As a hub motor rider myself, one of the most challenging aspects of maintaining hubs is replacing the urethane. In all cases that I’m aware of, you need to go back to the manufacturer to get new urethane, which leaves you dependent on their ability to procure or make urethane for their motors. It basically means, you’ll only ever have one producer to go to and can’t benefit from other people’s innovations.
What interest does the community have in standards existing for urethane tires? I think of analogies in cycling and other motor sports – there are folks who specialize in creating wheels (the actual rim, hub, and spokes) and there’s other folks who specialize in creating tires (sometimes a companies do make both, of course), but because there are standards in how tires and wheels interface then it allows specialtization in one area without needing to develop the whole system. For a rider, it’s great because you can buy different types of tires for different conditions and riding styles.
For hubs, I see this as a particularly useful path. Most (all?) folks developing hubs are focused on the motor. The urethane may be important, but it’s not their expertise. If hub motors were created with a standard way for urethane (with a core) to slide on, then anyone could make urethane that could interface with many hub motors.
My hunch is that this problem would need to be addressed by having hub motor developers agree on standard interfaces with the urethane. This would create a bigger market for someone who might be interested in creating urethane for hub motors.
- For hub motor riders (not necessarily Carvon direct-drive riders), is a world like this appealing?
- For hub motor developers, what would need to be true for you to be willing to create motors that adheres to some standard interface?