Author Topic: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee  (Read 3669 times)

Offline out~riding

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The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
 



2013 has definitely been year of the Freecoaster. With the some of the biggest names in the sport like Dennis Enarson and Garrett Reynolds making the switch, and street pioneers like Alex Kennedy pushing the boundaries of backwards riding, these hubs are gaining popularity fast. Despite the growing amount of riders now using a Freecoaster, these Hubs are far from perfect, and there is still a limited choice of options. Cult got the BMX world excited when it announced it was working on it’s own coaster, and a year later, after a lot of hours of R&D; the Match Freecoaster is ready to hit the shops.

We hit up Cult’s two unsung heros Joe Vee and Neal Wood to find out a bit more about how this hub came to fruition, and the vast work that went into making the most advanced and reliable Freecoaster to date. I know a lot of you have been eagerly waiting to find out how this thing works, and now we can finally unveil the magic inside…



Alright. So you first showed a prototype (pictured) of your Freecoaster pretty much exactly one year ago in Vegas at last year’s Interbike. When did you guys first sit down and decide to do your own hub and how long have you been working on this thing?

(Joe Vee)-I think the first time we ever sat down and really discussed the project was back in late 2010/early 2011. It was kind of a crazy time. We had just wrapped up Interbike & our first year in business. This was about the same time AK really started falling into his own with the coaster. We knew after watching him & a few of the other guys on coaster hubs that we had to do one of our own.

Joe, I know you have been a huge Freecoaster advocate for quite a few years now. This project has almost been your brainchild and I’ve heard the prototype jokingly called the “Veecoaster” by a few of the team. How long have you been playing around with the idea of designing your own coaster?

(J)- Well, I definitely knew what to avoid with existing coasters, but it was never in the plans to build a new product from the ground up. Especially once you start digging into fees overseas, molds & tooling charges, minimums & all that sh*t. We really just wanted a bombproof hub our dudes could thrash without all the regular maintenance. It’s no secret the stock driver bearing setup is terrible so we figured that was the starting point.

(Neal Wood)- Our intention was not to redesign the FC hub; it was to take Joe’s vast knowledge base obtained from years of riding almost every incarnation of the FC hub and build the best one we could.

Coasters have famously been plagued with bearing issues, I know I have had a long history of breaking driver bearings myself. Ever since people saw the hub on display at Interbike there has been a lot of hype and speculation about how this thing actually worked. The Match hub uses a pretty unique bearing setup, care to explain how each of these upgrades work together to make a superior Freecoaster?

(J)- For me personally, the driver bearings & clutch drag have always been the biggest issues, so they were the main points to address. We threw a tapered roller bearing in to absorb the heavy side loads, removed one of the 6802s and replaced it with a needle roller bearing, similar to the driver in our cassette hub. We backed this up with a needle thrust bearing behind the clutch & threw some aftermarket collars on to make what we feel is the strongest offering on the market right now.



(N)- The drive-side and driver bearings were the main weak points on precious FC hubs.  For the driver bearings, we used a very similar needle set-up to the one we use in the regular Match hub, but it was the drive-side bearing on which we really focused. One of my first designs for the bearings incorporated an “integrated headset” style bearing with a 45 degree chamfer on the driver. The design worked well, but I was not happy with the bearing and scrapped the idea. My idea for a taper roller bearing came from a few applications I had personnel experience with in the past. I remember replacing the wheel bearings on a VW bug, and thinking they would be great in a BB with a pinch bolt style crank. I also recalled replacing taper roller bearings used at my old job in the Coal Mill department at Drax PS. These bearings were always used in high speed, high load applications where a regular roller bearing was just not up to the job. The first samples we had produced used an off-the-shelf bearing featuring a polymer bearing race. The initial tests were fine, but any problems we ran into all involved that bearing. The only fix was to have a custom bearing made.

You easily have one of the most stacked teams in BMX right now, including some pretty heavy hitting Freecoaster riders. Which members of the team helped with the majority of the development and testing?

(J)- Yeah, it really helps R&D when you’ve got some of the best dudes on these things. AK, Timmy, Josh & quite a few other guys have been helping to put these thru hell & back for us. On top of that, we gave a few out to local homies & Cult customers to get the best feedback possible.

With Freecoasters taking much more abuse and impact than a regular cassette hub, I can only imagine the amount of issues and prototypes you guys must have gone through until you had a perfect production model. Was this the case, or did you get the nail on the head first time?

(J)- All of the parts we added held up fine to the abuse, but there was still some fine tuning to be done before we hit production. We weren’t happy with the amount of play in the initial samples, so Neal jumped on the tolerance issue immediately. A little bit of machining and a custom roller bearing later, we’re hyped!

(N)- The tooling fees and minimum bearing orders were high (they always are), but with a bit of persuasion, I got them down to figures that worked for us. On the first samples with the new bearing, we tightened a few tolerances, adjusted the pre-set “slack”, thickened the axle, and installed a needle thrust bearing behind the clutch. The samples were perfect and are exactly the same as the production hubs arriving October 1st.



With this hub being far from a catalog part with a different logo, and needing several custom components compared to other generic Freecoasters, will the retail price be affected in a huge way? How much will it retail for?

(J)- The MSRP (here in the states) will be set at $179.99, which is only a few bucks more than what’s currently available. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me this would more than make up for the featured upgrades and preset slack our hub comes stock with.

Most riders these days are rocking at least two pegs if not three or four. Will the Match Freecoaster have compatible hub guards?

(J)- We currently have an non-drive side aluminum guard set to drop with the coaster, similar to the style currently available for our Match Cassettes. PC guards are in the works and should be available soon.

This hub has to be easily one of the most anticipated BMX products in recent years, I know I personally cant wait to pick one up my self! When can we expect to see these Hubs hit the shop floors and available to purchase?

(J)- The Cult Match Coaster will be hitting shelves worldwide this October. The hub will be available in either Black or Raw, both male or female options and RHD & LHD. (Sorry Bike Guide) Only 9t driver and 36h for now.

It’s been great talking to you guys, is there anything else you would like to ad?

(J)- Shouts to Robbie for always putting up with our sh*t, all our dudes that have really put in the work to get this to fruition & all the distros/shops for kicking ass and really helping to get Cult where we are now… Cheers!!


Offline SurfonFlatland

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So...a KHE with better bearings.  I hope this hub replaces the awful KHE's. 
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Offline SurfonFlatland

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And it doesn't have a female option.  It's just another over weighted hub lacking innovation.
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Offline Keneken

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So...a KHE with better bearings.
I couldn't think of anything I'd want more from my khe clone
''let me tell ya something i did a front n rear wheel hang on the cloping on the slide of the spine, now i stick to street!''

''do you freestyle?''

However serious you take it general public sees us as just dicking about on 'kids' bikes, some people could do to remember that and smile a little.

Offline K.Wong

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And it doesn't have a female option.  It's just another over weighted hub lacking innovation.

(J)- The Cult Match Coaster will be hitting shelves worldwide this October. The hub will be available in either Black or Raw, both male or female options and RHD & LHD. (Sorry Bike Guide) Only 9t driver and 36h for now.

are we reading the same article?
 Female version is available! No 48holes thought...
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 09:16:42 AM by K.Wong »

Offline SurfonFlatland

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And I completely missed that part of the article, hah.  My bad. 
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Offline K.Wong

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Its cool, no worries.
now all we are short of is the WTP 'blind' freecoasters.

Phatman

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Its not exactly a Female axle though, it's a SHE-male axle! I get annoyed when companies claim they are using a Female axle, G-Sport, Odyssey Antigram, Tree, Shadow BTR, Wethepeople 2014 Supreme Hub (Ok they're all Cassettes) Those Hubs use FEMALE Axles! Not cut off MALE Axles threaded for bolts!! That is pretty much top of my wish list a REAL Female Axle'd Freecoaster, don't know if anyone has one in the works or if we will see one anytime soon, but i can't be dealing with She-male axles, never had any luck with them! PROPER Female Axle or a Male axle for me! The Cult Hub is a quality Freecoaster but i will buying the Eclat Blind Freecoaster without a SINGLE doubt!

Offline out~riding

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well the KHE Greyhound Flat has a female axle,

most companies don't even know the difference between the female and "shemale" because to them its the same thing... they both work in 14mm dropouts, they don't need to worry about fitting 10mm dropouts..





Phatman

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The Greyhound is She-male too.. It's just their standard 14mm Axle cut off. O.K the Flatland one is totally cut off & uses just the 3/8ths Bolts, but it still doesn't use a proper inner axle like a normal Female Axle would. I wouldn't touch a KHE Freecoaster EVER again, I have had so many problems with their sh*t.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 06:21:38 PM by Topsey »

Phatman

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Re: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2013, 06:25:37 PM »
It still has Lock Nuts, a real female axle has a proper Inner Axle, not a normal 14mm Axle cut up, Press Fit Collars, One of the most IMPORTANT parts of any decent, true Female Axle, then the Bolts. I'd love the G-Sport Freecoaster to FINALLY be released! But i don't see that coming any time soon, so someone needs to step up! I think Profile will offer their 3/8ths Race Axle on their new Coaster so there it is, but i have been asking them to offer it in 14mm too! Their Inner Axle is 17mm, the same as MANY proper Female Axles so there is plenty of room to offer the 14mm Bolts! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEEEEEEASE Profile put me out of my misery & offer a 14mm True Female Axle'd Freecoaster!!!! <3

Offline out~riding

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Re: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 06:56:42 PM »
I have no problems with KHE.

I don't think that the fact of having "lock nuts" doesn't make in a female hub. It's still a female system - bolts going into a hollow inner axle.

Having the collar system (like the blue six conversion) requires precision machining, otherwise you can have issues - that some people here had with g-sport front hubs for example..
Maybe * thats why KHE went with the lock nuts.. I don't know?


You realize that for KHE to change the 15mm inner axle to 17mm would require new expensive tooling for the inner axle, cluth, driver, collars, stopper, and hub shell? And the already small driver bearings would have to be replaced with some bushing to keep the 9t driver..

Why is this new Cult freecoaster (and many others) using KHE hardware? It's just not economically feasible to make a new one.



Phatman

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Re: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 07:51:41 PM »
I totally understand that, which is why i think it will be a company that already offers the 17mm Female Axle on their Cassette Hub that will drop a Real, True Female Freecoaster.. Profile, Odyssey, G-Sport, Shadow Conspiracy, Tree, Wethepeople & a couple others.. I really think a company needs to get on it & think about what bearings, bushings etc will need to be used to make the first PROPER Female Freecoaster, spend the money, take the plunge & get it out on the market! I know some Street Riders that would go insane for a proper Female Axle'd Freecoaster! Especially if it had Pres Fit Hub Guards! & For Flatland it would make maintenance a sh*t TON easier! The whole hub could be taken apart by hand no spanners, allen keys etc. Just pull the Collars off, give the Axle a firm push & out everything pops! HEAVEN!

Offline K.Wong

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Re: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2013, 08:37:29 PM »
I actually think the shemale axles are better for bmx; at least the 3/8 bolts need only to do 2 thing- compression and supporting the pegs. A true female axle, the bolt need to do 3 'jobs'- supporting the hub, compression and supporting the pegs. Also if a bolt snaps off, the shemale axle/ hub will still be held in place by the dropouts, enabling the rider to coast back; while a true female hub/ axle system will just be hanging at an angle, unsupported...
there is a reason 'lawyer tabs' were invented for mtb wheels in the first place- too many noob mechanics having wheels pop off their bikes because of improper installation. Imagine the same scenario in the already small BMX'ing community, grommets not being able to ride because of dangerous bikes...lol.

Offline SurfonFlatland

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Re: The Merged Exclusive- The Cult Match Freecoaster Q&A With Neal Wood & Joe Vee
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2013, 09:54:44 PM »
Keep your eyes peeled for things coming from Profile around Inerbike time.  Just wait.
The following is the truth.  The preceeding is a lie.