by Ben Haworth
November 3, 2009
Shaggy's been rollin' on a phat pair.
Chub single speed disc hubs
Price: Disc front £124.99 (comes in 15mm and 20mm too). Singlespeed disc rear £169.99
From: Jungle 01423 780088 www.jungleproducts.co.uk
Tested: Four months
When first picking up a Chub hub, the first thing you notice is the weight. Although they aren’t the lightest hubs, their size tricks you in to expecting them to weigh a lot more. I guess they are among the least dense hubs you can buy (160g front, 292g rear). This is down to the construction: large diameter aluminium flanges are held together with a bonded carbon fibre body. The idea is that the high flanges help build a stiffer wheel while the high-grade materials keep the weight down. The finish was very impressive and the hubs are lovely and tactile and people would play with them like they were some sort of toy. A few people took exception to the stickers but I think they look the part and when they became part of a wheel nobody seemed to notice any more. The bearings were impressively smooth: like a track hub. I feared this would be due to seals that sacrifice protection for low friction.
Thankfully this proved not to be the case. The rear hub takes a threaded BMX style sprocket. While this is fine if you aren’t much of a fettler, I would have expected to see a short cassette body at this price. I find it handy as sometimes I need to tweak chain line and it also makes changing ratios easier. Both hubs take six-bolt rotors. The front hub takes a standard quick release while the rear uses M10 bolts.
I opted to build the hubs in to a light but durable set of trail riding wheels. I used Bontrager Duster rims and DT double butted spokes. The build was relatively straightforward; the spokes had to be bent a fair degree to get through the smaller flanges and the angle of the nipples in the rear rim gave me a degree of concern. However neither of these factors has resulted in any observable negative effects on the wheels.
The first outing was rather disappointing. On tightening one of the hollow titanium bolts on the rear hub it sheared. Things didn’t bode well, but The Hive quickly established that these were non-production bolts, presumably a downside of Chipps pinching them from a display case in their office… With the new solid titanium bolts in place I have had no issues.
Overall: After these initial concerns I’ve been impressed with the hubs. The wheels, as promised, built up nice and stiff and have lasted well through several months of abuse. The stiffness, of the rear wheel in particular, has noticeably improved power transfer and control. In fact it made me realise how much some of my wheels do flex in use. The bearings are still smooth even though I’ve not cared for them at all. I fully expect them to handle the winter without a problem. All in the performance has been faultless. I’m impressed.
John ‘Shaggy’ Ross