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  1. #1
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    Cartridge Sealed Bearings on Hubs

    Hi All,
    Attempting to get a solid set of custom wheels built and am trying to determine hubs.
    Live in Portland, OR so I want something that is going do well in the rain and junk of the winter, and be a great year round hub.

    Was told I should consider Cartridge Sealed Bearing rather than Contact Sealed due to their
    Riding Campy 10spd and wondering what my alternatives are.....
    Does Campy have Cartridge Sealed? Any recommendations?

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Most of your upper echelon hubs will have good sealed bearings. DT swiss I know for a fact has sealed cartridges in there, like what you would order from McMaster or any other industrial supplier.

  3. #3
    d_D
    d_D is offline
    645f44 d_D's Avatar
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    Cartridge bearings are contact sealed. Just getting a cartridge bearing hub is no gauentee it will be well sealed. There are a massive number of poorly sealed cartrdige bearing products out there and many of them also come at a high price.

    Avoid any hubs that just rely on the cartridge seal as they won't work. The cartridge seal is lubricated with the same lube that lubes the bearings. This is to prevent friction burning up the seal leaving a gap for water to get through. What happens is when the seal gets wet water mixes with the seal lube and the resulting lube/water mix can travel under the seal into the bearing. If the water has anything abrasive in like mud then this can also wear the seal making it less effective.

    Shimano mtb hubs are a good example of a well sealed hub. A labyrinth seal next to the bearing, then an air gap followed by a contact seal. I've found them to be effective even when used underwater for a short time. The rear hubs are not so good as there is less sealing at the freehub side but they are still a lot better than many more expensive hubs.
    I find it really hard to justify anything other than a mid range shimano mtb hub for the front wheel. They are cheap, available, well sealed and last a long time if looked after. You can spend a lot more money and not really get anything better.

    Cartridge hubs that use the end cap or similar to shield the bearing also work quite well. There is a gap between the hub shell and the shield where water can get through. The harder it is for water to get to the gap the better they keep out water. If done well they work in everything but the heaviest downpours. The problem is if water does make it past the shield the shield will hold water against the bearing.

  4. #4
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    riding on a set of velomax wheels that rely on JUST the cartidge bearings to seal, and the bearings are perfect despite three years of abuse in the rain. My commuter bike has it's cartridge bearings exposed to the outside (only the bearing seal), and after an entire winter of a rainy/slushy/hellish here in NYC, they are holding up great.

    Modern cart bearings, even cheapo ones, are more than adequate. Crappy old school cart bearings w/metal dust shields are the ones you want to avoid.

    The best thing about cart bearings is that they are a snap to replace, and replacing to top notch bearings is relatively cheap.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by d_D

    Shimano mtb hubs are a good example of a well sealed hub. A labyrinth seal next to the bearing, then an air gap followed by a contact seal. I've found them to be effective even when used underwater for a short time. The rear hubs are not so good as there is less sealing at the freehub side but they are still a lot better than many more expensive hubs.
    I find it really hard to justify anything other than a mid range shimano mtb hub for the front wheel. They are cheap, available, well sealed and last a long time if looked after. You can spend a lot more money and not really get anything better.
    Why would the op want to use shimano mtn hubs on a campy equiped road bike?

    The campy hubs will be fine, just regrease them frequently with a waterproof grease like phil wood.

  6. #6
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    I'll second the Velomax bearings, and wheels. I've had a pair of Javelins for 5 years and wore the sidewalls out. I ride in all kinds of conditions and they have many, many miles on them. The hubs are still in good working condition (I hope). I just had my LBS ship the wheels back to them to rebuild the wheels on the old hubs. The wheels are great. 5 years and never needed truing!

    As a side note, I would like to mention that Easton/Velomax's price for this is very fair. About the same as a new pair of Open Pros on Ultegra hubs. Kudos to Easton/Velomax.

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