Several months back Ride Bmx posted a bikecheck for Timmy Theus that showed he was running a Cult Bmx prototype freecoaster and people immediately started speculating that it was just another clone part. After talking with Neal Wood and Joe-V about it for some time today, I can certainly say, that this is not the case. The guys over at Cult decided to use a traditional coaster shell/driver/clutch, but have come up with all new drive side bearings and use a special axle set up to do so. I really liked that they took the input from riders and used it to beef up this prototype coaster.
At first glance, it looks like a Federal style shell, but as you can notice they’ve gone with a nice looking non-drive side cone that cleanly tapers with the same angle of the hub. Also, you can see they’ve gone with a female style axle, which seems to be the way of the future for bmx.
When you take the hub apart, though, you can see that it is much different than anything else out there:
The Driver uses 1 6802 bearing paired along with a needle bearing that is similar to the style that is used inside the Primo Mix hub. You can notice that they had to create a much wider bearing seat on the axle to support both of these bearings. The drive side shell bearing has been replaced with a large tapered needle bearing to help cope with the side loads of the axially engaging clutch mechanism. This bearing does not fit into a regular shell. I really liked seeing the addition of the needle thrust being behind the clutch! This is a modification that myself and many other people have been doing on their freecoasters for some time now, and I’m very happy to see it potentially end up on a production hub. I really like the design of this hub as it would probably fit my riding style well. Some of the other new hubs that I have seen have a bit more resistance to the drivers, which may end up making crankflips harder to do. With the Cult hub, you should be able to do crankflips fairly easy.
Neal was very excited to talk about this project and is going to get me some more information and technical drawing in the near future. He said that although the tapered needle bearing for the driver costs a bit more, they are going to try and keep the MSRP to the hub around the range of other freecoasters on the market.
Be sure to check back for more updates!