Well what's different about this system and what does it let you do anyway? First off, it's a three part cog system - the carrier, the cog itself, and the lockring. These photos show the Miche cog system on some of their own Primato hubs, but you can use the carrier and cog on any track hub - Note that the Miche hub uses a differently threaded lockring than, say, a Formula, but that doesn't affect the carrier - it's the same threading on all track hubs. (see below)
As for how it works and what it lets you do - we'll hear first from M-189 and then form RoscoeNYC - the Forum alteregos of Bob Schutter from Grand Rapids, Michigan and Eric Ambel from NYC.
First from Bob.....
"Wow, this is a nice wheelset," I thought to myself when I first saw them.
The wheelset I was looking at consists of silver anodized Velocity Aerohead rims (machined sidewalls with their new Veloplugs), 14g Wheelsmith spokes, and beautiful Miche Primato large flange track hubs complete with Miche's unique cog carrier system. The hubs are a satin silver color, are clear anodized and compliment the silver Velocity Aerohead rims nicely. I especially like the traditional hourglass shape of these hubs. The rear hub is threaded only on one side which adds to the nice, clean appearance; but, of course, it does not allow for "flip-flopping."
Those who are used to looking at traditional road hubs will be surprised by the width of the rear hub - 75mm between flanges, 15-20mm wider than road hubs. It really filled the space between the dropouts on my frame!
Okay, so they look nice, but how do they perform? Well, I was surprised how good the cartridge bearings felt. Usually, cartridge bearings are smooth but have noticeably more drag when you spin them with your fingers. These bearings felt more like a "loose ball" setup; smooth, and very little drag. No adjustment hassles either; snug 'em up and go! The front wheel weighed 924g and the rear 1066g. So, combined, the wheelset weighed under 2000g (without cog and lockring). I rode these wheels on my vintage Trek and, honestly, could not tell the difference in the weight between these wheels and my own, which are slightly lighter.
The Miche cog carrier system is a unique system. The small carrier is threaded onto the hub in place of a traditional track cog. This carrier is notched to accept matching notched Miche cogs. A cog easily slips onto the carrier and is held in place by a regular, reverse threaded lockring. Ingenious! Cog changes are a breeze - no more chainwhips! A 42mm chainline results. Cogs are available from 14-18t in either 1/8" or 3/32" widths. The hubs are available in 28, 32 or 36h. The rear hub I tested was 120mm wide, but the axle was long enough to allow spacers to be added for 126 or 130mm width frames.
And a few from Roscoe.
Like changing cogs?
The Miche Cog/carrier setup might be the perfect thing for you.
My first experience with the Miche setup was on my Fuji Track Pro which came stock with a 15t Miche cog on the carrier. This bike has a non drilled fork. I was going to put an 18t on there to get around town and to be able to stop a little easier when I discovered that it had the cog/ carrier setup. With the Miche rig once the carrier is in place tight on your hub all you have to do to change cogs is loosen the lockring and pull the cog off.
The cog has splines that fit into the carrier and a quick change is really easy with just a lockring tool. I found this setup to be very easy to use and I have it on 3 different wheelsets. It is great for the track where you might want to change cogs and also for single sided hubs. I have heard some people say that the cog can loosen on the carrier but I've been using one of these setups for almost 2 years and no play has developed. The cogs are very well made and pretty affordable.
As far as i know, this is not true.
These differences are tiny, and as you said, an italian threaded cog (Miche or Campy) will thread on a regular BSA hub, but as you can see the italian thread diameter is slightly larger than BSA. This reduces the contact area, and could very well increase the risk of a stripped hub.
I've been using the Miche system on #3,058 / #2,189 for 1.5 years now and i am a fan, still i wouldn't suggest using it on a BSA hub, especially if do a lot of skidding / ride in city traffic. I may be a bit paranoid about this, but i have seen a couple of stripped track hubs.
By the way, the Miche lockring threading also is "italian". It is compatible to Phil Wood and Campy lockrings. PW hubs have BSA cogs and ITA lockrings. (ITA lockring: 1.32"*24tpi LH, BSA: 1.29"*24tpi LH)
One more thing: naturally, the cog will have a tiny bit of rotational play on the carrier. You can't feel it while riding, but i have found that this might cause the lockring to come loose after some time, probably because the cog "rubs" on the lockring. You might want to check if it's still tight every 2 months or so. Not a big thing though, so far this has happened to me once in 1.5 years.
Keep up the good work and thanks for the awesome gallery!
Dirk, Karlsruhe (Germany)