I broke a spoke in my rear Kysrium last week. No obvious reason, just getting out of the saddle at the bottom of a rise and, ping, metallic rattle, gone. And because of the spacing and the tension on Kysriums, it was enough to bend the rim far enough out of shape that it rubbed the chain stays on both sides. So thanks to International Rescue, Glossop Chapter for bailing me out and saving my cleats and chain stays.
And then, when I got home, I realised the chain was broken too - one inner plate snapped. And of course, because I like to make my life difficult, it's an 11-speed Campag chain. So there I was, one rare spoke and one rare chain to the bad and one sulking Planskey X or Lysnklet Ti Pro Road Mog scowling in the corner.
Cue endless calls and searches and eventually spokes ordered by the three from Pedalon - thanks Kie for telling me how to date the wheel, first digits of the bar code on the rim sticker if you're wondering - along with the stop-gap installation of a ten-speed quick link, which does work, even if technically it didn't ought to.
Chain ordered, spoke ordered. Brand new Bontrager Race X-Lite transmogrified wheel installed and dis-installed because, well, it just looked wrong. Pimpy as feck with white spokes and red alloy nipples, but just not right with stealth grey titanium, though it would look great with pimped out black and red and white swoopy carbon I guess. Anyone want to buy a mismatched wheel-set of uncertain provenance?
Big props to Pedalon for delivering next day after a 3pm order, but shock horror, the spokes are black, but hey. So in it goes, some gentle tweaking on the wheel jig and now I have a rear silver Ksyrium SL with one black spoke. And you know what, I really like it. There's something human and real and endearing about imperfection in the middle of something as improbably perfect and round as a wheel.
And it's one raised black finger to roadie fascist, black and white thinking, life tyrants. Besides, it was hard enough finding a black spoke, I simply can't be arsed with finding a silver one...