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A few questions about rachet sound and choosing hubs

Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

A few questions about rachet sound and choosing hubs

Old 11-14-18, 10:39 AM
  #26  
aclinjury
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Originally Posted by DOS View Post
Well, pedaling efficiency is a function of how much of your effort is transfered to moving the wheel. Fewer enagement points means more space between them so more of your initial effort every time you stop and start pedaling is spent on engaging the pawls to ratchet. That is, when younstart pedaling, the delay between when you push the crank to when you feel the hub engage is wasted energy. That wasted energy is reduced when you increase engagement points. Now, for most of us this is a very small difference that hardly matters. But so too is the difference in drag when coasting between a dura ace hub and a noisier hub like a White Industry hub.

I do agree that cartridge bearing seals and the bearings themselves are more important wrt to drag than the ratchet noise. Canít speak to Chris King drag, but when last I was in the market, I chose against CK hubs because I was concerned that servicing their proprietary bearing would be a pain. My White Industry Hubs spin very well aand are easy to service (although notnas easy as Shimano). I chose them over Dura Ace because I liked the option for increasd ratchet points, but also was influenced by the idea that the cartridge bearings meant I didnít have to worry about water and what not damaging bearing races and ruining the hub. I still like my 48t ratchet, but have been coming around to think the shimano angular bearing design is superior (also very easy to service) and the risk of race damage very small. So if I were making my choice today, I might go with Dura Ace.
In your first paragraph, the definition of "efficiency" is not correct, but I get what you're trying to say. You're talking about mainly has to do with degree of engagement. A CK hub has more engagement points, so it engages faster from a free-coasting. This faster engagement is mainly beneficial for mountain biking due to a need to pedal over rocks quickly from an almost trackstand. On the road, there isn't much of a use-case for quick engagement. Maybe you could argue that in crits with lots of corners and acceleration points, a quick engagement hub could be beneficial out of the corners, but even here the use-case would be weak and not as strong as in mtb use-case. However, you're not gonna waste much energy in moving the pedals from one engagement point to another.

But here are the cons for high engagement hubs:
1. the hub ratchets (the teeth on the hub body) are weaker because they're smaller. If you're going to squeeze in 48 teeth vs 18 teeth in the same hub body circumference, then the 48 teeth must be made physically smaller to fit in the same space
2. Because the teeth are smaller, not only are they weaker, they now also wear out faster
3. more teeth will create more drag when free-coasting, simply put, 48 teeth will make more drag than 18 teeth if the pawls have to go thru them all. (I'm not talking about the seals causing drag).

There's a reason why DT Swiss and Shimano (the two biggest hub manufacturers) use a lower engagement ratchet in their road hubs. They could have easily gone with a higher engagement setting, but they chose not to, by design.
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Old 11-14-18, 06:23 PM
  #27  
DOS
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
In your first paragraph, the definition of "efficiency" is not correct, but I get what you're trying to say. You're talking about mainly has to do with degree of engagement. A CK hub has more engagement points, so it engages faster from a free-coasting. This faster engagement is mainly beneficial for mountain biking due to a need to pedal over rocks quickly from an almost trackstand. On the road, there isn't much of a use-case for quick engagement. Maybe you could argue that in crits with lots of corners and acceleration points, a quick engagement hub could be beneficial out of the corners, but even here the use-case would be weak and not as strong as in mtb use-case. However, you're not gonna waste much energy in moving the pedals from one engagement point to another.

But here are the cons for high engagement hubs:
1. the hub ratchets (the teeth on the hub body) are weaker because they're smaller. If you're going to squeeze in 48 teeth vs 18 teeth in the same hub body circumference, then the 48 teeth must be made physically smaller to fit in the same space
2. Because the teeth are smaller, not only are they weaker, they now also wear out faster
3. more teeth will create more drag when free-coasting, simply put, 48 teeth will make more drag than 18 teeth if the pawls have to go thru them all. (I'm not talking about the seals causing drag).

There's a reason why DT Swiss and Shimano (the two biggest hub manufacturers) use a lower engagement ratchet in their road hubs. They could have easily gone with a higher engagement setting, but they chose not to, by design.
Inasmuch as any effort expended moving pedals through air without engaging the ratchet is wasted effort, I think I am using the dictionary definition of the word efficiency (achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort) but that is beside the point. I agree the engagement issue is more of an issue for mountain biking, but I think you understate a bit the relavance in road cycling. Sudden accelerations are fairly common; I own both Shimano and White hubs and do regulalrly notice and appreciate the differnce when riding the White wheels over the shimano. Granted, I probably am experincing hardly any differnece in actual effort but just like the feel of control and reponsiveness the extra engagement offers. Similalry, the actual drag difference between a hub with fewer POEs and one with more while coasting is inconsequential so the choice is based on whether one likes the sound or not. White and CK chose a higher engagement design by design when they didn’t have to. I assume there was a reson and I suspect that this feeling of responsiveness I experience is it.

I do take your point on the downsides of more teeth, although as noted, I think the drag issue is inconsequential. I considered the issue of wear and tear when I chose the hubs. Had the ratchet in White Hubs not been replaceable, I probably would not have gotten them for the reasons you mention. I don’t regret mt choice and so far have had no issues, but as I noted earlier, if I were making the choice today, I probably would go with Shimano despite the fact that I do like the feel of more POEs.

Edited to Add, on issue of more teeth being more fragile, I have had two friends tear teeth out of Zipp hubs with 36t ratchets.

Last edited by DOS; 11-14-18 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 11-14-18, 06:45 PM
  #28  
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I think it highly unlikely that more points of engagement could create any amount of measurable drag relative to that of the tire against the ground. So a "low drag" hub might spin longer in the workstand, but this means absolutely nothing at all on the road.
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Old 11-14-18, 07:49 PM
  #29  
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You can easily access the pawls and teeth on Phil Wood cassettes. It's fun to experiment with varying combinations of Phil Wood Grease and Phil Wood Oil placed on or under the paws to create a silent hub.
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Old 11-14-18, 08:05 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I think it highly unlikely that more points of engagement could create any amount of measurable drag relative to that of the tire against the ground. So a "low drag" hub might spin longer in the workstand, but this means absolutely nothing at all on the road.
I concur
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Old 11-15-18, 08:09 AM
  #31  
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first, much appreciated to everyone attended or/and replied to my posts.

how quiet are shimano hubs?

are they perfectly quieter than 3 x 6 or 7 speed grade bottom-priced bikes?


besides, is buying a $ 400 Onyx hub (no rachet sound at all) and building new wheel by spending $ 900 normally too much?

I'm not a mania, just ride for mere casual exercise and like when I goes to downtown or something.

Last edited by Quintessentium; 11-15-18 at 03:24 PM.
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