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EB18: Novatec rethinks DH, eMTB freehub ratchet; adds lightweight alloy road wheels

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At Sea Otter, Novatec showed off a clever take on the singlespeed hub, using a wider shell to take up the space left by the missing cogs. Now, they’ve turned their attention to the inside of the freehub body. Consider that we’ve been turning our rear wheels around by putting all of our torque into a contact patch between pawl and tooth that’s barely a couple square millimeters. But we’re riding harder than ever, and e-bikes are further challenging this potential weak link. To solve this problem, Novatec simply made the pawls and teeth wider, effectively adding 50% to 100% more contact area for heavy duty applications like enduro and DH.

Like the KMC chains we saw, they’re also looking at the differences between people-powered bikes and those getting an electric assist. To better handle the added torque from the motor, they’re creating an offset, dual pawl system that puts about half the load on one tooth inside the ratchet ring, and half on the next tooth…in an alternating pattern.

That means that of the six pawls, the longer pawl will be engaged on pairs 1/3/5 while the shorter pawls are engaged on pairs 2/4/6. They’re spaced such that the next pawl is half-ready so they engage more quickly when it’s their turn.

2019 Novatec Jetfly SL

The new Jetfly SL takes their standard alloy road wheelset and gives it a lighter weight option. Claimed weight for the set is just 1,343g.

It’s a rim-brake only set, with a tubeless-ready rim that measures 17mm internally, 21.3mm externally, and 23.4mm tall.

The front hub is a new, lighter SL version with its sealed bearings pushed as wide as possible. The rear is their 3n1 that fits Shimano/SRAM 11-speed, XD Driver, and Campagnolo freehub bodies. The standard 11-speed body (shown) is alloy to save weight, but gets their steel Anti-Bite Guard to prevent the cassette from digging into it. Retail $649, available late fall.


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Brian M.
Brian M.
5 years ago

649 for novatec Hubs?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DT swiss please.

5 years ago
Reply to  Brian M.

It’s $649 for the wheelset.

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