Are silent clutch hubs any good? I saw some 7-speed touring wheels advertised on the 'net that have a rear hub that is silent clutch. Has anybody used the silent clutch before? I understand that they are good for mountain biking because they engage instantly, but I don't see that as an advantage for touring, but the silence would be okay. Are there any disadvantages to the silent clutch freehub?
I have two silent clutch hubs on my singlespeeds. The instant engagement is a nice feature and so is the silence. The hubs are heavy. The cassette body is non-standard, so finding a replacement in the middle of nowhere might be difficult. I can't think of any particularly good reason to use them for touring...
christini awd, caondale bad boy ultra, 26" hardtail touring bike, KHS track
the front hub on my christini awd is a silent type. i have seen this mechanism used in industrial applications as well. the zero-backlash design is strong, has a very positive feel, and the reduction in friction as well as energy saved from pawl action makes it more efficient. it is, however, a higher maintenance system, to function properly it must be disassembled, cleaned, and greased regularly. convenient replacement parts as mentioned before are an issue. these considerations should be taken when choosing such a hub for a touring bike.