I used Hubsmith hubs for the first half of this year on a set of Chinese tubulars I had made up.
The front hub is still running OK; definitely cheap crap, but has not snapped, is light, and looks OK from a distance.
Rear hub was total rubbish, however. Badly machined parts, fitting together badly. Shockingly rough bearings, no finesse to the product, etc. Really just a standard low end piece of Chinese rubbish.
This was replaced with a newer carbon bodied Chinese hub (well, what appeared to be cheap aluminium with a veneer of carbon over it).
This second hub was equally as rubbish, but this time the problem was in the ratchet which slipped, and a mysterious creaking.
I have since replaced these hubs with proper high end stuff.
For those on a budget, these things 'work'. For those who want something in any way nice, I would avoid like the plague. Simply not good. They don't not work, but they are really crappy and depressingly badly made and you can feel it.
To give a quieter freehub (and with less drag), I removed one of the two "teams" of 3 pawls. This does not make for a weaker freehub, only doubles the engagement angle, so it is now on par with Shimano and standard hubs. Added bonus: I have a complete set of spare pawls in reserve
I would definitely buy Bitex hubs again, but not the RAR9 rear (aka. "EDhub"), as I believe the flanges are thinner (= too thin) - and then it has slightly smaller bearing capacity as mentioned earlier in this thread.
Just one thing: ALWAYS take a new Bitex hub apart to check for small metal shavings in either freehub, or pressing against the bearings! The hubs are good as such, but apparently Bitex cut too many corners when cleaning and assembling, so many come with debris or small metal shavings hidden inside. Both my front and rear hub had this. If this is removed before they are used, it will not do any damage, but otherwise the freehub and/or bearings can be ruined very quickly..
I need to replace all of the bearings now. What size and quantity bearings do I need for the rear EdHubs, and what size and quantity bearings do I need for the front EdHub? I searched, but I couldn't find a definitive answer.
Also, Enduro Bearing seem like the way to go, which steel Enduros should I order for the EdHubs to get the best performance?
Other than all of that, the EdHubs have a very high-quality and expensive look to them when you take them apart. Surprising.
Pawls (I believe there's 6 side by side sets).
Are there any side effects like slower engagement or the pawls breaking or the freewheel
Slipping from too much torque from too few pawls?
Finally, how do you remove the pawls?
Thanks for your time and info.
Personnally, I would not change the actual configuration of these pawls. They works 3 by 3, if you want to remove somes, remove a set. But with a set removed, the 3 other will work everytime, when they were working half the time before, so they will surely wear quicker. Also the engagement will be half the speed of before.
I would not remove any pawls after seeing what happens to the rider when the pawls break. It can be pretty ugly.
I often remove the BHS/Bitex freehubs and re-lube. Krytox is slippery and expensive. Or you can use decent moly grease. That's thicker and will make a quieter ratchet.
The bearing size is printed on the bearing seal. BHS's web site shows the bearing sizes. Their UL190 is the same as the Edhub.
Edhub bearing, front #688*4 rear #6802*4 USA enduro bearing.
Shipping cost 32US$ to USA
Thought other people might find this helpful.
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