Bicycle hubs: varieties, selection and care
What is the most important part of a bike? It’s a wheel, of course. It doesn’t matter what type of bike we are talking about, in what price range it is. none of them without wheels is simply impossible to imagine. And what is directly responsible for the rotation of the wheels? Quite right, these are the bushings. The better they will be. the better the bike will be “rolling”, which in turn affects its efficiency. Also, the bushings are responsible for the correct and even distribution of radial and circular loads, even rotation of the wheel, sometimes. stopping the bike or switching speeds. Since this element is obviously important. let’s talk about it in more detail.
How to choose a bushing:
The first step is to decide where and how often you will cycle. It is important to pay attention to the weight of the giver, its resistance to stress and vibration, moisture and dust resistance. For example, a road bike hub should never be used when riding aggressively over rough terrain.
In the event that you do not plan to seriously engage in any cycling, but just want to ride around the city and in uncomplicated conditions, then you can rely solely on your financial capabilities. Because the higher the level of the bushing. the stronger and better it is, naturally.
You also need to know how many spoke holes are on the flanges. The most common options are 36 and 32, but things may be different with some bikes, such as road bikes. And if the bushing has the wrong number of holes. it will not work to combine it with the rim.
Which bearing to choose, industrial or bulk, you decide on your own based on the driving conditions, we wrote about this above.
You also need to pay attention to the method of mounting the rear sprockets and their type, which can be slotted or threaded. Slots of cassettes from different manufacturers can be different in height and width, so sometimes it is impossible to combine them. If by any chance your hub has a wider drum than necessary, you can place spacers in the free space, so-called. “spacers”.
Note, among other things, the type of brake rotor mounting. The most common of all are the threaded “Centerlock” and with the six bolts.
If financial capabilities allow and under certain driving conditions, planetary hubs are very good. They have no equal in terms of convenience and durability, but they are more expensive, of course.
How bicycle hubs work:
The most important thing in the life of bicycle sleeves are rolling bearings. these are ball parts used to transfer torque from the axle to the body of the part and, as a result, rotate the wheels. Today, there are three of the most common types of rolling bearings used in the bicycle industry: ball, industrial or closed, and cage.
The front hub device looks like this:
It should be noted that bushings of all types and varieties of bicycle horses are similar in structure. Naturally, the differences may lie in the material used in their production, the degree of protection, weight, safety factor, running resource and durability.
If we compare the front and rear hubs, then they are simpler in design, because less dynamic load falls on them, as well as on the entire front of the bike. The complexity of the rear mechanism comes down to the fact that there is the possibility of free wheeling, this does not apply to fix bikes. This confirms the fact that the front bushings are less whimsical in the repair and periodic maintenance.
Now let’s take a closer look at different types of bushings and their special device. If we talk about the type of production, then they can be stamped, cast or point. Most modern bicycles are equipped with stamped and dotted ones. Dots are highlighted with a trace in the form of a spiral on the surface from the outside. As for cast, they are put on models for beginners, teenagers and models for children, because they are less durable and weigh more.
The following materials are used for the production of the bushing bodies: titanium and aluminum. for point and cast, steel. for stamped. In addition, there are bushings with bodies made of carbon. so the bike becomes much lighter, because the weight of the carbon hub (which is not inferior in strength to others) is 49 grams, while the aluminum ones weigh 245 grams.
The axles of the bushings are made mainly of aluminum and steel, sometimes also of titanium. Their diameter is possible different.
Let’s select the most common axis sizes:
The most common option in use.
Found on trail and cross country bikes, is hollow itself, has an eccentric clip.
Found on models for extreme sports, also hollow. Can be bolted. better withstand heavy loads. As for the eccentric clamp. put it on and off faster.
Found in almost all new models, very widely used size.
Used on models manufactured for extreme sports.
The diameter of the axle of any bushing determines such characteristics of the connection as rigidity and strength: the larger it is. the more options can be provided. This affects the total weight at the same time. In addition, removing a wheel with such an axle requires a lot of time and effort.
The rear hubs are often asymmetrical to accommodate cassettes. For this reason, the right flange is closer to the middle and its spokes are shorter on the right side by a few millimeters. This fact must be taken into account when lacing the wheel.
Now let’s dwell on bearings. important part of the bushings. Now more often you can find bushings with bulk bearings, and with cage bearings. less often. Their distribution is due to their high running life and ease of production, and as they wear out, they are easy to adjust and sort out. A well-known manufacturer in the cycling industry like Shimano exclusively uses bicycle hubs that have loose bearings.
Bushings with industrial radial bearings are less common. Compared to standard ball bearing systems, they do not need to be disassembled and are very easy to install. Such bearings can greatly increase the running life of the part, have better dust and moisture protection due to higher efficiency and lower rolling resistance. However, this greatly affects the weight of the part, since the weight of closed systems is greater, as is the hub body for them. This type is found in those bicycles to a greater extent that are used in extreme sports.
Varieties of rear bushings and their differences
As mentioned above. the rear wheels are more complex axial than the front ones. In addition, the hubs have special inserts for the ratchet, cassette and brake discs. On those bike models that have a planetary gear shift, the rear hubs are gear systems that can be compared in complexity to a car gearbox. On today’s city bikes and USSR bikes (classic), the bushings in the back still have brakes.
The rear hub looks like this:
a hollow bolt securing the bushing drum to the body;
Types of rear bicycle sleeves by structure:
the classic version with a ratchet or cassette mount. Many models also have a brake disc mount, i.e. rotor;
fixed gear, no free play;
The planetary hub is a part of the interest of cyclists. Its body accommodates the entire multistage transmission, so it does not need frequent adjustments and tuning, it has an excellent running life and 100% protection against bad weather conditions. A very important point: when there is a planetary hub. gears can be changed even while standing still, but along with these advantages, it is worth noting the larger size and weight of this part.
Worm-type bushings are used on bicycles at one speed. The main difference is that braking occurs when the pedals are retracted. Frequent maintenance is not required for these bushings. they have a sealed housing with an abundance of lubricant, so they are also quite durable.
Fans of fixed bikes are madly in love with bushings with no free play, which provide continuous pedaling while in motion.
Two-star or flip-flop hubs are such a system that allows the wheel to rotate as much as 180 degrees. At both ends there are star mounts, where 2 stars with different diameters can be placed. The required sprocket size is based on the anticipated possible driving conditions. In addition, such bushings can simultaneously have both fixed and freewheeling options. “bicycle horse” can act as both single-speed and fixed gear.
Another exotic variety. shock absorber bushing. It weighs a lot, its design is complex and it is simply impractical to use it everywhere, since it has a very mediocre performance of its direct depreciation functions. Such depreciation is carried out here as follows: the bushing moves along the guide bracket on the axis, in the free space at it. an elastic element that absorbs vibrations, being both a spring and a damper. There are no strong shock-absorbing abilities, therefore such bushings are little known.
There are differences between the bushings and the type of rear sprocket attachment. There are threaded and spline types. The first of bicycle production is gradually leaving, since there are many disadvantages of the threaded connection of the sleeve: during installation it is easy to break the thread, low rigidity and strength, uneven wear of the mechanism and the stars themselves, a lot of energy losses in the unit. The installation of such rear sprockets is carried out due to the cheapness and ease of production.
As for the spline connection, there are many advantages: less weight, greater rigidity due to the greater distance between the bearings, less energy loss. more wheel rolling, good fastening reliability, with proper use, it is almost impossible to tear off the cassette from the slots, you can change not the entire cassette, but its individual stars if necessary.
Correct operation of the bushing requires periodic maintenance. It is important to carry out such manipulations as:
replacement of cage bearings or bearing balls;
on the brake sleeve you need to adjust the pads;
lubrication from the inside of all parts, and every 500 km. complete grease change.
Freewheel vs Cassette. What Are They? Can I Convert?
If such necessary measures are not taken. repair or even replacement of the bushing may be required. Symptoms confirming the need for replacement or repair are considered to be: loosening and rumbling of the bushing, wheel play when driving, the presence of extraneous sounds during rotation, crunching of worn bearings, friction in bearings and poor roll-forward.
A loose, rattling or loose bushing can be corrected by pulling up using special keys. But here it is important not to overtighten, otherwise the wheel will begin to rotate poorly, which will lead to damage to the bearings.
Bad rolling and extraneous sounds can be corrected by good lubrication or by replacing the bearings.
I would also like to advise you not to engage in self-repair without the necessary knowledge, experience and tools. Professional bicycle service workers can do everything efficiently and quickly, identifying the exact cause.
We will be happy to answer the remaining questions and help with the choice!
Why is it so important to choose the right cassette?
The cassette allows you to select the speed that best suits your specific riding conditions. Gear range allows you to select the most efficient riding speed with the optimal RPM.
When you throw the chain onto a large chainring (with more teeth), the pedals are easier to pedal, but the speed is lower. Such an asterisk usually drives up a hill or overcomes off-road, bumps, mud or sand. On a small sprocket, pedals are harder to twist and are switched to it to accelerate or when going down a slope. The more stars in the cassette, the greater the choice of speeds and the smoother the transitions between speeds, which is especially important when driving long distances.
How to choose the right bike cassette?
When choosing a cassette, you should pay attention to the speed range and the number of teeth in the sprockets. The smaller the difference in the number of teeth on the largest and smallest sprocket, the smoother the transitions between speeds. However, the size of the largest sprocket in the cassette is usually smaller. These cassettes are poorly suited for hill climbs or off-road driving.
Mountain Bike Cassettes
In mountain bike cassettes, the sprocket size difference is greater, which is associated with the characteristics of the ride. When you are driving on a forest trail and there is a steep climb in front of you, you do not need smooth shifting, a large spread in gears is more important for you. The sprocket sizes in road bike cassettes differ less. On the highway, smooth speed changes are more important.
Mountain bikes are equipped with cassettes with 10, 11 and 12 stars. This number of stars makes it possible to use a fairly large large star in the cassette. This also makes it possible to use triple, double and even single chainrings. This technical solution allows not only to reduce the weight of the bike, but also to simplify the structure, which reduces the likelihood of breakage.
Ten-speed mountain bike cassettes are available with 11-32, 11-34 and 11-36 sprockets. The Shimano Dyna-Sys Deore XT 10 Speed Ten Sprocket Cassette is very popular among professionals.
For cassettes with eleven speeds, the spread in the number of teeth is even greater: 11-40 or even 11-42. A good cassette in this category is the Shimano Deore XT M8000.
Bicycle cassette. How to choose?
A bicycle cassette is a set of rear wheel sprockets. The cassette fits onto the rear hub and is securely held in place with a retaining nut. Usually, a cassette contains from 5 to 12 sprockets, the number of which determines the number of bike speeds. On modern bicycles, cassettes with 9, 10 or 11 sprockets are usually installed.
Road Bike Cassettes
Road bike cassettes have a significantly smaller largest sprocket than any mountain bike cassette. The most important quality here is smooth transition between gears. Most road bike cassettes have a small chainring with 11, 12 or 13 teeth. The largest star usually has 21 to 32 teeth.
Most often, a cassette with a spread of teeth of 12-25 is installed on a road bike. If the terrain on which you usually drive has many descents and ascents, then you can recommend a cassette with 27 or more teeth in a large star.
When choosing a cassette for a road bike, make sure that the gearshift mechanism is compatible with the cassette and will be able to throw the chain onto the largest sprocket.
Recommended cassettes for hilly terrain are SRAM Red 22 XG1190 11 Speed and Shimano Ultegra 6800 11 Speed.
Buy and choose bike hubs
The hub is the central part of the wheel that allows it to rotate on bearings around a fixed axle that attaches to the frame or fork dropouts. A good model should provide as little friction as possible in the bearings while the wheel is spinning, thereby improving the roll-up rate. A high-quality model has a longer service life, fewer problems arise with it after driving in bad road and weather conditions, that is, it has greater protection against environmental influences.
Various modifications differ in several parameters, according to which they are actually selected. We will deal with these parameters in this article. We will also give recommendations where it is better to buy bicycle parts.
The different models are primarily divided into front and rear. The front one has a simpler device, because it is only responsible for fastening and rotating the wheel. The rear one, in addition to fixing and rotating the rear wheel, serves as a support for a cassette or ratchet.
Both a cassette and a ratchet are a set of rear sprockets that the chain jumps over when shifting gears. The ratchet is characterized by a non-separable monolithic construction, usually consisting of 5-7 stars. The cassette is a more reliable design in which the stars can change in case of wear. Most often, only one, the most popular star changes. The cassette stars are usually larger than the ratchet. from 8 to 11. Cassette-type hub, always better and more reliable than a ratchet, it lasts longer and withstands a greater weight of the cyclist, although it costs more, and the cassette itself is more expensive than a ratchet.
Despite the cost, in most cases we recommend choosing bikes with a cassette rather than a ratchet, it is much more reliable. The latter option can be recommended only in the case of a very limited budget, and only for those who ride once a week in a walking style.
Ratchets are the lowest class of Shimano Tourney drivetrains, and any cassette. this is already a higher class, even the Altus is much better than the Tourney, not to mention the middle and high class. Therefore, replacing the ratchet with an upgrade cassette is great. it’s a good idea, but you will also have to change the hub.
Separately, we note the rear planetary models, such as Shimano Nexus, Alfine or Sram i-Motion. Inside such a mechanism are gears that provide gear shifting. Since the shift mechanism is protected from external influences by the housing, it is not afraid of bad weather and the road, therefore it lasts longer and does not require maintenance. The advantages also include the ability to change gears while standing still, while in standard transmissions, gears can only be changed while driving. This is useful for city conditions when you need to stop frequently at traffic lights.
The choice of a specific model is also influenced by the type of brakes installed. Some only work with rim brakes of the V-brake type, others are designed for disc brakes, but they also work with rim brakes.
There are special rear modifications, with drum brakes built inside, which are triggered when pedaling backward. Nowadays, this is a rarity, they are found mainly in children’s bikes, sometimes in budget urban.
There are two ways to fix the wheel to the bike. The cheapest and simplest option, which today is used only in budget bikes, is the classic one, with two turnkey nuts. A more expensive and convenient option. fastening with an eccentric. In this case, the wheel is removed very quickly, you just need to squeeze the eccentric handle. A very handy thing that is very appropriate when repairing a wheel, as well as when storing and transporting a bike. All modern high-quality bikes are necessarily equipped with eccentric wheels.
Freehubs Explained: Everything You Need To Know About Road Bike Freehubs
Bushings are available in aluminum, steel and chrome-molybdenum steel. Aluminum is lighter, does not rust, but at the same time is more expensive than conventional steel, which is heavier and corrosive. Of the positive qualities of steel, we note its great strength.
High-quality steel alloyed with chrome and molybdenum, which has undergone heat treatment, is very durable, therefore it is appreciated among extreme cyclists who perform breathtaking jumps and tricks or drive off-road. Hubs with a chrome-molybdenum axle and a drum are a great option for a BMX or MTB bike, of course, they cost a lot. These high quality bushings are often housed in aluminum, which reduces their weight.
Different models also differ in diameter and length of the axles. The larger the diameter, the higher the reliability, but at the same time the weight increases. For an ordinary mountain or hybrid bike of an entry-to-medium amateur level, the diameter of the axles is 9-10 mm, for a high-class, more extreme bike, the diameter of the axles increases to 14-15 mm. Sometimes an axle with a diameter of 15 mm is placed in the front, and 12 mm in the back. In some models, the axle diameter can be changed using adapters.
The length of the front models is usually 108-110 mm, and the rear models are 135-146 mm.
Today there are 2 common standards for the number of spokes on a wheel. 32 and 36. It is important that the wheel rim and hub are dimensioned for the same number of spokes. The more spokes, the stronger the wheel, but also the heavier.
The frictional force during wheel rotation, the need for maintenance and the service life largely depend on the type and quality of the bearings used. Quality models are usually assembled on non-separable industrial bearings. budget models usually have open bulk bearings that need to be serviced and adjusted. But, there are also expensive bulk models.
Having bought a good expensive bushing once, you can forget about replacing this spare part for 10 thousand km. mileage.
There are a large number of good bushings on sale, for example, here are some of them.
Quality rear cassette hubs for mountain or hybrid bikes:
- AUTHOR ACO-H04D-R / 36, price about 5000 rubles. Designed for 36 spokes and 8-10 speed cassette.
- SHIMANO DEORE EFHM525AAZL, price about 2500 rubles. Designed for 36 spokes and 8-9 speed cassette.
- AUTHOR ACO-H04D-F / 36 Blk, cost about 3600 rubles. Designed for 36 spokes.
- SHIMANO ALIVIO AHBM475AL, price about 2000 rubles. Designed for 36 spokes.
An example of a rear model for MTB bikes: COLONY Clone Freecoaster Hub Male, price 12,200 rubles. Equipped with a street-tailored fricoster. The housing is milled, a high quality angular contact bearing (ACB) is installed inside the driver.
There are rear and front modifications suitable for mountain, hybrid, road, city, road, folding, teenage, kids and MTB bikes. Both higher quality cassette and more budget ratchet options are presented.
How to choose a bicycle rear wheel hub
Dim, she’s just as resistant to shit and fords as Novatek-style bushings on slip. Do you think about the WDR or where is the super protection from water? Only on the bearings themselves, and on the XT there are no seals on the bushing itself, but there are. Here the drum is not protected, yes.
Although I will not argue, tk. by virtue of “religion” I myself have been using bushings on slip for a long time.
I do not agree that the eccentric is analogous, they have different axle clamping forces.
Well, what if we assume that the wheel doesn’t just come off? 🙂 If there is a puncture / breakdown. still take out the assemblies. If the transportation. remove the caliper insert. along with it, you can get the assembly. In general, I see no problems.
This is when the axle, then you carry a key that is no longer needed for anything (besides, the key is quite large and relatively heavy). And here I do not carry anything superfluous. Editors don’t care to be. I do not like the idea of pulling the same Kaisers off the rim manually. 🙂
since the quick release of the wheels is a dubious achievement 🙂
Xenium, by the way, showed some incompatibility with some frames. If the frame is purely for the axle (ie there are not slots in the dropouts, as usual, but holes), then on the inner side of the dropouts there will most likely be “tables” on which the wheel is placed and then the axle is quietly threaded and twisted through the dropouts and the hub So, you have to look at what radius these tables are. Xeniums in this place are quite thick. 20mm diameter. And, say, my Novatek. 18. And the diesel fuel, it seems, is also smaller. Because of this, recently one person from Velomania was sawing the freshly bought frame of Merida 1-5-0, because when he put the wheel in place, the axle did not fit into the hub.
If the dropouts are flat inside, like ours, then don’t care, of course. 🙂
It is strange, however, that novatek is different from xenium. They are from the same barrel, like a chuzen 🙂
I have an assumption that these end washers are from Xenium versions 135×10 and 150×12. the same. Hence the cant.
And “tables” by the way is a very convenient thing (when the axis climbs essno :)). I crumpled on the fox such, calmly put the wheel down, passed the axle. Lafa.
IMHO, this is already redundant. 6 industrial bearings, a pound of weight. Take, then, just Novatek 662 for sale under 10mm axle, or Xenium. And the axis to them, respectively, to choose from. either on nuts, or eccentric 10mm, or DT RWS. It is also quite durable.
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