An integral bike component, choosing a bike hub can be a difficult decision to make - something that we at BETD want to make a bit easier in this blog post. Not too sure what bike hubs are? Deliberating over which make and type to choose from? We’ve got your back with some handy tips and advice!
What are bike hubs?
A central part of your bike’s wheels -- both the front and rear -- the hub connects to the rim of the wheel via the spokes, through which the axlebike is fitted. This allows the wheel to freely spin on two sets of bearings. Do your wheels feel rough when you spin them? That’s a good indicator of whether your bike hubs need servicing or replacing, and a good step to understanding what part they play on your bike.
Choosing the right hubs for you!
Front hubs or rear hubs? Take into account the bearing type, materials, disc mount standard, axle type, rims, plus what kind of riding are you partaking in?
Furthermore, whether you’re using a mountain bike, hybrid or a road bike, all different types of bikes require different types of hubs with different widths. It’s essential to pick the right kind, and to ensure that your hub is disc brake or rim brake compatible, plus has the same number of spoke holes as your chosen rim.
What to consider?
Hub weight - on bikes with suspension the weight contributes to unsprung mass, a system that will always benefit from decreasing hub weight as much as possible. On road bikes decreasing hub weight often affects ride quality and steering characteristics.
Rim compatibility - Pay attention to the number of spokes you select on your hub and rim to make sure they match!
Strength and durability - it goes without saying that making sure your hubs last through wear and tear is vital, particularly with them being susceptible to water and grime. Make sure your hub is from a good quality manufacturer.
Bearing type - ensure that the bearings are of good quality, are sealed and protected against dirt and water, keeping them protected against age and damage. Depending on your budget, you might consider cup and cone bearings, easily serviceable at home but tricky to adjust to exact standards. Willing to pay a little more? Consider cartridge bearings - more convenient but also more expensive to replace.
Brake rotor compatibility - If your bike runs a disc brake system then you’ll need the correct hubs in order for the disc rotor to attach correctly. There are two options: the six-bolt and Centrelock hubs. Before investing, make sure to check which disc interface you are currently using!
Axle size (front & rear) - Are your hubs compatible or match the axle standard that you are using? Are they the correct size to fit your frame?
Rims - If you’re shopping for a new hub, make sure to take note of the number and type of spoke holes on the flange to those drilled into the rim.
Road wheelsets - for BMX hubs can be divided into cassette, freewheel and freecoaster hubs:
Cassette hubs for instance, use an internal driver, running sprockets as small as eight teeth.
Freewheel hubs threads onto the outside of the hub shell, requiring the use of larger-circumference bearings and freewheel - the smallest gear size available with a freewheel is 13t. For optimum gearing, a larger front chainwheel is necessary.
Freecoaster hubs - utilising an internal clutch system, Freecoaster hubs enable a bike to roll backwards without the need to backpedal at the same time.
There’s certainly a lot to consider but with BETD you’re in the right hands! We manufacture hubs in our factory for every discipline of cycling, no matter your specifications - you can visit our hubs page for more information on our products or contact us with any questions!