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Rear hub precautionary measures

Old 12-12-17, 04:16 PM
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Rear hub precautionary measures

Many of the fatbike rear hubs are prone to fail due to the wider width and unchanged design (compared to regular MTB hubs). This seems to be a problem with many (LBS brand or not). AFAIK only the DT Swiss hubs have a really different and really good design.

I have novatec hubs and the problem MAY be similar for similar hubs. I haven't had a problem, but was recommended some precautionary steps. From what i saw Novatec is good with warranty replacement, but so far haven't heard of actual design changes. I'm not sure how frequent that problem is, maybe just 1%, but those 1% have internet :-)

The problem seems to be the freehub and pawls not being tight together. The only way to keep them together is:
- check if the cassette has play and tighten the hub again
- to help preventing this coming loose, put threadlocker on the threads

Here the inner hub:


Here the Pawls:


Here the "nut" that needs to be tightened (on NDS):


and threadlocker:


Obviously there could be other failure points and someone more experienced and knowledgeable than me could explain it better or give additional tips.

hope I never have to find out if there is a problem. If i run out of warranty, I'd install a DT Swiss hub.

Hope this helps someone

Last edited by HerrKaLeun; 12-12-17 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 12-12-17, 06:43 PM
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Agree on Novatec hubs being questionabe. They can actually be pretty reliable but you have to keep an eye on them. Also, if you're riding in very cold weather swapping out the thick grease in the freehub body for something less viscous might make sense.

DT Swiss does make reasonably good fatbike hubs, but not the best. Kappius makes even a better one. So does i9. So does Onyx. Chris King has the strongest rear hub design, but I don't think they make fat rear hubs. None of these options are cheap, you're looking at $400-$500. Fatbikes are absolutely crying out for a less expensive, more reliable rear hub.
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Old 12-12-17, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11
Agree on Novatec hubs being questionabe. They can actually be pretty reliable but you have to keep an eye on them. Also, if you're riding in very cold weather swapping out the thick grease in the freehub body for something less viscous might make sense.

DT Swiss does make reasonably good fatbike hubs, but not the best. Kappius makes even a better one. So does i9. So does Onyx. Chris King has the strongest rear hub design, but I don't think they make fat rear hubs. None of these options are cheap, you're looking at $400-$500. Fatbikes are absolutely crying out for a less expensive, more reliable rear hub.
Do you mean that little greenish looking grease on the pawls (and the counterpart)? Or do you mean a different part? I wanted to look at servicing them after winter since i don't have many miles on yet and when you took the above pictures didn't think of it. Is the free-hub not engaging the worst that can happen?
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Old 12-15-17, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun
Do you mean that little greenish looking grease on the pawls (and the counterpart)? Or do you mean a different part? I wanted to look at servicing them after winter since i don't have many miles on yet and when you took the above pictures didn't think of it. Is the free-hub not engaging the worst that can happen?
Yes, the lubrication for the pawls. In very cold weather, the grease can get sticky. I was talking to a mechanic friend of mine who fatbikes through the winter and he swaps the grease for thinner oil in the winter.
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