Been a while since I have blogged endlessly about SCS and axle standards and the like. Things have progressed slightly on the technical front, and as a result we are repositioning our SCS kit to reflect what is currently available. We still fully support these SCS bikes, so don't panic. We love you guys.
Hope has come out with an SCS hub. It isn't center lock, which makes me sad, but it is SCS which makes me happy. We are getting set up with them currently and I plan to stock their hubs for our primary SCS build option. It is the cleanest. These hubs don't convert to other axle standards, though, which also makes me sad. Still, it is clean. My understanding is that Specialized needed stock for their Roval line, and made a big enough order with Hope (to get away from dependence on DT) to make tooling up for this worth it for Hope. Which is great, I love Hope hubs. Not perfect to my taste, but hey, I'll take it.
Another option, which retains convertibility to 15x100 or 12x142 or QR, is our standard DT 350 build, but without the cassette. How does that work, you ask? Well, it's pretty clever really. We use the SCS kit with just the four custom end caps for DT 350 hubs. We sell the stock wheelset with factory 12x142 rear end caps. You install 3 of our end caps, so that it fits 12x100 and 12x135 in the back, and you use the 12x142 drive side end cap from DT. This is extra long since it isn't for SCS. This gives you the standard drop out face to lock ring spacing of a 12x142 wheel. Voila. It also increases your over lock ring (OLD) distance from 135 to 138 or so. Because of that, we were not willing to sell this to the public lest Specialized make a stink if you busted your frame. We did use this set up across the team during cyclocross season and it worked great.
Why are we selling it now? Because Specialized came out with the "Non SCS" hanger for the through axle Crux. You can't GET the thing, but they designed one (eventually one assumes these will be available but to date I can't get any for our team bikes...). It has a flat face, as they filled in the recess for the end cap, effectively acting like a longer drive side end cap, and thus SPREADS THE STAYS by 2.5mm or so. No big deal. You lose the self centering function of the dropout though, which must suck lemons, so we feel our method is simpler and allows you to still pop in your stock SCS wheels, or a wheel with our SCS cassette kit, without changing drop outs. Shifting is generally not affected when swapping wheels in this manner as the hanger to small cog distance is the same. To be clear, we were never worried about spreading the stays 2.5mm but there was no upside in assuming any liability either. Until now.
Anyway, this little jobber allows you, they say, to run 12x135 non SCS hubs. Allegedly. I still argue that point, as 12x135 is an outdated through axle standard for bikes with a flat faced dropout that measures 135mm from face to face, just like a QR bike. These bikes do NOT self center the wheel as a result. Hub manufacturers are going to have to produce a Specialized SCS SPECIFIC 12x135 set of caps, as the rotor side of an SCS bike still has that recess to allow the wheel to self center. Thus, the non-drive side end cap needs to be LONGER or your rotor is going to hit the frame. It will be about 2.5mm off, which is a lot. Maybe that is why they never shipped these out like they said they were going to? But you can see that all it is doing is giving the 135 end cap the clearance from frame to lock ring by filling in the "notch" for the end cap, so that it acts like a quick release drop out. SCS 135 end caps are longer on the drive side to allow them to stick into that recess to self center AND give you the lock ring to frame clearance. I do not know if any hub manufacturers are making the RIGHT 135mm end caps, but I would caution you about buying just any old 135 through axle hub.