Hub Selection Guide

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Choosing the right set of hubs is a universal question for which no universal answer exists. There are technical aspects, and there are personal preferences. For the former, we lay out below several relevant areas. Everyone starts his or her journey there at some specific point. Thus, there is no specific order to follow learning about them. Start with the one you are less comfortable with. And review other, better knows areas as needed.

Table of Contents

1. Riding Style

2. Standards

3. Design Specifics

1. Riding Style

Application, discipline, or style – the name does not matter. Question is – how are you going to use the hubs? In most cases, your present or “would be” bike is the answer.

Choosing from the opposite sides of the model spectrum is straightforward. That is Gravel vs Enduro, as they are so different. Selecting between XCR and Gravel, may not. Similarly – between XCR and Enduro. Here are several suggestions:

  • Aggressive riding, beefier bike, considerable system weight. All mountain, Freeride, Downhill, Enduro or anything else with mid to long-travel suspension. Plus, various e-MTBs. Go for Enduro model.
  • Competitive cross-country, trail, bike packing, light to mid-weight systems and short-travel suspension bikes – XCR.
  • Mixed terrain touring, light to mid-weight systems with rigid forks – Gravel.

Make sure to review each model’s specs and standards, before making up your mind, though.

2. Standards

Parts and components fit and work together if they adhere to the compatible standards. Reviewing them and drawing conclusions on compatibility can be a tedious task. Even so, is an important one. What can be more frustrating than to end up with incompatible components?

There is a great deal of standards for bicycles and their components. To help you navigate there, we narrow them down. Here are the categories that guide hubs choice:

  • Drivetrains
  • Attachment to the frame and fork
  • Brake interface

Refer to the Hub Standards Guide for more details on each of these categories.

2. Design Specifics

Design has a profound effect on the experience of using any product. Some aspects vary between models and are “application” specific. Choice of bearing is a good example. Others, like engagement design, often specific to a given manufacturer. We use Vortex engagement system in all our rear hubs. Thus, it is not a matter of choosing between this and other type of engagement for Trailmech hubs. At the same time, knowing why and how it differs from the others, will help you to make an informed decision.

Engagement design impacts performance, durability, serviceability and even comfort. Read on to explore more on this topic in the Hub Engagement Designs Guide. If you are new to the subject – start with the Hub Engagement Fundamentals first.

Deciding on a “right” set of hubs, may not be a straightforward undertaking. There is no single definition of that “right” means in this context. At the same time, figuring out hub qualities one is after, is less puzzling. And so, learning about the relevant aspects. They are the intended riding style, standards to be sure of, and hub design specifics.