The MG Washer

Spoke (or nipple) holes are a particular weak spot on all bike rims – aluminium and carbon alike. If you look at the actual contact area where the nipple meets the rim, it's easy to see why these drilled holes are so vulnerable. All of the forces transferred via the spokes and nipples (up to around 300 kg in total) press down onto this tiny area. So you can imagine what will happen sooner or later: The rim starts to crack at this exact spot. A quick glance at other rims and manufacturers reveals that there have been many attempts to solve this problem.

But we weren't completely happy with any of the existing solutions.

That's why we designed the MG Washer (patent pending).

The MG Washer is the smallest possible way of reinforcing the nipple hole. What does this actually mean? All other solutions need more material, making them heavier.

Another advantage of our MG Washer is its symmetry. The double-sided concave recess means not only can it be assembled in either direction, but the contact area between the rim is also shifted away from the nipple hole, thus relieving pressure on this spot.

Last, but not least, the MG Washer prevents the nipple from eating away at the rim and distributes wear evenly across the nipple and washer.

The MG Washer is also suitable for use on third-party rims with a flat spoke bed.

The rim profile

We delved deep into our bag of tricks to create wheels that are amazingly light yet incredibly strong, and we're confident that it was worth the effort!

We incorporated…
  • A completely rounded, optimised rim profile  
  • A flared design with optimised flange length and sidewall thickness
  • Above-average flange strength
  • A spoke bed designed to work perfectly with our MG Washers
  • High-strength, special heat-treated aluminium alloy

The completely rounded, optimised rim profile has allowed us to reduce the thickness of the sidewalls whilst the flared flanges keep the bed area down to an absolute minimum.

A narrower bed means less material.
Less material means less weight.

But we didn't stop there! We also optimised the cross section and wall thicknesses for each rim width.
Our intelligent design reduces the risk of rocks denting the outside of the rim and helps to prevent the rim profile from deforming under excessive loads or when riding over potholes, etc.

The flared flanges are stronger than comparable rival products and are what make our rims extremely ding-resistant in relation to their weight.

Who's idea was it? Flared flanges have been used in motocross and enduro for many years.

One last advantage: Because the flanges flare outwards at an overall angle of 25°, the tyre is less pinched at the bead and retains a rounder 'U' shape. The results? Added comfort and more cornering grip.

The (minor) downside: For technical reasons, the tolerance on the flared flanges of our NEWMEN rims is slightly higher (+/- 0.25 mm) than normal. In particular, the process of bending a rim with a 25° flared profile is substantially more complicated than with standard rims. That's why, for hand-built wheels, we recommend truing the wheel on one side only (ideally in the direction of travel) and leaving the opposite flange to 'wobble'. This wobble is nothing to worry about and does not impair the wheel function.

Straight-pull vs. J-bend

Opinions differ on whether straight-pull or J-bend is better. Whichever side of the fence you're on, one thing we as wheel-builders do know is that J-bend hubs offer more freedom than straight-pull hubs, which might be why they are still so popular in the trade.

But both of these modern hub types have their merits in different areas. That's why we build wheels with both straight-pull and J-bend hubs. The choice is yours!

6-bolt vs. Centerlock

As with the hub bodies, these two rotor attachment standards both have their merits. Centerlock is very popular among bike manufacturers as it's quicker to install.

A word of caution, though: Trials riders who spend a lot of time bouncing backwards and forwards whilst on the brakes often have problems with loose rivets if they use the Centerlock system. We advise these riders to go with the tried-and-tested 6-bolt standard.

TA caps (tolerance adjustment caps)

All components have manufacturing tolerances. Our TA caps can be used to completely compensate for these tolerances. The result: All parts fit together perfectly at all times – something that's definitely not possible on hubs that don't feature TA caps!

The TA caps also compensate for compression on the axle from the massive clamping forces generated by modern through-axles/quick releases. This keeps the bearings running smoothly and ensures a long life.

Star ratchet vs. pawl hubs

Our star ratchet system guarantees that all ratchet teeth are engaged AT ALL TIMES, unlike with pawl systems, where in the worst case scenario only one pawl is engaged.

Insider tip: Turn the freewheel of a pawl hub backwards very slowly and you will hear the pawls engaging one at a time... an almost certain death sentence for the freewheel if not all pawls are engaged when accelerating hard.

The ratchets designed by us at NEWMEN are manufactured from high-strength tool steel and made in Germany.


We use only premium-quality deep groove bearings with a C3 internal clearance rating. Retainer bearings and smooth-running seals are used for all low-load rotating components, such as hub shells. Full complement bearings are installed in high-load, slow-rotating components, such as the freewheel body. Full complement bearings have a higher load rating and can withstand more force than standard retainer bearings.

Incidentally, bearings always require a certain amount of play to keep them working over a long lifespan and prevent interruptions in the lubricating film.

When pressing or driving in bearings, always make sure that you apply pressure only to the race of the bearing that corresponds to the bearing seat (inner or outer). Hub example: The hub body bearings are pressed in via an outer race. The bearing may only be pressed/driven in by applying pressure to the outer race – never the inner race!

Bearings are subject to wear and tear, which means – depending on how and where they are used, and how they are cared for – they will need replacing at some point. That's why even though we use the highest quality bearings, replacement bearings for our hubs are available at a very reasonable price and we pass them on virtually at cost.

Bearing grease

A good greaser will reap the rewards on the bike. We spent a lot of time grappling with various lubricants and greases.
Why? Not all greases are equal. A high-quality, suitable bike grease is one of the three main factors that affect the longevity of the bearing, alongside bearing quality and seals. Grease keeps the bearings running smoothly and protects against corrosion. Corrosion is the biggest offender when it comes to damaged bearings.

The grease should also have a very high bleeding temperature, i.e. the temperature at which the oil separates from the thickener. If this happens, the oil will leak out of the bearing and the thickener stays put. The result: damaged bearings. A lot of greases bleed at temperatures as low as 60 to 70°C. It's not unusual to experience temperatures like these in summer when exposed to the sun for longer periods.

Our tip: Don't leave your bike in the blazing sunshine for long periods of time!

The best grease in the world will not prevent the bearings from wearing over time. Depending on how and where they are used, and how they are cared for, they will wear out at some point and need replacing. That's why even though we use the highest quality bearings, replacement bearings for our hubs are available at a very reasonable price and we pass them on virtually at cost.

Bearing seal

A typical deep groove bearing of the kind used in most types of hub is sealed on both sides with rubbing seals, called 2RS. However, a lot of deep groove bearings are fitted with seals that look like rubbing seals but which are actually non-rubbing.

You can tell which type of seal has been used by removing the seal and looking at the inner race of the bearing. If you can see a little 'ledge', the bearing has a rubbing seal.

Incidentally, some seals fit more tightly than others, resulting in variations in seal quality. We choose to use looser fitting seals in our hubs, which enhances their smooth running.

Tip for removing bearing seals:
Poke the point of a sharp carpet knife between the seal and the outer race to prise out the seal. The seal is firmly attached to the outer race and moves around the inner race. This will help prevent damage to the seal or seal surface.

The stem with a 2-bolt clamp

In our opinion the only real revolution to take place in stem design over the last 15 years. Our goal was to build the lightest 3D-forged oversize stem on the market that was both incredibly stiff and stronger than average. We refused to compromise on design and especially size. We could even shave off another 10 g or so by going for a standard design over oversize.

Does flex equal comfort?

Flex is the word on everyone's lips. The more, the better… so they say. But that simply is not the case. Why else do vehicles with spring suspension also need dampers? Without damping, a component with too much flex is a curse rather than a blessing. Undamped deflection causes oscillation and turns what was meant to be a pro into a definite con. A seat post that flexes too much will literally kick the rider out of the saddle when riding over obstacles.

Our appeal to the bike testers: Please take this into consideration and don't focus solely on the maximum flex values achieved in the test lab!

That's why we don't build maximum flex into our components; we find and perfect the right level of flex for optimum comfort.