Riding our luck

Sourcing a new rim in Africa is easy. We found three places in Tarfaya that will sell us one, but each time they have 36 holes and ours has 32. The guy in the bike shop below even had a double walled one made by a company I’ve never heard of. But again, 36 hole.

bike shop tarfaya

I’ve Googled the possibility of building a 36 hole rim onto a 32 hole hub, but its not feasible. Plus I’m no wheel builder so even with the correct rim and hub, it’ll take time.

We’ve seen surprisingly OK bikes in Tarfaya, including a couple of GTs (one with Hope skewers(!)) and have even contemplated making an offer on a full machine.

We’ve managed 200km on the existing split rim, with plenty of tensioning and truing along the way. This evening we’ll try and get the bus to Dakhla for the second time – yesterday they had no space for the bike. Moroccans, it seems, don’t travel light. The bus hold included amongst other things, a complete bed.

If we can’t get on the bus then tomorrow we’re back on the bike and riding on a wing and a prayer down to Laayoune, where we’ll hopefully have more luck.


7 thoughts on “Riding our luck

  1. Things must be looking up in Tarfaya. Sure hope you get a fix before the badlands of the Sahara.

  2. Hey Chris, I’d upgrade to a minimum 36 spokes if you possibly can, it’ll be worth the expense in the long run. Good luck with the rest of the ride, it’s good to keep up with your progress!

    • Hi Iain, I looked into that option but the wheels aren’t great out here. Found a 32 hole now and rebuilt the wheel. New issue is the Park self adhesive patches peeling off the tubes in the sun. Hope all’s good over there. Cheers, Chris

  3. I must admit that I’ve read that some touring bikes are built with 40-spoke rims, and more so, the tandems, you might want to look into this next time. However, I’m enjoying the writing, and love the blog name!

    • I don’t know if 40 spokes would have prevented the rim splitting. Perhaps.

      However, if it had split, sourcing a 40 hole rim in the Western Sahara would have pretty much impossible.

      Thanks for the positive feedback on the blog. I’m pleased you’re enjoying the read.

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