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  1. #1
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    Noob Hub Questions

    Pardon all the lame questions recently, but every time I search for an answer to this I get more confused.

    So, I thought that SS rear hubs used screw on freewheels, and somehow mated the cog of choice to that. That... it appears, is incorrect. From looking at different SS specific options, I can see that Hope's can fit a few cogs on a narrow cassette body (although typically used with spacers it seems), and King's... well I can't tell what they are. My rear wheel is a Stan's Neo hub, and there doesn't seem to be an SS version, so is that just a normal freehub body with spacers? I don't wanna start taking stuff apart before I ride the thing...

    And, this leads me to my main question, since the SIR is a prime candidate to swap between SS and geared easily, I am wondering if one wheelset will do it all. Are most of you guys running non SS specific wheels with spacers on a normal freehub? And, if so, I thought I had read that aluminum freehubs tended to be chewed up by SS riding... It would be nice if I could buy one specific wheelset that could swap between!

    Again, sorry that this is so noobish, but I had a fixie years back, and honestly thought SS specific hubs where a different beast.

  2. #2
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    For the most part, people tend to use standard freehub wheels, using spacers to line up the cog. Mostly because this is what is most available, easy conversion, and easy to switch to geared with the same wheel.

    SS specific hubs as you note are similar, but with a thinner body. Still uses spacers to line up cog, but really just enough room to get an optimal chainline.

    The other kind you first expected are for fixed gear bikes...fixies/track bikes etc. Don't see these used for SS very often.

  3. #3
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    MTBR.com Single Speed Forum - Single Speed FAQ

    it's all there, just need to do some reading. also, no need to start a new thread for every question, it would have been fine in your other thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by WaywardTraveller View Post
    The other kind you first expected are for fixed gear bikes...fixies/track bikes etc. Don't see these used for SS very often.
    that's not true, Surly, Paul, White Industries, Phil Wood, and I'm sure there are others, make SS MTB hubs for threaded freewheels.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    MTBR.com Single Speed Forum - Single Speed FAQ

    it's all there, just need to do some reading. also, no need to start a new thread for every question, it would have been fine in your other thread.



    that's not true, Surly, Paul, White Industries, Phil Wood, and I'm sure there are others, make SS MTB hubs for threaded freewheels.
    I read through the whole thing, but wasn't sure if what was posted was necessarily up to date as it stated last edited in 2004...

    So does this mean that newer freehubs and cogs don't chew each other up as often as I have seen referenced? I would love to buy one I9 wheelset (always wanted one) and be easily able to swap between geared an SS, but I do not want issues with mangling up the freehub.

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    You will note that I did not say they do not exist, I merely stated they are not used very often. Of all the SS mtbs I know, not one is using a threaded freewheel hub.

  6. #6
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    Most good cogs have a wide flange at the body interface and do not chew up the freehub! Take a look at Surly's for example, you'll see what I mean.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    I read through the whole thing, but wasn't sure if what was posted was necessarily up to date as it stated last edited in 2004...

    So does this mean that newer freehubs and cogs don't chew each other up as often as I have seen referenced? I would love to buy one I9 wheelset (always wanted one) and be easily able to swap between geared an SS, but I do not want issues with mangling up the freehub.
    the key is to buy a cog with a wide base so it won't dig in to the cassette. the other option is to use a steel/ti freehub. some hubs come standard with a steel freehub, and others are available as replacements. very brand dependent. a cog with a wide base, like your Surly cog, is fine on an aluminum freehub.

    the difference between a cassette style SS hub and a standard cassette hub is the flange spacing. a SS hub has wider flanges which allows the wheel to be built stronger and with even spoke tension on each side. you can use either for SS, but only a standard hub for gears, obviously.

    a threaded SS hub is sometimes preferred by people who don't want to worry about the freehub internals exploding when they're far away from civilization or on long bike packing trips etc. you have less chainline adjustability, and the only real good option for a freewheel is White Industries ~$80-90, but they are awesome and fully serviceable.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys. I knew about the wider flange on SS hubs, but I don't know how important that will be for me at 170 (and hopefully getting lighter...). I have never had issues with rear wheels not being strong enough, I am not a crazy kind of rider. I'll do some more research, but if wider cogs can help protect the freehub, I think that is the way to go for versatility.

    Anyone run a standard I9, Hope, or DT SS without issue?

  9. #9
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    Yes, people run all of them without issue.

    I like the DT swiss SS hub, the star ratchet mechanism is super easy to service and only comes with a steel freehub body. Haven't run the others.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  10. #10
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    I run an I9 Trail 245 setup using their Torch Mountain hubs on my single speed and find it to be great, but I've been switching those wheels between my full suspension and my single speed often enough to have a set of new wheels built specifically for single speed. The one thing I9s are is loud when coasting, so make sure you like the sound. I love it and the engagement is right away solid....great hubs.

    I'm probably going to go with Paul hubs with a WI freewheel for my new SS setup and will have one of the local shops build it. That is one of the setups the guy I want to build the wheelset recommends and his reasoning is sound for me.

    You won't be disappointed in an I9 wheelset and you can get blingy cool colors.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by latte1973 View Post
    I run an I9 Trail 245 setup using their Torch Mountain hubs on my single speed and find it to be great, but I've been switching those wheels between my full suspension and my single speed often enough to have a set of new wheels built specifically for single speed. The one thing I9s are is loud when coasting, so make sure you like the sound. I love it and the engagement is right away solid....great hubs.

    I'm probably going to go with Paul hubs with a WI freewheel for my new SS setup and will have one of the local shops build it. That is one of the setups the guy I want to build the wheelset recommends and his reasoning is sound for me.

    You won't be disappointed in an I9 wheelset and you can get blingy cool colors.
    I swear the blingy colors have nothing to do with my decision... I swear. It isn't like a purple/green/blue/whatever hubset would look cool on an all white frame/fork. Oh... wait... it would look awesome...

  12. #12
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    Another option for a dedicated SS hub is the Hope trials / SS hub. They're 80POE, stainless steel freehub body, nice and loud which I like, and I've been running mine at clyde weight of 205lbs for almost 18 months with zero issues.

  13. #13
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    My first set of SS wheels were Paul hubs. They were great, but honestly, the hassle of the freewheel put me off. I just couldn't find anything that they did that a quality cassette hub couldn't. I only weigh 155, and gear low, so stiffness isn't a concern for me.

    I bought a used set of Hadley hubs with the standard 10sp cassette and it's better in every way for me. I can find a quality cog in many shops in lots of sizes and colors (Endless Bike Co. is based here in PHX, as is a major regional distributor for Surly) and the chainline is finely tunable. The 72PoE is pretty sweet too.

    I can 'go geared' in about 10 minutes by swapping the dropouts on the frame, popping on a RD and shifter, a 10 sp cassette, and swapping the chain. (ironically that only happens about 3 rides per year.)

    I only need one set of wheels, so I sold the Pauls.

    I have never felt that a cassette wheel lacked any stiffness compared to the SS wheels, but I'm light.

    That said: of the 4 other SS-only guys I ride with, 3 use Hope SS hubs. Me and one other guy use cassette hubs. His are Kings.

    For me, a 10 speed cassette hub is a perfect solution, with the only drawback being a small amount of 'purity-points' in that you're actually using a single speed hub on a single speed frame.

  14. #14
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    Well due to the cost of building a wheel set I built my daily setup to kinda do it all.

    The Chris King ISO rear hub I use was purchased with an XD drive freehub body. (I will cheat and use gears on vacations with crazy variance in riding) I contacted my local bike shop and had them place an order for a stainless steel freehub body from Chris King (Took forever to get!!!)

    I use the stainless steel one for my single speed belt setup due to the durability of the freehub. XD gets busted on on the rare occasion that gears are needed. (Probably could have gone without the XD drive and gears all together :-)

  15. #15
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    At this point, in search of a do it all wheelset (all of the riding I would do, that is), I am leaning towards DT 350's and Hope's. Hope gets a big win by offering loud colors, but DT comes in centerlock, which I do prefer. Both offer steel freehubs, with the DT running $120 (ouch) and I can't find a price on the hope. Anyone have experience running SS cogs on the stock aluminum freehubs on either? I read a post earlier where someone said using an endless alloy cog on the Hope for a couple years left it looking like brand new, apparently the endless cogs are wider than the surly's. Haven't read much about the DT 350's SS though.

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    Well if I were to rock a different hub choice (I chose to match my hubs to my pedals) it would be the DT's. They make a solid hub, and I almost chose them due to the centerlock alone!

    To be honest if I were using a chain I would have no hesitation towards an aluminum freehub. With a belt drive you are at a higher initial tension. Thus I chose to overbuild my bike a bit. (Low maintenance due to high mileage riding was my first goal)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    Another option for a dedicated SS hub is the Hope trials / SS hub. They're 80POE, stainless steel freehub body, nice and loud which I like, and I've been running mine at clyde weight of 205lbs for almost 18 months with zero issues.
    I just built new wheels with this hub. Heavy, but damn sexy. Haven't had it on the trail yet.

    I had been running Sun Ringle straight pull/28 spoke hubs but keep breaking sxles & popping heads off nipples. Decided it was time to go more heavy duty.
    No moss...

  18. #18
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    ^ Increasing the spoke count would help certainly. I'm not saying you go all Sheldon Brown 36 spoke minimum. I'd also heard that straight pull spokes may not be as tough as the traditional j-bend. Also, what's heavy?

    I don't know what the Hope SS hub weighs off hand, but my Surly threaded axle disc new hub and WI eccentric Eno disc hub have got to be heavier, especially if you include the freewheel.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    I just built new wheels with this hub. Heavy, but damn sexy. Haven't had it on the trail yet.

    I had been running Sun Ringle straight pull/28 spoke hubs but keep breaking sxles & popping heads off nipples. Decided it was time to go more heavy duty.
    Yessir, I agree. I'm a clyde at 205lbs, and wheels are one things I'll carry a bit of extra weight to not have to second guess. I have mine laced to Stan's Flow EXs, and have been really happy with them in the 18 months I've had them.

  20. #20
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    I've used all 3 types mentioned in this thread, and really don't have a preference. I decided to go with a dedicated SS hub on my last set of wheels and have been very happy with them though. I needed a 142x12 hub and it looks like most bikes coming out will be boost, so I wasn't too worried about having them compatible with gears.

    Onyx SS hub with steel freehub.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    Yessir, I agree. I'm a clyde at 205lbs, and wheels are one things I'll carry a bit of extra weight to not have to second guess. I have mine laced to Stan's Flow EXs, and have been really happy with them in the 18 months I've had them.
    Im also 205. At 48 yrs old now the winter weight doesn't come off as easy as it used to! I used the new Spank OOZY 345 rims on mine. I had the OOZY 295's on the other wheels (roughly the same dimensions as Flows) and they take a pounding. It was the only part of the wheel I trusted.



    Last edited by jeffw-13; 06-01-2016 at 04:38 AM.
    No moss...

  22. #22
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    That's a nice 1st pic, very aesthetically pleasing for me. thumbs up.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  23. #23
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    I've also run the Hope SS hub for a few years and have had zero issues. I've also used the WTB SS hub a few years back but found the engagement to be terrible. The Specialized Roval wheels (with DT240 internals) were great too, never had an issue. As noted above the star ratchet system was VERY easy to service.
    MCH Co-Captain

  24. #24
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    I prefer to run cassette singlespeed hubs myself. A ran an older Hope Pro 2 for many years without a single issue. Pulled it apart every year and just put it back together because everything still looked great, even the grease. That said, I ran a newer Pro 2 Evo over the winter on another bike, and after a couple hundred miles one of the bearings was already shot. Hope was great about it and sent me a new bearing ASAP, but I wasn't thrilled with the situation. Also, with the cassette singlespeed hubs, you can run 6 to 9 cogs on them, depending on the hub and cog spacing.

    I'm not at all a fan of thread on freewheels. Just seems like OLD technology that needs to go away. Having something that threads onto the hub and is tightened every time you ride is just not good engineering. Plenty of people have had to trash wheels because they cannot remove the freewheel.

    A normal geared hub can obviously work as well. Use a wide base cog, but expect an aluminum freehub to eventually need replacement. I'd say just use the original until it is too messed up and then buy a steel one. Or, if you plan to swap often, you can do what I am planning for my new build. DT Swiss 240s geared hub. I mounted an 11 speed cassette on the standard aluminum freehub, and then purchased a steel freehub and mounted my singlespeed cog to that. Now to switch, I just pull off the whole freehub with attached cog/cassette and pop the other one on. Keep in mind this requires an extra end cap as well, but results in super quick no tool switchover. This may work on other hubs as well, like Hope, King, Hadley.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I'd say just use the original until it is too messed up and then buy a steel one. Or, if you plan to swap often, you can do what I am planning for my new build. DT Swiss 240s geared hub. I mounted an 11 speed cassette on the standard aluminum freehub, and then purchased a steel freehub and mounted my singlespeed cog to that. Now to switch, I just pull off the whole freehub with attached cog/cassette and pop the other one on. Keep in mind this requires an extra end cap as well, but results in super quick no tool switchover. This may work on other hubs as well, like Hope, King, Hadley.
    Where did you get a steel freehub for a 240?
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  26. #26
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    ^I think they have them on Jenson. I've seen some listings where it's just the body and you have to order the pawls separately or something. I'm not sure if it's a DT part or a free hub body that fits.

    Jenson page

    DT Swiss Steel Shimano 9/10 Freehub Body > Components > Wheel Parts > Freehub Bodies | Jenson USA
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Where did you get a steel freehub for a 240?
    I got mine from Jenson. Normally $120, but I waited for a 20% off coupon, so got it delivered for $96. That was the best deal I could find when I was looking. Still not cheap, but it should last pretty much forever!

    DT Swiss Steel Mountain Freehub Body > Components > Wheel Parts > Freehub Bodies | Jenson USA

  28. #28
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    Thanks guys - I could've sworn they stopped making them! I actually get worse notching on the middle cogs on geared setups than I ever have from a wide based cassette cog, but I haven't done much of the latter with aluminum freehub body. I have a few geared 350/240 hubs in service too, will have to look for opportunities to upgrade.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    Thanks guys - I could've sworn they stopped making them! I actually get worse notching on the middle cogs on geared setups than I ever have from a wide based cassette cog, but I haven't done much of the latter with aluminum freehub body. I have a few geared 350/240 hubs in service too, will have to look for opportunities to upgrade.
    From what I could find, DT did stop making them, but then started making them again. Don't quote me on that, but I read it somewhere on the interweb. I'm just glad they are available again, but do wish they were cheaper.

  30. #30
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    I have 2 sets of Hadley SS specific hubs with Ti free hubs. The older one was converted from the 135 bolt on axle to a 142x12 TA and it's a solid axle not some cheesy end caps. Yes I'm a Hadley fan but they're local to me and make a great hub. I do feel that wider flanged hubs make a better less dished wheel and I stick with 32 db spokes, I don't use super light spokes just normal DT Comps or WS. I like having extra wheel sets since I ride 4-6 times a week and SS riding wears out your bearings fast. I currently use Wolf Tooth cogs and have used CK stainless steel cogs and Rennen too. I also run wider i29 and soon i35 and 140 rims. another reason to want wider hubs for a better wheel. Anyway IMO go with a wider SS specific hub you'll like having a stronger wheel it will ride better even a 150# guy can put out a lot of torque. Plus you'll like having an extra wheel set when needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    ...and SS riding wears out your bearings fast...
    Sorry to derail, but I don't really think I've heard anyone talk about this point much... Any specific hubs you are referring to?

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jten9 View Post
    Sorry to derail, but I don't really think I've heard anyone talk about this point much... Any specific hubs you are referring to?

    Sent using Tapatalk
    I am also curious about this point, never heard it before.

  33. #33
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    I'm referring to the extra torque that a SS hub endures combined with poor maintenance of never pulling the hubs apart and refreshing the oil/grease.
    The bearings seem to wear out faster than my geared hubs but just based on non-statistical opinion.
    For ease of maintenance I really liked my CK hubs but stopped using them when the didn't have a 142x12 TA available, plus I'd like to have a heavy duty version with stainless steel or Ti Free hub if possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    I am also curious about this point, never heard it before.
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