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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

GOKISO Aerospace Hub for bicycles aims to give bearings a break

June 28, 2011

If you've ever watched the Tour de France and winced as all those skinny-wheeled racing bikes bounced over the cobblestone roads ... well, you were right to do so. Not only are such hard, rough surfaces capable of bending rims, but they're also hard on hub bearings - as the axle shaft flexes ever-so-slightly in response to hitting bumps, the ball bearings that encircle it are pressed against the hub's bearing races, both causing friction and potentially damaging the bearings. Japan's Kondo Machine Corporation, however, has created a product that is claimed to minimize this problem. It's the "jet-engine-inspired" GOKISO Aerospace Hub, and we spied it last week at the 49th Paris Air Show.

The big secret to the GOKISO hub is its ability to spring under pressure. In a traditional hub, the axle shaft is unyieldingly connected to the rest of the hub. This means that any time the shaft flexes, it immediately presses against the inside of the hub. At either end of the GOKISO, however, there's a half-millimeter of space between the shaft and the hub body. While that might not sound like much, it's reportedly enough to allow the shaft to deform under pressure, without coming into contact with the inside of the hub.

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Charles Lembcke said...

Great information! I enjoyed this one, and many of the other posts you've been putting out lately.

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