No noise, no lag, no drag…
“Like a super-car– hit the gas and you’re off.”
Like straight pipes on motorbikes, loud freehubs on bikes are polarising. On the one hand is the
look at meeee! advance warning crowd; on the other those who want an undiluted outdoor experience. But both both camps can appreciate durability and quick engagement in technical or dicey situations.
Perhaps in reaction to the recent trend toward noisy freehubs, we are seeing a resurgence in the idea of roller clutch hubs. “Quiet as a church mouse,” the hubs use a set of rollers (not unlike those in SRAM’s Type 2 derailleurs) to transfer power without pawls or the clicks those bring. Efneo’s Active Hub is the freshest of this new crop.
Because its rollers spin with the outer engagement ring, Efneo claim that their hubs coast without the friction inherent in pawl or lesser roller clutch designs. The claimed sub-one-degree takeup is as close to instant as one is likely to find. Because the rollers aren’t continuously running against their engagement ring, Efneo’s mechanism is also said to be much more resistant to wear and degradation than other silent hubs on the market.
How it works
For years the industry has been seeking a way to use another type of freewheel mechanism – the so called “silent hub” – using a concept of a roller freewheel.
This kind of hub has two major features – it engages immediately and does not make any noise – unlike all pawl and ratchet freewheels with their specific bee-like sound and inefficient rotation of the freewheel before it engages and applies power to the wheel.
All these attempts have failed for one reason – after a very short time the freewheel begins to slide and to date, the only way to prevent this was to make the freewheel extremely heavy. Until now, it is a congenital weakness of all other known roller freewheels – a much higher weight to durability factor than a pawl-and-ratchet mechanism. The weakness comes from the construc-tion in which the rollers are grinding all the time that the cyclist is not pedaling.
After a relatively short time they are worn-out and do not engage effectively when a cyclist pushes hard on his pedals. They “slide”. They all work perfectly when they are brand new from the factory but get “old” and weak very quickly.
Efneo freewheel works differently when not pedaling. The rollers are not grinding at all so the rollers do not wear out nearly as quickly as other roller freewheels did. And since the rollers are not grinding, they do not have to be made so heavy in order to continue to function properly for a very long time. Thus, efneo has invented a new freewheel that is much more efficient than the 19th century pawl-and-ratchet system and is just as durable and lightweight as the pawl-and-ratchet freewheels with the added benefit by using rollers that do not grind when not pedaling, eliminating that noisy, annoying ratcheting sound.