Tuesday, 4 February 2020

141 QR hub bike wheel

I am told that one of the areas that manufacturers can skimp on to reduce the price on lower budget bikes, is the wheels. I have already discovered that could be the case on my bike. It's less than 6 months old and already the rear hub sounds rough and grainy.


The bearings, in my rear wheel, are loose ball, cup and cone. Serviceable but obviously vulnerable to the ingress of grub. Not only that but the freewheel has a large angle before it engages. I'd noticed, while riding, that I had to rotate the pedals quite a way before I could get them in to a semi-comfortable position to pull away. I hadn't thought much about it until I looked closely at Shelley's and Dean's bikes. As I rotated the cassette, I noticed how much smaller the ratchet angle was. It's obvious to me now that better hubs have smaller angles before the ratchet engages.

The rough bearings and the poor freewheel, combined, has led me to want to change the rear wheel for something better. Something with sealed bearings.

My Giant Stance came with a rear wheel with a 141 QR (Quick Release) hub. This is a relatively new size and I could not find a pre-built wheel, stocked by any of the major suppliers that I looked at.

I did a lot more searching and, with a bit of knowledge, it's not as tricky to get new wheels as it would first appear. I could easily have had them custom made however, it is also possible to get an off the shelf option at a more acceptable price. The 141 QR fitting is a boost 148x12 TA (Through Axle) hub with the end caps replaced for the same QR end caps fitted to 135 QR hubs.


Not all hubs have replaceable end caps but there is a good choice that do. I found several well respected models and a video showing exactly what I wanted to do. I opted for the Hope Pro 4 hub because a complete rear wheel using them and the end caps were stocked by Chain Reaction Cycles.


It's an easy job to pull off the end caps and swap them for another size.



It just needed a little bit of gently leverage to pry the end caps off. The new ones just push on and I now have 141 QR wheels with a better quality freewheel hub.


I've fitted it to the bike to check it fits. I just have to seal the rim, swap over the tyre and inflate it to pop on the bead. After that, I'll add a couple of small bottles of Stan's No Tire, Tire Sealant and re-inflate.


I should then have a much better performing rear wheel that will need less servicing.

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Summary:

142x12mm TA converted to QR end caps = 135 QR
148x12mm TA converted to QR end caps = 141 QR

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QR141, QR 141, 141 QR, 141QR.

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