Still grounded in Zurich

Discovering our fourth broken spoke on Saturday has certainly put the kaibosh on our plans… We were hoping to be within a few km of the top of the St Gotthard pass tomorrow evening but will instead be spending another day in Zurich.

On the up side, we’ve been having a lovely time with our friends here and in a lot of ways, this mechanical difficulty couldn’t have come at a better time. Amazing hospitality, a great city and surrounds for exploring, oh and plenty of Swiss chocolate of course!! Today we have been to a really old town (described as ‘painfully picturesque’ in the guidebook!) called Stein am Rhein. We took a boat trip down the Rhine from there and went to  Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. Very impressive and very beautiful.

More good news is that we’ve found a great mechanic to rebuild our wheel and we should be back on the road again on Thursday, all things being well. Turns out, the guys at Simpel reckon we’ve had the wrong rim on our rear wheel since it was built… The spokes screw into the rim at a slight angle because of the Rohloff hub but they have ordered us a new rim with holes in exactly the right place so they will fit in completely straight.

The weather up in the pass doesn’t look too bad so we shall have a go at getting over on Friday/Saturday and hope the Swiss authorities have done their usual excellent job of clearing the roads. If it looks impassable, the great thing about this pass is that it follows the line of a train so if all else fails, we shall resort to that!

Thanks for all your comments so far and particularly for the advice on the spokes!

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3 Responses to Still grounded in Zurich

  1. Dick says:

    Hey Guys … I’ve just received the message below from Brian (via Christine), who was there on Sunday when we discussed the spoke problem.

    Perhaps you could get a refund from Thorn?


    I spoke to mike Friday about the problem that Rachel and John are having. He has the same bike and gearing. He has heard that Thorn had a batch of wrongly drilled Rims, the angle was wrong for the hub gear, Spokes have been breaking at the threaded end. He did go on to say that 32 spokes are considered sufficient as the humis of a larger than usual diameter and the wheel is only 26 inches.

    I have just seen latestmessage from Rachel and John and it appears that their mechanic knows his onions. I do not seem to be able to reply to the message they sent to their followers and hoped you would be able to pass this information on to them. It might help improve their confidence. Thankyou.


    • rachelfitzgerald says:

      Hi Dick, thanks so much for passing on the messages – Brian appears to be absolutely spot on – thanks Brian! And great to have the mechanic’s thoughts here backed up further. We shall certainly be having words with Thorn…


  2. Linda says:

    Hi Rachel & John
    have just done a big catch-up read of your adventures to date – great to hear how it’s been going and hope you’ve now got spokes and snow sorted
    look forward to hearing more

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