Hub Engagement is one of the biggest and most noticeable parts of riding a bike. Many higher end wheels feature a higher engagement rate for a nice, quick grab at the wheel to get you moving quicker. A good customer of ours, Chris Alleaume, upgraded his Industry Nine Enduro S wheels with the Industry Nine 6 Pawl freehub body. Chris breaks down the differences between the two designs. Check it out!
I recently purchased Industry Nine’s Enduro S Wheelset which came standard with 3 Pawl driver body. What’s a pawl, you say? Think of them as little spring loaded spines inside the hub, equally spaced around the shaft assembly which click as they slide off the teeth rapidly when you freewheel. This contributes to that typical Industry Nine freewheel sound. It’s a thing of beauty in my opinion. Then, when you engage the crank to pedal, the force of the rotation is now the opposite of freewheeling, and the little spines bite into the teeth in the assembly and provide the drive to propel you forward.
Now, when you look at the pawls and their motion, they engage at a certain point on the teeth within the assembly. There are 60 points of contact in the driver, and as the pawl set engages, there’s a potential for 6 degrees of movement in the pedal stroke before engagement with the 3 pawl design. What does this mean? Well, let’s say you‘re riding a slow, very technical features. While you freewheel for balance, you might stroke forward and backward on the cranks and expect engagement immediately, but that little bit of crank rotation before the bite is the 6 degrees of rotation I’m talking about.
Now, the Industry Nine 6 Pawl freehub body halves that movement range by a tooth offset. This means that 3 of the pawls click into the base of a tooth as they slide off, and the other 3 are on the top of the tooth, as they alternate. Leaving you with 120 points of engagement. This means that for every pawl on the lip of a tooth, there is another pawl ready to be engaged at the base of the tooth. It means that you now have a far quicker bite point on your crank rotation between free and engaged motion.
So the 3 pawl design features 6 degrees of engagement, and the 6 pawl design features 3 degrees of engagement. Note the difference below between the 3 and 6 pawl variants.
The hub is not as loud as the Hope hub but also doesn’t have that “swarm of bees” buzz like the Chris King hubs tend to. I love the sound my hub makes – it’s just incredible, and the massively fast crank engagement makes it feel like a precision machine. Upgrading is simple, and if you’re having your wheels built by the pros at WorldWideCyclery, it’s a good time to get it done right then.
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