|Paul WORD hub- Now with Boost|
So Paul Component Engineering just released news about a new version of their WORD hub. This is a hub that claims to be the very first production single speed mountain bike hub. If it wasn't, then it is close to being that. I know it has been around a long time. I bought a set of the first version of the Disc WORD for mt Karate Monkey back in 2003. Those hubs are still around although I need to re-lace them to new rims.
While I don't have a Boost spaced, single speed device around, it may happen someday. Who knows? It's good to know that a hub option exists that will work for a dedicated single speed set up. And even in polished silver! That's even sweeter.
While I am on the subject of Boost spacing, I've heard a rumor that it is coming to road bikes. Gravel road bikes, actually. It seems that a "certain component manufacturer" that doesn't have a great front derailleur design and is pushing 1X wants to introduce this so they can get you to buy a 1 X12 system for your next gravel bike. This is not all that surprising, and it will be touted as a solution for the gravel people who race in the earlier Spring events with mud and what not. But here's the thing......
|DK200 2015- The infamous 3 mile mud march. Image by A Andonopoulous|
At least it will be easier to set up a damaged bike single speed with a narrow-wide chain ring......possibly....maybe.
But why Boost? Well, it seems that many manufacturers are looking to stuff 2.1" 29"er tires into these "adventure/gravel" bikes. But you might say that many mountain bikes are using the "old" dimensions and are doing fine. You would be correct. So, again- why? Well, we are going to hear all the "stiffer, stronger. lighter" arguments, of course, but that isn't really why either. Think about it- If you already have tooling for Boost 1X12 why develop it in any other format than Boost? So, you are going to see a split in gravel/adventure. More "Cutthroat-ish" bikes with Boost and the more narrow Q factor bikes we have now with compatibility with road components. Then again- I could be all wrong about that.
In the meantime, I'm thinking those Boost WORD hubs and a nice, simple steel gravel rig, set up single speed would be the ticket. Hubba-hubba!