The rims are paired to their hubs by way of 36 DT Swiss double-butted spokes front and back. They were laced up and assembled by Richard of Richard's Cyclery of Garden Grove California in case you're local and want something similar. Call me hopeful, but I have a feeling these wheels will hold up just fine for a long time.
I chose a Shimano XT hub for the rear and it's as smooth as can be. The front hub is a Shutter Precision PD-8 dynamo hub from Taiwan. This hub isn't as smooth as the Shimano unit at the back wheel but it's not supposed to be. I admit it's a bit notchy, kind of like when a hub is overtightened but it's worth the trade-off of having 6 volts of power on tap. Sometimes when the bike is coasting at the right speed there's a hint of a vibration from the handlebars but it's barely noticeable and it hasn't bothered me yet. As far as friction and drag go I don't think it'll make a noticeable difference even on long, steep climbs. A small amount of drag is worth the trade-off of never needing batteries for infinite visibility, day or night.
I also appreciate the sleeker look of the PD-8 over the Shimano Alfine hubs which kind of resemble tuna cans. I haven't decided on a front light yet so the hub's power output hasn't been tested yet. The only issue I can report so far was that hard braking causes the entire front axle to shift against the dropouts. This is most likely an issue related only to the front skewer not having enough surface area to clamp the dropouts. Since the hub didn't include a front skewer I was using a Shimano skewer with an aluminum acorn nut. I switched to another skewer with a larger steel acorn. This should provide a more secure clamping area against the dropout.
Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the build were installing the Nitto front and rear cargo racks. I've long drooled over pictures of Nitto's beautiful components. They take great pride in creating the best alloy bicycle products on the market. Be advised that "best" doesn't mean "lightest". A Nitto product is neither heavy nor light, it's exactly as heavy as it needs to be to last forever. The welds on the front and rear racks are immaculate and nickel plated for a pretty glow. The time and care put into designing and building each rack is striking. If you want something special, something that doesn't look like it was mass produced by simpleton clock-punchers, this is it. I initially only planned on using Nitto racks but I also caved in and got their gorgeous two-bolt Nitto S83 seatpost as a perch for my Selle San Marco Regale saddle (a personal favorite).
One of my favorite features with the Campee rack is that it mounts perfectly with the included nut assembly shown below. Nitto also includes rubberized clamps for bikes without mounting brackets. The Disc Trucker has the mounts so I didn't need to use the clamps, but it's a nice touch.
The front rack is the M1 model designed by some guy at Rivendell Bicycle Works who's coincidentally called Mark. The rack is small but should be great for holding food, a small camera, a phone, a small dog, or a carton of Virginia Slims (another personal favorite). For my application it will also be a great place to mount a dynamo powered headlight.
Putting this bike together has changed the way I feel about bicycles. I own several bikes, but this is the first bike I've pieced together entirely with parts that I spec'ed out after researching every option. For most cyclists the appeal of having the most efficient, wind-tunnel tested bike is so tempting that they end up with a $10,000 Cervelo and a beer gut accentuated by their lycra kit. Race bikes are fast, I have one and when you're in shape it makes you feel amazing when you sprint or attack a steep incline like a maniac. There's a place for carbon fiber race bikes, but there's also a place for a bike that you can ride from here to Canada. For me, the possibilities that this bike opens up for adventure riding are incredibly appealing.
Next time this bike comes up it should have a nice dynamo-powered light mounted to the front rack. It will also be a fair bit more dirty.