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Verdict: 
Makes cleaning and transporting bikes much easier, by allowing shifting and pedalling with the back wheel off
Weight: 
0g
Park Tool DH-1 Dummy Hub
9 10

The Park DH-1 Dummy Hub makes cleaning and transporting bikes much easier. It's designed to keep your chain under tension to enable pedalling forwards or backwards and to allow rear derailleur movement with the rear wheel removed. This is useful for a number of reasons.

When cleaning a bike on a stand it's much easier to remove the rear wheel first. You can get to the brake arch to scrub out and inspect the pads – impossible with the wheel in place – and properly scrubbing the drivetrain down is harder and takes longer with the wheel on the bike. Also, access to the inside face of the rear derailleur is much easier with the wheel out of the way.

But removing the wheel drops the chain, making turning the cranks likely to damage the chainstay, and you'll also end up jamming the chain into the chainrings. Enter the dummy hub, also known as a sleeping hub.

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This fits into the rear dropout just as a cassette block does, lifting the chain back into the line it would follow over the cassette. The chain can then run back and forth when you turn the cranks without it jamming due to lack of tension. Unlike other dummy hub designs that are fixed in place at the 'highest' gear position, the Park DH-1 allows the derailleur to shift through its full range – opening it up and letting you get in there with scrubbing brush/sponge/cloth.

You can also slide the black plastic wheel off the blue alloy spindle and onto a 12mm thru-axle, to do exactly the same thing; 12mm thru-axles are increasingly common on road bikes with disc brakes and cyclo-cross bikes, so it's a nice future-proof feature.

Also, if you are sending your bike someplace – be it in the boot of a car, or in a cardboard box or high-end soft bag or plastic crate for airline travel – you really should be using a Dummy Hub to help protect the rear mech and prevent the chain from flapping about.

Some bike cases require the removal of the rear derailleur and there's no other option, due to the tight fit. But if you can get the frame in without removing the mech, it means you won't risk cross-threading it while jetlagged in a dingy hotel room somewhere hilly. It's always a good idea to shift the mech all the way inboard, and this is where the DH-1 design is great – you can do so with the chain held taut. And it's only adding 80g to your luggage.

While you need the wheel and cassette on the bike when you're setting up the front or rear mech, if you're dealing with another issue around the derailleur hanger, crankset, front mech or suchlike, and it's easier if you remove the wheel, the DH-1 will be handy for keeping the chain taut and pedalable.

Also, if you're a stickler for keeping your drivetrain as clean as possible, lubing the chain and leaving it set up on the DH-1 as opposed to the cassette will keep things a bit cleaner.

It's a simple idea beautifully executed by Park. It's compatible with most current road bikes and many future ones using the 142x12mm standard thru-axle. And it's small enough and light enough to fit in a toolbox or case for a trip.

No, it's probably not at the 'essential' end of the Bike Tool To Buy Next scale, but when you get one you'll wonder why you waited so long.

Verdict

Makes cleaning and transporting bikes much easier, by allowing shifting and pedalling with the back wheel off

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Park Tool DH-1 Dummy Hub

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

It makes cleaning a bike on a workstand much easier, and helps protect the rear mech when shipping bikes around the place.

Park say: "Also called a sleeping hub, the DH-1 slides into rear dropouts and replaces the rear wheel for chain cleaning and transport. The DH-1 works with all derailleur and 1/8" chain. The unique design allows the bike to be shifted and works with open dropout and thru-axle frames up to 12mm."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

It's made of metal and plastic. It's round.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Apart from the fact that the anodising wears off, it's fine.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

It does exactly what it's supposed to.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The anodising wore off in a few places after months and months of heavy use.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Given it's so good at its job and likely to be a tool you'll pass on to your kids, for £20 it's pretty awesome value.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Perfectly.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The vibe. The whole thing. It just works.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing. Except they should have made it from solid blue aluminium so it didn't show signs of wear.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Anyone who cleans or ships bikes around the place should own one.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 183cm  Weight: 71KG

I usually ride: Charge Juicer  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, singlespeed and Dutch bike pootling

 

23 comments

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Felix28 [8 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Better alternative: Morgan Blue chain keeper. Smaller but still easy to tighten/loosen, clamping force is more than enough and doesn't scratch the frame

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harragan [245 posts] 3 years ago
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Felix28 wrote:

Better alternative: Morgan Blue chain keeper. Smaller but still easy to tighten/loosen, clamping force is more than enough and doesn't scratch the frame

Not sure what you mean by "better"? Cheaper, yes, but doesn't allow for gear changes. An alternative, certainly.

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psling [291 posts] 3 years ago
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In one respect it could be further improved if it was offered with a (choice of) full width axle and Quick Release, it would then also act as a rear triangle saver whilst transporting the frame.

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thx1138 [69 posts] 3 years ago
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Felix28 wrote:
Better alternative: Morgan Blue chain keeper. Smaller but still easy to tighten/loosen, clamping force is more than enough and doesn't scratch the frame
Not sure what you mean by "better"? Cheaper, yes, but doesn't allow for gear changes. An alternative, certainly.

+1 fot the Morgan Blue alternative. And yes it does allow shifting. At least mine does.

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cyclesteffer [346 posts] 3 years ago
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Why not just use an old rear wheel and old cassette, take all the spokes out and make your own for free? Recycling old stuff too. I could have made loads of these.

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joules1975 [563 posts] 3 years ago
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psling wrote:

In one respect it could be further improved if it was offered with a (choice of) full width axle and Quick Release, it would then also act as a rear triangle saver whilst transporting the frame.

Check out Birzman ... They do exactly that, and one for the front, and both come with little tabs to shove in a disc caliper to stop the pistons being accidentally closed in, should you have discs.

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horizontal dropout [301 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I made one of these some time ago, just a piece of rear axle and a jockey wheel from a megarange derailleur drilled out to fit. Mines screw on not quick release but finger tight is enough for cleaning. The jockey wheel slides to allow for gear changes.

I'm not clear how it protects the rear mech though.

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KiwiMike [1372 posts] 3 years ago
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thx1138 wrote:

+1 fot the Morgan Blue alternative. And yes it does allow shifting. At least mine does.

No, no it doesn't, unless you are talking about a previously-unknown Morgan Blue product. It's fixed. There's no obvious lateral play in the plastic chain disc.

The benefit of being able to open up the mech to its fullest extent are that you can clean it properly and also shift it furthest inboard to reduce the risk of damage whilst in transit.

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KiwiMike [1372 posts] 3 years ago
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horizontal dropout wrote:

I'm not clear how it protects the rear mech though.

By allowing the rear mech to shift inboard to its fullest extent, it minimises the chance that any side impact could damage the derailleur.

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BikeBud [261 posts] 3 years ago
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psling wrote:

In one respect it could be further improved if it was offered with a (choice of) full width axle and Quick Release, it would then also act as a rear triangle saver whilst transporting the frame.

Agreed - then it has more than one purpose. It wouldn't have been difficult to design it this way, and it would have been more secure in the drop-outs. My Pedros chain-keeper sometimes slips out because it is only clamped onto one drop-out.

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joules1975 [563 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
BikeBud wrote:
psling wrote:

In one respect it could be further improved if it was offered with a (choice of) full width axle and Quick Release, it would then also act as a rear triangle saver whilst transporting the frame.

Agreed - then it has more than one purpose. It wouldn't have been difficult to design it this way, and it would have been more secure in the drop-outs. My Pedros chain-keeper sometimes slips out because it is only clamped onto one drop-out.

See my previous comment re Birzman.

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antigee [481 posts] 3 years ago
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100% agree with pslings comment a lost opportunity - might take a look at the Birzman if lose my home made one: SS cog a couple of washers a QR and some plastic pipe cut exactly (  4 ) to fill the dropout

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hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

in our workshop we have 2 hubs taken from damaged wheels

one with 135mm spacing (mtb / road disc) and one with 130mm spacing (road caliper), you can see one hanging up on the wall on the left above the toothbrush (old toothbrush are also great tools for cleaning bikes!)

//ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb11784986/p5pb11784986.jpg)

both have stacks of plastic cassette spacers sandwiching a central stack of aluminium alloy spacers so the chain can freely run backwards whilst the bike is washed using our Rozone washing machine, and gears can be shifted.

We remove both wheels, clamp the bike by the seat tube and it sits perfectly above the parts washer; can be loaded in driveside and then non-driveside to get at both sides of the bike when cleaning.

//ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb11554247/p5pb11554247.jpg)

we tried to get the Park one but it was out of stock for months with Madison, so made our own using the old hubs, and it works great!

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geargrinderbeard [97 posts] 3 years ago
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Bloody show-offs!!

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HulaBoy [35 posts] 3 years ago
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Can you shift gears with the Birzman the way you can with the Park Tools one?
I have the Morgan Blue one but think the Birzman looks better for travel, keeping the rear triangle safe, but wouldn't bother unless you can shift up and down with it.

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psling [291 posts] 3 years ago
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Looking at it again, it wouldn't take a lot of work to add a bit of tube and a washer along with a standard length Quick Release to the Park Tools one to achieve a rear triangle travel saver. As with most Park Tools stuff, looks a nice bit of kit.

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Fish_n_Chips [558 posts] 3 years ago
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Antigee - nice workshop!

I use an old QR skewer and a pully wheel from an old toy.

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BertYardbrush [60 posts] 3 years ago
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I made mine from an old nylon pully wheel. I attach it with a bolt & wingnut.

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Bmblbzzz [215 posts] 3 years ago
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I can't see how this is better than, as others have said, an old hub and cassette.

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WolfieSmith [1396 posts] 3 years ago
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Personally I take the chain off and clean it separately in white spirit while Oveash the bike so none of this is an issue.

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2 Wheeled Idiot [432 posts] 3 years ago
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Bmblbzzz wrote:

I can't see how this is better than, as others have said, an old hub and cassette.

I don't have an old hub and cassette lying around to use for cleaning.
And if I had 3 bikes with 9,10&11 speed grouosets on them, would I then need 3 different hubs etc...  39

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KiwiMike [1372 posts] 3 years ago
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2 Wheeled Idiot wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:

I can't see how this is better than, as others have said, an old hub and cassette.

I don't have an old hub and cassette lying around to use for cleaning.
And if I had 3 bikes with 9,10&11 speed grouosets on them, would I then need 3 different hubs etc...  39

Excellent point that hadn't occurred to me. Yes, you could bodge something, but you'll need different bodges for differing hub widths and brake arrangements.

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robertb [2 posts] 3 years ago
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BBB have transport front and rear QR axles with plastic chain guides and disk brake spacer for road and mtb frame widths check them out also at you local bike shop.