About TUFF HUBS
The primary goal with TUFF wheels is to bring our customers performance that is as close to or better than the leaders in the market but at a more affordable price. This applies to our hubs. If customers want to go with the “big brand” hubs they can spend the extra money if they want to. But we wanted our hubs to be the best we could offer and still be affordable.
To ensure our hubs were top performers we “benchmarked” the top brands and found a number of features we need to match so our hubs built great wheels
(1)Large Diameter axles
The best performing hubs out there all use stiff large diameter axles. For example DT swiss uses a 17mm front axle and a 15mm rear axle. Chris King uses 17mm axles front and rear.
We went with 17mm axles front rear for our TUFF OS road hubs
Why is this important? There are many cheap hubs out there that use thin axles and they flex a lot more under load and under power. They might save weight but that flex results in poor bearing alignment and hence hubs that just don’t roll as well. M
any of our customers have commented just how nicely our hubs roll. No need to upgrade to ceramic bearings to get low rolling resistance with our TUFF OS hubs.
With large axles you have to use large bearings – no surprise there. We use 6803 bearings in the front hub and 6803s in the rear of our TUFF OS road hubs but then upgraded to a wider higher load capacity 6903 bearing in the drive side of the hub body.
These bigger bearings not only have higher load capacities than many of the cheaper hubs out there, but they also press into the hub bodies with better alignment.
If the bearings sit straighter under load, then the stiff axles don’t flex as much, you get far superior rolling bearings and wheels as a result
(1)Stiff spoke bracing
What is the point of having stiff hubs if the wheels are noodles? Not a lot really!
While straight pull spokes are extremely popular, most examples do not have large flange diameters, which increase the spoke angle that helps, produce laterally stiff wheels.
Laterally stiff front wheels provide more confidence cornering at high speed – perfect for downhill descending or fast crit racing.
A large drive side flange in particular increases both torsional stiffness under power as well as lateral stiffness in the rear wheel – two factors often missing in light weight wheels. We increased the flange diameters of our straight pull TUFF OS and TUFF Saw hubs to help give that confidence inspiring stiffness in both the front and rear hubs so our customers can rip round the corners and make the most of their fast hubs and rims.
(2)All this stiffness comes at a weight penalty right? Yes and no.
We found that many of the most popular “big name” hub sets weighed over 200g and were heading towards 250g a set for road hubs and 300g a set for road disc hubs.
Our TUFF OS 20 spoke front and 24 spoke rear hubs come in at just 297g a set – that is lighter than the more expense and extremely popular (but less stiff!) DT Swiss 240s hubs. Also our TUFF SAW road disc brakes are only 313g grams which again are lighter than the DT Swiss equivalent.
(3)Choice – this is actually something we saw as lacking from many top brands.
Most brands of hubs will offer hubs in 20 front and 24 rear spoke options – but then nothing else. This might be very popular in the hand built road bike market but many lighter racers want more aero and less weight. So we decided to also offer a hub set with 18 front spokes and 21 rear. The 21 rear wheels are still very stiff as we use 14 spokes on the drive side for excellent torsional stiffness under power, but then we use a large drive side flange diameter and increase non drive side spacing to keep the lateral stiffness high.
Because of the loads transmitted through the spokes with disc brakes – we haven’t been able to offer a hub set with less than 24 spokes front or rear with our TUFF SAW hubs. However we do offer a design that is easily adapted between different axle configurations. You can swap end caps on the front TUFF SAW hubs to allow the use of 15mm thru axles, 12mm thru axles (the standard for new road disc bikes), or quick releases. In
the rear you can swap end caps between 12mm through axles and normal quick releases.
No need to buy multiple sets of wheels if your frames have different axles specs.
At TUFF our goal is to sell our customers really great wheels. Not light at the cost of stiffness, not aero but with no consideration of rolling resistance.
Our hubs are literally at the core of the great performance at a great price that TUFF exists for.