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Alchemy ORC-UL

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  • #93639

    Alchemy’s ORC-UL rear hub has been out on the market for a few weeks now and we, like a few other custom wheel builders, are completing our first builds with them.  Our initial impression was based on an early custom prototype made for a customer who’s extremely hard on wheels. We were impressed with how well it worked with the super-clydesdale specs of that wheelset. And then more recently we were delighted to receive our much-anticipated shipment of production hubs, and got going lacing them to some of our favorite rims. They are proving to be beautifully made, spinning very nice and smooth, with excellent non-drive side tension. We pulled one apart and took photos to give you an idea of what the new ORC-UL is about.  But first we have new on the Campy release schedule, or lack thereof.

    Alchemy’s ORC-UL Campagnolo Freehub Body

    Alchemy has postponed the release of the Campagnolo 11 speed ORC-UL hub.  At the very earliest the new release date is December 2013.  According to Alchemy this is due to a couple of new developments.  For one thing, the intense demand for this Shimano 10/11sp version of the ORC-UL has demanded significantly more time than expected. Also Alchemy has found a solution for Campagnolo drive trains that they say works perfectly.

    Here’s the email we received from Alchemy on the matter.

    We have decided to delay the release of a Campy specific hub. However, there is a viable option. I recently tested the use of a Shimano 11sp cassette with a Campy drive train and I discovered that, by using three micro shims placed roughly equally throughout the stack, a Shimano 11sp stack will shift perfectly with a Campy drive train.

    Currently, the ORC-UL is available in S10 and S11 versions.  To address the needs of Campy users, I am now offering a modified version of the S11 that will include spacers for Campy 11. The modified S11 hub (O-UL-SC-11) will include the spacers and instructions on where to place them in the Shimano 11sp stack to achieve perfect shifting with a C11 drive train. I have tested this and the shifting is excellent.

    At this time, we do not have a target release date for a Campy specific hub.

    ~ Alchemy Bicycle Works

    Image Gallery: Assembling Alchemy’s ORC-UL

    You can see the portion of the hub shell that extends under the freehub body moving the edge of the hub shell and last bearing out to only 11.7mm from the dropout.

    Completely disassembled save the final bearing in the freehub body.

    The large bold, bottom left, will then secure the freehub into place.

    The freehub body slides onto / into the hub shell.

    The freehub fixing bolt is also referred to as the freehub bearing cup since the outermost drive-side bearing sits in the fixing bolt.

    Once the freehub fixing bolt is installed, all that’s left is the bearings and axle.

    In order to provide the longest bearing life possible Alchemy uses a second set of seals in the ORC-UL.

    Once the bearings are installed the second set of seals will be placed.

    The last step is installing the axle which treads on the drive side.

    The last step is installing the axle which threads on the drive side.

    The final weight on our re-built hub was slightly under Alchemy's claimed weight.

    The final weight was slightly under Alchemy’s claimed weight.

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