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Old 07-29-08, 08:16 AM
legot73's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 616

Bikes: 2006 Kona Jake, 2005 Giant Lite Xtracycle, 2004 Trek L200, 1997 Specialized RockHopper FS, 1989 Trek 950

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I was almost right, it spaces down as low as 126mm, not 120. It definitely fits 130 or 135, though.

I was attracted to the roller brake for icy winter conditions as "plan B". My front v-brake always did the job, however, even if I had to "pump" it to clear the rim sometimes. The roller brake doesn't have a lot of stopping power in the rear, but it works equally well wet or dry, for what that's worth. I wouldn't recommend it as your only brake. I'd like to experience one on the front wheel sometime, I imagine it would work pretty well.

Changing out a rear flat can be a significant operation. Besides wrenches for the axle nuts, you'll have to disconnect the shifter and brake cable. The shifter is pretty easy, but a 2mm allen wrench on hand makes it easier to replace. The brake cable has a nut/bolt/p-clip mount to the chain stay. Not only is it a pain to remove, but you need to get it secured nice and tight for the brake to work well. Someone on BF had suggested replacing the nut with a wing-nut, which I think is a great idea. All this becomes much more difficult when your fingers are numb, so a lot of practice changing out the rear wheel comes highly recommended. I just put in a Mr. Tuffy tire liner as insurance, and never had an issue again.

In temps below 20F (7C), the downshifting got sticky. It wasn't the cable in my case, but the lever on the hub itself. It would go to higher gears just fine, but wouldn't release to lower gears, at least not for a few minutes. The cable would slack up in front of the hub. I ended up just riding in 5th most of the time, since that's a direct drive gear and feels more efficient than the others. I'll be interested in your cold weather experience with one.

All that said, between the hub, a full chain case, and good fenders, I only lubed and wiped down every other week, and did a deep cleaning in the spring (salt). And that was the whole point.
Nothing says "in good times and in bad" like a good pair of fenders
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