Monday, September 21, 2009

my two day b43 (and chain tensioners... and rando) review

so i had the chance to run a b43 over the weekend. in fact it was this one right here:

i had no rear wheel (since i sold it, i should've taken the cog and lockring. oh well.) i picked this up as a favor and next week im going to be starting my i-D build.

when i got this thing, it was all wrong. why? it had randos. as a strong believer in soma everwears, i had to trudge on through the weekend with it. then i had to deal with the chain tensioners which evidently makes my bottom bracket creak with no mercy. it also has an origin 8 hub. and im pretty sure you know my feelings on origin 8 products... that out of the way.....

so this wheel was on thin ice when i got it. so i put it on thinner ice by taking it to chico corsa's downtown criterium, an event that is powered by carbon fiber (actually, there was one rider, greg, in the 345 that ran a steel soma with frame shift levers who was throwing down hammers for a few laps. awesome dude.), clif bars and GU. i rode downtown and sat around watching men in spandex whizz by at high speeds. the bike got very few looks from the roadies (only sparked conversation one road guy with a steel 'nago), but fixed gear guys had so many questions about it. ah, 43 mm of conversation. now from my perspective, i like the simplicity of the nonmachined wall. with the size of the sidewalls, the wheel looks extremely racy- dont get me wrong, it's no carbon fiber deep profile v like the ones i was surrounded by, but it was surely a head tuner.  i could do without the paint though... i believe it would look amazing polished though...

this thing is rigid. i thought the thing would be noisy when i ran off curbs, but surprisingly it was quiet. it's heavy, sure; the thing is 43 mm deep and it is made out of steel. so i expected heavy metal. whipskids were made semi-easier due in part of the weight. my only problem with the b43 is the stiffness. now i know alot of fixed freestyle heads love stiffness, but i use my bike everyday in agressive riding. im not a fixed freestyle focused rider, so i need a flowy and smooth ride- something that low profile wheels give.

the randos:
randos randos randos... i dont like them. they sound like ripping denim. for my long and controlled skid style, it's horrible. the rubber compund isnt sticky enough for me and i end up pulling stunted whip skids in order to get grip from the less worn down edges of the tire.  so instead of the smooth PPPFFFFFFFFSSSSSsssssttt slowdown, i have SKKKKKKKKKRRFT pedal pedal SKKKKKKKRRRRRRRFTTT. so even though these thing have rigid sidewall as compared to the soma, the rubber compound is so different that i have to adapt to it rather than it having to shape and adapt to my riding. i'll put down my extra $15 for my soma super everwears, thanks.


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