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Patent Reveals How E*thirteen's Anti-Pedal Kickback Sidekick Hub Works

May 22, 2024
by Seb Stott  
photo
e thirteen s Sidekick hub replete with a big ol shiny dust shield.
Rear Sidekick with a pretty large shell on the drive side.

We got hands-on with a new hub from e*thirteen labelled "Sidekick" at the last round of the DH World Cup in Poland. It seems to have a "soft catch" when the freehub engages, similar to how an O-Chain feels, presumably to minimise pedal kickback by allowing the freehub to rotate relative to the hub shell, providing some extra chain slack to help the suspension compress unhindered. It also coasts silently. At the time we could only speculate on how this worked, but searching around revealed a patent called "Hub system, method and device with adjustable deadband" filed by The Hive Global, Inc (e*Thirteen's HQ) that may reveal what's going on inside.

photo
The pawl pusher (140) sits axially inboard of the freehub body (102).
photo
The pawl pusher has fingers (144 a-c) which have ramps to push the pawls radially outwards when the freehub is rotated clockwise.

The patent shows a freehub ratchet with three pawls and an outer ratchet ring - so far, so normal. However, in a normal hub, the pawls are pushed outwards by a spring to engage immediately with the teeth of the outer ratchet ring when the freehub is turned clockwise; in e*thirteen's design, the pawls are held inwards towards the freehub body and away from the ratchet ring. This explains the silent coasting, but how does it engage when the rider starts pedalling?

The hub contains a component you won't find in a conventional hub - referred to as a pawl pusher (140). This is housed concentric to the hub axle and inboard of the freehub body. It's connected to the hub shell with a sprag clutch - a one-way bearing which allows the hub shell to rotate clockwise* relative to the pawl pusher, but not the pawl pusher to rotate clockwise relative to the hub shell. So in other words, the pawl pusher has its own one-way mechanism just like the freehub, but the pawl pusher is not directly connected to the freehub and cassette.

*if viewed from the driveside

photo
The pawls engage with the ratchet ring (180) while the pawl pusher is held inside the sprag clutch (42) which prevents it from rotating clockwise relative to the hub shell (32).

The pawl pusher has three** ramped "fingers" (144) that interlock with the three pawls of the freehub. When the rider pedals and the freehub rotates clockwise, the pawls are pushed into contact with the ramps of the fingers on the pawl pusher, which cannot rotate clockwise due to the sprag clutch that connects it to the hub shell. These ramps push the pawls radially outwards until they engage the ratchet ring, which allows torque to be transmitted to the hub shell and the wheel. When the rider stops pedalling and the wheel rotates clockwise relative to the freehub (coasting), the pawl pusher moves clockwise due to the inevitable drag in the sprag clutch until it contacts the "pusher stop surfaces" (136) of the freehub. This creates a "deadband angle" (A) through which the freehub must rotate relative to the hub shell before the pawls engage again.

**There are three depicted in the diagrams, but the patent says there could be any number of fingers and pawls

photo
photo
A cross-section of the freehub (102), pawl pusher fingers (144) and ratchet ring (180) viewed from the drive side. In the coasting position (left) the pawls are retracted and the pawl pusher fingers are clocked such that they touch the pusher stop surfaces (136) of the freehub body. When the freehub is engaged during pedalling, (right) the freehub rotates clockwise and the pawls are pushed outwards by the ramped fingers of the pawl pusher until they contact the ratchet ring.

During a potential pedal kickback event, where the suspension is compressing very quickly (resulting in a rapidly growing upper chain length) and the wheel is rotating very slowly, this deadband angle could allow the freehub to rotate a little further before it "catches up" with the wheel rotation speed, thereby spooling out a bit more chain and reducing the chances of pedal kickback. The concept is similar to the O-Chain device that many DH racers are using but at the freehub rather than the crank. The obvious downside is that there will be more lag (slower engagement) when getting on the power.

photo
photo
When the deadband adjustment key (108 ) is installed, the deadband angle (B) is reduced.

The patent also mentions how a "deadband adjustment key" (108 ) could be inserted between one of the pusher stop surfaces (136) on the freehub and the pusher finger to reduce the deadband angle. This would reduce the effectiveness of eliminating pedal kickback but also reduce the engagement angle when pedalling.

Why not just use a slower engaging hub?

You might think you could achieve a similar result by using a freehub with fewer points of engagement, but the problem with that is inconsistency. If a hub had just one point of engagement per revolution, sometimes you'd have to turn the freehub a full 360 degrees before it engaged, but sometimes it would engage straight away (depending on the prior position of the tooth and pawl). The same is true in a pedal kickback event - sometimes the cassette would be able to rotate freely and sometimes it wouldn't, depending on the relative positions of the freehub and hub shell at the time. With e*thirteen's design, the deadband angle is consistent, not random. It can also be adjusted to suit personal preference. It may reduce coasting drag slightly too, if the friction from the sprag clutch is less than a conventional ratchet.

But if you want my humble opinion, pedal kickback is a corner case that rarely happens in the real world - and when it does it's not necessarily a problem. Snatching pedal turns here and there is something that may happen several times during a race run, and increasing the deadband angle could hamper this at least a little.




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168 Comments
  • 275 4
 Looks like the cat is out of the bag. Pedal kickback is a real thing but there are also a number of other things contributing to the pedal feedback a rider feels. In addition to limiting pedal kickback, the fact that the pawls are retracted results in an extremely low drag system which is noticeable nearly immediately when you first ride it with how you carry speed.

We've had this hub in development for 3 years now and Dakota Norton was on the sidekick for most of last season. Ronan Donne won Hardline earlier this year on it along with the WC DH race this past weekend. They (and other WC pro's who have tested it) have come away extremely impressed and we have other non-e*thirteen sponsored riders who have reached out to request testing.

While the hub is still in final stages of development we do hope to be able to share some more news later this summer. It's one of the most exciting projects we've worked on.
  • 58 10
 One more time, only louder, for the haters
  • 55 52
 @ethirteen ...100% valid points and kudos for the continued work and actual forward thinking. That said, it's also no secret you guys have had many instances of quality issues on several products both high-profile riders and with personal experience (several of my friends with crank, rim, etc issues). Transparency and humblness is the key here...
  • 112 2
 @bman33: Indeed. Hindsight is always 20/20 and we're not perfect. We try to learn from our mistakes and apply those lessons to future products. We are proud of the products we've been putting out recently and the currently product line has addressed the issues many continue to reference. We'll send you a DM and would be happy to discuss the issues you've had experiences with and how they were resolved.
  • 25 84
flag avg-roadie FL (May 22, 2024 at 14:42) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: good concept, horrible execution. Thats E13 in 4 words.
  • 25 2
 This is an interesting idea and I am sure that it will be good for pedal kick-back, but I don't see how you can claim it to have low drag.
For the pawl pusher to move back fully when you stop pedaling there needs to be something moving it, this has to be drag between it and the hub shell through the sprag clutch mechanism. So that the onward movement of the hub-shell carries the pawl pusher forward and allows the pawls to retract.
If you had zero drag in the sprag then when you stopped pedaling the only thing pushing the pawl pusher back would be the inward movement of the pawls and it would not be inclined to move past the tip of the pawls themselves so you would never get more "gap".
You could actually save a fair bit of money here by replacing the sprag with a simple drag spring like we use in BMX Clutch hubs, though I suppose this might then introduce some patent conflicts...
  • 5 0
 Reminds me of the old Chosen Silent Hubs. bikerumor.com/eb14-the-amazing-frictionless-chosen-smart-hub-freehub-spins-freely-in-both-directions

The E13 Patent number is US2024157728A1 in case anyone wants to read it.
  • 15 0
 @G-Sport:Holy shit it's George. The day G-Sport branded MTB and Gravel hubs exist, they will be going on my other bikes. (And anything else for that matter).

(For those not in the know, G-Sport is the epitome of functional high-quality design in BMX)
  • 1 0
 Is that DW behind the E13? I trust pretty much whatever you say. Re pedal kickback, on my previous Horst link bike the antidote to the kickback was to dump the gears when I started to go down hill. My current rig has very little pkb and it’s a beautiful thing.
  • 3 1
 @G-Sport: could the pawl retraction be spring loaded. Then you could dial out all the drag.
  • 26 1
 I just want to make an unsolicited comment about e13. Late last year, my wife had a carbon rim on a 3 year old YT break a couple spokes and start to show signs of odd wear. I sent them a message about it and they promptly apologized and sent a brand new wheel. They asked for hers back (included a label) so they can do the research. I was expecting a new rim at the most but an entire wheel is a signal that they are committed to fixing any quality issues.
  • 3 3
 Happy that you're enjoying well-earned publicity with what seems to be a novel and well regarded product, but my previous issues with e13 LG hubs has me in a place where I can't trust that they will hold up when not being serviced by a race mechanic at very short intervals. Hoping that e*thirteen can earn back some goodwill but not willing to put my money on the products until that's happened.
  • 3 7
flag aceface17 FL (May 22, 2024 at 22:27) (Below Threshold)
 Can someone explain the actual difference between having a low engagement hub and a system like this or ochain?
  • 4 1
 I cant help but think that just running an 18t star ratchet dt freehub has just the right pickup and contact points but not so quick that I get any noticeable kickback. That coupled with a huge surface area for contact and engagement surface compared to pawls. It's good to innovate but I'll take slower pickup over complex half solutions for a non problem
  • 4 0
 @G-Sport: I came to the comments for George's view on this design.
  • 3 0
 @G-Sport: Hey George.
  • 1 0
 This is interesting, looking forward to seeing it in production and testing one
  • 3 0
 @aceface17: @aceface17: When a high compression event happens, the chain rotates the cassette by a few degrees. If there was a high engagement hub this would lead effectively to the compression engaging the pedals, either driving the wheel forward, or if the brakes are on the suspension being suddenly loaded (leads to bike unsettling).
A low engagement hub where there are 10 degrees between the engagement points, if the suspension rotates the cassette 5 degrees there is a 50% change the pawls won’t engage (as all the rotation happens between the 10% engagement), but there is a chance that the pawl is literally just past the engagement point as you land a drop and the pawls would engage immediately.
Essentially if you did the same drop 10 times, half the time you’d have unaffected suspension, the rest of the time you’d have various levels of suspension performance.
With this system and the O-Ring, there is always the equivalent of 10 degrees (unknown actual value) of rotation required prior to the pawls being pushed to engaged + the random factor of the engagement points, so you can have high engagement and get free suspension. The engagement would also always be consistent (like a high engagement hub) just delayed by a fraction.
In this case the pawls are off the rachet until the initial rotation has occurred meaning no drag.
The OChain works the opposite way round so once the chain engages there is a spring that makes the system soft, in a ratio that barely affects the suspension.
Basically;
OChain normal engagement then soft range to allow mostly free suspension.
This the suspension moves free but there is always a delay (consistent) to engagement.
Normal hub = random level of suspension freeness but quick engagement.
  • 2 1
 @G-Sport: Well it is because the initial rotation of the Pawl Pusher needs to happen to push the pawls onto the "rachet".
What's holding the pawls inward I don't know maybe a small magnet (as it wouldn't need much). So I feel e13's claim is valid
  • 1 0
 Isnt this the same as a BSD freecoaster, or any of the other cassette coasters?
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: Works to similar effect, not sure how much slack they have or if that is adjustable. Reading it appears they may be a bit too slack. This is about finding the least slack that gives unrestricted suspension
  • 1 4
 Next problem I see is the extremely precise machining required to make sure the 3 pawls engage at the same time as the pawl pusher could squeeze those thin pieces of metal on the ratchet without any spring like mechanism. All this comes at a price..
  • 2 0
 put my name down for one, not for the kickback as have a high pivot with none but for the low drag Smile
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: The pawl retraction IS spring loaded and yes, this would let you cut the drag to just the unavoidable from bearings etc. BUT the springs and pawls could only push the "pawl pusher" back so far, not all the way to the end of the slot to give the required/desired "gap".
  • 8 0
 @pbuser2299: It is very similar. You can think of all these hubs like a logic tree thing.
So this and the pawl based freecoasters (ignoring the planetary ones for now) start out the same.
Pawls are held retracted by default (by spring).
There is then a subtle variation.
This hub "says":-
IF driver rotates forward relative to HUB-SHELL: THEN ENGAGE Pawls
While the pawl based freecoasters "say":-
IF driver rotates forward relative to HUB AXLE: THEN ENGAGE Pawls.

With this hub, there is no distinction between the driver moving towards the shell or the shell moving backwards towards the driver, so this would not function like a freecoaster in reverse.
  • 3 2
 @Tristanssid: There is a spring pulling the pawls back in, it is that ring around everything. BUT this isn't going to push the pawl pusher fully back to the start position. So while there is no drag from the pawls. There will have to be drag in the sprag clutch that activates the pawl pusher. It will be silent drag but drag none the less.
  • 2 0
 @ryan83: Yep, same type of experience here. I got some Race Carbon bars and figured out that the centering marks were off center by almost a centimeter. I mean, it was absolutely an aesthetic flaw at most, but after a few emails and pictures, they sent me a new set straight away. Super pleased!!! And just to add....pretty sure nearly any bike company has EVER put out 100% perfect products throughout their entire span of existence. It's the one's who make no attempt to ever improve that should be flamed out.
  • 5 1
 @G-Sport: Just make G Sport Elite wheels in 27.5 / 29. You’ll never break a wheel again… Job done.
  • 3 0
 @G-Sport: and in Chrome… Obviously.
  • 1 3
 Yeah, and I won a local xc race on an enduro bike with no chammy. Good riders can win on anything.
  • 1 0
 @ShredDoggg: good and fit riders can win against not good not fit riders.

You are not going to beat Nino at an xc race on your Enduro bike. But he may beat you in a Enduro race on a xc bike.
  • 1 0
 @pbuser2299: it’s like the profile z coaster which also ramps the pawls out of the way and can be tuned for how much slack it has. Pretty much every other free coaster is just a coaster brake hub with no brake shoes in it.
  • 1 0
 @G-Sport: I had to spend some time working it out, but you're right, the Sprag Clutch used will have some drag, although on reading the drag is not comparable to a pawl setup so I still imagine it would be noticeably faster coasting
  • 1 0
 @Tristanssid: much appreciated that actually makes sense cheers!
  • 36 1
 I just want a silent freehub that does not weigh a ton, cost a ton, or both.
  • 7 0
 amen
  • 17 0
 www.tairinwheels.ca/product-page/silent-shogun-rear-hub?currency=USD

I've never used one, but I've heard good things about them
  • 4 1
 Best part of the XTR hub. Worst part is Microspline only.
  • 2 1
 @JSTootell: I thought they canned the Scylence hubs.. Did they keep it on the XTR only?
  • 1 0
 @skimgosu: So from my googlefu when I had to make a repair, it seems like the system is mostly intact. One part was removed or modified (I can't remember now). But most of the time when I am coasting it goes silent.
  • 1 0
 @skimgosu: I haven't pulled one apart, but I am pretty sure they did can the Scylence mechanism across all products, so I don't think they're actually retracting the pawls when coasting. I think its just that Shimano hubs are simply very quiet even with the pawls ratcheting along in the traditional way due to other design elements. Happy to be proven wrong though.
  • 3 6
 @thekaiser: My xt hub was pretty much silent until the loud BZZZZZT it does just before seizing and ripping your derailleur off. Three of them.
  • 2 0
 @DizzyNinja: yup, was wondering when tairin was gonna come up. Reasonably-priced, made in Canada, silent, affordable. I’ve also never tried them, but they’re currently my first choice for my next wheelset
  • 1 3
 Just use a small amount of grease instead of oil in the hub and boom, silent hub
  • 4 0
 @Tristanssid: the grease trick works for a short while but the hub is usually back to full sound after couple of rides, at least in my experience (with 3 or 4 different hubs).
  • 1 0
 It is a very distinct engaged/disengaged sound on mine. You can't mistake it.

I did buy this off of a sponsored pro (this wheel was on the bike when she won Leadville). But I doubt it is a special hub.
  • 31 1
 I kind of want to use this with an O-Chain just for the memes.
  • 23 0
 I can't help but wonder if it's less of a pedal kickback that people hate, and more of chain force yanking crap around and being noisy being the real issue. Regardless, everyone that uses OChain seems to like it, and maybe it's the endowment effect and purchase justification. Or...maybe it's awesome. Haven't used one myself.
  • 6 0
 ill get one soon. Ill have some friends do a before/after of my bike with and without the O-Chain. Wont tell them what changed though.
  • 7 1
 @joebiden: used one for a few months last summer, traded some stuff for it, I am glad i did not spend my own money on it. It does something... but its hard to put into words. made my drive train a hell of a lot louder that's for sure. purchased a rebuild kit and rebuilt and it was still super loud. The dead spot in the pedal stroke was not worth the benefit that I am not even sure i can quantify.
  • 11 1
 @2004hyuandielantra: my drivetrain got tremendously quieter with it. 90% of chainslap is now gone for me
  • 34 2
 @joebiden: good to see that our POTUS is out there on trails testing MTB parts
pretty rad for an 80 year old
  • 2 0
 @senorbanana: thats awesome, I wish i had that experience
  • 11 1
 Maybe. I have ridden the exact same bike with chain, no chain, and o-chain. There is a noticeable difference. I don't know if it's "pedal kickback" or some other effect, but the suspension works better without a chain, and o-chain helps too. I bought a used o-chain off of Pinkbike to try it out, since I wasn't willing to spend $400 for a new one, and I'm sold. It works, and I doubt so many WC DH teams would be running them if riders didn't feel an improvement. It's entirely possibly that it depends on your bike too, but it's pretty cheap and easy to try out yourself, take your chain and derailleur off and ride a track.

@2004hyuandielantra my o-chain doesn't make any noise. It rotates silently, so there's something wrong with it if it's loud.

This E13 hub design seems cool, but IDK if I'd trust E13 to reliably manufacture such an intricate design for a very high-stress component.
  • 2 0
 @chrod: To be fair, Joe's not actually testing, he's having his friends do the testing. But conducting before/after testing with hubs suggests he's a pretty speedy mechanic, gotta give him that.
  • 17 1
 @dthomp325: "I doubt so many WC DH teams would be running them if riders didn't feel an improvement" cough -anti vibration stickers- cough.
  • 2 0
 @senorbanana: Yeah, I didn't expect how much quieter my bike would be when I put one of them on.
  • 1 1
 I have an ochain on my spec enduro. makes the bike feel noticeably better through the rough and quiet as well. The problem is I pedal a lot. after about 2 weeks they develop a super annoying sound with each pedal stroke. I've rebuilt them myself, had them rebuilt by o chain and they still do this every time. Total bummer because I love how it makes my bike feel. I think if you are just riding lifts, shuttling or just not riding a ton they are great.
  • 1 0
 I think o chain will isolate some of the effect of the chain slapping around pulling on your changing but this won't due to being in the hub
  • 3 0
 @mattg95: Yeah, the Vorsprung vid on that topic was illuminating, and does suggest this hub may miss out on at least a portion of the purported benefit of the O-chain. I have wondered how much that chain slap type pedal feedback could be reduced with just some additional or longer chain guides, STFU guides, etc...
  • 1 2
 How many of the people who say Ochain does nothing are the same people complaining about chain slap due to weak derailleur clutches?
  • 1 1
 @sasquatchclyde: Same people who would take 10% off their suspension performance for complete silence.
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: Not to mention the hub is not something I want to add a ton of small part complexity to. And the failure mode of an OChain is basically the same as the failure mode of a chain ring.

Also, I feel like getting a chain ring for any set of cranks if your OChain goes south is going to be way easier than a small part for a freehub.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: E13 or any manufacturer. Ineed to see it battle tested, day in and day out on average joes bikes, not WC racers who get constant rebuilds and new product The advantage of the OChain is if it breaks it's not going to seize your hub and throw you out the front door. It's also not laced to your wheel, so if it does break you can just throw a regular chainring on and not ruin your weekend.
  • 1 0
 @senorbanana: Same for me. Ochain was the best improvement I've made on my DH bike, made it dead quiet and the rear so much more active I had to add a lot more damping to make it feel balanced front to back again. FWIW its a very high pedal kickback design
  • 1 0
 @thekaiser: that’s interesting. In theory the hub would still allow for the momentum of the chain tugging on the cranks, which is likely what most perceive as pedal kick.
  • 54 39
 A 3 pawl hub with more potential points of failure added in from a company notorious for unreliable parts. These things will break like dried spaghetti noodles.

I guess since it’s a gravity oriented component you can try to Gwin it when your chain hasn’t snapped but your pawls, drive ring and/or pusher have snapped.
  • 9 2
 Just as long as the broken bits don't make the hub seize up...which is a distinct possibility. On the other hand, if it keeps spinning, it ought to make a lot of racket for those who like loud hubs. LOL
  • 66 8
 Lame comment. I've had more luck with my e13 hub (going on 2 years) than with my last I9.....Seems lots of new stuff coming out from e13 lately. If Crankbros can turn it around, anyone can....Regardless this is pretty cool innovation so let's just see how it does when it's released in the real world.
  • 10 1
 Agreed, for hubs and cassettes, my experience of their reliability has not great but their customer service is top notch. Any issues have been very quickly resolved. Far far quicker than most companies.
  • 21 5
 @Marky771: i9 is a low standard for rear hub strength.

Even Shimano (inventor of the modern freehub) has gone to a ratchet ring design.

I wish e13 the best of luck, but like SRAM brakes or Crank Brothers stuff, they’ll need 3-5 years of bulletproof reliability to overcome a long history of bad products.
  • 6 9
 @rich-2000: I'm amazed you found their customer service any good. When my E13 12 speed shifter upgrade kit died on basically the first ride both @ethirteen and their UK distributor Silverfish completely ignored me when I contacted them. Accordingly, I've never bought one of their components again.
  • 3 3
 @lukeb: I’ve had nothing but good experiences with E13’s customer service. Haven’t had many issues with their products but they have always been responsive when I had maintenance questions and needed to warranty a freehub.
  • 1 0
 @lukeb: really surprises me. Silverfish have been great too. They’ve even warrantied stuff out of warranty for me.
  • 2 0
 @noapathy: as I was reading the patent I kept wondering... what if the pawl pusher gets stuck... then you'd be on a fixie!!
  • 17 5
 I don't understand all the hate for e13, they are a cool company, they always innovate and offer alternatives to the SRAM/Shimano status quo. Innovation comes with risks . Every company has failures and sometimes it's due to improper installation or poor maintenance. I had failures with e13 rims and hubs but I appreciate they are spare parts easily available and it sounds like many people have been raving about their latest dh wheels.
You can choose to ride slow on smooth pathways with old-tested technology for ultimate reliability or try to go fast on rugged terrain and innovative tech..
  • 3 2
 Fully agree. My e13 wheels are the sturdiest I ever had, running them for 6 years already. Same for the wide range 9-46 cassettes.
  • 2 0
 Initrgated cassettes/freehubs and cranks without self extracting bolts to name a couple...
  • 1 2
 @cretin82: what's the issue with the integrated cassette/freehub? I just picked up a used YT Tues and it has one. I have had positive experiences with e*thirteen and fully expect it to continue. But I'd also like to know what to look out for. I've had excellent customer service from them, maybe its something I could go to them for.
  • 9 0
 E13 is a brand like Raceface, where everyone has had at least one part from them, and that part was crap and broke way too quickly. It's going to take 5 years of rock solid parts to break that reputation.
  • 1 1
 I have great experience with E13 products....I have their carbon wheelset TRS race SL, carbon crankset TRS race SL with BB92 bearing, TRS+ 11sp 9-46 cassette, chainguide....
Running 4th chain on this setup!

All I've replaced is the BB bearing and one spoke on front wheelset of which the BB bearing went under warranty no question asked!
  • 1 0
 @jojotherider1977: what if I don't want to run a 7spd cassette? Or if I want to replace my 7spd I have to buy a whole brand new one for $200+ with freehub instead of a $50 one from sram.

Or what if I just want to remove it for cleaning? Now I gotta worry about loosing pawls and springs.

It's just not good.
  • 1 0
 @cretin82: yeah, replacing the 7spd cassette for $200 is quite a bit different than a $50. I only did a quick search but it seems like the SRAM DH cassette is either $30 or $200+ seems like the expensive one is for an XD driver.
  • 9 1
 Cool design that seems like it would destroy the market for Ochain if it works as well….but seems like only useful for the very top DH and maybe Enduro racers to me…but I’m slow already no matter how much pedal kickback my bike does or does not inherently have!
  • 8 0
 @seb-stott: I understand why people think pedal kickback is non-existent above a certain speed, but that theory only holds true as long as your rear wheel is rotating. As soon as it is blocked under braking, you get full pedal kickback. I have some quite rocky, high speed trails with hard braking into tight corners, it is basically impossible not to have your rear wheel skipping and therefore also locking up. This is where I realized the idea of no pedal kickback at high speeds does not hold.
  • 3 0
 Seeing some of the slow-mo footage of WC racers down the track that Vital has been putting up has been eye opening. The amount of times the rear wheel hangs up or just outright stops and skids when they are going fast is way more than I would have anticipated. I'd encourage people to watch some of that if they think pedal kickback is not a thing.
  • 1 0
 Thank you, this is the first reasonable response I've heard to the speed argument. I now can at least understand how it would be beneficial.
  • 9 0
 sick looks like freecoasters are coming to DH! Bring on the 180s on the final jump to cross the finish line fakie
  • 8 0
 To summarize:
Your sister is ratchet, your mom is a pawl pusher and your dad plays in a deadband.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark please bring back comment gold!
  • 8 0
 I've got one of these in my lawnmower.
  • 3 0
 i was thinking the same. its a very similar concept to the pull start mechanisms on garden tools, only without the retract spring
  • 6 2
 between rockshox butter cups and pedal kickback devices, you can only imagine the stagnation in core mountainbike component designs.

We have resolved nearly all the issues, geometry, kinematics, reliable dropper post, durable cranksets, high performing predictable and tunable suspension.

Manufacturers are desperate to bring solutions to problems that virtually don't exist and may providing a riding improvement of like 1%.... probably less impactful then having a clean bike, or fresh pedal pins.

No thanks!!
  • 5 2
 "my humble opinion, pedal kickback is a corner case that rarely happens in the real world"

Then explain why a large number of profesional racers and mechanics are choosing to run o-chains after real world testing? I know who i'm going to listen to. Also the random nature of engagement almost prooves it is an issue that will affect you more times in a ride than a quick pedal stroke, how many times does your suspension compress in a ride? A lot and some of those will line up with the ratchet cuasing instant engagment and therefore pedal kickback.
  • 2 1
 P.S. just done the maths on the speed you need to go to beat all pedal kicback, using telemetry data for real world axle speed and a 15 degree pedal kickback you would need to go over 8mph, which is quite likey but not always on a lot of trails, although TBF the closer to 8mph you are the more reduced the kickback will get.
  • 10 0
 Those professional racers and mechanics also stuck anti vibration stickers all over their bikes, I wouldn't trust them lol
  • 4 0
 @maglor: Agreed when the wheel is rolling, but what about when the rear wheel is skidding, or is when it is going back and forth between locked and rolling, as it can when braking in the rough, where it will briefly lock when it loses ground contact?
  • 1 0
 @maglor: the problem with all these “speed” calculations is that it doesn’t consider the wheel’s speed. Lock up that wheel and it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going, you’re probably gonna get kickback if you hit a bump…
  • 1 0
 @manybrouce: I know, that's why my main comment is in the real world peaple use o-chain and idlers for a reason, the speed note was just added as i know the usual rebuttal to kickback being an issue is that it doesn't matter when the wheel is spinning, but 8mph is enough to show it is an issue on slower trails, and as you say when locking the wheel.
  • 7 2
 Finally, high engagement hubs are the best downgrade you can get for your suspension!
  • 5 3
 I took half the pawls out of my DH bike’s industry nine hub and didn’t really notice a difference in kickback. I’m guessing this is because at faster speeds kickback isn’t noticeable in the first place - as most time is spent in the the small cassette cogs at faster speeds?
  • 5 0
 Hey checkout my 297POE anti kickback hub. It's got almost instant pick up and 12 degrees of float.
  • 5 1
 Will this improve ride harshness for hardtail riders? Smile

Jokes aside, this is a neatly packaged design and hope it sees success!
  • 3 2
 Firm believer in Ochain, was ready to sell my evil Insurgent v3 until I got it. Feet were getting kicked around constantly without it. It was like I did an incredible suspension upgrade but for far less money. I actually noticed i had to go up in spring rate after installing it because I didnt have the chain forces combating with the suspension. If this works for e13 id be very interested, I had a slew of poor parts from them for years. Helix R cassette is the only thing ill still buy from them currently. Its going to take years for them to dig themselves out but hope they can.
  • 4 1
 I've said no way to so many standards and components that I'm now currently riding over the last 25 years. I'm just going to keep my mouth shut and see how this works out.
  • 1 0
 Everyone is talking about the kick back thing but im am actually more interested in the performance gains for the rear suspension and avoiding chain slapping for a more silent ride. If I buy and oChain or something like the sidekick hub, I am looking for these things a lot more.
  • 7 4
 I mean its novel but cant we just ride frames with no pedal kickback? They do exist.
  • 17 0
 I 3 hardtails
  • 6 3
 high pivots
  • 11 3
 Frames with no pedal kickback pedal like trash
  • 2 1
 @Bro-LanDog: cbf disagrees
  • 1 3
 @cougar797: any design that doesn't pivot exactly on the chainring can and will be susceptible to kickback.
  • 3 2
 @jaydawg69: this is what I like most about my Druid, lack of pedal feedback through rough stuff
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: this simply isn’t true.
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: how? Chain growth = susceptibility to pedal kickback. Pretty simple
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: you can build suspension that does not cause chain growth. Cbf (and other virtual pivots) does it, lots of high pivot with idler pivot points do it.
  • 1 0
 @cougar797: if you have a 'vpp', you have chain growth unless the 'virtual' pivot point is exactly on the bb, which it isn't. It is in front of the bb like every other suspension design that isn't a single pivot about the bb. High pivots eliminated chain growth by moving what is essentially the chain ring to the pivot point of the suspension, and they pedal like dookie.
  • 5 1
 So it is half-baked free coaster?
  • 3 1
 How is this different from Tairin? Looks like the same concept and therefore not patentable, in fact if Tairin has a patent this is a big issue...
  • 1 0
 Does anyone have a link to the Tairin patent?
  • 3 3
 In general i like e13, tires works dope, cassette quite innovative and beats competitors in weight, wheels are ok, i do not like that i need contact support with many of their products, by the way support solves problem within days, so kudos on amazing support team Love the innovation, very specific use case
  • 3 3
 This is why O-Chain and fast/instant engaging hubs is not a stupid idead. O-chain = less pedal kickback and fast/instan engagement = consistency
There are bit of bro-science out there saying this is stupid and very low engaging hub is better...thankfully there are people put there who explore things further than just eat the words of some influencers.
  • 2 0
 I don't think anybody would disagree with this. If you climb a lot, especially for technical trails, higher engagement hubs are needed since low gears amplify the dead stroke between POE. If you're DH-focused and riding in higher gears, you don't need high engagement.
  • 1 0
 @GTscoob: you'd be surprised about what some people preach out there. But I agree with you - engagement on the faster side is very nice when climbing jank. My opinion is that it is diminishing returns after like... 50t
  • 1 1
 @avg-roadie: I think E13 addressed that above, no? No one is perfect and every company/person makes mistakes. One thing that often goes overlooked is that a product tested with elite level athletes doesn't always make a good consumer level product. Many times the average consumer places unseen issues on a product that did not come up in lab or rider testing.
  • 1 0
 Haven't read all the comments but what's the estra weight? Also if you have more that one set of wheels then then the O-chain for the win but if you have more than one bike this could be the quick solution.
  • 3 0
 Well written article Seb, geeky but concise
  • 2 0
 How long before people are using this hub WITH an O-chain? If some is good more must be better?
  • 3 1
 Next question, how many O-chain users ride with their derailleur clutch turned on?
Chain tension does affect suspension performance. I turn off the clutch on all my full sus bikes for this reason
  • 1 0
 How long before people just take the chain and rear derailleur off and coast?
  • 1 0
 How will this system benefit all bikes? Some bike have pedal kickback engineered into the suspension system keep the bb high when climbing.
  • 1 0
 Lol - I guessed drive ring inside of sprag clutch, but technically they're right on top of each other
  • 2 0
 Isn't the Onyx hub design a simpler path to the same effect?
  • 6 0
 different effect - Onyx doesn't have a long engagement delay, it's "near-immediate".

the sidekick uses a sprag clutch as part of the system to enable the pawl lifter, but only after a short delay for the sprag clutch to engage plus another delay for the pawl lifter to force the pawls up.
  • 9 1
 The onyx hub would maximize pedal kickback, this design intends to limit it.
  • 6 2
 @brookscurran: maximizes theoretical occurrence, but actually engages rather softly, so sometimes it's not as bad as the possiblity of a pawl engaging at 0degrees
  • 3 1
 @brookscurran: Onyx hubs have a little squish at the engagement point. Some folks notice this a lot, others dont. It's not bad, just mushy feeling compared to a locked in pawl on a drive ring.

I haven't spent a ton of time on them to comment on how that relates to kickback.
  • 2 0
 Could we have the link to the patent please?
  • 1 0
 Seb stott hasnt raced 2015-17 norco aurum. Tell me kickback doesnt hinder. Blows your feet off truely.
  • 2 0
 Let’s concentrate on making a reliable hub first…
  • 1 2
 All we need is a clutch like mechanism to engage and disengage the drivetrain. Turn it on and off without a second thought. Bike suspension works so much better without the chain.
  • 3 1
 E13. It all went downhill after the SRS guide.
  • 3 1
 Great work by Ethirteen. I love this kind of stuff.
  • 1 1
 His strikes me as a much more elegant engineer solution v ochain and certainly much lighter making it potentially useful on a much wider style of bikes
  • 1 0
 What happens when the wheel rolls backwards like when I am removing it from a bike stand parking spot in my garage?
  • 1 0
 headline typo (reveals not revels)
  • 8 0
 I'm sure they're excited about it.
  • 1 0
 How are the pawls held inwards?
  • 1 0
 I need this for my ti hardtail - as long as it comes in pretty colors.
  • 1 0
 Impressive stuff, I hope this works and has appropriate durability.
  • 1 0
 I did not see anything relating to hub spacing? Boost and SuperBoost?
  • 1 1
 bro will do anything but make a good simple hub with more engagement angle (DT's 18...)
  • 1 0
 Engagement minus enragement
  • 1 0
 Clever girl…
  • 2 4
 BFD. Nothing to see, move on.
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