Seattle Bike Swap

So I’m minding my own business, pedaling along the Burke-Gilman Trail, when a spoke breaks on my fancy road bike. Or at least I thought that was what caused the “ping-ping-ping” sound that caused me to immediately pull off to the side of the trail. Wrong. The spoke had pulled off a piece of my rear hub; or the metal had failed at that attachment point. I’m not a mechanic, so don’t ask me which. But I was stranded, had to call for a ride home, and a new rear wheel cost me $160 later that same day. Worse, I probably bought the wrong one, since my old chain and rear cassette now appear to be rubbing against the new spokes. Infuriating. This is why you should attend the Seattle Bike Swap: Bicycles, and all their confounding parts, are too expensive and finicky, too prone to break. We’re living in a recession, people, and this 13th-annual event is a place where bargains abound. Various dealers and shops are eagerly trying to flush out their old inventory in the middle of winter, and they are desperate to make deals. Here’s a chance to score a new commuter model, a full-suspension mountain bike, an all-carbon racer, or whatever attendant parts and accessories you need. (In my case, another rear wheel.) And if your present bike is broken or you have no car, Metro route 30 takes you straight to the park. BRIAN MILLER

Sat., Feb. 21, 9 a.m., 2009

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