Nice mag, I was looking into purchasing an 8 tooth rear hub, but people that I know say that this design is defective because the bearings are much smaller and can break much easier. I don t believe them but if there are any defects what are they? Before hand thank you guys this information will be very helpful!!!
A: Fabian, you are smart to look into things like this before you drop a hefty chunk of change on a part. Here are the facts, the bearings in a one-piece micro driver (9-11T) are smaller then those in regular driver (splined for 13 and larger cogs), but truth be told, the bearings are rarely the problem at hand, if you have a quality hub. We have tested countless hubs and destroyed plenty of them, and the bearings are yet to be the overwhelming reason why. This is because the bearings don’t really change size, even if the tooth count does once you get into Micro or Nano drivers. The problems usually come in the form of the pawl system or the tooth count on the driver. While you will hear mixed reviews, Profile’s pawl system has always worked well for us and never lost positive engagement because all the pawls act individually from each other, so even if one fails, three more are there to pick up the slack, where as other brands may have only one retaining clip for all the pawls, meaning if it fails, they all fail. This is why it’s important to go with a reputable hub first and foremost, like Odyssey, Madera, Proper or something of the like. As for tooth count, this will be the largest of your problems because the smaller you go, the more likely you are to break a chain. Nano or Micro drivers require the chain to make a tighter turn and don’t offer as much tooth support when doing so. The solution is to find a balance between how much you pedal and how much you pump around when you ride. If you pedal a lot, from spot to spot or at the trails, then you may want to go with something safer, like a 30/11, where as if you pump parks or tend to session a few close street spots most often, then you can easily get away with a Nano drive gearing like a 23/8.