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Upgrading hub (wheel set)

Old 12-27-19, 08:16 PM
  #1  
SethB
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Upgrading hub (wheel set)

I am looking at these two:

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod160730

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod160742

The cheaper (2nd link) has only a 3 pawl system in the hub, where the top link (~80$ more) has a 6 pawl system.

My question is this: Is a higher pawl system (providing more engagement points and a smaller action angle) really something I will notice and feel and enjoy?

I have never ridden one with more than 3 pawls (~the 15 degree activating range) so I am pretty used to the huge delay before it grabs. I am probably going to see if my LBS has a bike I can test ride with a smaller degree of engagement to see if I actually enjoy it, but I wanted your guys thoughts!

Thanks!
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Old 12-27-19, 09:49 PM
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My thought is this: You should not test ride something at your LBS if you intend to buy it online.

Aside from that, I have never given a moment's thought to the number of pawls in any of my hubs.
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Old 12-27-19, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
I am looking at these two:

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod160730

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod160742

The cheaper (2nd link) has only a 3 pawl system in the hub, where the top link (~80$ more) has a 6 pawl system.

My question is this: Is a higher pawl system (providing more engagement points and a smaller action angle) really something I will notice and feel and enjoy?

I have never ridden one with more than 3 pawls (~the 15 degree activating range) so I am pretty used to the huge delay before it grabs.
for something like MTB, you will notice a faster engagement because a lot of singletrack riding is quick short acceleration and quick steep climbs. Thete is a lot of quick transition from coasting to needing to accelerate, and fast engagement helps.

For paved road/gravel/trails- it isnt necessary because you typically spin and are constantly moving the crank so it stays engaged. And even when you go from coasting to pedaling, you have tons of time to transition so the immediate engagement isnt as beneficial.


No downside to a quality hub with fast engagement.
No downside to getting the same engagement you are used to.

Works either way for you.
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Old 12-27-19, 11:57 PM
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SethB
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
My thought is this: You should not test ride something at your LBS if you intend to buy it online.

Aside from that, I have never given a moment's thought to the number of pawls in any of my hubs.
Im ded This is a fair point. But still, I wanna feel what the faster engagement is like. But # of pawls usually means faster engagement.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
for something like MTB, you will notice a faster engagement because a lot of singletrack riding is quick short acceleration and quick steep climbs. Thete is a lot of quick transition from coasting to needing to accelerate, and fast engagement helps.

For paved road/gravel/trails- it isnt necessary because you typically spin and are constantly moving the crank so it stays engaged. And even when you go from coasting to pedaling, you have tons of time to transition so the immediate engagement isnt as beneficial.


No downside to a quality hub with fast engagement.
No downside to getting the same engagement you are used to.

Works either way for you.
Very good point there at the end. I never really struggled with the delay in engagement just because I am so used to it, I knew exactly how far back to pedal to give me enough crank room to climb or do whatever, but, decreasing that is never a bad thing. I guess money will be the deciding factor in the end. Unless I ride one and really like it.

Thanks guys for the help, really valuable points.

PS: I hate making decisions like this, cause I wanna be happy with it in the end lol
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Old 12-28-19, 07:13 AM
  #5  
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I don't understand why more crawls necessarily = faster engagement. It looks to me like all it does is to provide more points of contact.
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Old 12-28-19, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I don't understand why more crawls necessarily = faster engagement. It looks to me like all it does is to provide more points of contact.
Yes, from my understanding of the research I have been doing, the more contact points means the finer the teeth can be, meaning the quicker the engagement. This post: How many pawls do most quality hubs have? and this webpage: https://dirtmountainbike.com/feature...ehub-body.html

I also read somewhere that most 6 pawl systems have 3 pawls in what is called a "constant engagement" position. So they engage must faster, as per the technology behind a "constant engagement" i'm not quite sure. But more pawls = more engagement points = quicker engagement. This is just my understanding and I may be wrong. On that website I linked, they mention the Halo Supadrive. It has 3 pawls, but each pawl has like ~50 or so teeth. So it has ~120 engagement points, making for an almost instant engagement. Again, this is all from stuff I have searched and pieced together.
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Old 12-28-19, 04:36 PM
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To provide a counter point, wouldn't additional pawls cause more drag (everything else being equal)? I think you really have to find a middle ground with your type of riding. For mountain biking, more pawls are usually desired due to the reasons mstateglfr mentioned.
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Old 12-28-19, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
To provide a counter point, wouldn't additional pawls cause more drag (everything else being equal)? I think you really have to find a middle ground with your type of riding. For mountain biking, more pawls are usually desired due to the reasons mstateglfr mentioned.
You are 100% correct. More pawls will add more drag. Some people hate it, I never experienced it. So I am not sure what the difference feels like. I will say in the YouTube videos I have watched, I can notice the drag slowing down the tire when its freely spinning on a bike stand.

And yes, I will have to figure something out with how I ride. I ride a lot of both so its really hard for me. i think due to money, I will get the 3 pawl design - money being the only determining factor. I am so used to a huge angle of engagement I can make do with what I have. I do admit I see others get over technical stuff much more easily with a quicker engagement, But, I think because of money, i'll go with the cheaper version. I was just wondering if anyone has gone from big angle of engagement to a smaller one and can vouche for the extra cost.
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Old 12-28-19, 10:00 PM
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I rode my cannondale MTB with the factory formula hubs with what is probably only 3 pawls for most of a year before finally getting the ambition to swap in a Chris king which has 72 points of engagement. Trail riding there was a noticeable improvement, do a drop at higher speeds and then try pedaling with the original hubs and it would feel like there was nothing under my feet at times till the pedal was nearly to the bottom of the stroke. Also dabbed more or even had to stop as I was trying to navigate log piles and rock gardens where I wouldn't have the space to fully pedal but rocking my feet back and forth to get some pedal stroke in with the old hubs wasn't as effective. I don't have more of a midrange hub to speak of that difference but I'd have to assume that half the degrees to engage the hub would be a real good improvement for offroad use. On road even king reduced the points of engagement as road bikes don't need the same immediate response.
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Old 12-29-19, 08:23 AM
  #10  
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Not sure if this was mentioned, but the smaller your chainring and higher the cadence, the more you will appreciate a quick engagement hub: the angle of crank turn required for engagement increases with smaller rings and the velocity of high cadence leads to higher impact on the pawls
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Old 12-29-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SethB View Post
You are 100% correct. More pawls will add more drag. Some people hate it, I never experienced it. So I am not sure what the difference feels like. I will say in the YouTube videos I have watched, I can notice the drag slowing down the tire when its freely spinning on a bike stand.

And yes, I will have to figure something out with how I ride. I ride a lot of both so its really hard for me. i think due to money, I will get the 3 pawl design - money being the only determining factor. I am so used to a huge angle of engagement I can make do with what I have. I do admit I see others get over technical stuff much more easily with a quicker engagement, But, I think because of money, i'll go with the cheaper version. I was just wondering if anyone has gone from big angle of engagement to a smaller one and can vouche for the extra cost.
A) Higher engagement, generally*, means more drag. It depends on the hub design, not all hubs use pawls...but where hubs use pawls or star-ratchets there's more drag, you only notice it in the stand spinning the wheel unloaded tho.

B) Higher engagement, generally*, means more noise when freewheeling. Again, this isn't always true, there are exceptions.

On my groading rig, going from my nice set of Onyx hubs* (sprag clutch, not pawls, and proper instant engagement--hubs like these are the exceptions to A&B) to my set of Bitex hubs (6 pawl) the difference is right there. Particularly in lower-gearing scenarios around 1:1 and below. Of course, there's also the right there difference in comparing s $600USD hubset to a $200 one. Bitex are cartridge bearing hubs, but they're pretty "meh" otherwise.

For an MTB rig, where 1:1 and sub-1:1 gearing is a thing, it is much more pertinent and useful than on road-racing bikes where it only matters IRL in a sprint. The lower the gear ratio, the more that delay in turning the cranks generating power gets noticed.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 12-29-19 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 01-04-20, 11:23 AM
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So,

Went to LBS as my current hub almost ate my RDR. Luckily they had a used one they put on (only charged labor), so this gives me more time to save. Therefore, I am definitely going with the 280 6 pawl design. While at the LBS, I played around with the higher end bikes and yeah, the quicker engagement is something I will definitely notice on certain trails.

Thanks all for the help!
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Old 01-06-20, 12:08 PM
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My thought is that the six-pawl version is worth the extra $$ only if it comes with a clearly different looking hub, or at least a cool decal so you can feel adequately superior to people still riding three-pawls because they don't have your cool and nuanced perception of the advantages of six-pawl systems. At least until the nine- and twelve-pawl hubs become available
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Old 01-06-20, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
My thought is that the six-pawl version is worth the extra $$ only if it comes with a clearly different looking hub, or at least a cool decal so you can feel adequately superior to people still riding three-pawls because they don't have your cool and nuanced perception of the advantages of six-pawl systems. At least until the nine- and twelve-pawl hubs become available
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