SM Billet Hub on NT410

I had an old REH hub on the front of NT410 but due to its physical size and appearance I decided to splash out on a SM billet front hub to lighten the front end and improve the bike’s aesthetics.

The old REH hub from the right hand side

The old REH hub from the left hand side

Doing business with Sammy Miller Products is hassle free but the hubs have to be ordered in.  Nevertheless, mine was delivered well within the 4 weeks quoted and pleasingly, it came polished and complete with brake plate, lever, cam, fasteners and NEWFREN brake shoes plus springs.  The cost for a front hub was £300 plus VAT and delivery which is pretty reasonable in my opinion. (See pictures at the end) 
The Miller billet hub provides a worthwhile weight saving over the old REH model and in its packaging I found it to weigh a paltry 1.99Kg.

The polished brake plate consists of two brake arm anchor points located either side of the brake shoe pivot point.  The anchor points sit proud of the brake plate by 10mm and care should be taken to ensure that they clear the fork slider so that the brake plate can be rotated to ensure that the brake arm is at the right point so that the cable pulls “in-line” thereby exerting the maximum braking force against the liner.  In this picture you will see that the brake lever is in the "4 o'clock" postion vice the "7 o'clock" position.
Brake arm too far back so
not pulling correctly

I didn’t notice this initially and had the wheel built with the hub central.  When the braking went spongy and ineffective I noticed that the cable wasn’t pulling “in-line” so had to have the hub offset by 10mm so that I could rotate the brake plate clockwise to get the brake lever to the "7 o'clock" position and therefore, pull more effectively.  Obviously, this necessitated adjustment of the brake arm anchor rod and fabrication of new spindle spacers.

Anchor points fouling against
fork slider

The hub itself has a steel liner vice an iron one but as alluded to above, its effectiveness is questionable.  After two trials I noticed that braking performance was not what I expected.  I examined the shoes and found that they were becoming “polished” in contact with the liner and I suspected the supplied brake shoes were far too hard a compound for the liner.

After I had the hub offset by 10mm in the rim I purchased a set of replacement shoes with a softer compound from Martyn Bratby.  In addition to being customer focussed he’s very knowledgeable and sent me exactly the right thing.  After fitting them to the brake plate I bedded them in by riding around the yard for 10 minutes with the front brake lighly pulled on.  There was an immediate improvement and I elected to leave them in for the Frank Jones Trial in Wales (a round of the Sammy Miller Products sponsored ACU national championship).

The shoes got a good work out in the Welsh streams and I noticed the brakes worked slightly better but I feel there remains room for improvement.  Nevertheless, after they’ve dried out and when I put the bike away that night, I pull the brake on and NT410 stops much sharper.  Perhaps, they’re bedding in.  Watch this space!!

top view

Front view minus
brake plate
Front view with Brake
Side view