Hubdock: reinventing the hub?
A “new” idea to save us from the horror of swapping rear wheels shows that there’s nothing new under the cycling sun.
We love Kickstarter, the internet fund sourcing site gives inventors, engineers and artists a chance to show off their ideas to potential investors. Trawling through their website throws up all kinds of fascinating projects. The latest find was HubDock, a quick change alternative to the standard rear hub.
You may not find changing your rear wheel to be a chore, but for many it’s a greasy nightmare. Hubdock’s idea is to have the freewheel attached to the frame and for the hub to ‘dock’ with it via a splined interface. The hub skewer is then screwed into the freewheel and tightened on to the frame, a process that takes a few seconds and leaves hands clean.
The HubDock is Shimano and SRAM compatible and uses a 10mmm bolt through axle, similar to MTB front wheel systems that should offer extra stiffness. There is a also the added benefit that when storing wheels you won’t get that annoying moment when the front wheel spokes get stuck in between the rear cogs, bonus!
While researching the HubDock we came across this article on the granciclismo blog site about a similar hub produced in the 1940s and then a second version on the campanolodelta blog that Cinelli brought out in the 1960s. Neither system took off, maybe the world is ready for a third try?
It seems that there is nothing new under the cycling sun, old ideas are recycled once technology and materials have caught up, whether that’s the HubDock or bamboo lugged bikes. These were shown at the Crystal Palace show back in 1897 and have recently started turning up again and were maybe predecessors of composite lugged frames?
Still the HubDock is a neat idea and it will be worth seeing how it develops and how much it will cost, which will be the ultimate test. Who knows, in a few years we may all be wondering why we put up with greasy wheel changes for so long?