It appears that consumers aren’t the only ones flustered by all of the new hub spacings. The need to continually modify products to fit the latest crop of bikes and increasing number of SKUs is enough to drive any component manufacturer a bit crazy. After introducing a few new hub options at Frostbike, Hope thinks they have the answer to any future developments with their Futureproof Hubset. Instead of using end caps to match up with different width axles, the Futureproof hubs actually expand the inner section of hub shell with air pressure. The system provides the advantages of wider flange spacing from a single hub, all the way up to 200mm wide.
Yes, the Futureproof Hubs are the new Reebok Pump of mountain biking…
With the growing number of rear frame widths being launched and frustration in the market we identified a need for a future proof rear hub. After several ideas were tested the final solution proved to be very simple. Inspired by the infinite adjustability of “pump” trainers from Reebok we fitted an expanding air cylinder inside the hub. This cylinder allows the hub to be adjusted to fit all current and future width standards.
The Barometric Uni-Laterally Level Structured Horizontal Internal Tube forms the basis for our patented design. This unit is built into the central section of our iconic Pro2 hub and the user simply inflates it until the desired width is achieved. The hubs are designed to suit all frames from 130 to 200mm widths. One current restriction when using conventional spokes is that the wheel must be rebuilt if the hub width is altered although we are also working on a new semi-elastic spoke which will allow for the widening of the flanges with changing spokes.
During the research we also discovered an additional benefit when installing this new hub. If the hub is inflated with helium we can also reduce to overall weight of the hub. We see these new hubs as a genuine “fix all” solution to the current minefield that surrounds bicycle frame design.