This is not some kind of sick, post-April-fools joke. I broke my KH/Schlumpf hub while riding my amazing new, two-week-old KH36. I’ve been getting more and more confident riding in high gear, and this confidence has included acceleration and deceleration. Before tonight, I was able to lean pretty far forward to get great acceleration, and lean pretty far back to get great brakeless stopping even in high gear.
As I was riding about 9 miles per hour alongside my friend Todd (onelesscar), I told him, “maybe I can stop in one revolution in high gear… let’s see.” So I leaned back and decelerated hard, only to be thrown off my unicycle at the end of the stop due to gears in the hub simply letting go under my torque. I didn’t even feel like I stopped THAT hard; I’ve definitely stopped harder in the past. After a gut-wrenching grinding/crunching sound, the hub just started freewheeling and, moments later, I’d UPD’d.
Afterwards, Todd and I carefully tried shifting the hub up and down, rotating the cranks (by hand) around to see what exactly was wrong with the hub. In some cases, it wouldn’t shift at all; in others, it would go into the freewheeling mode as if it were getting ready to lock into the new gear ratio, but it’d freewheel for about 120 degrees of crank rotation before locking, making. Now, in first gear or high gear alike (I can’t even tell which is which anymore), the hub locks the wheel at one position and prevents it from turning relative to the frame.
I could go on a huge diatribe about it, but I’m sure it will suffice to say that…
I am not happy. It’ll probably be three to six weeks before I can get my hands on another hub (whether it’s this one fixed, or a replacement, I don’t care), and I was planning on spending the next eleven weeks to get confident on it for RTL.
I’m emailing Kris and Florian about this, too. I guess this makes me the first on the planet to break a KH/Schlumpf hub, and it wasn’t even from a drop. I guess I just pedaled too hard. At 9 MPH. In one pedal rev.
I can’t afford spending another $1300 on a new hub, and I really don’t think I did anything abnormal on it. Yeah, I stopped fast, but I’m sure no one ever envisioned that a fast stop could’ve completely destroyed the internal gearing. I hope I’ll get taken care of. And, whether or not I end up with a geared hub in the end, you can bet I’m going to watch how hard I actually pedal it in order to keep from breaking one again.
I donno, maybe there was ongoing wear happening the whole time, and the stop just happened to be the large-ish straw that broke the camel’s back. Who knows? I’m sure Florian will be able to dissect it and see if anything was wrong beforehand or if I’m just too dumb and torquey for my own good.