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  1. #1
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    Engagement on Hope Hubs vs i9

    Everyone has a favorite I know, but I am looking to build my first bike.
    Hope Pro 4s are way cheaper than the i9s.
    I have two buddies that have both, and they are both loud.

    When looking at the specs, it seems the i9s would have that crisp quick engagement where the Hope would not:

    Hope:
    4-pawl, 44 point freehub
    i9:
    6-pawl, 120 point freehub


    what is the engagement on the Hope like? Is there a lot of "play"?

  2. #2
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    360/44 x cog/ring = angle between engagement at the pedals. For 42 cog and 32 ring that's ~11 degrees. For 10 cog with the same ring it's 2.5 degrees.

    11 degrees is about one tenth of your power stroke.

    The same examples with the i9 would be ~ 4 degrees and ~ 1 degree.

    This mainly matters when you're ratcheting over obstacles, which more often happens in lower gears.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    I have both....and Kings....and now a set of DT350's I just picked up. My Hope's have been great from a maintenance standpoint but they are nowhere close to the others when it comes to engagement. This is my 1st set of DT350's (they came on the Santa Cruz wheelset I purchased) and they are also quieter than the Hopes. Hope's are great if you're trying to save some $$. Just don't ride a friends bikes with Onyx to compare them :P
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  4. #4
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    Hope's are great for the price. However, I find their noise brutal.

    Kings have the best drive system bar none. stronger than anything else and great engagement. But they are not future proof because they use full width axles. Conversion to different standards is either impossible or very expensive.

    White industries CLD or XMR are jewel-like in their quality, have a nice low volume buzz, 48pt engagement and they spin like nothing else I've ever had.

  5. #5
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    Haven't ridden Hope hubs but I9 hub engagement is outstanding. So is the noise they make. Couldn't stand it so I'm replacing my Ibis 942 hubs with DT Swiss 240 hubs with the 54-tooth ratchet.
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  6. #6
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    I rode the DT Swiss with a 36 ratchet and the i9 BC360. I went with the i9. I could notice a difference even on normal pedaling. I coast a lot, even up hill, and having the instant power is very nice. I also love the noise. Its like an angry bee

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    I rode kings and only kings forever. Ended up with a set of 36T DT's this year and honestly, I don't notice a difference with half the engagement points.

    Hopes are bomb proof, so are kings, and DT's.

    Never used I9's, but I am sure they are too.

    Buy whats cheap, it really doesn't matter.
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  8. #8
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    I bought my hopes in the beginning of summer. They now have crunchy bearings. All 4. Not thrilled about that. SKF bearings are in the mail, but that seems premature.

    I wish I just bought a white industries hub. Nicer than anything, better bearings than hope or i9... Probably nicer bearings than anything short of king.
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  9. #9
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    Where do you folks buy skf bearings? I looked at putting those in my Hopes the last time I serviced them (only one or two of the bearings were rough, but I did them all anyway), and the cost was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the Enduro bearings I wound up with. As in, more than double the cost. Nope.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lardo5150 View Post
    Everyone has a favorite I know, but I am looking to build my first bike.
    Hope Pro 4s are way cheaper than the i9s.
    I have two buddies that have both, and they are both loud.

    When looking at the specs, it seems the i9s would have that crisp quick engagement where the Hope would not:

    Hope:
    4-pawl, 44 point freehub
    i9:
    6-pawl, 120 point freehub


    what is the engagement on the Hope like? Is there a lot of "play"?
    Building your first bike you won’t notice any play, hopes are great, easy to rebuild ,not too expensive and really well made.

    There are nicer hubs but hopes are really good hubs. Not a bad place to save some $$ on a build.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Where do you folks buy skf bearings? I looked at putting those in my Hopes the last time I serviced them (only one or two of the bearings were rough, but I did them all anyway), and the cost was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the Enduro bearings I wound up with. As in, more than double the cost. Nope.

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    Amazon, and yup, about double the price. I think they're about twice as good though!
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  12. #12
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    Add me to the 'my Hopes are less than a year old and the bearings are already rough' list. Front wheel is, at least. I can only feel it when I spin the wheel off the bike; no noticeable drag yet, but very notchy.

    Rear hub engagement is pretty bog-standard 'acceptable.'

  13. #13
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    I've been running I9 torch hubs for a few years. The bearings do no last for me either. I started getting the hybrid ceramic bearings from www.bocabearings.com. The seals are not as good, but they roll very smooth with little drag. I just replace them every 6 months or so, depending on how much rain we get.

  14. #14
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    I9 has upped the spec on their bearings I think in the last year or two. I’ve had probably 9-10 sets of their hubs since 2006, still have 4 sets 28h and 32h hubs including one pillar C system set. I have only re-built 2 sets of hubs in that time because of worn/ bad bearings.

    They’re great hubs. Very quick engagement well designed and built. The best way to quiet them some is by using a mix of Dumonde free hub oil and Super Lube grease. The grease oil mix takes the harshness out of the click and tones them down.
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    Have ridden both and vastly prefer i9s, if ever have issues with them USA company and you can call someone and they will help.

    I like lots of engagement, but it really doesnt make you a better a rider. Really depends what you ride now and what you will notice based on your terrain and riding style.

    In general though a lot of options listed here and you can't really go wrong. Hubs are so variable sometimes they last near forever with very little maintainence (not that you should do that). Other times after a year need bearing.
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  16. #16
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    I love a quick engaging hub (had a Hadley on my previous bike), but as long as they are under 10 degrees, I don't really notice it that much with how I ride. I have had good luck with Hope hubs and currently run them on two wheelsets. Got to say the buzz gets old though. I built up another set of rims with some SRAM 900 hubs earlier this year. They have been surprisingly good. Got both hubs for under $200 and the engagement is better than the Hopes. Time will tell if they are as maintenance free, but so far, so good. Just another option.

  17. #17
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    SRAM makes good hubs. They’re not as blingy as others but they’re solid designs and construction. I have a predictive steering hub on one of my front wheels for my RS-1 and it’s a very nice hub smooth spinning and durable so far almost 3 years later.
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  18. #18
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    I like Hope hubs, I hate Hope bearings.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    SRAM makes good hubs. They’re not as blingy as others but they’re solid designs and construction. I have a predictive steering hub on one of my front wheels for my RS-1 and it’s a very nice hub smooth spinning and durable so far almost 3 years later.
    My Santa Cruz came with SRAM hubs and I kinda assumed they would suck and I would break them. 2000 miles later, they're still going strong. I upgraded to Hope hubs but I'll certainly still keep the SRAMs on my back up wheelset.

    I'm using Hope hubs on 3 of my 4 bikes. They're the best hubs out there if you don't want to drop huge money. Engagement is perfect for me, I love the nice loud "click," also never had any bearing issues - I just remove the freehub and clean, re-grease once or twice a year. I've got one set that has been rolling perfectly for 4-5 years now.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    SRAM makes good hubs. They’re not as blingy as others but they’re solid designs and construction. I have a predictive steering hub on one of my front wheels for my RS-1 and it’s a very nice hub smooth spinning and durable so far almost 3 years later.
    I upgraded from BHS to SRAM 900 when I made the switch to boost frame and fork. I have over a thousand miles on mine as well, and theyve proven absolutely flawless. I mash hard as hell, and I dont have any sighs of gouging or flex of any kind. Theyve never skipped a beat. I was a little wary of the 4 pawl design (only two engaged at a time), but I've since decided four large pawls beats six smaller pawls any day. I know its not part of the OPs question, but for anyone who wants a solid hub at a cheap price, and doesnt need bling nor having the very peak of technology, these things work great.

  21. #21
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    I have a rear Hadley hub that I bought used. I replaced the factory bearings about 18 months ago. I'm a clyde, and I've beat on it and ratcheted it pretty good, and thus far no issues with bearings. I don't ride in the wet very much though.

    My only complaint is that there is not a set-screw to hold the bearing preload. Mine was tightening up over time causing chain-suck. 3 layers of teflon tape on the axle threads did not stop it. A generous amount of red locktite did - no issues since. Maybe I'm doing something wrong or there is a better way. Used hub I think from around 2012, so maybe newer ones are different.

    72 POE is 5 degrees, so even though moar POE is better, that's way into diminishing returns IMO.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikehopper View Post
    I've been running I9 torch hubs for a few years. The bearings do no last for me either. I started getting the hybrid ceramic bearings from www.bocabearings.com. The seals are not as good, but they roll very smooth with little drag. I just replace them every 6 months or so, depending on how much rain we get.
    Can somebody tell me what bearings I need for Hope Pro 4's? That site only lists Pro 2's, and Hope only seems to give me their own P/N; not the dimensions.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by phuchmileif View Post
    Can somebody tell me what bearings I need for Hope Pro 4's? That site only lists Pro 2's, and Hope only seems to give me their own P/N; not the dimensions.
    17x30x7. I think they're the same Pro 2 or 4.
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  24. #24
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    Hope are obviously cheaper, but there is nothing wrong with them. I built a set in 2009 that are still going strong....original bearings. I did burn up a set of pawl/springs.

    Just built up a set of Pro 4's for my wife's Tallboy 3.

    I have no experience with I9.

    Ran DT 240's for a decade...never burned up a bearing.

    Currently have King's on the SS.

    Buy the hubs you want.....don't worry so much about engagement. For the majority of riders, they won't be able to tell the difference.
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  25. #25
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    Look at the exploded view for Pro 4 for the bearing sizes:

    Front - https://www.hopetech.com/product-doc...ro-4-front-hub

    Rear - https://www.hopetech.com/product-doc...pro-4-rear-hub

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Have ridden both and vastly prefer i9s, if ever have issues with them USA company and you can call someone and they will help.
    .
    Their factory is also abt 10min from my house. They are high on my list for my next build. Not sure if I want to build my first set of wheels on some of their Classic hubs or get a system wheelset yet.

    As for engagement, I definitely notice it, but not all the time. If I am just riding, I really don't. I have Shimano M529 hubs on my touring bike and the low engagement on those would be irritating to me on a mtb. Engagement on Hopes is solid. A good happy medium. My wife has some i9 hubs and they are noticeably better than my Hopes, though I'd only REALLY make use of that a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the time if I am going to be honest.

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  27. #27
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    I have both Hope and I9.

    I don't notice engagement. Even technical stuff, any small engagement difference really isn't a big deal. Adjusting to any small amount of engagement is such a minor and easily adaptable thing.

  28. #28
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    I did not mean to sound down on I9's. There "system wheelset" is the best I have ever owned. Lots of miles, and never needed trued or tensioned.

    It may just be the cartridge bearing. The seals just don't do the job.

    Recently purchased a King/raceface carbon wheelset, only after the lbs talked me into it. I would put my I9 torch/enduro wheelset up against them in a heartbeat.

  29. #29
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    It’s a toss up between Hopes and I9s for me as well...

    As for the noise, they are all quiet if you keep pedaling...
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I bought my hopes in the beginning of summer. They now have crunchy bearings. All 4. Not thrilled about that. SKF bearings are in the mail, but that seems premature.

    I wish I just bought a white industries hub. Nicer than anything, better bearings than hope or i9... Probably nicer bearings than anything short of king.
    I have ridden either King or Handley hubs for years(decades at this point I guess) but switched to hope hubs on my last two sets of wheels to save some $. One set for my trail bike that sees lots of use and the other set for my DJ that does not see much use. The set on the trail bike are still super smooth after a year of use but the rear hub (trials/single speed) on my DJ are now Starting to sound a little crunchy...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    72 POE is 5 degrees, so even though moar POE is better, that's way into diminishing returns IMO.
    Converting poe into degrees is kind of an incomplete answer. If there are 10 degrees between clicks, for example, it is rare that your pedal would need to travel the full 10 degrees; instead, there would be a bell curve distribution with most attempts clustered around 5 degrees of rotation. Viewed this way, I hope the diminishing returns of higher poe becomes apparent.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Converting poe into degrees is kind of an incomplete answer. If there are 10 degrees between clicks, for example, it is rare that your pedal would need to travel the full 10 degrees; instead, there would be a bell curve distribution with most attempts clustered around 5 degrees of rotation. Viewed this way, I hope the diminishing returns of higher poe becomes apparent.
    Maybe its too early in the morning for me to understand where youre going with this bell curve business...

    But from my point of view, if you've got 10* of between clicks at the freehub, and you've got 30/50 gearing during a slow steep technical ascent, that means 16.66* of rotation at the cranks between clicks. Manageable for sure, but certainly a noticeable amount of movement in my opinion.

  33. #33
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    If you have 10* between clicks, your pedal will very rarely go the full 10* because you START the movement at a randomized point along the arc.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    If you have 10* between clicks, your pedal will very rarely go the full 10* because you START the movement at a randomized point along the arc.
    I disagree. I will START the movement at the last point of engagement, ratchet backwards the 17* (or 34*) and crank forward again over the rock or root, etc. Of course, its very unlikely that I would be able to hit the exact point where the next click or two is, so there will be some wasted movement. The closer the points of engagement are, the less wasted movement there is, and the more time I'm powering the bike forward. Thats how I view it.

  35. #35
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    Each ratchet tooth is a ramp. In his 10 degree example, you'd have to start pedaling at EXACTLY the beginning of the ratchet tooth to get a full 10 degrees before engagement.

    Its 0-10 degrees of engagement as a potential range. If you graph that, your average degree of engagement is 5. Could probably have used the example without talking about graphs or curves at all

    So a hub with 36pt has a MAX of 10 degrees between clicks, and an average of about 5. Kings 72pt has a max of 5, and average of 2.5.

    So while max engagement difference between the hubs is actually 5 degrees, in reality its more like 2.5 degrees.

    All pawl hubs have the potential to have instant engagement every now and then. On average, the real engagement (we'll ignore gears and use 1:1 ratios) will be about half of max.
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  36. #36
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    So lets say your ratcheting up a rooty ascent with pedal strokes of 30 to 40 degrees. With 10* between engagement, giving us an average of 5* engaggement per pedal stroke, that means on average theres between 16.66% and 12.5% wasted pedal stroke. Double the POE and you half the average wasted movement. That's not to mention any balance and control benefits you get from having more instant engagement, such as when you want to pop the front wheel up over a root.

  37. #37
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    I'm not sure how you got those numbers. 3.6 degrees is 1% wasted pedal stroke. So 5 degrees is less than 2%.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I'm not sure how you got those numbers. 3.6 degrees is 1% wasted pedal stroke. So 5 degrees is less than 2%.
    Percent of the stroke, not of a full rotation. That was assuming that I'm ratcheting over something technical, with 30* to 40* ratchet strokes, and a 1:1 gear ratio.

  39. #39
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    Keep in mind, I'm slightly playing devils advocate here. I'm not a firm believer that you *NEED* high POE to get the job done. Obviously rider skill far outweighs any increase in POE, or any technology for that matter. I'm just suggesting a scenario where additional POE would prove useful, and in relatively significant numbers (12-17% of the time youre moving the cranks is wasted).

  40. #40
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    I've got Hope 4s, DT350 with 54T ratchet, and just got i9 hubs on my gravel bike. The 350s feel about the same as the i9s, with the i9s having a slight edge. The Hopes aren't bad at all, and I'm not going to rush out to replace my Hopes--they've been bomb-proof and one of the most solid parts of the bike.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    Percent of the stroke, not of a full rotation. That was assuming that I'm ratcheting over something technical, with 30* to 40* ratchet strokes, and a 1:1 gear ratio.
    Ah ok, I suppose in that case you would have ~15ish percent of that movement wasted to play... but im not sure if thats a really clear way to look at it.

    Im all about higher POE hubs. I wouldnt ride 18pt dt's... but I also agree with diminishing returns. Hopes 44 is pretty slick in technical stuff and I rarely notice a hesitation in the pedals. I have a 54pt hub and there is never pedal lag. My 72pt feels the same as my 54pt, so for me at least, it seems like somewhere in the high 40's you hit that wall pretty quick.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Im all about higher POE hubs. I wouldnt ride 18pt dt's... but I also agree with diminishing returns. Hopes 44 is pretty slick in technical stuff and I rarely notice a hesitation in the pedals. I have a 54pt hub and there is never pedal lag. My 72pt feels the same as my 54pt, so for me at least, it seems like somewhere in the high 40's you hit that wall pretty quick.
    I could not possibly agree with this more. And while its quite subjective, I agree that hopes are pretty much the beginning of the sweet spot. Above that is nice but unnecessary, and anything below that leaves something to be desired. I have a pair of pacenti hubs with 36 poe that feel noticeably slow to me. But my sram 900 (52 poe), BHS (54 poe) and barely-holding-on-by-a-thread koozers (72 poe) all feel nearly identical in terms of engagement. Still, the math shows there are imperceptible gains to be found with higher poe, but to me its not worth the price tag.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I9

    They’re great hubs. Very quick engagement well designed and built. The best way to quiet them some is by using a mix of Dumonde free hub oil and Super Lube grease. The grease oil mix takes the harshness out of the click and tones them down.
    Same here! 4 sets of bearings on classic enduro i9's. That is 2.5 yrs out of each. When the hubs get loud I just use good old red bearing grease.

    Sooner or later they will die but for now they still look great.

  44. #44
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    Engagement on Hope Hubs vs i9

    Quote Originally Posted by ttchad View Post
    Same here! 4 sets of bearings on classic enduro i9's. That is 2.5 yrs out of each. When the hubs get loud I just use good old red bearing grease.

    Sooner or later they will die but for now they still look great.
    Yeah, some don’t like straight pull, whatever. I’ve got both j bend and straight pull I9 and DT. The I9 shit has proven to be durable. I’m not big but I ride hard, sure you could spec better bearings but they’re pretty good. I love the 3* engagement and they spin forever as long as your brakes aren’t dragging. Knowing I9 the rings are harder than the pawls. So replace the pawls and springs and go. Then if they get tired sell them or keep as backups.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    So lets say your ratcheting up a rooty ascent with pedal strokes of 30 to 40 degrees. With 10* between engagement, giving us an average of 5* engaggement per pedal stroke, that means on average theres between 16.66% and 12.5% wasted pedal stroke. Double the POE and you half the average wasted movement. That's not to mention any balance and control benefits you get from having more instant engagement, such as when you want to pop the front wheel up over a root.
    The man's got a point here.

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