Magnetic mountain bike hubs could make you faster

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These hubs look like most others. But they are a lot different, inside. (Photo: Stan's)
These hubs look like most others. But they are a lot different, inside. (Photo: Stan's)
  • Thanks to advanced magnet technology, this new freehub design could be less likely to fail.
  • These M-pulse hubs use some of the most powerful magnets, to convert your pedalling power to rear-wheel torque.
  • Neodynium magnets could also make you a bit faster, when freeing downhill.  

Although they aren't always visible, powerful magnets are an essential part of our modern world.

Many electrical products feature magnets, which are also present in some pedals and most e-bikes. But what about using magnets to help riders coast faster on their mountain bikes?

Industrial designers and engineers at Stan's, the renowned American wheelset company, have done exactly that. Creating a new freehub with magnets inside.

mountain bike hub
The M-pulse freehub has 216 points of engagement. (Photo: Stan's)

Putting more spring in your riding, by removing springs

Without getting lots in the granular engineering detail, Stan's M-pulse freehubs feature neodynium pawl contact points. And yes, that is the same potency of magnetic material used in powerful electric drive motors.

Most mountain bike freehubs work on the same principle: small pawls are spring-loaded and push into a drive ring, the moment to apply pedalling forces to the drivetrain.

The problem with this traditional freehub design, is that those leaf-sprung pawls must handle a lot of torque. And over time, they can become fragile.

Simpler and slicker 

If you have ever had a freehub fail on you, rendering your mountain bike a fixie, you'll know that leaf-sprung pawls are the weakest link. In any freehub design.

Stan's M-pulse hubs have reduced the reliability issue by removing the leaf-spings and simplifying the entire design. Instead of leaf-springs pushing the pawls into the drive ring, when you pedal, they are pulled into action, by magnets.

Removing the mechanical spring interface not only reduces complexity, but you'll roll faster too.

Mountain bike hubs
Those magnets help narrow pedal-stroke-to-rear-wheel engagement, in only 1.66-degrees of rotation. (Photo: Stan’s)

They should work, on most mountain bikes

Conventional freehub pawls create mechanical drag when you are not pedalling. With the magnet design, there is no leaf-sprung drag on the freehub internals, which means you'll coast faster downhill.

To ensure the best quality sourcing and fabrication, which is crucial when working with magnet technology, Stan's will only produce its M-pulse hubs in the United States - instead of using an overseas supplier.

The machining is contracted to Project 321, based in Oregon, with final assembly at Stan's head office in New York.

Product planners at Stan's have ensured that its new magnetic freehub technology is accessible to a broad audience of mountain bikers. These freehubs are compatible with Shimano Micro Spline, HG, or SRAM XDR drivers. And accept both 6-bolt and centre-lock brake mounts.

 

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