The Hive Chub Hub Review

Nov 2, 2009 at 17:09
by Tyler Maine  

Source: Reece Wallace

The first time I saw a Chub Hub I was baffled. I had never seen a hub so big! After seeing Andrew Taylor and Phil Sundbaum both shredding on them, I was curious to know more and really stoked when I was given the opportunity to review a set of Chub Hubs. Chub Hubs are designed and manufactured by a group called The Hive. The Hive consists of five main dedicated members whose goal is to improve and innovate cycling technology by means of “innovative technical features [and] superb engineering”.

Details inside,


How it works:
To understand why The Hive has created such monstrous hubs, one must understand the basic concepts. A larger hub means larger flange sizes; therefore, larger flange sizes create a need for shorter spoke lengths and in theory a stronger, stiffer, and more responsive wheel. The Hive then saw this as a challenge – create a strong hub while keeping the weight down. The Hive released some basic concepts which are summarized below:

Oversized shells really do matter - higher efficiency between hub, spokes, and rim when pedaling. Also, decreases braking loads and braking fatigue on the entire wheel. In regards to the rear Chub hub, the driving torque is distributed 55% on the drive side and 45% on the non-drive side, which is remarkable when compared to a traditional hub which is 95% on the drive side and 5% on the non-drive side. The Hive has created a way to reduce wheel fatigue and stress.


Larger flanges mean decreased spoke stress and less hub wind up – a shorter spoke length generally means a stronger wheel. Furthermore, with shorter spokes there is less hesitation between the hub flanges and the rim eyelets – allowing for a wheel to accelerate faster with higher efficiency.

This being said, it is extremely difficult and almost next to impossible to judge whether or not the wheel accelerates faster when compared to a traditional hub under normal riding conditions. The rear Chub Dirt Jump Hub is designed for riders who are not looking to pedal that much anyways. Dirt jumpers and freeriders are not too worried about pedal wind up and fractions of seconds when cruising through their trails. This feature/theory is almost a marketing tool in respect to dirt jumping.

Bigger flanges mean better handling – The Hive claims that having ‘chubby’ flanges creates a laterally stiffer wheel which translates into better handling. I have really noticed this when I am shredding a berm or under really high speeds at the jumps. The hubs seem to track better and the rider feels more confident in their bike and ability to perform. I have also noticed a large difference when spinning off lips or drops, there is almost no flex in the wheels and allows for a better feel off the stunt.



Big axles are tough – On the dirt jump rear Chub hub, a machined 15mm aluminum axle (available in steel as well) is used which includes 8mm female hex bolts. According to The Hive, a stiffer axle reduces frame flex and increases pedaling efficiency. I have really noticed a difference in how stiff my rear end has become since running the Chub hub. However, the only problem is that if your wheel slides or you need to take it off, no one ever carries around an 8mm Allen key – which can prove to be a large problem. I think the large axles might be a bit overkill for a dirt jump bike.

Hubs:


The front hub is the 15/20 Thru. This hub incorporates unique features like an extremely light UD carbon fiber shell, swappable 15/20mm end caps, and slightly over sized flanges (77.0mm disc side and 59.0mm drive side). I have been extremely impressed in the few months I have rode this hub. The torsion rigidity in the front wheel created by the over sized flanges is unbelievable – not to mention that that appearance is not as hard to get over as the rear hub. The Hive claims to have reduced spoke stress by over 70% and also reduce spoke wind up when braking. The front hub features 6805 deep radial groove bearings which are some of the smoothest bearings on the market, unfortunately, the bearings take an unusually long time to break in (about two months) and they must be ordered online from The Hive. This hub also features light weight 6061 aluminum flanges and a standard ISO six bolt disc mount. The front hub is available in 32 holes and has a total weight of 215 grams.


The rear hub is constructed from the same UD carbon fiber shell and 6061 aluminum flanges. However, the flanges take a HUGE step up on the rear hub and are definitely an attention grabber (whether good or bad) to anyone who sees them! The drive side flange is 101.6mm and the non-drive side is 77.0mm. The hub also features a 1.375 x 24tpi thread-on free wheel and weighs in at 350 grams. Although the hub is extremely light and creates a very rigid wheel, the free wheel design is out dated and causes many problems such as free wheel bounce and riders are limited such that the smallest free wheel allowed is 15 teeth. This generates a problem for those wanting to run micro drive gearing.



The Hive’s Chub hub series is a good response for those tech head riders looking to do everything they can to lighten, stiffen and increase their bike’s efficiency – that is to say if they can get over the unique aesthetics and their friends asking if the hubs are from space!

Pros
Stiff strong wheels
Light weight
Unsurpassed quality
Unique
Hollow hardware
Control

Cons
Huge!
Free wheel instead of cassette driver
Value

Front 15/20mm Thru Hub $192.00 USD
Rear Single Speed Dirt Jump Hub $240.00 USD

Check out www.bythehive.com and www.dtswiss.com for more information and products!

Photos by: Evan Mason and Thomas Barbin

Reece Wallace
-Pinkbike.com and Chromag Bikes

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57 Comments

  • + 9
 not to sure what to think bout these, front looks ok, rear isnt great coz of the freewheel only, if they made a 150 x 12 geared rear i think that would make the most out of the hubs benefits, very chunky these are marmite hubs either you love em or hate em, cant say that i feel the urge to go and buy a set, maybe when they're more devoloped
  • + 6
 I just wanne comeback on this:

"However, the only problem is that if your wheel slides or you need to take it off, no one ever carries around an 8mm Allen key – which can prove to be a large problem".

This is obviously not a large problem and can be solved by one small action you need to take. Buy an 8mm Allen key, put it in your backpack and bring it with you. Are we really this stupid here?!
  • + 1
 Some people don't like to carry around backpacks everywhere they go, and most multitools don't have 8mm attachments. It's not that big of a deal, just thought I would mention it.
  • + 1
 Every single multitool Ive ever owned has had a 6mm allen key with an 8mm head attatchment. Theyre not uncommon at all.
  • + 1
 Park tools
  • + 2
 ...Ive never owned any Park Tool gear either, its rediculously overpriced. Seriously, go into your LBS and I bet 80% of the normal sized, normal priced multitools will have either an 8mm key, or an 8mm attatchment for the 6mm key.
  • + 6
 hhhmmmmm seems a bit lame to develope a nice hub like this.....an then screw an very outdated freewheel on to it!! shurely all the improvements in drive that the flanges produce are gonna be lost by pedalling a crappy freewheel?
  • + 3
 Agreed man! those old units are solid steal.. full of play and all that! not really an upgrade you wanne make on the carbon and space age aloy hubs aye?!:P
  • + 6
 They look great and I'm sure they would last forever, but on the flip side, they're tanks!
  • + 5
 No they are not mackster. Look up your gram count. The front hub weighs the same as most other front hubs. They are in no way heavy. If you don't believe me... well check out the listing of hub weights...

weightweenies.starbike.com/listings/components.php?type=hubs
  • + 3
 hope also use a 15mm axle. also chris king and profile bolts are 8mm i've never heard anyone complain? the largest issue with this hub is the fact you have to use a freewheel. once they've developed this hub with its own drive mechanism it'll hit the market pretty hard if its still lightweight and strong.
  • + 3
 I would still rather ride the "ORIGINAL" big flange hubs: SEISMIC 6"!!! Used by bender to drop the jaw-drop!
  • - 2
 240$$ they need to drop the price at least half
  • + 4
 not as expensive as the Seismics(I believe they were around $600 a set), and also not as expensive as kings...
  • + 5
 people need to realize quality stuff costs money
  • - 1
 yeah but if the quality really offers no benefit. such as these hubs. then who cares?
in fact, a hub that still uses a freewheel would likely be considered not quality?
  • + 2
 just smash on a driver to this hub like the wtp or dmr 6leaf pawl system they're lightweight so will add hardly any weight, about 70g at most but still be a light wheel build and strong then others
  • + 3
 They aren't light at all, that's right "rffr" Comparing to NS Bikes hubs it's (front/rear)200g/290g NS - 215g/350g (Chub). So it's not so good as everyone are thinking.
But shorter spokes also will reduce some weight and then whole wheel can be mayby as light as normal wheel and much more stiff and strong. I think it's a good way to go
  • + 1
 you have to add the weight of a free wheel to that as-well tho remember, i doubt they were weight with freewheels attached, where as hope's ns etc will be weight with driver on due to it being a complete unit
  • + 2
 what freehweel lasts 3 seasons?? mine lasted 3 months at the most and was an acs claw. Whereas my halo djd lasted 2 and a half years and then i sold it. Several freewheels a year add up. Also dont see the problem with 8mm bolts, even if 6 is more common.
  • + 2
 I have a freewheel that has lasted for many years - one of the Shimano ones - tough as nails. I agree that 8mm is just fine - if I am gonna trust the wheel to stay in place, the bigger the better!
  • + 1
 fw's are inexpensive and they're self-contained so they're also much easier to replace than most rear hubs are to service.
and also availability, freewheels are standardized and most shops stock them, but finding random rear hub drive parts can be a pain.
A $20 freewheel can last several seasons, and you can flush them with degreaser and relube when they feel draggy without taking anything apart.

freewheels are also much narrower than a standard hub's freehub body, so the chub's spoke flanges are way more centered which evens-out the spoke angles/torque and allows the larger flange/shorter spoke concept to work better than it would with standard offset flanges.
  • + 3
 dude, no one wants a freewheel.
i want a standard cassette driver on my mtb.
this is just going to make updrading (if you can call it that....) to chub hubs even more expensive and difficult.
you expect people to throw out there expensive cassettes just to swap to this hub and a freewheel?
no.
  • + 2
 Would be fine on a trials bike. Fixed cog in the rear and freewheel on the crank...
  • + 1
 (dabomb) obviously some people do want freewheels and nobody mentioned throwing out their expensive cassettes. if you read the article, the rear hubs are for ss/dj and fixed gear. the main idea is stronger, lighter wheels.
  • + 1
 big flange hubs are the sh!t. I have seismic hubs on my big bike with a 24 in the back and 26 up front and man are they stiff! Only complaints they are a bitch to clean and you can only use a few rims like mag20's... you can crack them from being so stiff.
  • + 1
 Nothing really new here. It was already done 6 years ago....Remember seismic hubs, although I can't remember if the seismic had different size flanges on the rear. Sweet setup though. After riding with a Rohloff for 5 years I can definatly say that large flange short spokes make a strong and very responsive wheel
  • + 2
 i like them, i think that the size of them look real nice and makes your bike look that much stronger and custom i might invest in some of these
  • + 4
 i love the word flange - makes me feel dirty lol
  • + 1
 its about as dirty as people calling a vagina a flange. i hear that one all the time.
  • + 1
 Hope used to make Big Un hubs that had huge flanges. The only pair I saw required 5-bolt rotors, so that may be why they're not around anymore.
  • + 1
 There was also a company called Seismic that produced a hub with either 4" or 6" diameter flanges.
  • + 0
 for goodness sake its just a hub
  • + 1
 set-ups requiring chainline adjustment at the hub instead of cranks might have issues lining things up. like if you're running standard mtb cranks..
  • + 2
 Chris King uses 8mm bolts for their hubs as well, you don't see anyone complaining about those now do ya?
  • + 1
 Nice! The bike shop I work in is gonna be importing these babies this year! Can't wait to get my hands om them!
  • + 1
 shorter spokes for a stronger wheel for dirt jumping? how about 24' wheels aha
  • + 1
 I agree, 24" wheels accelerate a hell of a lot faster than any 'large flange diameter' 26" wheels. I guess it comes down to personal preferance though, not everybody wants 24" wheels, especially on a bike for the trail as well as the jumps.
  • + 1
 I wonder if the SS 29er mob will jump on these to negate their (perceived?) longer spoke hence weaker wheel issue?
  • + 2
 that was my first thought too... i think they would stiffen up big wheels.
not sure what their advantage is for dirt jumping though?

probably be smart to pair them up with one of these:
www.whiteind.com/singlespeedgearing/freewheels.html
  • + 2
 Yeah they are quite big! Super light though.
  • + 1
 king funbolts are 8mm and that size is part of most allan key kits. not a huge deal.
  • + 2
 nice concept but freewheels suck! they need to sort out a cassette/ driver
  • + 2
 Nice !
  • - 1
 SWEET I CAN USE THIS ON MY SICK FIXIE!!!
  • + 1
 they look sweet, good enough for slope, even!
  • + 1
 reece is blastin off into space!
  • + 1
 check out his bike. too bad you can barely tell its a chromag monk nice!
  • + 1
 Ya that is a good point, Reece took the picture last night and asked to swap it in as he'd done all the testing on his last bike prior to signing with Chromag about a week ago and this article was submitted prior to that. It was swapped in less than an hour before going live. But we're trying to get better pics, trying is the key word!
  • + 1
 be nice if they were track hubs, with a fix rear hub.
  • + 2
 A friend of mine has one on his track bike. he seemed to like it. I didnt really understand the concept when I first saw it (he couldnt explain it very well) until I read about them here. Nice write up, by the way!
  • + 2
 They do make a fixed rear hub. Check the website bythehive.com When I googled 'Chub Hub' and came up with The Hive and also a website for fat gay men. I guess they like to ride things too!
  • + 1
 oh ya, they look really nice. I think i still like my black philwood's.
  • + 1
 At first sight, I thought it was a Nexus for dirt/street bikes !
  • + 1
 FATTIES
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