High torque hubs?

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    • #127768

      Can anyone recommend a rear hub that can handle very high torque? I’m a big heavy rider former hockey player (my thighs can mash). I’m just ripping through hubs. It used to be the spokes that popped on me but I’ve had strong custom wheels made for me and the hubs are just not lasting. I’ve gone to a Mavic rear Crossmax SLR 29er because my wheelbuilder got fed up with relacing wheels for me when the hub failed. The Mavic has a 3 yr warranty for 39 bucks. I’ve ripped through the hub already and they replaced it for free after the first year… I’m sick of this. It happens at the wors times. Like when I’ve entered a race and I have to DNF bc the hub explodes..

      Is A 400 dollar Chris King the answer? I hope not.. I don’t need frills like high engagement.. I just need strength. I don’t care if it’s heavy either.. At 275 lbs. I obviously don’t care what stuff weighs.

      Thanks for any ideas.

    • #127769

      The brands I’ve read that are the go-to hubs for the Clydesdales and hammers are Chris King, Hope, Hadley and DT Swiss. I don’t personally have any insight that would help, but of the threads I’ve read over on MTBR, the heavyweights have spoken highly of the CK’s the most and the others come in right behind.

      High engagement is just a byproduct of more engagement pawls, so even though you don’t need that particular "feature", you’re going to get it when you get a more bullet-proof hub since they add more of them to strengthen the hub at the contact points during drive.

    • #127770

      I just noticed I posted this in the Lounge instead of the Maintenance category..

      Yeah… Tx for the info. Ive blown thru Hopes already. In my mind I’m feeling like higher engagement means "smaller" grooves an pawls so they can pack more of them in there.. sacrificing strength for more surface area..?? I wish they could tell you max torque ratings or something like that via product testing.

    • #127771

      Here’s a pretty good review, if a little old and this guy comes the closest I’ve seen to giving you real numbers.

      I did forget to mention I9. My brother has run wheels from them for years and I’ve got a hand-me-down set. The wheels, including hubs, have proven to be bulletproof and he says the customer service has always been top notch. You might consider giving them a call.

    • #127772

      Thats great info thanks.

      Heres a sweet vid that really explains how the different hubs work..


    • #127773
      "schwim" wrote

      I did forget to mention I9. My brother has run wheels from them for years and I’ve got a hand-me-down set. The wheels, including hubs, have proven to be bulletproof and he says the customer service has always been top notch. You might consider giving them a call.

      Just took delivery of some I9’s this past weekend. I’ve ridden them a few times and am blown away. The engagement is silly good and the wheels (enduro) are fabulous. Definitely a great pick. They should be on your list for sure.

    • #127774

      Here’s my take as a wheel builder, if you’d come to me for a custom set.

      At 275lbs you should really be on some 36 spoke wheels, with a stout rim, and a high torque capable hub. There are not a lot of options for 36 spoke modern rims, but the Stan’s Flow EX is available in a 36H drilling in the 29er size and I’ve had great success using those for big guys such as yourself. It’s wide, strong, and stiff.

      As for the hubs:

      The DT Swiss hubs Star Ratchet mechanism is really good for handling high torque loads, they’re cheap (the 350 is at least, which uses the exact same Star Ratchet internals as the much more expensive 240S hubs) but they are not available in a 36H drilling. So, in my mind, they’re out.

      While I love I9, it’s not what I’d recommend for a guy your size. The teeth in the drive ring are very fine, and there’s only 3 pawls engaging at a time, so if you get any dirt or grit in there, combined with your power, you could get slipping and start breaking stuff. Also, not available in 36 spoke drilling.

      Hope is a similar pawl type design as I9, but 4 pawls engage at a time, and the teeth are larger and more robust (40 points of engagement). They also offer a stainless steel freehub body which I would highly recommend, it’s stronger than the alloy, so there’s less gouging from the cassette, and less chance of the pawls damaging the freehub body. The stainless freehub doesn’t cost any extra either, which is nice. They are available in a 36 hole drilling, come in several colors, are reasonably priced, and are made in the UK.

      White Industries and Hadley are also available in a 36 hole drillings, and are both solid options, and both have titanium freehub bodies which is nice. White is a 3-pawl mechanism with 24 points of engagement, Hadley is 4 pawl with 72 points. Both are more expensive than Hope, but they’re both made in the USA.

      The best option happens to be one of the most expensive, and that’s Chris King. Their Ring Drive mechanism is similar to DT’s in that it’s two face gears and all of the teeth engage simultaneously, so the load is distributed over a larger area. It also happens to have fast engagement (72 points), and is made in the USA. They also offer a stainless freehub body, but it cost extra (everything cost extra with King!) and isn’t really required if you use a cassette that has a carrier to distribute the load over a larger area (which is a good idea with any hub for a guy your size). Kings are expensive, no doubt. But they’re a top shelf product that with a little routine maintenance every year or so they’ll outlive many frames. They’ll become obsolete from changing standards before you kill them.

      That’s my $0.02, fire away with any questions!

    • #135933

      dgaddis is right on the money. I’m a bigger guy (not as big as you) and I got tired of going through rims and hubs.

      I’ve had really good luck with WTBs i25 rims, which are very similar to the Stan’s Flow EX rims, laced to Chris King hubs. 32 Hole, 3 cross. The hubs are going to cost a lot up front, but they will literally last you a decade or longer.

      Don’t skimp on your wheels and don’t try to save weight there either. It will only come back to bite you in the ass. That’s what I’ve figured out anyway.

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