Koozer ? The brand may probably not ring a bell to you. One more asian brand with limited lifespan ? Maybe too. However Koozer proposes a catalog of very interesting hubs, mainly from the freehub point of view. So let’s go for a review of the Koozer XM490 that is mounted on the recently presented Marin.
On the paper, the XM490 is a very common hub : same large diameter flanges, alloy body, end caps that are snapped on the axle and pawl freehub body. As for prices : 70€ the hubset with free shipping on Aliexpress. An other asian hubset as we already saw so many…
What sets this product appart is the 6 pawls freehub body. There is two groups of 3 pawls working one after the other. It means half the pawls are offset by half a degree. This configuration allows for one engagment every 5°. Being a big fan of Industry Nine hubs, and their 3° of engagment, I looked forward to experiment Kooser’hubs on the ride.
Built on a 17mm axle with NBK 17x33x7 (17287 2RS) bearings. The axle isn’t threaded so the end caps directly snap on it. This configuration often favours plays to occur, but I didn’t encounter this problem here.
The 307g rear hub is built on a non-threaded 15mm axle too with 6902 bearings (15x28x7). The quite heavy weight is due to the steel freehub body. Bearings stops are directly machined on the axle and in the hub body in a classic way.
Aside from grouping pawls by 3, the steel freehub body is of conventional design. We should note in passing that a big bearing bears the freehub body at its interior end.
The hubs come in a box with a pair of standard skewers weighing 86g. It takes the design of the hubs.
On the field, the quick engagment (5°) finally doesn’t change anything much. In practice, when we start to pedal, rotation speed of the crankset must be higher than the hub one so the engagment appears. At this point you already carried out one crankset rotation. So it won’t be sensible if you have one engagement each 5° or 10°.
Finally, this hubset is completely satisfying. It is reliable and good value for money. In addition, the nice anodized pattern allows the Kooser to differ from other hubs easily. They are built on the last year presented Marin.
Geometry of the Koozer XM490 hubs
|XM490 front hub||XM490 rear hub|
|Distance hub flange to wheel center