Both titanium and steel freehubs are stiffer but these are different from each other when discussing their anatomy, these are different in weight, durability price ranges, and other many factors as explained below:
These are solid and hard due to which their weight is greater than titanium freehubs, greater weight hubs allow the wheel to rotate smoothly and maintains tension within the spokes.
These have less weight as compared to steel freehubs, due to which it makes a little bit of difference in tensioning of wheel and spokes remain loose on the trails.
Steel freehubs have greater durability and these last for a long time and are used for mountain biking and aggressive trails, titanium, and aluminum freehubs are for road biking and clinchers. both of these freehubs will last more than 18 to 24 months but if you compare aluminum with titanium, then aluminum lasts just a single season after that it will ruin and makes it impossible for a rider to use them in the future.
Titanium hubs have a low value of elastic modulus, which is a big advantage because this unique quality of titanium hubs absorbs bumps and jumps on the trails and gives a comfortable ride, but steel hubs have a greater value of elastic modulus which do not participate equally in absorbing jumps and drops, as a result, steel hubs are less comfortable than titanium hubs.
Titanium hubs act as soft and smooth same as spring but steel hubs are solid because of their material which brings a big difference in ridings.
Steel hubs are cheap in price and titanium hubs are the most expensive, due to the price range riders widely support steel-free hubs, these are strong and powerful with less price range than titanium hubs.
Steel freehubs are common and these are almost used with all types of cassettes, cogs, and teeth would work fine with them compared to titanium freehubs, cassettes, and drivetrains of titanium freehubs are specific and non-compatible with the steel hubs.
Engagement Points Difference:
Engagement points of titanium freehubs mostly jump and a large space would be seen from one point to the next, it usually feels when you pedal hard on the trails, while steel freehubs do not cause any space between the points, and engagement points are close with each other.
Elongation Number Of Titanium And Steel Freehubs:
Elongation number means the bending capability of steel and titanium, if you are riding and suddenly you have got a crash, and if freehub would hit by a rock it bends but do not break, and the bending ability of titanium is more than that of steel, titanium bends at a greater degree from that of steel and their number is (titanium 20 -30%) ( Steel 10 to 15%) And ( Aluminum 6 to 12%).
Difference In Load Spreading:
Steel freehubs spread the load of the rider and biker and do not holds on a single place on his freehub, but titanium freehubs usually do not spread and disperse the load of the rider.
The material used for manufacturing titanium freehubs is flexible and soft and it acts like a rubber material when the wheel rotates because its material has gummy nature and is not hard and stiffer, but steel freehubs are opposite to that of titanium freehubs due to material difference.
Which Freehub Notch With The Cogs And Cassettes:
Steel freehubs do not notch with the cogs of the cassette, but titanium freehubs will cause a little bit of notch with the largest cogs of the cassette, but it is not so bad, the cassette will move even freely with the titanium freehubs. notching is usually for those riders who are heavier and are using aggressive trails for riding, if your weight is not more than 70kg to 80kg, notching of titanium freehub will not feel you anymore when the wheel rotates.
Which Hub Is Recommended For Aggressive And Hard Terrains:
Steel freehubs are recommended for mountain biking, gravel biking, and BMX riding because it is strong with greater weight than titanium hubs but Ti hubs are not so much lighter, these would also perform better but these would not last for a long period.
Difference In Noise Between Both Freehubs:
Steel freehubs are louder and titanium freehubs are silent, steel freehubs are mostly used for rear wheels due to their long-lasting durability and titanium freehubs are used for front wheels and when these compare with each other, you can hear Noise coming from the rear wheel. if the titanium freehubs are making noise then these are old and they need bleeding, grease, or lube properly to increase their working capacity like usual.
Is It Possible To Use Titanium Freehubs With Steel Cogs:
Yes, the combination is helpful, both will work for a long period without any disturbance, steel cogs and cassettes usually avoid notching and rubbing with the titanium freehubs, that’s why these are compatible with each other.
How Much Difference Is Present Between Titanium And Steel Freehubs?
Titanium is not as strong as steel but does not as weak as aluminum and other metals, both have a good working capacity and both are recommended for mountain biking trails, there is just a fewer difference between both of them in durability, but both have their own advantages, if titanium freehubs are lighter then steel freehubs are more durable, many manufacturers would recommend titanium freehubs as future freehubs because of weight advantage.
Paint And Scratching Factor:
Titanium freehubs do not get scratched easily by touching any iron wire or any harsh moment but this quality of titanium is 15% less than the stainless steel freehubs, steels are tough and hard and these do not cause scratching by touching with the cogs and cassettes, and titanium freehubs also work better with or without paint and painting and color of titanium freehubs last for the same time period as steel hubs.
Titanium freehubs are more rust resistant as compared to steel hubs, for wet and winter se4asons where the trails contain muddy water or if there are rainy days with snow all around titanium fre3ehubs are preferred over steel.
Difference In Strength-To-Weight Ratio:
Titanium hubs have a good and excellent value of strength to weight ratio as compared to steel hubs, it is the reason titanium is the first number metal for cycling purposes as compared to other alloy metals.
Difference In Thermal Expansion:
Steel has more thermal expansion as compared to titanium over time, titanium melts and starts expanding in a hot atmosphere, by giving heat its molecules would start to expand and do change the size and length of the freehub, while steel does not expand due to high durability.
Are Titanium Spokes Compatible With Steel Freehubs?
Yes, these are compatible, these would work strongly, especially for mountain biking and aggressive trails, round ends of titanium spokes would fit exactly within the steel freehubs, and tensioning of spokes does not matter for this compatible setup.
Are Steel Spokes Compatible With Titanium Freehubs?
The higher weight of steel spokes causes a little bit of issue in tensioning of the wheel, but these are compatible with titanium freehubs, including titanium and steel freehubs all the hubs are compatible with each other and can be installed on any type of wheel for both mountain biking and road biking.