The Circus Monkey hubs are an eye-catching new offering to the cycling market.
We see many brands coming and going. And it makes it hard to know who you can trust. Of course, there are some well-known brands on the market like Chris King. However, the more respected a brand becomes, the more expensive they tend to be.
You start paying for the brand, in other words.
Circus Monkey is one of those that could be a good deal. You are buying them directly from the manufacturer http://cycletaiwan.com/circus-monkey.html in Taiwan so that you can get around the middle-man. (Even better, they typically arrive in 14 days).
The initial assessment is that they are smooth and light-weight. So it seems like a win-win-win: you get an eye-catching hub that is affordable, spins smoothly and is lightweight. What could go wrong?
My next step is to dig around for warranty information. At one point, they had an email for the warranty, but I’m not finding that. And there are users reporting that they become unrideably loud at 1500 miles.
They do have an active Facebook page with a responsive messaging service, so you should be able to reach someone there if you have any problems.
However, I couldn’t get their website to load.
Which, for the Strava junkie, is about ten weeks of riding.
Best folks can tell, the issue lay in a weak hub axle that caused the freehub body to flex, chewing up the pawls that allow you to coast.
It’s crazy how complicated hubs are.
About the only place you can buy them now is on eBay. And, frankly, I don’t feel like they are the same deal that they used to be.
For road riding and light-duty use, it might be ok. But, if you have any power in your legs, whatever, or if you are trying to do off-road riding, I would have my concerns.
It appears that they do a robust business in foreign markets. Most of the language on their facebook is foreign, and they have a lot of photos purportedly from east Asian countries.
That could speak well to this hub’s ability to hold up in work horse conditions.
It could also be that in 2014, when the complaints came out, that they fixed the hub problems. We see that the hubs have continued to be produced and the price has one up. So, obviously, there is still a demand for their product.
One of the neatest things about this hub is its aggressive sound. This hub sounds like a banshee riding a 747 when you coast, and it reverberates throughout the entire wheel. If you are tired of announcing yourself to every cyclist when you need to pass, this hub will do it for you: they will pull over out of sheer terror.
So maybe they’d make an excellent race day choice.