I'd actually prefer the HD axle. But all the sudden I'm afraid of 2 things:
- Having to buy a whole new set of spokes because the hub is bigger or smaller than the one I've got, meaning the spokes will be too long or too short. At $1 per spoke (and those are just the cheap-o 14G spokes, better ones would be even more), that's $36 + $50 for the hub, and I'm still running 14G spokes with a cheap alloy rim. I swear I saw a setup somewhere that's pre-made with 12G spokes all steel with the HD hub for ~$100ish, which you'd might as well go for at that point.
- The fact that none of the vendors seem to carry a 44 to 36 range sprocket. I'd just mod my own but I don't trust drilling it without access to a proper drill press. Hand drill would slip around, holes would become offset, and I'm not much better off than I was with the rag joint.
Actually, almost all the options require a little extra. The way I see it there's 4 ways to mount:
- Rag Joint (we've all been down this road).
- Manic Mechanic Hub Adapter, which requires a new hub which you might as well get a new wheel for a few dollars more.
- The HD kit, which may require re-spoking.
- The shift kit, which would require some disc brakes or something since the bottom-bearing freewheel would prevent the coaster brake from working. Not to mention it isn't exactly cost-effective if you're running a single speed bike.
If someone had an HD axle and was kind enough to give a diameter across from spoke base to spoke base, that would be EXTREMELY helpful.