Ive been meaning to ask this about hubs for years and never got around to it, and figured I'd get the best answer from some of you who work in the business.
Last summer when we bought my wifes Sora equipped entry level road bike, I asked the store owner if the hubs were ball bearing hubs or sealed, and mentioned that as always, I would check the adjustment (I have found that hubs often come too tight new, plus I like putting in more grease). The fellow looked at me strangely and told me that he never heard of anyone adjusting or regreasing hubs (which certainly seemed to me as rather odd) so then I began to wonder if more and more new bikes come with sealed hubs and that I was clearly out of the loop.
I learned how to take apart, regrease and reassemble ball bearing hubs about 25 years ago, and in that time I have only had bikes that had hubs like this.
Here are my questions- I assume sealed hubs are like sealed bb's (compared to the old ball bearing type) in that one never adjusts anything or regreases? My bikes are older, but even my newest bike (4 years old, a Specialized Tricross Sport), my wifes newish entry level road bike, and all my friends bikes and our kids bikes, all use traditional ball bearing hubs. None of these bikes cost more than perhaps $1400 can.
Are sealed hubs only on bikes above a certain price level?
Do they perform that much better? Or is there a big range of quality of hubs that makes this question hard to answer? And yes, with ball bearing hubs I know that how you adjust them can make a diff in how they roll, as well as I assume the quality of the hubs in general.
I guess I need to look up some schematics of sealed wheel hubs, cuz I dont even have an idea of how the bearing surfaces look like, are they a solid round bearing that fits into a pressed area, I just dont know.
thanks in advance. I have good quality hubs that are 15 years old and get ridden regularly, and with proper maintenance seem to be in good shape as when new. So I have no problem with how they work, nor with working on them (I enjoy doing it in fact).