Chris King debuts XD-cassette compatible hubs and bodies

King ISO XD hub

Chris King has long been the most coveted ‘Merican hub builder, particularly for mountain bikes. Their RingDrive cassette body is fairly unique in design as well as being in no small small measure sonically irritating. Frankly, I hated King hubs on road bikes, where long coasting descents on King hubs are like being serenaded by squalling infant cyborgs genetically crossed with deep sea fishing reels. But on mtb, the RingDrive’s instant hook up is deeply satisfying while offroad riding’s rhythm is too busy to give the hubs a chance to be audibly annoying. Too bad King was slow to get on the band wagon for SRAM’s breakout 1x11 drivetrain. Their innovative 10-42T 11sp cassette requires a special, “XD” cassette body, and the RingDrive design apparently wasn’t easily adapted to XD configuration.

Well, King fixed that. Their popular “ISO” disc hubs will be available with the option of an XD-compatible RingDrive drive shell (ie cassette body). And if you’ve already invested in some premium King hubs, you’ll be extra excited to find out that King will be offering the XD drive shell as an aftermarket kit to retro fit your existing ISO rear hub. The kit includes all the necessary bearings to fit. It’s a little confusing, but make sure you order the full “conversion kit” if you are retrofitting, since apparently there are 2-3 different XD drive shell SKU’s that are available for servicing the hubs. You will need the King RingDrive tool to do the conversion, so probably count on having an experienced LBS do the work unless you already own the rather expensive King tool.

King XD RingDrive kit

If you’re used to the bike industry’s press releases, then you’d probably assume that any product availability date is going to be “soft”, but as the bike shop’s hard goods buyer for over ten years, I have faith in whatever date Chris King gives. So I was quite surprised that King said May 1 for availability. You can pre-order ISO XD hubs or XD RingDrive conversion kits right now through your local bike shop. In fact, I just ordered a conversion kit for my own hub. If you are buying a new hub, the XD-compatible hubs are available in all the ISO’s current axle options: 135-QR, 10x135 thru, 12x135 thru, 12x142 thru, 12x150 thru, 12x157 thru. A complete ISO XD rear hub (12x142 thru-axle) weighs 331gr, and hubs are offered in all nine anodized colours.

King XD RingDrive schematic

Rode to the Glass Explorer Run

Wearable on a Foldable

Wearable on a Foldable

Rode over to Greenlake and spent Saturday morning with Google Glass. Tried on new hardware from the Titanium Collection, chatted with Explorers who ran with Glass and Strava, and took some photos. Also visited their event in SoDo Park, where Glass was being demo’d.

Tonight there’s a Happy Hour and then later this week Developer Office Hours.

Explorers running with Strava Run

Explorers running with Strava Run

Follow Google Glass to learn if they’re coming to a city near you and see their early prototypes in this album from the event on G+. For my take on Google’s wearable, read the Wired feature I wrote last year.

Protos

Protos

Iterating the Waxed Canvas Hugga Toll Roll

Sized just right

Sized just right

A tool roll doesn’t strap to your bike. It goes in your jersey pocket with you and carries just what you need. I’ve been riding with the shipping version of ours since the Fall. Three things drove the project: not being able to keep track of saddle bags across a small fleet of bikes, having to spill the contents of a saddle bag out onto the ground to get a co2/inflator out of it, and ruining shorts rubbing against large saddle bags. We iterated several versions for about 6 months. Before that we studied what was on the market, including the bags Thompson seatposts ship in; and rolls made for mechanics, motorcyclists, and cooks.

too thick

Opened and set on a saddle, the pockets were right, but this version was too thick

The first iteration was made from salvaged Filson’s duck cloth and had all the features, a retro feel, but was much too thick. Another iteration was made with Cordura and again too thick. A few had stylish rivets that pulled on the, just-right, thin - and-durable waxed canvas. After announcing the roll was ready to ship, Jeff Beltramini bought one and tweeted

and that sums it up well: stop ruining spendy bib shorts, rubbing against saddle bags.

The Waxed Canvas Hugga Toll Roll is available in limited quantities, as a one-time exclusive, and cost $40.00. They’re handmade in Seattle. We made them first for us and liked them so much, we made a few more for you.

Get them while you can and see more iterations on G+.

Waxed Canvas Hugga Tool Roll

Hugga Tool Roll

12” x 6” c ~ .05”

Our Waxed Canvas Hugga Tool Roll is available now in limited quantities. We had these made for ourselves and then decided to make a few more for you too, as a one-time exclusive. It took us months of prototyping, trial and error, until we liked this version the best.

They are designed and made in Seattle. The color is Reddish Orange like a Safety Cone and you can buy them now on Amazon for $40.00, while they last.

Tool Roll Compacto

Durable material and closure

The biggest selling point is the roll goes with you, not with the bike; a convenience for cyclists with multiple bikes. Also, large saddle bags rub our shorts the wrong way, leaving holes. While the compact bags are too tight to get out, what you need with removing it from the rails of your saddle.

Sized for the jersey pocket

Sized to fit in a jersey pocket

You may have seen us post the various prototypes last Summer, about 6 of them, and this is the version I’ve been riding with since the winter. Three things drove the project: not being able to keep track of saddle bags across a small fleet of bikes, having to spill the contents of a bag out on the ground to get a co2 out of it, and ruining shorts rubbing against saddle bags.

More photos are on G+.

Amazballed in a Book!

New book with me in it

On the shelf

A new book on the shelf at Hugga HQ is Transformations: Stories of Success from Authors, Innovators, and Small Businesses Thriving on Amazon and I’m in it! Best part about that is I didn’t have to write it, like the blogging one I did. It’s the Clip-n-Seal story summarized after several interviews with me and included with other business that have grown and succeeded with Fulfillment by Amazon. This past Holiday season, Amazon featured Clip-n-Seals on their homepage for about 5 weeks. That experience my friend Kevin Tamura called being Amazballed, like getting Fireballed by Gruber, or Slashdotted. The phenomena ebbs with this book and what’s important is if you’ve got a product, you can sell it too with FBA, like State Bicycles and other merchants.

amazballed inside

Inside the book

The parent company of Bike Hugger, Textura Design, designed Clip-n-Seals in Seattle and manufactures them in Yakima, Wa. Transformations: Stories of Success from Authors, Innovators, and Small Businesses Thriving on Amazon is a free download for Kindle. If you want to try what we think is the best sealing device ever made and a best seller, Clip-n-Seals ship with Prime from warehouses all over the US and Canada to you.

sealing up coffee on the road

Wanted to keep coffee and chips fresh

The idea for them started over a decade ago, when I wanted to keep my coffee fresh on road trips to bike races and tours. Never expected they’d end up in space or on the homepage of Amazon.

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