Evolution Of Mavic Bike Hubs

Evolution Of Mavic Bike Hubs


– Okay, so if I just hold this wheel up, I’m sure that many of you will be able to observe the fact it’s a Mavic wheel. Mavic, of course, is a name
that’s synonymous with cycling. Its iconic black and yellow branding has been everywhere throughout the sport. Now although, these
days, Mavic actually make excellent cycling shoes,
helmets, and even pedals. What they really earned their fame for is being one of the longest standing wheel manufacturers in cycling. Now, over the years, Mavic
has engineered and pioneered some amazing technology on
their wheels and their rims, including SUP technology,
ceramic coated rims, and of course, the world
famous UST Tubeless system. Now, SUP rims really were a game changer as far as rim technology goes. Now traditionally, rims
are pinned together and occasionally they’ll
be welded together, and you’d be left with a
wheel that’s perfectly good all the way around except for the joint. Now you could have a bit of hop in there, could have a bit of side to side. Either way, it didn’t feel very good if you’re braking with a
rim brake back in the day or if you’re a mechanic having to lace those wheels up int he first place. Now, SUP technology
changed that completely by welding the rim together and
then machining that weld down, leaving a perfectly
smooth and precise rim. Now, this was fantastic
if you had rim brakes. This particular rim is the 321, so this is one of the early down hole rims that’s designed for disc brakes. There’s also the 521, which
was the rim brake version, which had a slightly deeper side wall, and these were SUP technology rims. Now, it had an absolutely
perfect braking surface and they were renowned
as being excellent rims to lace up, because they were
so straight to start with. Now, although this particular
rim doesn’t have it, they had a 121 rim which
had ceramic coating on it Now, the ceramic coating
in those days was amazing for two purposes, in
particular on mountain bikes. Now the first one was the fact that it was quite a coarse coating, so actually adhere to brake
pads really, really well and really, basically it gave
you extreme braking power. Well, as extreme as you can get with cantilevers and V
brakes in those earlier days, but the other thing it
also did was give a surface onto the outside of the
rim, it would resist wear. Now, if you think a
braking surface on a rim, by today’s standards, sounds a bit mad. You’re actually wearing out the structure of the rim as you’re braking,
so to actually enhance that and basically make it a
stronger rim in the first place, this is what the ceramic coating did. And it was absolutely fantastic, although it was quite expensive. Now of course there is the
UST technology as well. UST stands for universal
standard tubeless. Now, this was something that
Mavic, being a French company, teamed up with Hutchinson and Michelin, also French companies, but
specializing in rubber, and they teamed up together to make a universal tubeless standard. And this is absolutely
crucial at the time, because there wasn’t
really anything like it and it needed a wheel manufacturer to work in conjunction with a
tire manufacturer to do this. So not only did they design and pioneer the valve core system
for inflating the rim, they got the rim bed system
where it’s a sealed rim bed, so there’s no way of air
getting through to it or spoke nipples penetrate that. And of course, the hook technology for getting that tire on
there in the first place. Now, the reason for working directly with Hutchinson and Michelin was the fact that they could develop tires to work specifically with rims like this, and those tires obviously had to be able to hold an air pressure in there regardless of the sealant
that was going into there to create a completely tubeless system. Now, UST, you’ve seen
tubeless going everywhere, but this is where it started, and I think it’s one of
the most important things that any cycling company has done, but it’s not just rims that Mavic have been refining all these years. They’ve actually been
making hubs since 1975. Being a hub manufacturer
and a rim manufacturer, it wasn’t gonna take them too long before they started wheeling out what they call the global system, so complete and optimized wheel packages. That first started in 1994 with
the Cosmic range of wheels. That’s the road wheels, and
then followed later in 1996 with the Crossmax series of wheels. Of course, this is one of the
later sets of Crossmax wheels. Today though, we’re actually
just gonna be looking at hubs, because it’s such an
important part of the wheel. So let’s go back to the very
beginning, in fact to 1975, where the Mavic 500 hubs
came onto the scene. Now, they might look quite
pretty simple to you, but actually, these
hubs worked a lot better than many hubs, often a
decade later than these. Now, in this sort of
era, these sort of hubs tended to be cup and cone design. Now, one of the problems
with cup and cone bearings is that if you over-tighten them, you strain the bearing there, you can pit the bearing surfaces. If you ride them loose, it does the same, and of course, will
have additional friction if you ride them loose and the
bearing surfaces get damaged or if you ride them
tight, then the same thing happens when they get pitted,
you get bumpy bearing surface. Now, another downside of the traditional cup and cone bearing
system is that they would loosen slightly as you rode. Now, this, depending on how often you rode and the sort of surfaces you rode on, this could be a ride or
it could be several rides. Now, cup and cone
bearings worked very well provided you liked to maintain your bike. Now, it’s not something
that everyone likes to do and it’s not something that
everyone is good at doing, and Mavic quickly identified this. So actually, in these particular hubs, even from 1975, they had
sealed radial bearings in them. Now, something that’s especially good about Mavic using the
sealed radial bearings are that one of the weaknesses
of traditional cup and cones are they put a slight angular force onto the bearings as you preloaded them, which actually could prematurely
wear out those bearings. The sealed radial bearings
don’t actually have that problem and they’re immensely smooth, really, really quite ahead
of their time, actually. But something else you’re
gonna notice about this is how different it is to
a modern mountain bike hub. If I just take this one
of a D Max wheel here, look at the difference. Not just talking about the
size, but the layout of the hub. You see, this one has a
screw on star fitting here, whereas this one has a much more familiar sort of mono-star pattern
where the cassette would slide on and screw
onto the end there. Now, the screw on system, there wasn’t any moving paITS in the hub. The hub simply had bearings and seals, an axle, no problem at all. The bearings, however, were
sat directly under the flanges. There wasn’t a bearing, an
outboard one at the end here, so the hub could suffer from strain there. And also, if there was flex,
that can create friction on the bearing in a hub, which of course, will wear it out prematurely,
cause additional friction. None of that stuff is any good. Now, unlike the traditional
cassettes you see these days, they literally slide onto the hub and are held on with a lock
ring or in the sham case, they push on and screw on. These ones are a little bit different. They had a set proof free wheel on it. In fact, just gonna show you. They have a set proof free wheel system, and these things weighed a ton compared to what you see nowadays, because they’ve got bearings
and pulls inside here. So, this would screw onto the hub itself, it’s threaded on the inside
and it’s threaded there. Now, these things worked quite well, but they were prone to problems. It had quite a lot of friction in them. Now, due to the amount of stuff there is going on in the inside of here, you’re very restricted in how small the smallest sprocket you can go for. So, to compensate for
that, the bikes using these tended to have much bigger
chain rings up front to give you the big gear range. Of course, when it comes
to mountain biking, you want a smaller chain
ring for the ground clearance and you want the smaller small gear and the bigger big gear out back. Now, these are quite limiting in the way that it could be designed, and of course, there’s flaws in the hub system as well, because it wasn’t supported as well. There was an uncommon, and these days, no matter what brand you’re running, to see these sort of
hubs, the axle’s bending and sometimes breaking due
to the additional strain that mountain biking would put to them. These particular ones are the road hubs, but they did do a mountain
bike version of them. And I just wanna show you the difference between the fitting on
an old style screw on, what they called a block,
and a new star cassette where it slides on. So as I’ve just explained,
you have the simple screw on system that is all in one. When it wears out, you replace it. And that also has the pulls inside there. Now, with the system you’re
far more familiar with, you have a cassette, which
is often in multiple pieces and it simply slides on. We’ll just find the biggest
slot here and it’s this one. Simply slide on, all the pieces slide on, and then they’re held onto
the end with a lock ring. It’s a nice simple system. The mechanism is actually
on the inside here. This part of the hub can be removed. There’ll be two bearings in here and there’ll be bearing
supporting the axle. So the whole system
gives much more support. It’s a much better system,
especially for mountain biking, but of course, road bikes
also use this system now. Now, the cassette hub,
there’s so much of it that’s just so much better. There’s four bearings
in there, in general, so much more support,
a lot more durability, they’re better sealed,
and much, much stronger. So, when it came to designing
cassette star hubs like these, Mavic were pretty radical,
even from the off, and they had a lot of
technology in their hubs that other people hadn’t
even considered using. Now, this particular
hub, you can look here, you can see the driveside flange is a lot bigger than the
non-driveside flange, and the reason for that is
it can accept shorter spokes, which means it’s stronger and stiffer. Now, they’re also geared up
for different lacing patterns. Now, Mavic used their own
trademark Zicral spokes, which was their own trademarked alloy. Now, they were huge fat spokes, they’re very light, but also very strong. One of the benefits of using their spokes, especially in the radial pattern as seen on this particular hub, was that it could get the spoke line really close to the
cassette without fouling it. And of course, the wider the
bracing angle is, of course, means for a stronger and
more tensioned wheel. On the non-driveside, they
tended to use two cross. So, if I just show you this
on a prebuilt wheel here, so this is Crossmax Enduro,
and as you can see here, on the driveside it’s got a bigger flange with the radial spokes and
then, on the non-driveside, slightly different, two
cross spokes on here. Now, as well as having
fairly radical spokes options with their own brand spokes there, and of course doing two
cross and radial patterns, it was the number of spokes
that freaked people out, too. Now, this particular wheel is a rear wheel and it has only 20 spokes on it. You think, a normal
spoked mountain bike wheel back in those days would have
had 32 or even 36 spokes, which could be stainless steel
as well, these were alloy. So really, really advanced stuff there. Now, there’s a whole bunch of
other things that they had. Where other hub
manufacturers were offering quick release or bolt through
or 20 mil or this or that, Mavic were very quick
to have adaptive systems that you could change
to suit 135’s or 142’s and everything else, so it’s
a really adaptable system, which of course, is much
better for the end user. Now also, Mavic used
to have sealed bearings in all of their hubs, so you had no issues with that sort of stuff in there and they never suffered
because they’re radial bearings from having any angular load to them like you could get in some of
those cup and cones systems. Now, in the early days, their hubs, you would adjust the preload on them, but they learned that once
that worked excellently, it could be over adjusted, you
could tighten them too much. Likewise, they could be
ridden when they were loose, so the later hubs came with what’s called the Curas Auto Preload System. Now, this system’s
fantastic, because it means the bearing is at the
optimum preload at all times, so you’re not gonna wear the bearing through anything other
than just old age really. It’s a really, really good system. Now, as far as the
internals of the hubs go, Mavic have always had their ITS system, which is instant transfer system. Now, in the past, they’ve
had two pull systems, but I wanna show you the ITS 4, which is the most recent
incarnation of that, and that’s as featured inside
this particular hub here. Now, it’s a very simple
and effective system where you have four pulls on springs here. Now they’re staggered, so that means there’s always two engaged at every time. It’s not a case of none engaged and then all engaged as they spring around. And simply put, these just
engage into a ratchet. This on the inside of the hub, that is simply a seal there
to keep all the grime out. It’s a very simple and effective system, however, this system as excellent as it is does need maintenance on it. Because of the fact that
the pulls are on springs, over time, those springs
do need replacing, because they can get a bit baggy and not actually do their
job as well as they should do with pushing the spring
into the ratchet there. And of course, if you
were to put thick grease or something in there, they could slip, but generally, it’s a
really, really good system. And this is the most
refined version of that with those staggered pulls. So, I’m just gonna pull
this hub apart here so you can see the inside. I loosened this earlier,
it’s not normally this loose. Just so you can see, take the end cap off, and then just give a gentle pull. You can see it’s the same as this one and then, if I just release it carefully, you can see it’s the same again and you can see on the inside here where those pulls sit into that ratchet and allow it to free
will or engage that hub. It’s a pretty good system. It’s always worked really effectively, but that, with the two always engaged, it’s far more reliable
than earlier systems. The key for any sort of
intricate machinery like this is the fact that it has to be cleaned and well lubricated in order
to work reliably all the time. Of course, we’re not all like that. And as Mavic knew from the hub days when they started using cartridge bearings instead of using cup and cone bearings, people don’t wanna be maintaining
their bikes all the time. So as good as the ITS 4 system is, and it still does work very well, Mavic were interested in
developing a new system that didn’t have to rely on
people looking after it as much. Now as we know, Mavic are masters
at refining their products throughout their entire range and this is the latest version of their hub. So, on the inside of this
hub, a little bit different from the old style ITS 4
System is the brand new ID360. ID stands for instant
drive and this is all new. Now, Mavic have actually been
developing the ID360 system since 2013 and it’s been used on our skinny wheeled road
bike framed bikes since 2016 and now it’s finally been adapted and ready for mountain bike use. Unlike the DT system, which has the two ratchets and twin springs, Mavic’s system just has a single spring, so let’s have a look at it. Okay, so this is the free hub body. Listen to this.
(clicking) Almost instant engagement, 40
points of engagement on this and there’s just nine
degrees between them. That’s such a fast pickup. Now, I’m just gonna
release the spring on this so you can see how this
works on the inside here. And I’ll take this apart,
so you have the part that sits into the hub with one set of the ratchet rings on it. You have the other ratchet
ring that rotates against it, and you have the spring that sits on the inside of the free hub body. It’s that simple. And I’m just gonna show you
this on the inside of the hub, just like I did on the other one. Just gonna pull this end plug off and literally pull this apart. There we go, there’s the
spring, there’s the ratchet, and there’s the other one on
the inside of the hub there. Very simple system. As you can see, the ratchet
is pushed away from the hub allowing it to free wheel and when you go the other way, it engages. Now, I’ve also got this
really cool cut away hub here, so you can see the axle,
you can see the bearings. If you look closely, you
can see these ratchets, and as I rotate this,
you’ll see it engaging with that single spring, just
making it come into use there. Very cool. Okay so let’s look at the
fundamentals of this ID360 system. So, of course there’s
40 points of engagement. It’s positive engagement,
it’s basically always ready to be engaged, no chance
of slippage there. There’s nine degrees of rotation
between the engagements, which is tiny, however,
it’s not too small. So the bearings on the inside, obviously they’re premium bearings and they don’t have any angular sort of load concerned to them. And also, note how outboard
those bearings are. Of course, because
they’re ratchet mechanism, they intertwined slightly
on the inside here. The outboard one here is very, very close to the outside here and again, on the actual free hub
part of the body there. You might also notice that this
system has an oversized hub. Now, most people tend to have a 15 millimeter axle in their hubs, but Mavic with the ID360 system
have a 17 millimeter axle. Now, two millimeters might
not sound a lot to you, but it makes a significant difference, and always got a thing is with
all of those twisting forces that go into bikes, especially today with the way they’re ridden,
I’m talking Enduro bikes, trail bikes, jump bikes, downhill
bikes, all of that stuff, when you’re throwing
those bikes into turns, everything is twisting and
as soon as there’s twisting or flex in something like a wheel axle, that’s gonna create a load on bearings and other paITS that is not good. Now, this system has been designed to cope with all of the
stresses of modern day bikes. And two of the particular things that are included in that are e-bikes. Of course, they put a
significant amount of strain or torque through a radial axle like this. This axle laughs at it,
no problem with that. Also, another thing to bring
up is the enormous 51 tooth, teeth sprockets you get on
some rare cassettes these days. Now, they put significant
sort of load into a hub, and again, with this system
combined with that ratchet, it is no problem at all. You’re never gonna slip and
that axle can handle the strain. Now, what I can feel here
that you’re gonna have to just listen to is a really,
really nice crispness. Now, there’s actually 50
percent more torsion rigidity in this system than the
conventional ITS 4 pull based system so you’ve only gotta think how efficient that’s gonna be under power. Now also, there’s the noise thing to take into consideration. Obviously, with it outside of the hub, that is extremely loud
and extremely positive. You know that that is in, but
with the cut away system here, it’s far more muted, and then
with the actual hub itself, when it’s completely sealed in, it’s actually quite discreet. It’s definitely crisp
enough to know you’re in the whole time, but it’s not
too distracting on the ride. I actually really like the
fact it’s not super loud. I’ve been quite liking the
quiet bike thing of late and we’re starting to
see it more and more. Of course, clutch to radius and stuff, it’s all about making your
bike as quiet as possible. And that’s one of the things that’s gonna start reducing noise, but obviously, there’s no chance of slipping or anything. It’s a really, really
good, positive system. There’s also a severe
lack of friction in this. Normally, the only friction you would feel on this sort of star system would be the actual ratchet
itself and then the seal, but the seal is a non-contact seal, so you don’t feel that anyway
and the only thing you feel is literally the ratchet against itself, which I can tell you is very reassuring. Now, that about summarizes the hub, but also, they’re about 40 grams lighter, so not only does it outperform their old and more conventional ITS 4 system, but it is a slight bit lighter. Now, something else I just
found out about these, obviously Mavic is a French company, they hail from Annesse
in the French Alps there, and actually make their hubs
in Europe, which is quite nice. Now, it still looks like
a modern wheel to me and I know how well these ride, ’cause this is actually
one of my personal wheels from another bike, but
I find it quite amazing that Mavic in particular,
the way they like to refine their products through time. This is still great, up
to date and still works, but the latest one, if I just
show you the XA35 Carbine, the pro-wheel, this is the latest one, and this of course, has got
that ID360 hub on there, it’s got a two cross design
on both sides, 24 spokes, it’s got the carbon rims on here, which is set for anything
from 2.5 up to 3.2 inch tires, nice stable support,
it’s UST as you’d expect. As with the newer wheels
from Mavic, it’s part of the WTS system, so it’s the wheel tire system, so the whole lot with tires involved in the formula there, too. I think it’s really
impressive the fact that they don’t just sit on the fact that their stuff is excellent and works. They’re always looking to
refine and make stuff better, the longevity of stuff. Now, something I haven’t mentioned yet, but I really, really like
about this new ID360 system is that this is gonna appear
on all Mavic wheels soon. So it’s already out there in the wild on some of their wheels, but
I think the point I wanna make is that on some manufacturer’s wheels, you’ll see the pull system
be continued to used on maybe slightly more budget wheels and they’ll use the ratchet system on the slightly more expensive wheels, whereas I love the the fact that Mavic, they tightly believe
in where they’re going with the ratchet system and
that’s gonna be on all wheels. So whether you’re riding
a 200 dollar set of wheels or a 2000 dollar set of wheels, you’re gonna get the same
performance, the same longevity, and the same technology in there. So there you go, that was
a little story about Mavic, the French wheel manufacturer. I hope you liked the little story there. As always, click on the round globe to subscribe to GMBN Tech. We love having you guys around. And if you give this video a thumbs up, which I hope you will, don’t forget to hit the bell feature as well, because it’ll give you
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