Friday, 28 January 2011


Hubs are such an important part of any bike, but even more so for our bikes; the rear hub houses the gears (8 or 11) and also provides some important braking via the chainstay-mounted disc brake calliper. The front hub powers the lights so that you can see where all those gears at the back end are taking you as well as providing the majority of the stopping power... that's a lot without even mentioning their primary purpose: constantly and smooth rotating around the axles!

So far, we've been using Shimano's 8-speed wheelset with matching dynamo front hub. They've been superb, but Shimano have recently released an 11-speed version of the Alfine internal gear hub - it's a complete redesign from the 8-speed version and has had unanimously good reviews in the press. There's no matching front dynamo availabe yet, but we reckon Schmidt's Son deluxe would work really well.

We've managed to get hold of an 11-speed hub - no mean feat considering the hooooj demand! - and will be building a custom set of wheels that we feel is THE ultimate commuting wheelset: Shimano 11-speed 32-hole rear hub and a Schmidt Son front dynamo hub, laced onto Velocity DeepV rims. Both are disc-specific hubs (which works out great as the rims are coated with the same reflective coating as Ambulances and Police vehicles, and don't actually have a braking surface)

Ads from Tarty Bikes (the world's leading trials bike shop) has very kindly agreed to build the wheels for us - he has years of experience building some of the world's toughest wheels for riders like Danny Mackaskill, so they'll be well up for the riggors of daily commuting.

We'll let you know how we get on with these as soon as they're built up!

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