Hubsmith is one of those companies which you probably haven’t heard of, even if you’ve used its products before. The Taiwanese manufacturer churns out 50,000 hubs a year from its base in the Fenyuan District of Taichung, making products for all riding disciplines.
Simply put, it’s the amount you need to turn your cassette via pedalling before the freehub ratchet engages and transmits torque to the rear wheel. The number of teeth in a ratchet determines how quickly the hub picks up, and while it’s easy enough for a hub designer to increase that number, doing so in isolation means making the teeth smaller, which of course makes them weaker too.
Another new feature from Hubsmith is a new steel wear plate for Shimano-fit freehubs, essentially an anti-bite guard the like of which we’ve seen from other manufacturers. The low splines of Shimano’s freehub design are subject to huge stresses from the cassette, which is why Shimano makes most of its freehubs from hard steel.
Steel is heavier than aluminium of course, so many aftermarket manufacturers choose to use the latter for their freehubs, despite its susceptibility to damage from cogs digging in to the splines. An anti-bite guard attempts to address this, with minimal weight gain.
BikeRadar fondled the new freehub on a media tour of Taiwan hosted by TAITRA, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. TAITRA is promoting the Taipei International Cycle Show, which takes place from March 2-5 2016. We’ll be posting more highlights from our travels over the coming days.