The odd world of the rickshaw wheel

When I bought the rickshaw half a decade ago, the tires and tubes were already on the rim. Last weekend, I snapped the metal stem on the left rear tube. Thankfully, it had enough air trapped in it to get home, but there was no way to add more air in the future, and all three wheels have leaked a little since day one.

I went to Bikes2Boards and picked up a tube. Then, the process of solving a mystery began. What’s it like under that tire? Here’s a glimpse:

Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube
Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube separated for the first time in over five years.

There’s a red tube! The tire is also odd. It essentially goes all the way around with a cut down the middle so a tube can fit in. The uncommon backside of the tire ends up functioning as the tape for the inside of the wheel, which has no tape at all.

Getting the 26 x 1.75 tire off and back on is a serious challenge. It can be done, but it is a difficult process. You have been warned. A nice change is that the wheel now has a common (in the US) Schrader valve. No need to use a Presta to Schrader valve adapter anymore.

The Wheel is Back!

The first of the season’s mechanical upgrades has been completed. I got my wheel back from Bikes2Boards today. The wheel wasn’t right when I got the Rickshaw new off ebay and I may have made it worse when hitting a speed bump while sprinting to the 2006 Tour de Fat (or maybe not). Thanks to Bikes2Boards the wheel has finally be trued. We haven’t mounted it on the Rickshaw yet. I should call Joe and let him know it is back.

Bikes2Boards is my favorite bike shop in town hands down. They love bikes and are fearless to fix whatever comes in. I don’t roll average stuff, so I typically get an interesting look with whatever I bring in. This time the question was “Where did you get that?” as the Rickshaw wheel with the odd cast iron hub was being looked over. “Ebay” I said.

I also drove the 2007 Tour de Boise route today (one way) so I could show Kelly what I was hoping to finish. It should be an interesting challenge if I make it. I can ride the route on my Schwinn Classic Cruiser fine, and have, but Rickshaw is another level of demanding. To finish, I’ll need some upgrades, as will the Rickshaw. I think it can be done, but will it? Not a gimmie.