So, Ron and I went to Moab this past week. We had a good time. The weather was reasonable, though a bit windy and cloudy. This was the first trip where I didn't take any pictures.
But that's not what I want to write about.
In the spring I decided to buy a new rear wheel (rant1 and entry2) using a Phil Wood rear hub, a velocity deep V rim, and built by Peter White. I used it throughout the summer - though I didn't ride as much as I wanted. Occasionally I heard a little 'ping' when pedaling, which I associated with the rear hub, but I figured that it was just unique to the Phil Wood that I wasn't accustomed to. However, on the second day of riding Slickrock, while riding down hill I heard a loud, metallic grind, and my chain wound up. Ron and I both knew what that sound meant: the rear hub locked up. I could no longer coast - I essentially had a fixed gear bike. I stood there in disbelief, staring at the really expensive piece of equipment that I purchased explicitly to prevent this problem.
I just couldn't believe it. About 50% of the time I ride the Slickrock trail I break a freehub. And I broke a Phil Wood - a product designed for high torque (tandems), a product guaranteed for life, something highly touted as the last hub I'll ever have to buy. Everyone was wrong.
Luckily, I'd talked with a Phil Wood rep before I made the purchase, and he agreed to a refund (not just fix) if I broke it in the first year.
I hope to get a full refund for the hub and will purchase a Chris King - which uses a completely different hub design (more of a gearing than pawls) and will hopefully handle my massive legs.
I'll follow up with what actually happens.