Mercury Wheels Unveils New Proprietary Hubs & Skewers

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Mercury Wheels has switched to a proprietary hub design, improving virtually every aspect. All wheels will get the new design with straight pull spokes, and the front hub is 14mm wider at the flange. It also gets a 15mm axle and larger bearings. Combined, it makes for a for a much stiffer wheel.

The rear gets 2-cross spoke lacing on both sides and the internals bump up to. six pawls from three. It also gets a 15mm axle with four oversized bearings, two per side. Founder Chris Mogridge says the changes added about 25g per wheelset, but the improved performance more than makes up for it.

Click through to see the rectangular skewers and a peek into the future…

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2014-Mercury-Wheels-rear-hubs01

They’re also developing their own disc brake hubs for cyclocross and road wheels. Look for those in about two months. They’ll offer that with any of their current rims, so no disc specific rims until sometime in 2014.

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The new skewers use a rectangular shape to save a bit of weight without giving up strength. They’re steel, but Mogridge says they’re about the same weight as his original titanium ones.

 

Comments

Seraph - 07/27/13 - 7:51pm

Because if there’s anything that the cycling industry needs more of, it’s proprietary things.

Sam - 07/27/13 - 8:34pm

Why not machine the whole skewer and keep a round cross-section? The levers are bulky, too. So, the wheels are proprietary, but copy everyone else’s wheels anyways.

mudrock - 07/27/13 - 11:26pm

Stiffer wheel, wider bearing stance, what’s not to like? they fit in a frame like any other wheel. the levers are bulky so they fit in your hand.

Aaron - 07/28/13 - 12:58am

Interesting. Nothing seems super groundbreaking here. Wide flanges, larger bearings… all of these can be found on generic aftermarket hubs. However wide flanges almost always = stiffer wheel.

If anything, what bike hubs hubs need is better bearing preload adjustability, non-proprietary parts and easy bearing service/replacement. Of which this hub appears to have none.

Also, straight pull spokes suck. Why do they suck? because if you break a spoke (you will eventually), you’re out for a few days while you search around for a spoke that will fit your whiz-bang wheel. Every bike shop has J-bends. But many don’t have the right length butted straight pull spoke sitting around.

As for the skewers, who gives a crap? I’m pretty sure that Tune has engineered the weight-weeniest skewer imaginable… you can always get those instead.

Mark - 07/28/13 - 9:21am

If you want to get me hot ‘n’ bothered forge it and machine it in the USA, and offer it at a competitive price.

+1 on @Aaron’s straight pull comments.

Grundle McPundle - 07/28/13 - 6:17pm

Those skewers are not good at all. Parts bin garbage lever design, and no, a square skewer rod is not as strong as a round one… That being said, the hubs are also still pretty unimpressive. Bummer. They had made it sound like a properly engineered redesign was coming.

Steve - 07/29/13 - 1:55am

Proprietary? How so? Other than the logo those are off the shelf hubs by a Taiwan hub vendor KT. I’m sure they are better than what they were using but don’t call it proprietary.

I'm on a boat - 07/29/13 - 9:59am

why not use a j bend spoke in this design?
Why are there no photos of the actual wheel?
or are they just selling the spokes and their new hubs?

patrik - 07/29/13 - 1:56pm

When a small company goes proprietary, they’re renegades, shaking things up, challenging status quo, moving the industry forward, and other accolades.

When a large company goes proprietary, they’re complicating the market, making it harder to get parts, in it for themselves, and other putdowns.

pmurf - 07/29/13 - 2:40pm

I would have said the skewers were kind of cool if KCNC hadn’t done almost the exact same thing months ago with their Grooving skewer. I’ll be impressed if someone comes out with a hollow skewer. I feel like that’d be stronger….but I’m no engineer.

JasonK - 07/29/13 - 7:47pm

Pmurf, I’ve seen hollow chrome-moly skewers from other companies. For example:

http://www.bikehubstore.com/product-p/qr57.htm

Hollow skewers are no stronger than squared-off or regular round-section rod skewers. A hollow skewer would give you a better stiffness-to-weight ratio than a squared-off or round skewer if you cared about bending stiffness. But skewers are stressed in tension, not in bending.

For what it’s worth, I am a mechanical engineer.

P.S. The idea that squared-off skewers are somehow advantageous is pretty loopy. A smaller diameter is simpler and cheaper.

Ron burgundy - 07/30/13 - 12:28am

Yummy

ice man - 07/31/13 - 11:32am

That front hub is not proprietary, Hawk Racing has been using them for about 2 years now. Sl11 they spec it out with high grade Japanese bearings too. I have a pair, the adjusters are identical too. Their rear hubs look similar but radial on the non drive side. $200 less than Mercury’s current wheelset too! 25mm wide x 55mm deep!

Matb - 07/31/13 - 11:37am

That front hub is not proprietary, Hawk Racing has been using them for about 2 years now. They call it Sl11 they spec it out with high grade Japanese bearings too. I have a pair, the adjusters look identical. Their rear hubs look similar but radial on the non drive side. $200 less than Mercury’s current wheelset too! 25mm wide x 55mm deep!
http://shop.hawk-racing.net/index.php?p=products&p2=view_prod&pid=HS.SL11
http://hawk-racing.com/products/show/46

Neil - 09/28/13 - 2:23pm

KT Taiwan parts

http://www.q-lai.com/road_z88f.html

Dex Tao - 11/27/13 - 1:18am

14 mm wider but the bearings are not at that wider position meaning the vertical loads are only being supported by those little aluminum axle endcaps which are supported by 3.5mm of its aluminum threads! An inexpensive but unsound design causing premature bearing wear and possible part breakage.
That’s why Dura Ace hubs are so coveted: Not only because of premium and adjustable bearings but their axles run all the way through to the ends – just like any traditional cup and cone system. Beautiful.
And yeah, straight pull spokes…:P

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