Hubs

Most of our wheels have three spoke count options. There are more factors to take into account aside from just a rider’s weight, but as a general rule of thumb:

  • 20/24 spoke count (front/rear) if bicycle weight is under 180 pounds (81.6 kg)
  • 24/28 spoke count (front/rear) if bicycle weight is under 240 pounds (108.8 kg)
  • 28/32 spoke count (front/rear) if bicycle weight is above 225 pounds (102 kg)

If you are upgrading to 11 speed, here is all you need to know to convert your Boyd Cycling wheels. The process is very simple and you can either get just a new freehub or a conversion kit from us. You will NOT need to get a whole new hub.

First of all, lets get into the 11 speed differences. There is an extra gear on the rear cassette (obviously), but to accomplish this the cassettes got wider by 2.8mm. With a Shimano 10 speed cassette there was a 1mm spacer that you needed to place behind the cassette. So, if you are running a Shimano 10 speed cassette on an 11 speed hub, you will need the 1mm spacer provided with the Shimano 10 speed cassette PLUS a 1.8mm spacer to make up for the added width of the 11 speed freehub body.

If you are running a Sram 10 speed cassette, there is no 1mm spacer needed behind the cassette. You will simply need the 1.8mm spacer on the 11 speed freehub body and the Sram cassette will go over top of that.

In both cases of Sram and Shimano, if you are using an 11 speed cassette on an 11 speed freehub body, the cassette will go on the freehub body with no spacers needed.

Upgrading your 2012 and before wheels to 11 speed:

Note that on the non-drive side of this hub there is just an end cap. There is no adjustment collar!

If you have wheels that use our older model rear hub (like what is shown in the above picture), then to upgrade to 11 speed you will just need a new freehub body. This can be swapped out using just two 5mm allen wrenches and the wheel will not need to be redished afterwards. The new freehub body will come with the 1.8mm spacer so if you are still running a 10 speed cassette then you will be able to use that cassette with the 11 speed freehub body.

Another way to tell. If your rear hub has a freehub body with 6 pawls (like pictured below), then you only need the freehub body.

If you try to use this freehub body on the hub that calls for a 4 pawl freehub, it WILL NOT work!!

Upgrading your 2013 and 2014 model wheels to 11 speed:

If you have wheels that use our 2013 and 2014 model hubs  (like what is shown in the picture above), then to upgrade to 11 speed you will need a conversion kit. The hub that needs a conversion kit has a 22mm cone wrench slot on the non-drive side. If you can fit a 22mm cone wrench on the non-drive side, then you must get a conversion kit to upgrade to 11 speed! The 6 pawl freehub body WILL NOT work in these hubs!

Another way to tell, if your 10 speed hub has four pawls, with a leaf spring under each pawl (like the above picture), then you need the conversion kit.

In order to optimize flange spacing for this newer hub configuration, we have different conversions for 10 or 11 speed. If you originally had a 10 speed to upgrade to 11 speed you will need this conversion kit. It consists of a freehub body, new axle, and end caps. After installing the conversion kit you WILL need to perform a very slight redish of the rear wheel afterwards. There are two options for the installation and redish.

You can install the conversion kit and redish the wheel yourself (or preferably through a local bike shop). We will ship you the conversion kit with everything you need to upgrade your 10 speed wheel to 11 speed.

or

We can perform the installation and redish for you at no charge. You will have to send your wheel to us (we will provide you with an RA number and instructions for sending in the wheel). There will be a $15 return shipping charge for wheels in the domestic USA. For International orders, it’s going to be much more convenient to have the installation performed at a local bike shop.

Thank you to Josh Whitmore of the Globalbike Elite cycling team for shooting a video on how to perform the 11 speed conversion. Please note, if you have a wheel dishing tool that is the preferred method for ensuring your wheel is properly redished after converting to 11 speed.

The hubs we have designed are designed to be easy to work on, and be relatively maintenance. That being said, it’s the only part of the wheel that has both moving and non-moving parts. This is where you want to ensure that you check over the hubs at regular intervals to keep everything running smoothly.

The easiest thing to check is the bearings. If you spin the wheel in your hand, you can feel if the bearings still feel nice and smooth or if they have gotten gritty over time. Bearings are a part where they are good until they are not. Once they feel like they have gone bad you will want to replace them. Riding on bad bearings for a prolonged period of time could lead to the bearing suffering a failure and leaving you stranded (similar to if you drive your car on a bad wheel bearing). Pressing in new bearings is very easy and usually relatively inexpensive.

Keeping the pawls and driver ring lubed is important. This is the only spot on your bike where you have metal parts moving against metal parts (not counting bearings). The hubs will come pre-greased, but over time this grease can wash out of the hubs. I usually add grease to my pawls about twice per year to ensure everything remains properly lubed and running smooth. We sell the NixFrixshun Speed Coat grease that was specially designed to work on the insides of hubs. One tube is pretty much a lifetime supply and will keep your hubs running smooth.

On any of our hubs sold after 2013 there is a pre-load adjustment to dial in tension on the axle. If you go to the page for our Prime hubs you will see a video on how to adjust the pre-load. Checking this every couple of months takes about 10 to 20 seconds, but ensures that your hubs are running smoothly with no play and no side load on the bearings.

Hub noise is something that intrigues a lot of people. Why are some hubs super loud, and others almost silent?

The answer is because when the pawls click over the teeth inside the hub, they make a noise. Depending on how many pawls, how many teeth, and how powerful the springing mechanism is to push the pawl outward, will dictate how loud the hubs are when you are coasting.

Our hubs use leaf springs to push each pawl outward. When you are pedaling, each pawl will push against the driver ring and move the wheel forward. When you are coasting, the pawls will click up and down over top of the ramped teeth in the driver ring. Because we are using the leaf springs, we ensure very solid engagement that will not skip or jump when you stomp on the pedals.

This image shows the leaf spring and pawls on a freehub body

 

 

 

 

 

The noise level with this system can actually be adjusted slightly. By adding grease to the pawls and driver ring, you will dampen the sound a little. With this you can choose if you want your hub to be attention getting loud, or a stealthy clicking style.  We encourage people to use the NixFrixShun SpeedCoat when servicing their driver ring and pawls.