When I first got the ENVEs, I had made a comment that the 18 tooth hubs were slower to engage than I expected. I had even, at one point, commented that I liked the engagement on my old Fulcrum Race 3s better. This simply would not do.
Hand of Midas saw my comments and undertook a covert operation to remedy this issue. I left my bike out at North Central Cyclery one day before a ride (I had to run into the City, and didn’t want to leave the Ridley in the car), and while it was there, he undertook a secret operation on my rear hub, swapping in the DT240 36 tooth hub upgrade kit. This kit doubles the number of engagement points, reducing the maximum pre-engagement pedal rotation from 20 degrees down to 10. I understand that the 36 tooth upgrade is marginally lighter than the 18 tooth stock bits.
That’s 18t on the right, 36t on the left.
I thought something was askew, literally, when I saw my rear quick release wasn’t at the angle I normally leave it. Yes, I am that A-R. And, equally as important, it’s Rule #41.
Out on the ride, a change was immediately evident. Instead of shooting a video of my wheels (which seems awfully arduous on a 90 degree day like today), I’ll post up a Youtube clip.
They’re loud, folks. I have ~150 miles on mine since the upgrade, and they’ve quieted down a bit, but they’re LOUD. (Obviously silent when pedaling…so the easy solution is to never coast). I suspect the noise on the Ridley is magnified by the hollow carbon ENVEs.
Engagement is instant. There is no palpable delay. On the Ridley, with a stiff frame, stiff wheels, and solid engagement Time iClic pedals, the effect is almost comical. Think about pedaling, and before you even get your legs moving, the bike is going. Durability is also supposed to be enhanced.
The quicker engagement is great–very noticeable. So here, we have an upgrade that is slightly lighter, more durable, and higher performance, for very, very low cost (I believe the upgrade runs about $40, plus install).
The downside is the noise. I’m going to live with this for a while and see how it goes. If the ratcheting keeps getting progressively quieter, it may not be an issue. But on the Wednesday night group ride, if I pedaled up behind someone and then coasted onto their wheel, there were a few times when I literally scared another rider. Scared them as in made them jump. That’s not exactly the kind of thing I want to encourage on a fast-paced, tightly packed group ride.
So the jury’s still out on this one. I’ll update in a few weeks, after some more miles have accumulated on them.