I have been told that the suzue hubs won’t stand up to much of anything, and on unicylce.com under some of the unicycles with the suzue hub it says “this unicycle rated for drops up to 12 inches.” That isn’t much, so I decided to get the real story on suzue hubs.
First off, do they break/bend very easily, how high do suzue users jump from with their suzue hubs?
When they break do they just bend, or do they snap, or do the cranks break off, or all of the above, because I fear for my crotch, and if they just bend, well then that isn’t so bad.
The Suzue is one of the strongest of the standard square tapered unicycle hubs. Back before the splined hubs were available the Suzue was considered to be the best standard hub for muni. People were doing jumps, drops, and trials with the Suzue hub.
The Suzue will eventually fail if you do big enough drops. If you have good technique and absorb the drops and roll out the drops you could do 3 foot drops over and over before it would fail. If you limit to 1 foot drops the hub would last much much longer and that’s probably why it’s given a drop rating of 1 foot.
When it fails it is likely to be a catastrophic failure (i.e. it will snap) and the crank will fall off immediately when you land and you’ll end up on your butt. It may bend a little first but don’t count on it.
The problem is that riding styles have changed greatly in the last few years. It is now much more common for people to do bigger drops, higher jumps, and be much more rough on the hubs.
If they give a rating for a hub they really have to be certain it won’t break. Otherwise, please correct me if I’m wrong, the customer can demand a refund (?). The hub on my first unicycle is much worse than the suzue hub and it only started to bend at just under 1m drops. I’m pretty light but still, I think the suzue’s a strong hub.
Suzue hubs are plenty strong. Both my trials uni and my MUni have Suzue hubs. I’ve done many 4 and 5 foot drops on both unis and their hubs are fine. I should mention that I’m a fairly skinny guy (175cm, 60kg) and that I’ve seen heavier riders clean snap their Suzue axles.
What’s more of an issue for square taper hubs is which cranks you use. I recomend Kookas for MUni and as for 20" trials so far the only cranks I’ve found that will take the punishment are are pair of tubular steel MTB cranks cut down and re-welded. At the moment I’m trying out a pair of 140mm Dotek cranks on my trials uni. They seem to be holding up OK so far, but this is after only one ride with drops no bigger than 2 feet.
I think my trials uni will have a suzue hub because I am light, and they are so cheap! I must admit I am somewhat afraid of this catastrophic snapping of the hub that John Childs wrote of, but when considering how much money I will save, I think I can get over it.