Friday, January 6, 2017

Piece of Shit Hub: Shutter Precision PV-8 (Updated Review)

Well... a little more than a month after I posted about how much I loved my new Shutter Precision PV-8 hub, I had to make a warranty claim.  After fewer than 100 miles of usage, my hub stopped spinning smoothly and started generating less than 30mV of electricity.  For those that aren't up on dynamo hubs, the PV-8 is supposed to put out 3V, an industry standard.  Those 3V can then power my headlight and taillight without issue.  I can even add a USB charger into the mix, which slightly dims my lights but keeps them functional.  But after just a few weeks of use, my hub was generating 1/100th of the electricity it was guaranteed for, which couldn't even tickle a mouse if it was hooked straight up to their little mouse nipples.

As for the increased rotational drag, when I spun my wheel in my form, it vibrated the whole bike as it shook to a halt.  With my bike flipped in my living room, once the wheel lost it's initial speed, it shook Bionic Tibor enough to rattle the trinkets and what nots on my book shelf.

Luckily Shutter Precision has a 2-year warranty.  This is all well and good, but they don't have any policy about reimbursing people for costs associated with replacing a hub.  Here's what it takes:
  1. Unlace the wheel. ($)
  2. Mail the hub back. ($)
  3. Wait...
  4. Build new wheel.  Two options for that:
    • Reuse the spokes - Different mechanics have different opinions on this.  Some say that once a spoke's been tensioned it shouldn't be recycled. ($)
    • Use new spokes - Dollar a spoke?  C'mon... ($$)
  5. Re-tape the rim. ($)
With parts, labor, and shipping, that can easily cost over $100.  The PV-8 is a $100 hub.  To get this fixed with a replacement hub is basically the same cost of buying another hub.  Shutter Precision said they were sorry about the hub failing, but that they only replace the hub.  So this tells me that while Shutter Precision is at fault, they believe that burden of replacement should be on the customer.  They make a crappy product and the customer gets to pay extra for that crappy product.

In summary, you probably don't want to buy a Shutter Precision hub.  They are not very good.

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