Back around Father’s Day, my wife asked me what I wanted. I didn’t have to stop and think.
“I need a new rear wheel,” I declared.
My bike mechanic had been after me to get a replacement rear wheel for awhile. Lately, his warnings have become more urgent.
“This wheel is shot,” he said.
He suggested I pop for a wheelset that was not all that pricey, but was a lot more than I wanted to spend. We kicked around some ideas for a wheel that would be more in line with my needs and my budget. When I mentioned the Mavic Aksium, he agreed it would be a good choice, and would still be an upgrade over the wheel it would replace.
It just so happened that Performance had Aksiums at a good price. My wonderful wife gave me a Performance gift card for Father’s Day loaded with enough money to cover the cost of the wheel. I headed down to our local Performance store that weekend.
Darn! They’d just sold their last one. The sales guy pointed me to their “red” phone, where I could phone in an order and bypass the oversized shipping charges. In addition, I had been emailed a coupon for 20 percent off. So I would be getting a new wheel for $151.
Except for one thing. It was backordered.
“When will it be in?” I asked the salesman on the phone.
“Don’t know yet,” he said. “We’ll email you when we get it.”
A couple of weeks later, I called again. The local Performance guys told me I’d get more up-to-date information on the order if I called their 800 number. They were right. That is, it didn’t take as long for the guy on the phone to tell me it would be in around mid-July.
In the meantime, my bike rides have been punctuated by a clicking sound from the rear hub. The wheel seems to be holding its trueness, but when I had the bike in to my mechanic on another matter, he warned that the wheel was in dire need of replacement.
On the 17th of July, I called the 800 number again.
“Well, that’s supposed to be here in mid-July,” the lady said.
“And here we are,” I replied.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” she answered.
I’ve continued to ride on the clickety wheel. My recent rides have been shorter — nothing over 25 miles — but I’m getting antsy.
I called the 800 number again Thursday.
“Yeah, that won’t be in now until mid-August,” the guy said.
I could understand if it was a rare wheel in low demand. But an Aksium strikes me as something pretty common.
I think Performance gets another in-person visit from me this weekend. And if I can’t resolve the situation to my satisfaction, other bike shops will see me in their places, too.