Anywhooo, the race went swimmingly well for about 6 minutes until my rear wheel committed harikari. I won't call out the manufacturer of the RD-400 rear wheel but it truly let me down. It is dubbed as a training / racing wheel. Perhaps they didn't mean cross cources with sharp angular sections of old houses jutting from the ground being piloted by a 200 lber with no finesse. You've gotta be specific about these things. So 3 spokes broke on the non-drive side and one on the drive side until I stopped. Amazingly, the wheel was still somewhat true.
Enough about diagonosing the patient, what was the cure to get this crap mobile ready for the race on Sunday? I headed to the basement of Recycled Cycles and went to work. The RD-400 comes with these cool light bladed spokes. Get rid of that shit ASAP. I requested 8 guage cast iron but only found some 14 guage stainless, round, good old fashioned spokes and put those babies in after cutting to the correct length.
Next up, nipples. Some folks take nipples for granted - not me. The RD-400 has a sweet light weight nipple that seats in a reversed fashion inside the rim. It has no slot so you can't use a nipple wrench but instead need a special "spoke socket". Yup, spoke socket. The proprietary spokes also have a smooth head to ensure you don't gouge the shit out of the inside of your rim.
I didn't have any of that shit.
So I grabbed standard brass niples. Just plain big hard nipples. Got them inside the rim and found something to clamp down and twist. The slotted head probably tore the hell out of the inside of the rim but I put it all back together and over trued all the spokes for good measure. After a thorough inspection and only noticing some preliminary cracks beginning around the spoke holes on the rim I felt prepared for the next day.
Just stop and fill up my growler on the way home at the local brewery. Run into a buddy watching college ball. Begin drinking Jameson and an 8.5 IPA. Call more people to let them know how they should be doing the same. Pass out on someone's couch by 8 PM. It just never quits up in this bitch.