Hubsessed: Dusty Ott Thinks Beyond the Drivetrain
While SCC Slick is the ultimate all conditions drivetrain treatment, it also has other off-the-chain applications. This week we’re excited to sit down with Dusty Ott, one of the most respected wheel builders in the cycling industry and owner of Hubsessed Cycle Works, a custom hand-built wheel specialist based in Ogden, Utah.
SCC: Thanks so much for joining us Dusty, we know you’re busy running a business and building wheels and we understand the shop has been booming. You’ve been a fan of SCC Slick for a long time but could you tell us a bit about your background in the cycling industry and what led you to start Hubsessed?
Dusty: I started working at a bike shop in St. George, Utah back in 2006-2007. I was initially hired to build bikes, but quickly worked my way up to shop mechanic and eventually to shop wheel builder. I was trained by three lifelong bike mechanics, so I learned an incredible amount in a very short time. Years later, I found myself working at the gold mines of Elko, Nevada and quickly realized that there was not a legitimate bikeshop for hundreds of miles in any direction. It was then that I thought about starting a wheel building company. Due to the remoteness of Elko, I think companies were more willing to partner up and give me a chance since there were no other bike shops or wheel builders between Salt Lake City and Reno.
SCC Tech: Well, gold might be our favorite hub color. Seems like you seemed to hit the motherlode with such a remote location. Less than convenient location aside, why do people specifically come to you for wheels?
Dusty: I like to think that people specifically come to me because of my approach and willingness to teach. It's simple to sell someone a set of wheels and send them on their way but it's harder to take the time and explain to them why we are choosing specific components, and how that will improve their performance on the trail. I want to make sure that customers are as educated about their wheels as possible. The more they know about their wheels, the more stoked they will be when they show up!
SCC Tech: So true, education is always the best customer service a company can offer. Aside from education customers, what’s your favorite part about building wheels
Dusty: I think it all comes down to being able to take the individual components of a wheel and build them into something that will actually take people places. Each time I build a wheel, I daydream about where that wheel will take the customer. It's the backstory to the Hubsessed slogan: "Wheels Built with Adventures in Mind".
Aside from a frame, it could be argued that the wheelset is the most important component of a bike. A custom set of wheels can last a lifetime and take a rider so many places. We know you’re super humble but what would you consider your biggest professional accomplishment?
Dusty: An early break we had was when we were asked to build a set of wheels for Dirt Rag magazine. It was great seeing our wheels in an actual MTB publication!
SCC Tech: That’s amazing! Boy we sure miss Dirt Rag, what a great and influential magazine. We grew up living vicariously through those amazing images and rides. What’s your favorite spot to ride?
Dusty: That's a tough one. I grew up in St. George, so those trails have a soft spot in my heart. The big mountains of northern Utah (Ben Lomond and Lewis Peak) are a local favorite, and who doesn't love Moab?
SCC Tech: Ride Utah! Being Salt Lake City based were a little biased as well. What brings you the most joy outside of cycling?
Dusty: That's an easy one! Being with my family. We do a fair amount of cycling together which makes it really fun.
SCC Tech: There’s nothing better than riding with family. It’s so much easier to get kids into riding when you start them young. When did you first hear about SCC Tech?
Dusty: We first heard about, and started using SCC Tech in the Summer/Fall of 2018.
SCC Slick: That makes you a very early adopter. How do you use it? Walk us through the process a bit.
Dusty: We primarily use SCC to lube chains. All of my personal bikes, as well as any customers' bikes that come in for a tune-up will leave with SCC on the chain. Aside from lubing chains, we have found some pretty awesome other uses. Whenever we do a hub overhaul, we substitute typical freehub oil with SCC Slick. From what we have found, it helps to keep the hubs running smoother and cleaner than a typical oil. In addition we have found that it brings new life to old shifters! Over time, shifters tend to get gummy and not work as well as when they were new. We squeeze a few drops of SCC into the shifter body and it helps break up the grime and goop. Say hello to smooth shifting again. To go along with that, we use the needle applicator to inject a few drops of SCC into the shifter housing before we put a new cable in. SCC Slick does a really good job at lubing up the housing and helping the cable slide nice and smooth once it's installed. This can be done with older shift housing or right out of the box with a new bike. Who doesn't like smoother shifting?
SCC Tech: Single Speeders? We love that you’re using it on cables, our formula never gets gummy and the new precision applicators make the process so much easier to apply. What do you like most about SCC Slick?
Dusty: The part I like the most is how long SCC lasts! I typically get between 125 and 200 miles out of a single application. Mind you, this is on the dry and moon dusty trails that Utah is known for. I just had to reapply SCC on my ebike for the first time, and that was after 130 miles and 15,000 feet of climbing! It's amazing stuff.SCC Tech: Yeah we’ve heard stories about 400+ miles but those moon dust trails do a number on drivetrains, we’ve tried so many other lubes in those conditions and couldn't get more than a few miles before the drivetrain started crunching. What do you tell someone using SCC Slick for the first time
Dusty: Make sure and follow the directions on the bottle exactly! These long application times are achieved by following the recommended application process.
SCC Tech: Yes! That’s always the first thing we ask if someone has a negative experience. We ask if they followed the directions and they always sheepishly admit that they hadn’t. Like you we take great pride in trying to fully educate our customers. Speaking of customers, how has COVID 19 affected your business?
Dusty: Luckily, folks have had a case of “upgrade-itis” lately. We have been keeping busy and helping folks get their bikes dialed.
SCC Tech: That’s great to hear! We’ve been reading one article after another about how slammed bike shops have been. If there’s one silver lining to this whole mess it’s that there are a whole new generation of cyclists being born. Last question, finish this sentence: If you’ve been skeptical about trying SCC Slick...
Dusty: If you have been skeptical about trying SCC Slick, I highly recommend you try it. It continues to impress me with how long I can ride on a single application. I know it will impress you too! And lastly, if you need a new set of custom wheels, hit me up!
SCC Slick: Great advice Dusty. Thanks so much for joining us today, we really appreciate your time. And for those of you that don’t know what to do with your stimulus checks, that cash could get you a pretty sweet new set of wheels!