My review of the ridiculously expensive KH Schlumpf Muni hub after my first casual ride on my 2007 KH 24" rig.
When I first received the hub I was shocked. It was beautiful, but it was huge and felt very heavy. I was a little apprehensive about whether it would still be enjoyable for muni. My apprehension subsided once my wheel was built up with a Large Marge rim. It was hefty, but didn’t feel like it weighed too much or would be too unwieldy for muni.
I fell off on my first several attempts at starting in high gear, but once I got the hang of it, I was cruising at coker speeds on my 24" 2007 KH Muni. What a rush! It was ludicrous to be going so fast on a 24" rim, and my large grin reflected the absurdity of it! Can you say FUN!!
Switching between gears on the fly is going to take a lot of practice, since it is hard to get your brain to adjust from going from 1:1 to 1:1.5 per revolution. After riding in high gear for a few minutes, I would UPD starting out in 1:1 mode because it was just so slow! Then my brain would switch gears and I would be fine, until I went back to high gear. Once I train my brain to switch gears at the same time I switch gears on the uni, this is going to be really awesome.
The hub works as advertised, feels solid on 3 foot drops, although there is just a little bit of play when riding in high gear. Nothing that you can’t get used to.
Is it worth it? In my case - most definitely! You can really cover some ground when you are in high gear, and you can still gear down and enjoy the technical sections.
I hope they can get the hub costs down over time, so more people can experience the thrill, and it can make a 24" or 29" uni a viable commuting option.
I definatly do’t know much about GUni’s, but I will say that the UPD’s stemming from the gear shifts sound much like when I rode a 36"er for a whole day and then rode my DX 20" directly after, they have the same sized cranks but are completly different.
I was at Sullivan Canyon yesterday and met up with Don and his new geared KH! I tried it and must say it felt really weird, but I could sense just how fast you could go with practice. I would say to Don get a brake! I wish they would make a THREE speed with and additional .5 low gear for steep climbing; that would be awesome.
Well I thought I might see you there again today, or maybe Kelly or John. (Tell Kelly that Lori & Tod said hi!) I got there at 1:30 today and did another 8 miles; that’s three days in a row at Sullivan and 24 miles total wOOt!
I guess I’ll have to get a geared hub too if I want to keep up with you and John!
Here’s the preliminary dope on building a KH/Schlumpt 24” geared Muni.
The hub itself (as of 3-10-08), plus shipping, plus what the postal service/government touch you for, puts you out of pocket about $1,500 - just to get the hub in your hands.
Next, you have to buy a rim and get it laced up. Intending to do or to try and do hard core muni with my guni, I went with a Large Marge rim at $110. Lacing is a pain and required custom cut spokes (total lace job costing about $100).
That brings the total to $1,700, and now you’re ready to peddle – providing you have a set of 165 KH cranks on hand and a spare set of pedals. In other words, add at least another 100 bucks to the 1,700.
I was planning on using my back up muni frame, seat and brake; without that I figured I could add another 700 bucks at least (that includes a Scott Wallace CB seat) and an old Magura rig. But when I went to strap the new wheel build onto my frame I realized the bearing holders were too big (my KH 24 is a ’06 frame – have two of them) so I had to order a new ’08 frame from Bedford for another 200 clams.
I don’t want to scare myself by adding all of this up but I’m glad I spent the dough after watching Don cook down the street at about 15 MPH (in “high” gear). I’m thinking this should open up a whole new world of XC rides I never wanted to try owing to total mileage and the boredom of riding so slow on a regular 24 muni.
More once my knee is good (soon, I hope), I get the rig built and put some mileage in . . .
It’s good to see you are having a good time with it.
It’s kind of flat where I live. I’m tempted to save my pennies and go the easy and slightly cheaper route. UDC lists the hub as a 1175 $ option on a KH 29. With 125/150 cranks. I would miss the large marge rim in the sand, but on the balance, I think the speed, and having it all assembled already, makes that setup look real cool to me.
Just to be clear, the $1175 price is added to the base cost of $599, so the actual price is higher by the price of the standard KH Hub, since you won’t be getting that as part of the $599, so maybe $1,240. They are listing the hub by itself for $1,300 - which is about what we paid, although we got dinged for foreign exchange rates, speedy international shipping, and the import tax(it is not a tax, but a duty; whatever - it still costs a lot of money). If UDC has them in stock, then you will get it cheaper than going direct to Florian, but Florian might make a little less for his hard work. Good luck saving!
I have a better idea - why don’t you store John’s at your house, he is not able to use it at the moment, since he is waiting on his frame and his knee to get better. I’m sure he would love to have you take care of it!
If he won’t let you, then you are welcome to take mine for a brief test ride in the not too distant future!
Actually there is a frame availiable… I have the Schlumpf hub in a Nimbus 36 frame which is currently on loan to John Foss for the RTL ride and training, hopefully he has been able to get in some saddle time.
DayTripper is correct in that the current standard version of the Schlumpf hub will fit in the Nimbus 36 frame, but the KH/Schlumpf hub will not fit in any current 36" frame. This will be solved by the unreleased KH 36" frame or a custom Hunter or Triton frame.
By “under the right conditions” mscalisi was probably refering to the fact that a 36 in high gear is amazing on flat and slight downhill roads.
Please note that the Nimbus frame had to be bent inward to fit the Schlumpf hub, leaving it a bit “iffy” in the brake department. Robert took the brakes off because he wasn’t able to balance sufficient clearance with the flex in the “customized” frame.
Yes, and things drop off really fast if the road starts to be uphill, or steep in either direction.