A nugget of nostalgia.
|Grand tour winners use Campagnolo.|
One Saturday morning, being a skinny teen, I'd ridden with some others before we split at the top of Chunnal and headed down towards Glossop. I wanted to avoid the rain and accelerated on the descent, getting into a tuck position once I'd gone as fast as my 52x12 would let me. As that back wheel spun, I still remember the distinct hummmmm of the freewheel as the paws had no chance of making a distinct clicky-tick. Heading into the corner nearing the bottom of the pass and still being tucked up and way to fast, I remember the fear of shifting position to try and reach for the brakes so kept low with my nose just over the stem and shot round it with my heart in my throat - and glimpsing 61 mph on my little Sigma speedo. Sean Yates, you inspired me.
|THE master of going down hill fast - Sean Yates|
I've been over 56 mph since, but not over 60 mph. It's not that I haven't tried, but the mix of lack of opportunity and the fact of being 16 year old and fearless means I'm yet to have an official GPS record of over 100 kph.
The rear wheel is pretty much all that's left of that bike. There is the cable guide which still sits under the Concorde's bottom bracket which even did LEL with me but the frame, bars, cranks and everything else has since gone. That morning is still a story to tell people over a beer ever-so often. For the past 20 years, the wheel has been used on various other uses but as it's a 120mm OLD and 7sp cassette, it quickly got replaced (in 1998 I think when I got the Concorde) with a 9sp compatible wheelset so the fastest wheel I've owned did a limited number of miles and still has plenty of brake track left. It had been used as a spare rear wheel for a turbo rig for a short time but as even this is now 10sp, this fantastic wheel now sits idle.
Engineering wise, that wheel just appears to be a quality wheel even 20 years after it was first build. There will be mass produced factory wheels being churned out today which may be lighter, more technologically advanced, cheaper..etc, but the strong build of the Campagnolo Mexico 68 rim, Shimano hub and double butted 3-cross spokes just screams "this is a proper wheel." I guess the number of bike wheels which have touched 60 mph is low. I'll put a wager on >20 year old wheels which have done over 60 mph are even less.
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