Chris king hubs

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    • #201075

      A few years ago i had a wheel set built with chris king hubs.  I noticed that my hubs are very quiet, barely any sound, while others with chris king hubs make a much louder buzz.  What makes them louder?  I have never done anything to them since they were built.  Also is there any maintenance that i should be doing to them on a regular basis?  Thanks!

    • #201083

      The voracity of the clicking or “buzz” is dictated primarily by both the number of pawls inside the hub as well as the strength of the springs that provide engagement. The larger the ratchet/pawl, the further it travels when engaging and the stronger the spring, the harder it hits the freewheel body. A freewheel with many shallow pockets and pawls will provide a faster and finer ratcheting sound and one with few and larger pawls will give a slower and rougher sound.

      Neither is necessarily better or worse but instead will be determined by what their goal was when building that particular model. Faster engagement may have been a priority or perhaps they were going for a bombproof unkillable model designed for abuse.

      Here’s a pretty cool writeup of the different hub components, based on the different brands:

    • #201097

      That’s weird that your King hubs are quiet, and I don’t know what the solution might be. Do they seem to be functioning properly?


      I disagree somewhat with your statement that one is not necessarily better than the other. For road bikes, having quick engagement isn’t that big of a deal. Let’s say you are on a road bike and are going to sprint. Since you’re already moving and pedaling when you initiate your sprint, it’s a fairly smooth application of power. A quick-engaging hub is not going to help. In fact, for many hub designs, an increase in engagement also means an increase in drag. Drag is something you definitely don’t want on a road bike.

      On a mountain bike where power is applied in quick, explosive bursts, a fast-engaging hub is crucial. The more technical the terrain, the more you’ll benefit from a quick hub. So, I would say that in reference to mountain bikes, one is indeed better than the other.


      • #201104

        As far as i know, they are functioning perfectly!  When i received them, i asked the builder about the sound and he told me that they needed to break in first then they will become louder.  I feel that they are more than broken in now and the sound is the same as the day that i got them.  In my research on this i noticed that there is a difference between older CK hubs and newer ones when it comes to noise level.  Some have also mentioned the factory lubricant that may be deadening the sound.  idk…

    • #201099

      First, since we’re on a mountain bike forum, we’ll speak in regards to mountain bikes. I’ve no doubt that part needs differ for road bikes.

      Secondly, to say a fast-engaging hub is “crucial” is a misnomer at best and completely irrelevant to the casual, hobby and amateur rider at it’s worst. Millions of riders (myself included) get along just fine without a finer engagement pattern.

      How about “crucial for the less than 1% of the riders in the world that ride competitively enough to absolutely require it”?

      • #201102

        I completely agree with Aaron here.  A faster engaging hub is a fully awesome thing, and a great upgrade. I’ve heard a pro race mechanic say that “A faster and more advanced hub is probably one of the best upgrades you can give your bike.” I honestly believe you can’t make a hub that is fast enough. A this applies to pros and beginners.

    • #201101

      Don’t get butthurt @schwim.

      A fast-engaging hub is crucial for me. How about that? I’ve destroyed several rear hubs because the engagement was lacking.

      You made a very broad, general statement that “Neither is necessarily better or worse” and that’s just simply not true. Does everyone NEED a fast-engaging hub? Okay, maybe not. But is one BETTER than the other? Yes, definitely.

    • #201103

      No need to belittle with internet lingo Aaron although it’s really cool. You went from crucial to crucial for you and I am stating that I’ve ridden both and I don’t find my riding style to require one or the other. Although I definitely shouldn’t have made my statement in such a general manner, I would safely be able to say the exact same thing for yours.

    • #201105

      I can understand where the type of grease could alter the sound but to be honest, I can’t imagine CK putting that different of a grease in similar MTB hubs. I think you’ve just got a model that has a more fine engagement pattern. If you’re not having issues with slipping engagement or other odd issues with it, I’d just enjoy the silence and keep on pedaling 🙂

    • #201996

      CK hubs make noise, something is wrong.  Whoever said “break in time” was not honest.  CK is a great company a will likely help you out, give them a call.

      As far as fast vs avg engagement- A fast engagement is not necessary, but can benefit any level of rider.  Beginner- intermediate riders often don’t have the power to go over obstacles and the faster the engagement the less power you give up.  Cost is the only negative to high end hubs!  And man are they $$$$.

    • #202552

      If you really have doubts about the internals, pull up a you tube how-to video and pull your hub apart. I have seen a handful of videos on this and it doesn’t seem too difficult. This way you can disassemble and clean everything and see for yourself if there is an issue.  Just my 2 cents.

    • #203505

      So, what did you find out?  Fill us in.

    • #203511

      I’d definitely touch base with King. A great company and they stand behind what they sell. It should make noise.

      Also, fast engagement with the King is awesome. It’s critical for me since I’ve gotten used to it. Had a crap hub on a bike briefly and it caused a broken finger and destroyed a Garmin. That’s because I was used to the hyper fast engagement of the King hub and got used to waiting until the last minute. Only with a slow to engage hub, I ended up turning the pedal to pop the front wheel too late and I ate the ledge before the engagement kicked in. Over the bars and now I have a crooked finger and a new Garmin.

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