As both a rider and a mechanic, there's nothing more annoying than the rattle of a loose part. No matter if it's a hub or a headset, the longer you ride a part with play in it, the better chance that it'll fail, and in most cases, solving the problem is usually as easy as tightening a bolt or adding a spacer. But what if the shakes are the result of a design flaw? "Installation error" can't always be the scapegoat when turning down a warranty claim, and the fine folks at Éclat hate seeing components come back destroyed, so they put their German minds to work for months in an effort to solve the issue of side-to-side play found in many freecoasters currently available, resulting in their new Cortex hub.

Building a simple, yet durable freecoaster hub isn't something that many companies have been able to accomplish over the past few years, but Éclat seemed to have pulled it off with the Cortex. Built around a unique clutch system they're dubbing the IOS, the Cortex differs from standard clutch setups by integrating a larger, higher-strength coil spring on the inside on the clutch and paired it with a tight polymer o-ring, which applies constant friction to all points of the axle, unlike only 2 points as found on some of the more popular hubs offered today. Using the IOS system as opposed to a standard ball & spring clutch system serves for even wear on all hub components, making the internals more durable and in need of minimal maintenance over time. The side-to-side play we spoke about earlier is also eliminated by equipping the Cortex with a "stopper ring" that sits behind the main drive side hub bearing, preventing the clutch from crushing the bearing and eventually causing the play that everyone hates.

When working with the Éclat team on the Cortex, one request the riders made was for a hub with more slack. As such, the Cortex comes out of the box with a ¼ crank of slack, but this can be adjusted by adding or removing spacers behind the clutch, which are included with purchase. Cortex options include either RHD or LHD, and available colors include black, polished and red. Pick up your Cortex today from Dans Comp for only $174.99, and don’t forget to add a drive-side and/or non-drive side guard while you’re at it. For more information, click on now.