The most distinctive fixed hub ever is back. After a roughly 5 year hiatus from the scene, the oversize carbon shelled Chub Hub has reappeared under new management and development, this time with a front hub to match. The giant flange is supposedly for increased torsional stiffness and whatnot, but no doubt this form has a lot of fashion behind it.
Function. High flanges do have precedence in terms of strength and stiffness, with the math to go behind it. At 101mm, these are the biggest flanges around. It’s all about the slightly shorter spoke and the more tangential direction of the spoke tension on the hub flange. Spokes are under less load and arguably less likely to break, but in reality spoke quality has progressed to the point where breakage under load isn’t much worried about. Manufacturing quality is evident in the ultra-smooth sealed bearings, giant M10 titanium bolts, knurled steel axle ends and smooth fixed/fixed threading. For as huge as it looks, the hub and bolts are all of 296g making it on par with other high flange hubs. The matching 96g minimalist front hub shares the overall feel, but with smaller M6 bolts.
For a proper over-the-top build I chose the black on black Chub decal set, Velocity ELVS Deep-V rims with black DT spokes and brass nipples. Laced 3x on the rear wheel and 2x on the front wheel, this led to a difference of about 2mm in spoke length front to rear. Building with quality, straight parts is not to be underestimated – this was an easy set to bring up to tension and keep it all in true. The cog and lockring both went on nice and smooth, as they should on hubs like this.
If you like the aesthetics, there is nothing like it. And now after a few weeks of service I can say they ride like the high-end hubs they are. They roll smooth, don’t have any perceptible side to side bearing slop and the confidence in it holding in place with those giant bolts has proven true. Even in hardened steel track ends I’ve found the rear Chub to stay put where I tend to jar other hubs out of place save for BMX-style tensioners. The rear hub is even easily convertible between 120mm and 130mm rear spacing by switching out the axle ends. My only complaint at this point is about those smaller M6 bolts on the front hub, or more-so the 4mm hex key interface. While I’ve not experienced any problems, I’d much rather it was a 5- or even 6mm wrench interface just for peace of mind.
Chub hubs are completely excessive. 101mm flanges? Carbon fiber shell? Titanium axle bolts? You don’t need this hub, but you very well may want it. This is classic high end bike nerd stuff. Form and function. Available for $225 rear / $90 front, rollin’ on 101′s comes at a price.