Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

While purpose-built components are almost always best, the rapid change of standards and options these days means there are a LOT of us sitting on expensive inventory of well-loved parts that we just don’t want to give up. Wheels, in particular, can be one of the more personal items (and more expensive), and can alone be reason enough not to upgrade to a newer bike if compatibility isn’t there.

With that in mind, Lindarets adds to their line of adapters with the new Boostinator. It’s an end cap and disc brake rotor spacer set that converts your standard 100/142 thru axle mountain bike hubs to fit the wider 110/148 Boost spacing coming on modern frames…

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

The Boostinator came about at the request of Bikeworks Albuquerque, who sell a lot of Plus bikes and high end wheels and had customers wanting a solution. They provided Lindarets with bikes and parts to test prototype adapters on, and their customers agreed to be guinea pigs.

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

The solution is simple – new end caps to change the hub’s width, and a disc brake rotor spacer for the rear.

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

The front hub conversion is simply a single spacer that pushes the entire wheel away from the driveside. This means it works with Centerlock or 6-Bolt up front. The rear uses a single hub spacer that pushes the entire hub towards the driveside in order to maintain proper cassette position. A 6-bolt disc rotor spacer then pushes the rotor back into the proper spot for your caliper, but means it won’t work with Centerlock hubs.

Lindarets founder Marc Basiliere says they’ve tested the included longer bolts extensively and haven’t had any issues with breakage. That said, you’ll need to use thread lock on the bolts and keep your rotor diameter at 183mm or under. And as for hub stiffness, the bearings are still supported by the thru-axle, not the end caps, so you shouldn’t lose any stiffness. It won’t be as stiff as a true Boost hub, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper.

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

It’s not all about making your treasured hoops compatible with a new frame, though. It could just open up new uses for that 27.5+ bike when summer race season rolls about and you wanna stuff a lightweight set of 29er wheels in there without committing to a whole new wheelset. Options, baby!

A wheel re-dish is required, but Marc says spokes generally have more than enough threaded area and that a typical re-dish to make the wheels work amounts to less than a full turn of the nipple and a change of less than 0.5mm of effective spoke length, which is enough to shift the rim 3-5mm from its original position and center the tire in the frame or fork.

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

If you bought your plus bike complete, chances are good the chainline is already optimized, it’s worth taking a look to ensure your tire and chain clear each other when in your easiest gear.

Boostinator standard-to-boost mountain bike hub conversion kit

Parts are named for brand and wheel, so “D” means DT Swiss, and “F” or “R” means Front or Rear. You’ll notice not all have front wheel options yet, but they’re in the works. Here’s what’s available:

  • Boostinator DR – $39.95 shipped – Available now
    • The Boostinator DR is compatible with DT-Swiss 12x142mm Star Ratchet (240- and 350-series) rear hubs with 6-bolt (IS) rotor mounts.
    • Centerlock hubs are not supported.
    • The Boostinator DR is also compatible with some complete wheels from DT Swiss, Roval (Specialized), Giant, Syncros (Scott), and others that use DT’s Star Ratchet internals.
  • Boostinator DF3 – $24.95 shipped – Available early Feb. 2016
    • The Boostinator DF3 is compatible with DT-Swiss 15x100mm 350 and 370-series front hubs.
    • Centerlock hubs are supported.
    • The Boostinator DF3 is also compatible with some complete wheels from DT Swiss.
  • Boostinator HR – $39.95 – Available Late Feb. 2016
    • The Boostinator HR is compatible with 12x142mm Hope Pro2 hubs.
  • Boostinator WR – $39.95 shipped – Available Late Feb. 2016
    • The Boostinator WR is compatible with White Industries 12x142mm MI6 and XMR hubs.
    • Centerlock hubs are not supported.
    • The Boostinator WR is also compatible with some wheels, such as those from Rolf Prima, that use White Insustries hubs.

Lindarets.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Don! We’ve been working on these for some time and feel like we have landed on the approach that has the most upsides (mostly being able to use existing wheels) with fewest downsides (No loose parts to lose when fixing a flat. In the dark. When it’s raining.).

    If there’s enough demand for other models we have a number already developed that could be in production in pretty short order.

  2. I see a lot of finger pointing when one of these kits fails, or causes a failure in an attached component. Especially as they appear to be non-branded. Also, the dish discussion is less than accurate at best. Moving the rim 3mm or 5mm over is a massive shift.

    • Steve,

      Believe me, beyond leaving a secure ‘real’ job to play in the bike world, I’m a pretty risk-averse guy. As a result we thought and talked about a lot of these things and actually put off working on the Boostinator for a long time. After doing the math and working with PhD mechanical engineers from our local nuclear weapons laboratory (we have one of those), and talking with our product liability insurers we were able to put our concerns to rest.

      In terms of the re- (or more accurately de-) dish, you can run the numbers in any online spoke length calculator to determine the impact of a 1.5mm (rear) or 2.5mm (front) shift (re:center plane) in each flange on your particular wheels. Our DT/Velocity example found a 0.4mm change in effective non-drive and 0.1mm change effective in the drive-side. Given a 56tpi spoke thread and a couple of conversions later you land on the 7/8-turn and 1/4-turn numbers cited on our website.

      Stepping away from the graphing paper, it’s a quick and easy shift for anyone who’s reasonably comfortable truing wheels- even on a single-arm stand.

      Marc

      • I agree that moving a rim 3mm isn’t a big deal, if it was perfectly built before hand, 5mm isn’t either.
        With that in mind, working for a shop near the Naval Academy, I’ve sold derailleurs to nuclear engineers(yes, PhD included) that were adamant about being able to install them properly. Why? Because they work on nuclear subs and ships and bike mechanics is for dummies. Well, that’s not what happened. They destroyed their spokes by throwing their chain into them days later. I’ve also seen simple things like stems installed very wrong by these guys. I’d much prefer a random structural engineer or maybe even you local handyman that just knows how to figure stuff out.
        I’m not saying your guy doesn’t know what he’s doing, I’m stating that the nuclear engineer thing may not mean anything at all unless he’s working on exactly what he/she knows.

        • Hey! I resemble that comment! “These slightly too short spokes will be JUST fine”….. [45 minutes later…. pop pop pop pop as spokes come out of nipples]. “Oopsie.”

        • True enough- I used to work at said lab and know exactly what you’re talking about. The engineering support came in working through the effect of the spacer and resulting less-supported bolt on its strength. My intuition was that we’d have to go with a threaded spacer and second, offset bolt set, but it turns out that the current approach was more than strong enough and doesn’t limit hardware access.

          As for spoke penetration, the difference is 0.1-0.4mm (comfortably under one turn). Given that most spokes are only available in 2mm increments, that kind of difference is really in the noise.

          Sure, a poorly-built wheel (one with too-short spokes or seized nipples) will present issues- but none that wouldn’t surface during routine truing.

  3. Can these spacers be used when attempting to put a Boost-sized frame in a travel bag or case that secures the frame by the drop out and fork?

    • Unfortunately note- they’re hub-specific so wouldn’t take up the space between a 15x100mm or 12x142mm mount and the frame.

      That said, we do need to come up with something to be able to mount our new Boost-forked Pivot in the Goatvan…

  4. Its not just the spoke length that is an issue for dish. Many wheels have spoke locking compound, corrosion, etc. that will make re-dishing a bad idea. Also, that 0.5mm spoke length change may be the difference between a wheel that has no spoke failure issues, and one that is constantly breaking spokes.

    I wish you good luck, but I stand by my statements above.

    • How many wheels have you built? Do you understand that all properly built wheels have ~2mm margin of error in spoke lengths and dishing the wheel 3mm is absolutely nothing? You’re just being stubborn if you think a properly tensioned wheel will see “constant” spoke breakages. If you’re using aluminium nipples, it isn’t uncommon to have the head break due to not having any internal support from collapse when using shorter spokes. And you can always shove locking compounds in..

  5. I’ve been waiting for a solution like this! I was thinking you’d have to adjust the drive and non-drive side, rotor location, derailleur location, etc. to get it just right. This is a better idea.

    Dishing the wheel is certainly not hard to do. I suppose if your wheels weren’t built to spec or spokes/nipples are in bad shape, the kit may not be for you. But in that case, you’re rebuilding those wheels again eventually, and it’s cheaper to buy the kit and keep your hubs.

    Thanks, Marc!

    • Not smarter, just better at being a bike mechanic. Work in a shop long enough and you see everything. Hell, Ben Carson the brain surgeon probably can’t figure out how to put a bottle cage on a bike.

  6. On the rear, I can see the idea of one end cap, so that you don’t have to worry about chain line, derailleur adjustments and everything that comes with that. Redish the wheel and kinda done.

    For the front though, why not do two smaller end caps and a small brake adapter? That way, everything is still spaced evenly and I don’t have to worry about re-dishing the front wheel.

  7. Tom,
    We decided to go this route on the front for a couple of reasons:
    * It allows Centerlock discs to be used: something we can’t do at a reasonable price on the rear
    * Cost/complexity: Adding a spacer, bolts, a second end cap, and o-ring would drive the price beyond that of the rear set -likely over $50- which we couldn’t really justify against the sole benefit of saving 10 minutes in the truing stand.

    So while it was something we considered, we felt that a dual-cap-plus-spacer approach had more downsides than advantages.

  8. I want a setup like this but unless its dual end cap it’s useless to me. I ride a Surly Krampus as both my daytrip/get rad, and expedition/bikepacking bike. I use the stock rigid 100mm for for bikepacking, but would love to have a squishy fork for unloaded trips to the gnarly trails.

    I can deal with a quick fork swap and a couple bits by the hub/rotor a couple times a month but no way am I dealing with re-dishing a wheel that often.

  9. I’d buy one front kit for a Specialized Roval Carbon wheel (though I, too, would be happier with two spacers and no re-dishing, and would happily pay the higher price).

    Business model VALIDATED!

    Get to work.

    • Tom,
      While our DR will work on every Star Ratchet (DT Swiss) rear Roval wheel we’ve tried, the front hubs don’t share as much with DTs so likely won’t. While they probably won’t be anywhere near as American-made as ours, it’s my understanding that Roval will be coming out with their own Boost adapter kits shortly.

  10. Having one spacer in the front and forcing to re-dish the wheel is just silly. The current cost of adapters to switch from 9 to 15 or 20 mm front is around $15 (e.g. Stan’s). I see no reason why an adapter 100 to 110 has to cost more than $15-25

    • Because these caps were designed to fit the hubs by an aftermarket company. I think they’re also made in the US.

      If you want end caps for $15, just wait until your hub company comes out with them. I’m sure you won’t be waiting long.

      • Duzzi,

        Matt’s got it- Stan’s make thousands and thousands of end caps in China, which is considerably cheaper than making hundreds here in the USA. In addition, the rotor spacers actually cost more than the end caps to build as they don’t lend themselves to the same level of production automation as the caps.

        For a closer comparison, DT’s end cap kits (which I believe are also made in a first-world country) retail for $40 while Industry Nine’s run from $30 (front) to $40 (rear). Hope that helps!

        Marc

  11. I run a goatlink11 and like it.

    but i won’t buy these. I want something that i can swap between bikes (so without a re-dish).
    give me a version with 2 end caps that keep the whell centered, and i will be interested.

    • You can do it that way on the front wheel only because the chainline on the rear will be messed up if you are using two spacers.

  12. Marc, any chance you’d build a fat front conversion from 142 to 150. A lot of guys rocking the 142 Salsa/Formula that would like the option.

  13. Yeah I’m with Vincent regarding the front. I’m looking for a version with 2 end caps and then a spacer for the rotor. No redishing required then, and I can swap the wheel back to my other bike pretty easily.

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