Written by Jesse Stevens
Monday, 17 April 2006 00:00
Product Reviews -
Bikeman's Product Testing
I’ve been riding a White Industries Eccentric rear hub and disc adapter for 3 months and I have heard those statements more times than I care to remember. If you buy one of these beauties you’d better learn exactly what it does, because you’re going to get 20 questions every time you get on your bike. In all seriousness this is a piece of equipment that solves a problem that some of us on the fringe of mountain biking have experienced for a couple of years. How can I make my old bike a single speed without a goofy looking chain tensioner?
First the technical explanation; an eccentric rear hub works much the same way as an eccentric bottom bracket. Your single speed free hub body rotates in a circular motion around the central axis. Consider a clock; your chain will be loosest in the 3 o’clock position and tightest in the 9 o’clock position. This provides surprising versatility in chain tension and adjustment, more than you should need in months and months of riding. For instance I have yet to change my chain length in 3 months of very hard riding. To compensate for the disc brake adjustment, White Industries has produced an eccentric disc mount to assure that you can put your brake caliper in the same position as your rotating hub (because the disc rotor rotates on the same axis as the free wheel). Technically this hub works amazingly well and is everything you would expect from a White Industries hub, smooth and reliable. Once you get it set up.
I’m done praising the technical prowess of the hub, its time to take a trip to the real world. I have built of these into a wheel and done the setup, and I can tell you that even if you know exactly what you’re doing it can be very frustrating. First you have to watch your dropouts and determine whether you can rotate it upward or downward as some frames will not allow you to rotate up. Second, when putting the screws into the eccentric disc adapter if you run them in too far they will scar the surface of the rotating wheels and you’ll have to remove them and grind them smooth before they will rotate. And last but not least getting the disc caliper position and the hub position to match is a very tedious process that may need to be repeated every time you tension your chain.
Once you get past the initial setup everything works amazingly well. That is of course unless you get a flat while your riding. I would consider this to be the biggest downfall of the system. To keep consistent tension your really must use the bolts that accompany your hub and this makes reattaching the wheel and tensioning the chain properly difficult out on the trail. You have to hold your bike still while pulling on the rear wheel and tightening the bolts all while making sure your brake isn’t rubbing. Its not exactly a race friendly system (and the whole thing is heavy), but the bottom line is that if you’re riding tubeless and get few flats anyway the White Industries Eccentric Rear Hub and Disc adapter works amazingly well and does away with a chain tensioner. However my recommendation is to buy a Single speed with horizontal dropouts or even better a Quality Eccentric bottom bracket. (EBB comparison to follow).Jesse StevensRated:
Buy / Details
|White Industries Eric's Eccentric ENO Disc Hub: Disc brake compatible, 135mm Mountain Spacing, threaded for a freewheel, solid aluminum axle with eccentric stainless steel axle ends and hardware, 6902-2rs bearings, weighing 276 grams without bolt assembly. The Eric's Eccentric Disc ENO accepts ISO compatible disc brakes and is made... |