PSA: Having problems with a creaking hub?

I didn’t want to post this thread with the brand name in the title for concerns over how it might effect the manufacturer, BUT, I feel like I have a certain responsibility to report recurrent problems I have had with the new style KH hubs.

I spent this past weekend rebuilding two wheelsets, both of which were built with the new KH hub, these are the hubs with the faux carbon body. One had been “fixed” with the addition of two split pins that were pressed through the hub body and spindle, the other was unmodified.

As I understand it, the tolerances between the hub body and the spindle are not tight enough, such that the epoxy that holds the hub and spindle together will weaken with use, then they creak, squeak, etc…until ultimately they fail entirely.

KH products have a one year warranty, so one of my hubs is outside the warranty so I will receve nothing. The other hub replaced a broken Ti hub (the original welded style) which UDC graciously provided when KH would not replace the hub due to it being outside the warranty period. I had the Ti hub sixteen months and it cost $400.

My concern stems from number of hubs that have failed (3) and the lack of an extended warranty to cover failures that result from poor design/poor manufacturing, esp when these failures are known. I am not an extreme rider by any stretch, I don’t do big drops and I don’t hop, so it is not my use that is causing these failures.

I appreciate the involvement of Kris on this forum and his efforts to advance unicycling, however, at a cost of $600 cash for three hubs and ten hours of my time unbuilding and rebuilding three wheels, I am more or less over it.

If you have a wheel that is built with a KH hub and it is making noise, don’t assume it’s the cranks or spokes. Before you exceed the manufacturers one year warranty, contact the store where you purchased the product and let them know you are having this problem, then document that you made this contact.

Kudos to UDC and Josh for making efforts to correct this problem. Hopefully it has been resolved in the most recent batch of hubs.

Caveat emptor :angry:

Were they all Ti hubs? I can’t say I’ve had any problems with my steel-axled new-style KH hub, but it’s on my lightweight xc 29er so it hasn’t had a particularly hard life. No creaks or slop though.

Your description of pinning the hub body confuses me though - I thought the alumimium flanges were pressed onto splines on the axle and the centre tube (carbon effect on the Ti, anodised black on the normal hub) was just a spacer, so there isn’t a body as such (unless I’m wrong about the construction, which I could be).

The Ti hub was the welded spline, both side cracked completely.

The other two hubs were chromoly steel spindle and aluminum hub with carbon inlay.

The hub bodies are pressed onto the flange and epoxied.

The “split pinned” modification was done after the hubs started having problems, similar to the seat posts before they were forged one piece.

Ah, fair enough - I didn’t know that. I didn’t realise the flanges were attached to the centre tube at all. What actually goes wrong then - do they end up completely freewheeling?

I don’t think mine’s got any pins in it, but then again nor has my seatpost and that seems fine (I wasn’t worried because I thought it was only the gnarly teenagers who twisted them out doing unispins). It’s more than a year old though, so perhaps the mod wasn’t being done then. Where would the pins be in the hub if it had them? - through the central “tube” bit, or through the flanges?

UDC replaced my hub no questions asked. It was doing the creaky thing. My wheel is now being rebuilt. I hope the new hubs are free of the problem. My 24, 26, and 29 have not had any issues (knock wood).

Oops, I meant to say that the hub bodies are pressed onto the spindle :o

The hub and spindle is drilled through perpendicular to the spindle axis, one hole on either end of the hub body about 1cm from the flange, then a split pin is pressed through the holes. I don’t know if this is now being done in the factory, but Josh said he was doing this in house at UDC. Doesn’t work anywho, my squeakiest hub is the “fixed” hub.

UDC rocks, no doubt. As to your other hubs, good luck.

BTW, the original ISIS KH hubs have not been a problem, nor have I had any issues with Nimbus hubs. Shame too, cuz the new KH hub looks good and there are a ton of them out there :astonished:

I replaced my KH hubs with the new Nimbus ISIS Wide hub which has a narrow waisted hub body, black and shiny, very sexy. These new hubs are not on the web site yet, but oooh are they fine!

has anyone with a creaking KH hub tried fixing it with green loctite?

You can’t fix the creaking unless you can pull the hub body off the spindle, which is pretty much impossible without some sort of industrial press.

I did notice that the new Nimbus Oregon hub is also “pinned” through the hub.

So what actually happened to your new-style KH hubs Ben? Was it just a creak (annoying) or a complete loss of drive (potentially dangerous)? If you can’t pull the axle out without a press then it doesn’t sound like it’s come away completely. Just wondering how to react if mine starts creaking (it’ll be out of warranty now) - stop riding it or just live with the creak…

(Luckily mine seems fine so far)


I rode with the first creaking hub for six months, the creaking just got worse and worse, but it never spun free or slipped “that much”. Josh told me to ride it until it started slipping, but I replaced it when the creaking got to be too much.

The other started creaking a month ago, it had fewer miles over the winter, so didn’t get as wet, which may have accelerated the creaking on my first problem hub.

A riding buddy has had two KH hubs creak, one was replaced, but now the replacement is creaking.

If you’re inside the twelve month warranty window, I’d get it replaced or get a promise that’ll be replaced if you keep riding it.

Mine was replaced 15 months after original purchase.

Who replaced it and how long ago was it replaced?

I’ve already been told “no” on one hub and yes on the other.

What should happen, since this is a new problem specific to a new product, is that an extended warranty should be offered.

The cost of doing business is taking care of the consumer when products fail to provide adequate service life.

Would you spend $95-125 for a hub, then build or have a wheel built with that hub, while knowing that the hub will fail in less than two years? I expect a wheel, bicycle or uni, when well taken care of, to last many years; hubs are often the last thing I worry about replacing…

what is creaking? The spline interface between the spindle and the flange? If that’s the problem I don’t see why the green loctite wouldn’t work. It is a penetrating loctite meant for previously assembled items.

Yes, the interface.

If it was so easy I’d think that it would already be fixed…

Another creaking hub

The hub on my KH29 also creaks, at least I think it is the hub. It only seems to creak when I’m climbing hills. Since I bought it in January 2010 I guess my only recourse is to ride it until it goes bad and then rebuild it.

Hmmm… thinking about it, I sometimes get a bit of a creak from my 29er on steep climbs - I thought it was from the adjustable seatpost but perhaps I’d better start suspecting the hub. If I can narrow it down to the hub I’ll try some loctite on it before it gets too bad and see if it helps. (it’s over a year old now so won’t be under warranty).


January 2010 was when I got mine and they replaced it end of April 2011. Can’t hurt to ask. I called and talked to them. I wouldn’t email. Mine only really creaked while climbing or accelerating. Flat or gentle slopes it was quiet. I hope the new ones are fixed. I’m hoping my rebuild is ready by this weekend for the holiday. If not, I will use the Schlumpf. It’s fun and challenging, just not as relaxing for me.

creaking clicking hub

My KH29 is only 5 months old. About a month ago it started making this noise. Occurs only when cranks are depressed. I can spin it freely without noise. Was told by store I purchased one month ago that they needed a double arm bearing puller and chain lube to repair. Growing more frustrated each day I phone and ask.
I had averaged maybe 4 hours of riding a week before this noise. I am 50 and haven’t ridden since I was 12. Needless to say I am not a hard rider. Stopped riding cause I didn’t want to cause more damage.
Tempted to take it to a bike repair shop and pay for them to try to handle this problem but worried cause they are not familiar with my problem.

It’s not something that can be fixed by a bike shop. Call the place where you purchased the uni, let them know it’s creaking.

Thanks for the “do not take to bike shop” advice.
I have returned to store of original purchase. He pulled the cranks and then reinstalled them which did nothing. He researched the problem and found advice to use a bearing puller then chain lube to repair. Didn’t have a bearing puller. Said he’d call when he did. That was more than a month ago. I have called since and told still no bearing puller.