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Mountain bike hubs | Everything you Need to Know

In this article, I am going to cover these topics related to the mountain bike hubs:

  • What is a mountain bike hub?
  • Types of mountain bike hub
  • Washing of mountain bike hub
  • Lubricating of mountain bike hub
  • Sealed vs Ball bearing hubs
  • Size of front and rear hub
  • Materials used in the manufacturing of hub
  • How hub affects the speed of the bike?
  • 12 Best mountain bike rear wheel hubs

What is a mountain bike hub?

A bike hub is the central rolling part of both wheels of the bike having an axle, bearings, threads, and cassettes through which the wheels will easily roll. Hubs are made up of metals that produce different loud sounds when the axle rotates. these are present in the inner portion of the axle. the more expensive hubs create louder is due to the rings of the hubs which will vibrate and the friction of the rings creates different loud sounds. different hubs create different sounds depending on the quality and price of the does not affect the speed and the pedaling of your bike on the trails. mountain bike hubs do not create any resistance in the rolling of the axle but more expensive hubs are much more comfortable on the uphill trails because their springs sooner will perform which will boost the speed of your bike by pushing the pedals.

most of the time the riders feel unpleasant with your bike hub voice so they may ride at a distance from you on the trails because their bikes have got a quiet hub. so it does not matter about the louder and quiet hubs that you are running your bike both are good for the wheel and axle. the difference is that the expensive and best quality hubs will make a sound louder as compared to the quiet hubs.

loud sounds of hubs are because of the engagement of the springs and more teeth within the hub which has more points to create louder sounds. sometimes the hub sound becomes so much louder that even you could not be able to listen to your friends which are with you on the trails or any other sound of nature, a bird or any animal and this happens because of the louder sound of your wheel hub.

All of this louder sound of the hub is the result of the stored energy within the springs of the hub. when you push the pedals you are pushing those springs of the hubs like you are releasing the internal energy of the springs. due to this, the hubs will expel all of their energy in the shape of a louder sound. The Shimano company hubs are quiet and do not create a loud sound.

Types of mountain bike hubs:

there are two types of mountain bike hubs:

  • Threaded type of hubs
  • Cassette type of hubs

Threaded/freewheel hub:

These are the old type of hubs which does not contain enough space for the shifting of the chain speed on a mountain bike from 7 to 12 speed. these are cheap and inexpensive hubs that contain just space of the threads lining in the wheel. Most riders do not install the threaded hubs for their wheel because it does not contain any modern functions also the threaded hub contains a limited 6-speed cassette space and does not have enough space to shift into 8,9,10,11,12 is also called a freewheel hub. A threaded hub contains little rings and small bearings. basically, low-budget bikes contain threaded is impossible to install the freewheel hub in the cassette body and vice versa. freewheels are much heavier in weight than cassettes.

Cassette Hub:

it is a modern technology hub which contains more than 8-speed cassettes. this hub is used to run 1 to 13-speed cassettes on every mountain bike. these are expensive as compared to the threaded hubs and also a little bit longer in length. cassette hubs are lighter in weight, you can feel comfortable while riding through the single trails. you can easily upgrade to the higher-budget expensive hubs easily without removing the hub. you can easily change the speed of the cassette by shifting the chain from lower to higher cogs because cassette hubs have enough space for the shifting of the chain from lower to higher speed and vice versa.

How to wash the hub of a mountain bike?

Hub is the important part of a mountain bike through which your back wheel is rolling easily without any trouble but it is bad if the bike hub is getting dirty and decreasing its life span just because of the dirt and muddy water of the trails and it almost happens with every rider of a mountain bike.

You can easily wash the bike hub by replacing the wheel of your bike which contains an inner axle. lose the axle from its cap and then uninstall the internal hub. hubs are of many types with bearings and without bearings or open and sealed types.

if your bike got a bearing hub then firstly wash the bearings of the hub and then install them properly within the hub after that wash the hub with a brush in a small tray so that it contains soapy water filled in it.

leave the hub in the tray for 5 to 6 hours after that dry it with a rough rag cloth and now give it a lube before installing it in the axle.

How to lube mountain bike hub?

The inner springs of the hubs need to be tuned and wet to give a proper performance to the axle and the wheel. for this give some wet lube to improve its function in rolling.

Remember, never give thick lube to the hub of a bike because it resists the working capacity of the hub and the springs. just give a thin lube so that it would go down deep to the inner side of the springs through which the engagement of the teeth and the springs work better a not give grease to the hub because it is thick that will make resistance in the springs and the pawls of the hub. you can use hub oil as a lubricant which is better for the hub as compared to the grease or any other thick lube.

Sealed vs ball bearings of hub:

Ball bearings are open to the atmosphere and are naked. the dirt, soil, water, and debris of the atmosphere badly affect the rolling capacity of those small bearings of the hub and there are chances that they may fall off to the ground while riding on the hard trails. While the sealed bearings are fully packed inward and there is no risk to fall and become dirty. when you lube or grease the ball bearings of the hub these bearings will attract the dirt and resist their function and life span. so it is better to install the sealed bearings in the hub.

You can easily clean and wash the sealed bearings in a few minutes also there is no need for any mechanic for the lubing. sealed bearings are much good and easier to install and wash as compared to unsealed bearings.

Size of front and rear hub:

You cannot insert a new freewheel and cassette within the old hub because size matters. size of the hub is created to the axle, wheel, and rims. a small or a large size would badly affect the rolling springs of the hub and it will create an unpleasant sound coming from the middle of the wheel. mountain bike hubs are different in their sizes for different bikes.

the hub and the axle size would be exactly the same millimeters for the wheel of a mountain bike which starts from 130mm and ends at 150mm rear hub. I don’t know the exact size of your bike wheel, axle, and hub that’s why it would be confusing to estimate an exact size of the hub although the most used and famous sizes among the riders are 135mm and 148mm.

How to measure the Hub size on your bike :

If you are confused about how to measure the exact size of the hub, The Best way would be to use a vernier caliper it would give you the exact number so you know what you are going to buy and if it will fit and also remember to check if you are using a ball bearing hub or a sealed hub in your bike to know this pull out the hub and see if it has little metal balls in it if it does its a ball bearing hub.

Materials used in the manufacturing of the bike hubs:

The material used in the manufacturing of the mountain bike hubs is aluminum or alloy because steel and carbon are not used. the reason is that carbon is dangerous it does not warm before cracking or breaking it will quickly break if you are riding the bike and it is risky on single trails.

The aluminum hub will bend or it will create a big sound of alarming if you are on the trails. after that, you will install a new hub. that’s the main reason aluminum hubs are much better than steel or other materials.

Does mountain bike hubs affect the speed of bike?

The higher-end hubs are too good for a mountain bike as compared to the lower-end hubs. the reason is that the trails of mountain and road bikes are different.MTB  bikes face harder climbing jumping and descending trails. the expensive hubs have much more benefit of the springs, pawls, and more engagement regions which will speed up your bike as compared to the cheap hubs.

The main noticeable thing which will resist the speed of the bike is the friction in the hub. to reduce friction lube the bearings, hub, the axle, and the rotor disc brakes through which the springs of the hub will work appropriately and your bike will boost up on the trails.

12 Best mountain bike hubs:

  • Hope Pro 2 Evo
  • Hadley
  • Chris kings
  • A True precision Stealth
  • DT Swiss
  • Rohloff
  • XTR
  • Shimano company Hubs
  • Onyx
  • Angry Bees FTW
  • Syntace MX hubs
  • 19 torch

These are the 12 best mountain bike rear wheel hubs and experienced by me and also famous and popular among the riders of a mountain bike.

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