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  1. #1
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    Hugi compact rear hub failure. Help?

    Our used Bilenky tandem came to us with a Hugi 240 front hub and a Hugi compact on the rear. Both are 48 spoke. When riding on Sunday the rear drive train went to complete free wheel both direction. We were only four miles from our starting point and it was almost all down hill so we were able to cost home with only two little walks to get up hills.
    Has anyone experienced this. I have been riding for years and never had a cassette failure. Can I change the freehub body on this model? Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, this not uncommon with most older Hugi hubs. The newer Hugi "tandem" hubs were purportedly redesigned to be more durable and less prone to breakage. I'm not exactly sure what a "compact" model might be or of the vintage.

    Here's the deal: Hugi hubs can be partially disassembled by users to the extent that you can clean, regrease, and even replace the star ratchet mechanism. This is important because if grime is allowed to collect in the Hugi's star ratchet it will begin to slip under loads and, if left unchecked, can lead to a broken engagement mechanism. So, at this point, if the thing didn't go "bang" just before it started to freewheel you may find that it's just in need of some cleaning. If it did go bang, it will be obvious that something inside the hub has failed.

    As for a rebuild, if the damage is limited to the star ratchet you can probably replace that without much trouble However, for a shell problem, I'm pretty sure you'll need an axle press and some other pressed-in bearing type installation and removal tools for a total rebuild. Moreover, before I started to do that I'd definitely get a hold of the DT/Hugi folks to see if they might not cover part of the cost of a rebuilt and/or if they have a local, authorized dealer who could either do the work or facilitate the repair.

    I'm not sure that having the hub repaired will end your problems with it, but there's always hope. However, at least for those of us who owned the older Hugi hubs on the off-road C'dales, it was always a matter of when and not if your rear hub would fail... and that was usually followed by the acquisition of a new hub. For us, it was on our MT3000 and we opted to go with a Shimano HF08 replacement hub. Not sexy, but durable enough for me to have no concerns when passing that tandem on to new owners.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 07-28-07 at 07:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Terri's Captain RickinFl's Avatar
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    If your Hugi hub disassembles like mine does (a newer Hugi tandem hub), it is possible to take it apart and check the star ratchet with no tools at all; in fact, I carry a spare star ratchet so that I can do a field repair if necessary.

    Remove the rear wheel and take out the skewer. Lay the wheel down with the cassette side facing up. Grip the cassette with your fingers between the spokes and the largest cog and lift straight up as if you were trying to lift the cassette off of the cassette body. A small amount of force may be necessary, and of course, you'll need to hold the wheel down as well. I find that curling my fingers up with the knuckles against the spokes usually does the job.

    What makes this work is the fact that everything is more or less held together by a captured o-ring in the axle. When the wheel is mounted, the skewer makes sure that things stay together.

    If you do manage to get it apart, pay particular attention to the four parts that you will liberate- a washer that goes under the star ratchet in the hub side, the two parts of the star ratchet, and the spring on the cassette body side. You want to get these back into their correct locations to avoid turning your tandem into a fixed-gear ride (with disastrous results for the chain and rear dérailleur I might add).

    Once you've got it apart, it's really easy to see how it all works, and by extension, what's wrong. If nothing's actually broken, clean it all up and apply a *light* coat of grease- too much grease in there is probably worse than not enough as it can keep the ratchets from engaging. A little grease on the o-ring will help when you push it back together.

    I'm not familiar with the compact type of hub you mention, but this procedure is probably worth a try. It certainly takes a lot less time to do than it does to explain.

    Also, DT Swiss has manuals for all of these hubs on their website. It takes a little poking around to find them, but they are there.

    Good Luck with the repair-

    Rick

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickinFl
    DT Swiss has manuals for all of these hubs on their website. It takes a little poking around to find them, but they are there.
    http://www.dtswiss.com/index.asp?fus...nuals.bikehubs

    The front of each manual is filled with schematics, but you should find nice "how to" instructions and photos of each step thereafter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member geoffs's Avatar
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    A friend has one of the old Hugi hubs on their tandem. It broke down for the third time recently when they were a long way from nowhere after riding along a "I wonder where this goes" road. It took them hours to walk and roll back to the nearest train station. Alan had a spare ratchet at home so he repaired it again but each time it's repaired, the hub seems to make more noise.
    They are buying a new White industries hub.
    FWIW we have a the new Hugi hubs on our Mocha Copilot and they have been faultless with over 9,000kms of hard use.

    Cheers

    Geoff

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I know of a Tandem rider that has the Hugi hubs that cause problems. He carries the tools and spares with him to rebuild whenever it goes wrong. Why he does not get rid of them I do not know as he has been rebuilding them for 4 years to my knowledge.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
    WATERFORD22
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    I have 5 sets of Hugi Hubs - 3 tandem and 2 for single bikes. Most hubs marked Hugi Compact were made by Hugi/Germany a company acquired by DT Swiss who designed the modern Hugi Tandem Hubs used by CoMotion which are very disimilar from Hugi Compacts. TG, I have never had a set of Hugi's fail and I am about to ride a set of Hugi 40 hole Compact on my touring bike across the United States on Sunday. I think many of you would be surprised at the number of private label hubs made by Hugi with that in mind the mind the failure rate is quite low. We have a number of Phil Wood hubs fail in the last year in my club.
    The Hugi folks in Colorado are extremely helpful and have stood behind their products.

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vosyer
    TG, I have never had a set of Hugi's fail...
    I'm truly pleased to hear that. Hub reliability can be a mixed bag and the tandem world, at least in the late 90's, seemed to have more than their fair share of hub issues... particularly those of us who used the Hugi & Coda-branded models in off-road applications.

    In short, I've had good experiences with Hope hubs where others have not. I've had good and bad experiences with Phil Wood, but the customer service was exceptional and the issues were satisfactorly resolved. I have good and bad experiences with White Industries and, again, customer support came through for me and I continue to use and recommend their products. With regard to DT/Swiss and Hugi, I must assume that they have improved something otherwise Co-Motion would not have started to offer them on their tandems and of late, I have not heard of any systemic issues... just the odd-man out having a problem. I've even had a few issues with Chris King hubs, but those too were resolved... mostly by spending some additional time reading up on how to properly maintain the things.

    Enjoy your transcontinental....

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