Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Shutter Precision - Round 2

My replacement Shutter Precision PV-8 hub (💩) came in about two weeks ago, and Kyler graciously rebuilt my wheel for me.  Same rim, same spokes, new nips, new hub.  It's a solid build, but I am genuinely concerned about the durability of this hub.  The last one made it fewer than 100 miles before it crapped out, so I'm not sure how many miles I'll have to put on it before I trust it enough to head out on tour.  At least 1,000?

When I told a Shutter Precision sales rep about the issue, they told me that the issue I experienced had a 1 in 10,000 chance of happening, so if their numbers are to be trusted, the chances of two complete breakdowns in a row should be 1 in 100,000,000.  I really wish I could say a 0.00000001 chance of breakdown is reassuring, but it's not.

Here's what I think is going to happen, I think it's going to breakdown in the middle of nowhere and it's going to be a disaster.  I'm going to be a week into a three week tour, somewhere in the Kootenai National Forest, no bicycle shops for miles, riding just after sunset when my hub gives out.
  • Scenario 1: Outside of civilization; only the electrics fail. - Fine, I can still ride, I just won't be lit up any more.  No worries, what's the worst that could happen?  Oh, right, I could be flattened by a tractor trailer hauling ass down Route 2 on their way to drop a bunch of grass fed, free range, angus steaks off at a resort hotel inside Glacier National Park.  Maybe I don't get flattened.  Maybe the trucks see me because of all the reflectors on my panniers (very possible, as Ortliebs panniers have high night visibility) and they don't run me over.  Great, but now that I'm no longer lit up, I no longer appear to be a vehicle to the mountain lions that litter the mountainside.  That's right, the only thing that had been differentiating me from a potential woodland meal was my super bright LED headlight.  Now that it's disabled, I'm just a funny shaped, oddly moving mule deer that is potentially more delicious.  Only one way to find out.  Outcome: Death

The mountain lions are hiding in the trees.

  • Scenario 2: Outside of civilization; the hub stops spinning. - Now what?  Walk my way to the Troy Bike Shop?  This is as bad as Scenario 1 for both trucks and lions.  That means I'll have to hitch a ride with someone nice enough to pick me up in the middle of the night.  Oh, here's a nice person driving up in a rusty, old truck.  Well, hello sir.  Why yes, I am heading to Troy.  Thank you for the ride!  And then maybe the authorities will find what's left of my body a month later, buried in a shallow grave along the Kootenay River or maybe the rocks will slip loose and I'll float up to the top of Flathead Lake.  In either case, that nice old man is going to be extra warm next winter when he's wearing his me-skin jacket.  Same outcome: Death

  • Scenario 3: In civilization - With this scenario, if either the electrics fail or the hub stops spinning, the hub will need to be replaced (if the electrics go, the rest of the hub is on its way out soon).  I have a few options here.  If I'm not in a hurry I could overpay a shop to order a new hub and rebuild using my existing rim.  Another other option is to have them build one from what they have in stock, also expensive, but not as nice.  The worst option would be to buy a pre-built wheel that would be good enough to get me to civilization but would have to be replaced once I made it home.  Outcome: Bank Death or a Junk Wheel
Shutter Precision has already let me know that they don't care about bank death, but will they care about real death?  Would anyone boycott them if Shutter Precision is the reason I end up eaten by a family of mountain lions?  How am I supposed to trust a company that doesn't care if I'm eaten by lions?

If this hub fails and I don't die, I'm going to put a bad product review on every website that let's me.  I'll be leaving Shutter Precision reviews everywhere from the bottom of YouTube videos about LARPing to Yelp pages for Mexican restaurants in Philly.  I have free time.

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