Hub Questions???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hub Questions???

    So, I own a SS 29er Monocog and I want to upgrade the hubs to have more engagement points, as I notice a serious loss of efficiency while trying to post "fast times" on local, hilly trails. I run a 32:18 setup.

    I don't understand the difference between:

    Freewheel
    Freehub
    Flip-flop hub

    I am still learning about the mechanics of bikes and admittedly don't know a whole lot at this point. I DO know that I want a higher set of engagement points (though "look at me" clicking noise is not necessary) as I hate the pedal lag that I experience.

    Can someone explain these differences and what is the best setup that would fit my needs on the minimal to moderate expense level (I can't afford $300+ rear hubs).

    Thanks.

    PS - If there is a thread somewhere on here already covering this, please link it on here, as I tried searching but didn't really find what I was looking for. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    flip flop hub:



    left and right side threaded for freewheel or fixed (or borh). So you van choose between two gears.

    freewheel hub:



    threaded for a freewheel. Other side could have a disc attachment. Or be threaded for a freewheel. Then it's a flip flop.

    freehub hub:


    one side is made for attaching a splined cog. The freewheel mechanism is built into the hub. Both available for singlespeed use (shorter splines) or regular geared use (the standard width)

  3. #3
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    so what is typically stock on bikes, especially SSs? Freehub?

  4. #4
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    nothing. Depends on what you like.

  5. #5
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    what are the pros/cons of each? I basically want one gear, setup up on horizontal dropouts with a disc brake...with the most engagement points for the cheapest money...

  6. #6
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    Horizontal dropouts add some complexity, or they just made it an easy decision. You need a bolt on hub. Surly makes a pretty tough (and heavy one). Phil Wood and Paul's also make nice bolt on hubs. All three of these use a freewheel, which will become the basis for your choice. A White Industries ENO freewheel has excellant engagement and you can get one with more engagement points (I think the trials version has 72, but could be wrong). WI also makes very nice hubs too for freewheel use. So Surly, Paul's, WI, Phil (in dollar order) and a WI freewheel. I am sure there are other bolt on hubs, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.

    EDIT: King makes a bolt on hub too, but now we are really talking dollars.

    Is your Redline Wheel a freewheel model? Maybe you can just get a WI ENO freewheel for your existing wheelset??
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  7. #7
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    I'd have to look...I don't reall know that much about hubs (obviously). I assume freewheel, but who knows.

    I see a Hope Pro 2 bolt on on ebay - good?

  8. #8
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    Although I have no personal experience, I believe Hope makes a very good hub too. This would be a cassette hub and changing gears is a little easier.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  9. #9
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    The Pro II hub has (if I remember correctly) 24 points of engagement (poe). This is not considered "a lot." It's more like "some." Typically 36 poe is the benchmark hub any more. Higher than that is "a lot" and lower than that is "not very many." DT have as few as 18 poe (although they use a star ratchet - another discussion entirely), and I9 have as many as 120 poe (and both of those companies make 300+ (and 400+) dollar rear hubs).

    If you're set on getting a threaded hub and White Industries freewheel, you've made a good decision. They have 36 poe, except for their 18 tooth trials freewheel, as pointed out earlier, which has 72. If you decide 18 teeth in back is not right for you, you can change out the guts of the trials freewheel with another one to make any of their freewheels (except the 16 tooth) have 72 points of engagement. Doing that means you're talking a lot of expense, as their freewheels are typically found around 75 dollars, with the trials freewheel being closer to 100. Another point of contention is that of any of my setups, my 36 poe WI freewheel is the loudest, and you mentioned trying to avoid a loud setup.

    King hubs are the go to "high engagement" hub, with 72 poe, but as already mentioned, they're expensive. My vote is to go with a Hadley rear hub. 72 poe, many say they're as durable as King (I've never owned a King hub, but I love my Hadleys), and less expensive to boot. They make them in bolt-on or quick release variety, both normal width freehub and single speed freehub, several different colors, and they've got some of the best customer service I've seen. Having a freehub means you can buy a few different cogs, and try out different gearing extremely easily, for the minimum expense. It also allows the easiest and greatest adjustment of your chainline, so your drivetrain is quiet, efficient, and long wearing. I have their single speed bolt on rear hub, but I would almost suggest getting a standard version so that your rear wheel is more versatile, but I really like my SS hub because I built the wheels myself and really appreciate the rear wheel being dishless, for strength and ease of building/buying spokes.


  10. #10
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    HOPE proII trials has 48 poe. It has offset pawls that double the amount of poe.

    In my opinion the hope has the best bang for the buck if you want a freehub.

    Hadley is also very nice. I would like to try one. But they are hard to get in Europe.

  11. #11
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    Ok, so then what are the differences between these 2 cogs (other than brand and price)? Are they for different hub types? Are they interchangeable? The white industries cogs talks about it have its own POE #s, etc. I thought it was just an expensive cog.

    Thanks guys. Sorry I am such a newbie idiot!
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  12. #12
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    The white ind is for a screw on freewheel hub. See the second picture of my earlier post.

    The first one is a splined cog for a freehub body. Like the last one of the pictured hubs.

    The difference is that the freewheel mechanism is contained in the hub of a freehub and you have cogs that attach to the freewheel mechanism by a splined interface and lockrings.


    A threaded freewheel like the white has the freewheel contained in the cog/carrier and that whole unit is screwed onto the hub. Thats why the hub in the second picture has threads.

    I suggest that you look up www.sheldonbrown.com and get some basic bike maintenance lessons. That will save you tons of money. Also there's a great faq on the top right of this forum. That's also a good start.

  13. #13
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    Ok, it is starting to make sense now...but from an efficiency standpoint (POEs), which is better, to have the POEs in the hub (freehub) or in the cog freewheel?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    Horizontal dropouts add some complexity, or they just made it an easy decision. You need a bolt on hub. Surly makes a pretty tough (and heavy one). Phil Wood and Paul's also make nice bolt on hubs. All three of these use a freewheel, which will become the basis for your choice. A White Industries ENO freewheel has excellant engagement and you can get one with more engagement points (I think the trials version has 72, but could be wrong). WI also makes very nice hubs too for freewheel use. So Surly, Paul's, WI, Phil (in dollar order) and a WI freewheel. I am sure there are other bolt on hubs, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.

    EDIT: King makes a bolt on hub too, but now we are really talking dollars.

    Is your Redline Wheel a freewheel model? Maybe you can just get a WI ENO freewheel for your existing wheelset??
    you do not need a bolt on hub with horizontal dropouts. I've always run quick release skewers on my bike. a decent set of chain tensioners eliminate any issues. I also tighten the crap out of them though.

  15. #15
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    If I bought a quick release hub, is it easily convertible to a bolt on or does it depend on the brand?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgarolr
    If I bought a quick release hub, is it easily convertible to a bolt on or does it depend on the brand?
    depends on the brand. dont get a cheap axle either, i went through 3 axles in a week the one time i tried a bolt on.

  17. #17
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    Quicker engagement is an advantage in tight, technical situations, but will not make you faster on the course.
    Best bang for the buck is a Surly hub w/ a WI freewheel. Other freewheels such as Shimano and ACS are not only slower, but are high maintenance (wet ride = overhaul); WI love you long time.

    If you are going to change your gears a lot for riding different terrain, the higher price of a freehub style hub such as a Hope, Chris King, or DT will be offset by not having to buy 3 or 4 different freewheels, and by the speed and ease that you can change gears.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsCast
    My vote is to go with a Hadley rear hub. 72 poe, many say they're as durable as King (I've never owned a King hub, but I love my Hadleys), and less expensive to boot. They make them in bolt-on or quick release variety, both normal width freehub and single speed freehub, several different colors, and they've got some of the best customer service I've seen. Having a freehub means you can buy a few different cogs, and try out different gearing extremely easily, for the minimum expense. It also allows the easiest and greatest adjustment of your chainline, so your drivetrain is quiet, efficient, and long wearing. I have their single speed bolt on rear hub, but I would almost suggest getting a standard version so that your rear wheel is more versatile, but I really like my SS hub because I built the wheels myself and really appreciate the rear wheel being dishless, for strength and ease of building/buying spokes.
    Another vote for Hadley's.
    I've got two sets of SS specific Hadley wheelsets (26 & 29).
    I wanted the most durable, user friendly SS huds I could get.
    After two separate friends sent their Kings back for "rebuilding" I decided to try something different.
    I can second the comments about zero dish and the freehub.
    I even once put the 5 cog piece of an 9-speed XT cassette on them and it fit with no spacers and just a lockring. (See the attached picture)
    I usually run 3 Surly steel cogs for some gearing variety.

    Bottom line: I have had ZERO problems with my Hadley's.

    PS:You also don't need a special tool to service them.(Not that I have had to service mine)
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  19. #19
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    btw, i have dt swiss xr1540 wheels which have a 240s based hub. They might not have the most amount of engagement points, but they have been ultra solid, maintenence free, and very lightweight. I have not had to touch them in over 3 years. Mine are geared wheels, but i've primarily run them on my SS. However, you can get the same hub SS specific.
    I think i've heard that dt swiss is upping the amount of engagement points on some of their hubs, or they already did. either way, i deffinately dont notice any backlash with my hubs.

  20. #20
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    "Ok, it is starting to make sense now...but from an efficiency standpoint (POEs), which is better, to have the POEs in the hub (freehub) or in the cog freewheel?"

    THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE.

    You have either POE in the freehub or in a seperate freewheel. I have the distinct idea that you do not know what exactly the difference is and what you options are. I would advise you to stop reading the comments about POE and expensive hubs and get a buddy of you to describe the differences in person (preferably with real life examples) That's much easier than all this online talk and much more helpful.

    If there's no one around go to a good bikeshop and let them do the explaining. You will learn much more than we can ever answer here online.

  21. #21
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    I'm just going to say that if you get a freehub, the ease of changing gears out and getting chainline right is offset by maintenance issues and long term durability. Nothing can touch that WI freewheel on those counts unless you spend big $$$.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiDaDunlop
    "Ok, it is starting to make sense now...but from an efficiency standpoint (POEs), which is better, to have the POEs in the hub (freehub) or in the cog freewheel?"

    THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE.

    You have either POE in the freehub or in a seperate freewheel. I have the distinct idea that you do not know what exactly the difference is and what you options are. I would advise you to stop reading the comments about POE and expensive hubs and get a buddy of you to describe the differences in person (preferably with real life examples) That's much easier than all this online talk and much more helpful.

    If there's no one around go to a good bikeshop and let them do the explaining. You will learn much more than we can ever answer here online.
    I understand the difference between the hubs, and don't care about expensive, "bling" products...I just want the most effecient pedaling without spending a fortune and didn't know the efficiency difference between the freehub and freewheel cog...thanks though.

  23. #23
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    As said that difference is minimal. If there even is a difference.

    But because you can't switch between the two options once you have your wheel built you need to know what the pro's and con's are. There are zillions of topics on the pro's and con's.

    As Yoda says: Search and find you will...

    As for me. I already had some cogs and spacers etc for freehubs. So I went with freehubs. I am running several HOPE trials/singlespeed hubs and they work great for the amount of money that went into them.

  24. #24
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    To echo what DiDaDunlop says, there's not really an "on the bike" advantage you're going to feel between a freehub or a freewheel. I can't feel an ounce of difference when I'm actually pedaling. The only way I would be able to tell is by coasting because my WI freewheel is my loudest setup, and my Shimano freehub is the quietest, with the Hadley freehub falling in between. Also, my Hadley has the quickest engagement, going from coasting to pedaling (most points of engagement), with the other two setups having less (I believe 24 on the Shimano, and 36 on the White Industries.)

    It's not about bling, it's about knowing what the differences are, and knowing which one is more right for you.

  25. #25
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    "It's not about bling, it's about knowing what the differences are, and knowing which one is more right for you."

    Indeed. And your current setup might help with that choice. If you already have a freehub system with some cogs a freehub might be easier.

    I find that having more POE doesn't equate to more efficiency. It equates to quicker engagement.That's a different sport.

    But you say that you need more engaement points. Do you know what your current setup is? Stock monocog?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiDaDunlop
    But you say that you need more engaement points. Do you know what your current setup is? Stock monocog?
    BONE STOCK 2007 Monocog 29er

    I don't like the lag between coasting and pedal power which, IMO, translates to reduced effeciency when trying to run through a particular trail fairly quickly.
    Last edited by cgarolr; 07-07-2009 at 05:57 AM.

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