Especially on recumbents our knees are very exposed to excessive load
as we have a solid support behind our back. I am sure everyone has at
some point experienced knee pain after more intensive cycling. Even
diamond frame cyclists experience that and their pressure on knees is
much lower. There is a very simple solution available and it is called
eHub. And no, it is not a motor and it has no electronics inside.

a-Hub in black (available also in beautiful red and silver)

a-Hub in black (available also in beautiful red and silver)

It was developed for diamond frame bikes and it even has UCI
certificate, which means it is allowed on international races. The
main purpose of this special hub is however not related to knee
strain. It was developed for overcoming the pedals’ backlash,
consequently allowing cyclists a better output and increased overall
performance by 7-10%. It seams this really works, as more and more
famous cyclists around the world are already using eHub. Considering
the fact that it is heavier than standard rear hub, noone in the DF
world would use it without gaining something that can be realised and
of course, measured.

For me this 10% better performance is not so important. It is true I
cycle with a Nazca Fuego which is built for speed, but at the same
time it is made for comfort and safety on the road. And comfort was
deffinatelly not sacrefised for speed and that’s what I like about it.
It is fast and comfortable. I already cycled 800km with the eHub in my
Fuego rear wheel and I experienced first hand how climbing feels like
when you have eHub inside. When you first push on the pedal you will
feel they are softer. I started with eHub 5 and it is perfect for
“normal” terrain for not so strong riders. It actually propells you up
small hills and you will have a feeling you just flied over it. You
will have to find the right combination of gears and cadence to feel
that perfect effect. That is why they have different numbers which are
suited to different strength of the cyclist and the way they climb
hills. At the moment this scale from 1 – 6 is designed for DF bikes
and for recumbent cyclists only 5 and 6 are suitable, as our pressure
on pedals is so much higher compared to DF world. They have decided to
develop a recumbent version though and considering the just mentioned
fact about high forces present here, this is certainly a very welcome
addition to the recumbent cycling industry.

Cycling with eHub in the rear wheel makes the ride smoother. Peak
pressure on the pedals gets “eaten up” by the spring and it is
released later, when the pressure in “dead area” is the weakest.
Spring stores that excessive energy and releases it later when it is
needed to sustain fluid forward motion. There have been many solutions
on how to overcome this pedalling problem. From eliptical chainrings
to special pedal arms, but many of them have a steep learning curve
and they require symmetrical movement and only work at certain angles.
Spring does not care how much pressure you have in your left or right
foot and where is your dead end, it simply stores energy when pressure
is very high and releases it when it is lowest. Not depending on left
or right leg exact position. Besides removing those peak stress points
for your knees and muscles, it also reduces side forces on the frame.
Frames in recumbent world are long and are thus prone to bending as we
have no triangles to keep them rigid. Even DF cyclists have noticed
the lack of resonance in the frame that without eHub happens
sometimes. With every possible gram of weight reduced, this can get
problematic. So we have more than just one positive side effect.

Facts they advertise:

– better output of the thrust (by 7-10%)
– overcome pedal’s backlash
– lower muscle and knee strain
– high quality material

And they have a lot of references on their website to back this up.
But as I said. For me it is the comfort that counts and having less
knee strain and climbing more fluently certainly increase comfort.
Being a little faster is just a side effect as Fuego is already a very
fast bicycle :).

Article by Peter from