Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inexpensive Tandem Hub

Since I am too cheap to buy an expensive tandem hub (at least for the cheap tandem I am working on), i modified a track hub. Dual threaded for freewheel and drum brake. The Miche hub worked nicely for several reasons.
1. More threads, more nicely done, than other track hubs. As many threads as on a normal hub. I don't want to "strip" the threads with the extra power of a tandem.
2. 12x28 bearings. The bearing are large enough to handle the extra weight of a tandem, while still leaving enough aluminum thickness on the hub, and allow a 12 mm axle. Any other size and you in danger of burning out bearings, breaking the hub shell, or bending axles.
3. Allows the use of an inexpensive but strong freewheel. I know freehubs are great, but since the ratchet pawls are at a smaller diameter, they can't take the same amount of abuse a freewheel can. Obviously a phil wood hub would work great, but they are over $400.

Made an axle for the hub. Not hard to make, other than having to be ultra careful to get the axle to bearing a slight slip fit. The non drive end I made of aluminum. The axle ends, still needing a trim, I silvered into thick tubed 1/2" 4130 tubing, that i then machined down to 12mm.

2014 comments..  Hmmmf.  looks great, but didn't work out in the end.  My favorite tandem rear hub now is siply the $40 or so Shimano 29er (629 ?)  cassette hub.  With 10mm steel axle.  Has held up great for us.  Drum brake ?  sold long ago.  Just not necessary for us..