Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB general

Superstar Tesla Wheels

barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
edited August 2014 in MTB general
Good Day All,

I returned my Superstar Tesla wheelset due to the freehub failing. Wheelspec:


Custom Wheelset Generator - Pair of Wheels
- Adaptor Inc F - SWITCH/TESLA 15mm Adaptor
- Adaptor Inc R - SWITCH/TESLA QR Adaptor
- Hub Type Front Tesla Front Hub - Red
- Hub Type Rear Tesla Rear Hub - Red
- Nipples Red Alloy SAPIM SILS
- Rim Stans Arch EX Disc White - Instock
- Rimtape Included Free of Charge
- Spokes CX Ray Black SAPIM Spokes - Ultralight Bladed

Total: £392.98


Been used for a total of 6 months only. Superstar received the wheelset on 10-Jul-13. Here is the letter I sent with the wheels:

"
I am returning my custom built wheel set in a cleaned and fully stripped down condition for inspection. The freehub drive has completely failed. I have had no issues with the bearings themselves.

I have been running the wheelset on my trail bike for a total of 6 months. The freehub started to slip 4 rides ago with the hub slipping on the initial power stroke but then seemed to be fine, although with some minor slippage at times, for the duration whilst the cranks were moving. It then worsened so that on every power stroke the hub slipped causing the cranks to jerk through the arc of motion. The rear wheel freehub was stripped, cleaned and re-greased using slick honey grease. This proved to be futile and did not resolve the issue. I have attached some photographs showing the damage found to the interior of the hub body: Image 1 - shows wear to the teeth of the freehub wheel. Image 2 - deep cuts on the inner periphery of the hub body.

No harsh cleaners, chemicals or jets of water have ever been used in the cleaning of the wheels (or any other components on my bike).

It was noted that on the initial fitting of the cassette that the correct torque for the cassette lock-ring could not be achieved as the free hub slipped whilst I was using a torque wrench. Although this did alarm me that this could be a potential issue or failure criterion in the wheelset, the drive in the wheel was not compromised at all and I did not investigate further. After the initial shake down ride of the wheel set, I was that impressed that I emailed yourselves and posted a favourable review on your website.

I appreciate that the 'superfast pickup' requires much finer teeth on the freehub body, but this should not come at a cost to the 'bombproof reliability'. The wheels should be able to last longer than 6 months of trail/XC riding before needing to have the freehub body replaced, if ever at all! I have read online of other users having similar issues and would like to know if this issue has been or can be engineered out, as at present the wheels are not fit for purpose.

I look forward to hearing from you and would prefer to be contacted via email.
"

Image 1 - HERE

Image 2 -HERE

I received only one reply and that was a week ago:

"
The comments for your order are

Hello, we have received your item back for warranty inspection, your item and emails have been sent to the technical/warranty staff that will inspect your item over the next few days and contact you with their finding. We thank you for your patience.

Yours
The Superstar Team
"

I have tried ringing superstar but fail to get through and it just goes onto the answering machine. I also feel that I am not being that unreasonable with the time scale because in all honesty how hard is it to take 2 x 5mm hex keys and undo the freehub to technically stare at it? Has anyone else been in this position and had any issues with the Tesla freehubs. I did some looking around and some folks did mention that these are actually a older failed design based on a dmr hub.
«1

Posts

  • milfredomilfredo Posts: 322
    Shouldn't you have looked into the free hub slipping as soon as it happened to avoid doing damage? Everything can come loose from new and it sound like this was ignored before the damage was done. Free hubs often fail and yours didn't fail catastrophically which would indicate a manufacturing fault.

    As for Superstar warranty policy I have no clue but did you contact them first to discuss? Also how much is a new free hub and pawls, it can't be that much compared to how long you lose the wheels for a claim?
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    As soon as the hub started slipping I emailed super-star, who replied with 'send the wheels in for an inspection.' I should have stopped riding but as I had a few local rides planned I decided to tootle off, as the issue was just intermittent and not a complete failure. Before setting off I removed the free hub, cleaned it up and renewed the grease. The pawls and leaf springs all moved and there was no damage to them. Small shakedown ride and no issues. During the ride no clicking or jerking of the cranks for 9 miles and then all of a sudden, my legs were spinning and I was rolling backwards up a climb.

    The freehub is £40 and the pawls/springs I could not see as spares on the site. Fair enough it would be easier to just buy a new freehub body, but with a two year warranty on 'super fast pickup' and 'bulletproof reliable' wheels, I feel that I should not have to spend any more money on them.
  • leafliteleaflite Posts: 1,651
    You aren't the only one that appears to be having issues with these hubs.

    I should think that superstar will replace the freehub and any other damaged parts without any trouble. If the hub shell is damaged(and needs to be replaced) I would ask them to change it to a trizoid 120 as these seem more reliable despite the higher engagement.
  • milfredomilfredo Posts: 322
    Fair-do's, you checked and saw nothing wrong. It sounds like you are within your rights to have it replaced. Keep on calling I guess.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    It is ironic because when researching online about the Tesla hubs, I found out that these were supposed to do away with the reliability issues of the trizoid/superleggra (if that is how it is spelled) hubs. Before I purchased the wheels, I also spoke to mr.Superstar who advised of the same thing.

    I will look into changing the hub if I ever speak to SS again.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    I've been holding off from buying a new set of Superstar wheels with Tesla because of this problem. A few people on other forums have also reported a similar problem. There are some reports of an old and new design but I'm not sure how much is true. I'm basically waiting for a definitive comment from Superstar along the lines of "we fixed the problem by changing component X, Y and Z etc.." until I click the buy button.

    I've been running a Superstar Wheelset with Switch hubs for a few years now and only replaced the freehub once when it cracked other than that they have been fine, they might be the more reliable option.

    My experience with their after sales service is satisfactory. They can take a while to reply to you but any of my issues where sorted out with minimal hassle. Just have to sit and wait...
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    FWIW my old teslas have been fine, whereas my second set (maybe 4 months old now) are on their way out.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    Cheers for the replies. Interesting stuff.
    I'm basically waiting for a definitive comment from Superstar along the lines of "we fixed the problem by changing component X, Y and Z etc.." until I click the buy button.
    Not sure if that will ever happen.

    I actually got through to Superstar today on the phone. Apparently they are awaiting some spare parts, not sure exactly what as the guy I spoke to did not seem to know either or know much about the issues with my hub in particular. So will have to keep waiting.

    Can't wait to have some wheels... then I may just sell them straight away.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    Just had an email from SS today... wheels are in transit! Can't wait to see if they work.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    Well looks like they replaced the hub body and free-hub but used my old bearings. See how it rides soon.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    You say you couldnt torque the cassette locking ring because the freehub slipped. Did you not use a chain whip? If not that's probably what caused the failure.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    That's nonesense. You use a chainwhip to take it off. If the freehub can't handle a lockring being fitted, it certainly isn't going to hold up once you start pedalling.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    Indeed, torque on the lockring is 40Nm, and 80kg rider standing on the one pedal is creating a max torque at the freehub (22/36 gearing) of about 5 times that (I think I got the calc right!).
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Or for the non scientist types, I put a hell of a lot more power down using my legs and not inconsiderable bulk than I can with a spanner.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Hmmmm, sorry to report that the same thing has now happened with my tesla hubs on the communter. Particularly disappointing as it's only used for on-road communting duties and has been used off-road once (which was when the freehub has failed).

    Email sent off to superstar, with pics. Will see what they say. Looking at the OP though, I suspect they'll tell me to return them.

    Should add that the Trizoid hubs on the Bionicon have lasted almost 18 months of proper offroading and some DH without missing a beat, so it's clearly not a problem with *all* superstar wheels.
  • GJCGJC Posts: 198
    Same thing here, after several short rides the freehub has failed, sent back to superstar components for repair, they have replaced the rear hub under warranty.

    GJC
    Lapierre Spicy 316 2011
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    GJC, Spicy... 2011, lovely! I am riding a 514 11... Lovely!

    Anyway... I am fasting at the minute and will be for the next week and a half, so luckily for super-star I can't ride till then, but got 4-5 days of riding planned! See how the new hub holds up.
  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Glad I resisted the temptation now and spent the extra on a Pro II for the Rocky after reading this :) Shame really, they did sound like they would be perfect if they worked.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    peter413 wrote:
    Glad I resisted the temptation now and spent the extra on a Pro II for the Rocky after reading this :) Shame really, they did sound like they would be perfect if they worked.

    Glad to hear that as I do not want anyone to have to deal with this censored . Life's to short to be dealing/worrying about superstar bicycle hubs, albeit not all of them but this one! Crossmax sx is on the wishlist.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    Still yet to go on a ride but been getting everything ready and decided to pack the labyrinth style seals with grease.

    I saw a washer which sits on the drive end side bearing of the hub, which when looking at it from the drive side of the bike, the free-hub slides over the axle and then the quick release adapter threads onto the axle. What I noticed this time compared to the first wheel was that adapters were done up very tight! On the first wheel they literally fell apart and if I tightened them, the free-hub would be very stiff to move. This time I can nicely tighten up the adapters and the free-hub is lovely smooth to spin freely. The bearings do not need 'loading' (like a headset) as they are all sitting in there housings and spaced correctly and the axle can be tightened up. I wish I checked more closely now, but I think my original wheel did not have the washer in the hub, which contributed to the failure.

    I could be wrong, but if anyone does have the wheel it would be worth checking.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    This has just swayed me to buy Hope Hoops
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    interesting a possible issue with the a batch then.

    but dont think hope are perfect guys, my house mate went through 3 hopes in a year cracking the flanges on 2 and snapping an axle and either of us will be touching them again.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    ej2320 wrote:
    This has just swayed me to buy Hope Hoops

    Its just the Telsa hubs that have some reports of poor reliability, Hope are far from perfect too.

    The Switch hubs are cheaper and far more durable, I'm very happy with mine even after 2 and a bit years and heard very little bad things about them on forums.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    I could get a switch hub then?

    Switch hub and Stans flow might be good
  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    I would always spend the extra on Hope's personally. I own two pairs of Pro II's and a pair of Switch's and the Hope's are far superior. Better bearings, better pawl system (each pawl has a separate spring so if one fails you aren't stuck, if the one Switch spring fails none of the pawls will engage), stronger freehub (my Switch one cracked pretty easily, Hope one has barely marked from the cassette after nearly two years), better adaptors in the front hub (easier to change) and the engagement is far more solid on the Pro II.

    Superstar support is flaky at best, some have good experience, some have bad. Mine was pretty awful when I've had to deal with them. Not to mention the same with the Superstar wheel builds, some are good, some are bad and again mine were pretty damn bad. The Hope Hoops builds are pretty good in my experience and if you get them with Stan's rims they are pretty good value too if you add up all of the components separately.
  • ej2320ej2320 Posts: 1,543
    peter413 wrote:
    I would always spend the extra on Hope's personally. I own two pairs of Pro II's and a pair of Switch's and the Hope's are far superior. Better bearings, better pawl system (each pawl has a separate spring so if one fails you aren't stuck, if the one Switch spring fails none of the pawls will engage), stronger freehub (my Switch one cracked pretty easily, Hope one has barely marked from the cassette after nearly two years), better adaptors in the front hub (easier to change) and the engagement is far more solid on the Pro II.

    Superstar support is flaky at best, some have good experience, some have bad. Mine was pretty awful when I've had to deal with them. Not to mention the same with the Superstar wheel builds, some are good, some are bad and again mine were pretty damn bad. The Hope Hoops builds are pretty good in my experience and if you get them with Stan's rims they are pretty good value too if you add up all of the components separately.

    That would be my view

    I can get Hope hoops with Stans Arch EX for £300

    Personally I see Hope as one of the few 'fit and forget' brands where you can literally fit a part and it will serve you perfectly for the years to come
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    I could get a switch hub then?

    Yep if you want. Superstar offer a few different types of hubs have look on their webiste.

    The Switch hub is a re branded Novatech hub which I think are regarded as being good hubs. In my opinion its a good reliable hub. Not market leading or super fancy but for the price its very competitive, good weight, can adapt to almost any axle system, easy to change bearings....

    Compare the stats with a Hope pro2 you'll find its very similar.

    Nothing is ever totally fault free if you search around you'll find reports of failure for anything.

    Also no complaints about Superstars after sales. They might take a while to reply but everything has been sorted satisfactorily. They also offer free lifetime re- tension and have a crash replacement policy. Not sure how many other people offer the same service?
  • Had my Pacenti Teslas since the start of the year, and while I haven't done loooooads of miles, what I have done has been pretty wet and muddy - no issues so far! They have a pleasing whirr and the fast pickup is nice!
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    Bah, was re-indexing the mech and the shimano outer just collapsed... sometimes I wonder why I ever started riding.
  • barikhanbarikhan Posts: 22
    So finally been on first ride, just a ride down the coast, nothing taxing. The hub jerked slightly about 4-5 times in total... just slightly though, nothing major, but enough to let you know it is there!

    Trail centre tomorrow, see how it goes there.
Sign In or Register to comment.