Our rims are finally here! Tara and I tore into the boxes at the post office this morning as soon as they opened at 8:30 AM. We could hardly believe what we saw when we removed the cardboard packaging. Velocity has replaced our failing rear rims (their Chukkers) with a thicker, heavier, stronger, ridiculously overbuilt model: the Psycho.
After completing the required paperwork, we carried the long-awaited rims back to our hotel where I promptly got to work mounting them while Tara packed up our panniers.
I am entirely blown away by the bulk of the Pyschos. Our wimpy Chukkers fit inside them! I've never seen a bicycle rim like this. They are so heavy duty it feels like they belong on a motorcycle. If I had known about these before we left I would have stopped researching immediately and bought them. Wow. Now I am kicking myself for not taking Velocity up on their offer to replace all four. We've yet to have problems with our front rims so I'll just keep my fingers crossed for now.
When Tara's rear wheel started failing, we thought it was the same problem I had with mine in Switzerland (the braking surface developed a nasty crack). It wasn't until I took her rim tape off to investigate that I discovered the real culprit. The Chukker is splitting in two, right down the middle! This is either a manufacturing defect or our 2" tires (@ 60 PSI) + heavy loads were simply too much for them.
Curiously, my rear rim, which carries the heaviest load of all, is fine. I had originally considered riding it until it broke too. Then I saw Tara's new beefy Psycho mounted. That plus the thought of lugging the spare rim bungied somewhere to my bike convinced me to just get it over with now. These things are seriously so hefty, and inspire so much confidence, that I am finally regaining faith that our rim problems are over.
Look at this flipping bicycle rim! It makes our 2" Schwalbe Marathon XRs look small!
Tomorrow, we head towards the mountains. Hopefully our month off hasn't left us too out of shape.