Wheel hubs are simple contraptions when you just look at them quickly. An aluminum construction with holes for your spokes, juiced up with some bearings and inside of it an axle that spins around. Sounds easy, right? But take a closer look and you’ll see that the hubs are actually some of the parts that are most susceptible to the impacts you cause during your shred as well as overall wear and tear.
After all, hubs are the part that keep the wheels attached to the rest of the bike and that all of the vertical and side hits caused by riding are absorbed by them. In addition, the hub is basically like the clutch in a car, with your gears generating as much as 300Nm (nerdy, we know, but that’s faster than a VW Paseratti with a TDI…Dirt It More fans will know what we mean). Every year, new hubs are released by basically all of the brands and they claim that they are better than the ones before. But what can be upgraded and does it really matter to the rider? If we think about it, what are the most wanted specs in a hub (not counting the ra-ta-tat and the futuristic look)? Definitely durability and a non-maintenance approach. Buy, mount, forget…right? So let’s take a look at the new hub series by Dartmoor, called the Reel Pro, a completely new and professional-grade hub by the homegrown Polish brand.
The first impressions shows a fairly raw, angular shape in a atypical petrol finish – making it a solid piece of eye-candy, meaning this jewellery will really make your bike stand out. If you want to go stealth-mode – that’s covered as well, with a sweet matte black. The hubs which we mounted in our bike are the fairly standard 142×12 and 110x20mm. Both hubs come with an extra adapter, meaning 135×12 and 100×15 are also possible. Besides these, Dartmoor also has a “Boost” hub, available in 148×12 for the rear and 110x15mm for the front. For those lucky few that have a high-end SRAM setup – there’s also the rear hub with the XD type (yes, we’re not sure who came up with this name either, all we know is that it looks like a smiley).
The producer says that the most frequent type of wear & tear is the rusting and breaking apart of the bearings, which is a direct result of some of the forces the bike is subjected to, both on and off (high-pressure washing throws dirt into the bearing) the bike. Guess what? With Dartmoor hubs come bearings made by …. (drum roll please)…. Dartmoor. Crazy, right? That’s the logo you’ll find on the blue bearing seals. These bearings are sealed with the LLU system, rather than the standard 2RS, which means that both the in- and outside of the hub is completely sealed, keeping out dirt and grime.
Another thing that sets these bearings apart is the grease that’s used – Mobil SHC 460. Trust us, this is something you don’t want to get just anywhere. Thick and super greasy (that’s what she said), it keeps the bearings fresh for ages.
The pawl catch is setup in a 3/3 system, which means there are 72 points of contact in total. This means that there’s very little dead movement from the crank – making it much easier to get those couple of pedals in while shredding heavy. The pawls are protected with a silicone gasket, which creates a tight seal. That’s about all that we can get from the manufacturer.
In short: they guarantee a long life for their hubs….but we’ll have to see about that when we put these bad boys to the test.