The Marauder returns to Burning Man 2016 – after a repair and a mod

The Playa Marauder remains my favorite bike Burning Man. The sheer size of it continues to strike fear into the hearts of the citizens of BRC. 🙂

For 2016 I made a repair and a modification to the beast. During the 2015 festival I lost a couple spokes on one of the front wheels. I thought I’d simply purchase a couple new spokes and install them. Wrong!

As you may or may not be aware, typically when a spoke drops out of a rim while moving the spoke will tangle around the rotating axle tightening against itself until it brings the bike to a complete stop …unless discovered immediately and stopped.

In my case I was unaware of the dropped spoke until the Marauder was slowed to a halt each time. At that point I was forced to dismount the beast and unwind the steel spoke from the axle in order to proceed.

What I was unaware at time and did not discover until I attempted to replace the spokes was that the weight and momentum of the Marauder wrapped the steel spoke so tightly around the axle that the entire front hub twisted.

Here’s a shot of the torqued front hub.

How the heck did that happen?!

Pretty gnarly, huh?

So, my thought of a relatively quick and easy spoke replacement turned into sourcing a new front hub and a complete re-lacing of the wheel.  [Given the unique size of the wheels (32″) this was not an easy task.]

You can be sure that I tightened the spokes on this re-lacing quite tight. And I’m happy to report that not a single spoke was dropped during the 2016 festival.

The modification I made was to make a new set of front fenders utilizing the original rear fenders from the Genesis Super 32’s.  Because the rear fenders are longer than the front fenders, using them in the front really lowered their profile (see photo below).

As you can see I modified the rear fenders in the same cow-catcher style that I had used on the original front fenders.

Above is a photo of the Playa Marauder in its element at Burning Man 2016.

I’m always thinking of new builds for the playa.  Not sure what I’ll build for 2017’s festival, but regardless the Marauder will accompany me as well.

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