Aftermarket accessories manufacturer Project 321 has released new rear hub internals, named P321 Drive System. In contrast to the typical use of tiny springs pushing or pulling the hub pawls, the P321 Drive System uses magnets to engage the drive ring.
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While unique, other hub manufacturers — DT Swiss, Spank, Zipp, Tune, and Polish company Soul Kozak — have all experimented with or used magnets in their rear hubs.
One of the biggest things that differentiate between rear hubs is how fast they engage. Simply put, the less lag between crank movement and the rear wheel going forward, the better.
With its new internals, Project 321 offers two options. Both options have six pawls.
The first delivers forward bite every 1.66 degrees with 216 points of engagement and two pawl engagement. Project 321's Jake Liles mentions: "By breaking up the six pawls into three groups of two, we can offset them and make them engage at different times."
The second option slows that down a touch by engaging two groups of three pawls at once for 144 points of engagement every 2.5 degrees.
In comparison, a King hub has 72 points, Industry Nine 120 points and Hope Pro 2 Evo has 40 points.
Loud or quiet
For many riders, a loud buzz or whirr emanating from a rear wheel indicates something high-end and therefore expensive.
Other riders (including me) find this racket annoying. To appease both camps, the P321 Drive System can be set up with loud or quiet pawls. The quieter option is said to decrease drag a bit.
The hubs feature holes in the drive chamber. It's not for less weight, but rather for increased oil capacity.
More oil allows a longer service life and damps the hub's noise.
The only moving parts in the P321 design are the six pawls. The magnets are bonded to the pawls.
Project 321 claims a 68 percent reduction in drag compared to its previous Industry Nine internals.
Project 321 pricing
Pricing is currently TBC.