Unusual Fruit

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Frost has claimed much of the remaining outdoor harvest on the farm, while spicy arugula and mild white turnips persist in the greenhouse.  The root cellar is full and the freezer is packed for the short, mild winter in the southwest.  Aside, some unusual fruits have come up recently: With Jeremy’s help, Lael has finished fermenting some delicious kimchi of Chinese cabbage, turnips, daikon, and kohlrabi, made with a salty brine and some time.  I’ve got some new shoes for the Pugsley in the form of folding 120 tpi 26×3.8″ Surly Knard tires, soon to be mounted tubeless.  And, Cass and I are building wheels for his new Surly Krampus frame with Surly Rabbit Hole rims.  These rims are 50mm wide and constructed like the lightweight Marge Lite rims I have been riding all summer.

In the basket: Surly Ultra New Front Disc hub, Phil Wood Mountain Disc hub, DT Competition butted black spokes and black brass nipples, and two Surly Rabbit Hole rims.  A good winter harvest.

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The Phil Wood cassette hub was sourced locally at Fat Tire Bike Shop in Albuquerque, NM.  It had been sitting around for several years, as it seems nobody wants a boat anchor for a rear hub.  Cass has experienced numerous issues with modern Deore and Deore XT hubs, and the Phil promises to solve all of his (rear hub related) problems.  Shimano disc hubs have a habit of loosening.  The hub design seems to be largely unchanged from their non-disc offerings, except that the loads associated with disc braking are able to loosen the locknut and cone.  As well, Cass had issues with his XT freehub while in South America.  The freewheel action became gritty and tight.  Technically, replacing a freehub body is not rocket science except that newer XT hubs with oversized axles (reduced at the ends) require a specific freehub body that is almost equal in cost to the hub itself.  The body is also affixed with a 14mm hex wrench, which isn’t a common tool even in some big-city bike shops.  Unfortunately, the leap in price from an XT hub is great and the options quickly become expensive, including the likes of Chris King, DT Swiss, and Hope.  Luckily, this unwanted Phil Wood was a relative bargain at $200.

Phil Wood has been overbuilding hubs since 1971, and pioneered the use of sealed cartridge bearings in bicycle equipment in a small machine shop in California.  The Field Serviceable Design was introduced in 1991 and can be done with only two 5mm hex wrenches.   Three grease ports are also located on the freehub splines.  This hub should prove to be worth its weight in reliability, and it is notably heavy.  It is not uncommon to see Phil hubs from the 70’s in daily service.  The value of cartridge bearings is that the integral parts of the hub are undamaged by heavy use and neglect.

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The non-drive side flange is taller to effectively transmit disc-brake loads.  The 6-bolt ISO disc mount is seriously overbuilt.

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Surly Rabbit Hole rims are a singlewall-type rim with a doublewall box section in the corners, much like the Surly Marge Lite.  They are 622x50mm, but weight only 699g.

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Singlewall spoke bed with cutouts to save weight.  Doublewall sections in the corners are built for rigidity.  These rims build up nice and round.  They are drilled with 64 holes, offset 5mm from center.  For symmetrical builds, lace the wheel to alternating sides of each pair of holes.  For asymmetrical wheels such as on the Pugsley, lace entirely to one side.

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29×3.0″ Knard tires on freshly built wheels, inflated to 40 psi to properly seat the bead.  Previously mounted on a narrow Salsa Delgado Cross rim, the tire now measures 10mm wider on the Rabbit Hole rim and the side knobs are oriented in a more useful direction.  The tire and the rim were designed in unison, and it shows.

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These tasty root vegetables are Surly’s new lightweight folding fatbike tire, also called the Knard.  They borrow the same tread as the 29×3.0″ Knard on Cass’ Krampus, but are built on the lightweight casing of the folding Larry and Nate models.  These will eventually find their way onto the Pugsley, tubeless.

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Finally, this Panaracer Fire Cross tire comes all the way from Fairbanks, AK.  Josh is probably spending more time on his new Mukluk than on this skinny 700x45mm tire, so he offered to send it for my experiments on the VO Campeur.  It has more aggressive knobs and a lighter casing than the Mondial.

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Words from the wise: Cass says, “mismatched hubs are like mismatched socks”.  Around here, the practice is heartily encouraged.

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8 thoughts on “Unusual Fruit

  1. Great post. Cass does like his mismatched socks. I wonder what happened to the ankle warmers? 🙂 How’s the kimchi taste? Patti is planning to make some too. Hi to Lael!

    • The kimchi tastes great. I’ll admit that we neglected it for about a week as it stewed in the greenhouse. Alas, it turned out just fine. Some research suggests all kinds of variations with almost any ingredients you could imagine. That makes it endlessly fun.

      We finished the front wheel yesterday, but Cass had to return home that eve. I built the rear wheel today. I have to say, I really enjoyed handling the Phil hub and the Rabbit Hole rims build up nicely. The flanges on the hub are a little thicker than most and the spokes seat themselves nicely.

    • You can expect continued farm-themed bicycle analogues and kimchi porn. The Phil is very, very nice and considerably overbuilt (not a problem). That said, Cass has had experience with broken Chris King hubshells in the past (http://whileoutriding.com/tag/chris-king/), so the superlight options were not really an option. As well, they would have cost a lot more.

      As for freehub bodies, there are several approaches. The modern approach uses bodies that are removable and serviceable without tools, such as the VO touring hub, and those from Stan’s, Hope, DTSwiss, and others. Thus, the freewheel mechanism can be easily cleaned and lubed, possibly at the price of being minimally sealed. The other approach relies upon a well-sealed mechanism made of durable parts. The Phil freehub appears to be well sealed, and can be easily serviced (two 5mm hex wrenches at either end). As well, the grease/oil ports ensure greater serviceability. The Phil hub may be the best of both worlds. Typically, they cost an arm and a leg, as this model retails for $450. I think the bike shop was happy to see it go.

      Given Cass’ record with hubs and freehub bodies, I think it was a great idea.

    • Oh yes, the longbox has arrived. I’ve got to dust off my boombox. Sorry, I’ve meant to send a real mail and an e-mail, but have gotten wrapped up with fermented cabbage and wheelbuilding.

      Cass is wearing the “rainbow/pot of gold pin”, Lael wears the “touring bars and basket”, and I wear the “Carradice and the touring bars”. Of course, real touring bars have both generous rise and sweep. Check your mailbox soon, but not too soon.

    • Grego, I now recall the song as performed by Nina Simone. My memory recalls words and phrases such as these, and I enjoy the playful nature of words. After rereading the lyrics to the song it seems that it would be nearly impossible to separate connotation from the literal meaning of an unusual fruit, especially as the song is so influential and widespread. Sorry, I meant nothing other than that these are unusual fruits. I am living on the farm for the winter, hence the copious food analogies these days. The title of the post will be changed to “Unusual Fruit” to avoid any confusion.


      • I enjoy wordplay too, friend. My ornery brain, though, upon reading that title, starts playing the theme music for me, whether I like it or not.

        It’s great that you’re inundated by the output of the land you’re residing upon! Grow it yourself (or have family/friends grow it) is the best way to eat local. Share and enjoy!

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