first inspection it looked a little like I had broken yet another spoke, though it has been a little while since I broke the last one.

On inspection though it was a little worse than that.

Yes I was lucky, but this was rather predictable.  When I looked at it in detail I have been riding some pretty shoddy roads for a few years on wheels with 20 spokes both front and rear.  I had already replaced the front wheel as I had worn the rim down so the wear marker had gone.  This was expected considering I mainly using my front brakes.  What I didn’t consider was the concentrated loading the rims where getting with reduced spokes.  So when I looked at the rest of the wheel it was in a pretty poor condition with most of the other eyelets.

Has anyone else experienced this or is it just me?  In view of this please always check your rims on a regular basis; especially if you prone to buying wheels that are minimalistic where spokes are concerned.