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View Poll Results: Which hub would you use, given the conditions listed?

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  • Chris King Classic

    0 0%
  • Phil Wood Road

    12 46.15%
  • White Industries H3

    2 7.69%
  • Shimano Dura-Ace

    2 7.69%
  • Shimano XT

    2 7.69%
  • Stick with the Ultegra

    8 30.77%
  • Other (what and why)

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Rear Hub Decision

    It's rebuild time for my brevet bike... My DT RR1.1 is wearing thin up front, and I'd like to switch to a wider, polished rim as part of my continuous quest to make my brevet bike functionally fast, all-terrain strong (for brevets, that means some gravel/dirt roads), and just darned good looking.
    I've decided on the Sun CR-18 polished rims: Single eyelet and 22mm width, triple box section so they're good and strong. They're not much heavier than my DT RR1.1 double eyelet I have now, and I'd be more comfortable putting a 38mm tire on the CR-18 than my current rims.
    My front hub won't change, since I use a generator. My rear hub is up for options in the future. For now I'll cut the barely used (< 500 miles) Ultegra from the Open Pro wheel I hate.

    If you were spec'ing out a wheel given the following information, which hub would you choose?

    - 230 pound rider, < 20 pounds of gear
    - All weather rider, rarely sees snow, rides in rain for 50% of the year
    - Highly concerned with reliability/durability (ride distances up to 600km)
    - Moderately concerned with serviceability (prefer to do my own work)
    - Mildly concerned with component weight (might be a factor if 2 hubs get otherwise equal ratings)
    - Must be available in polished silver (yes, this is important to me on this build)
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    If you are going to build it and use it hard, then I would go with the Phill Wood. I've also heard a lot of good things about Chris King hubs, but the Wood's are bullet-proof and solid.

    I feel like all of the other hubs are comparable, though, and if I did not get the Phil Wood, I would get whichever one had the best deal.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Phil Wood hubs are not indestructible, I've seen several of them self-destruct under heavy/powerful riders but I voted for them anyway because they are a good quality part and should suit you well.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  4. #4
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    I'd stick with Ultegra if I had it, but I'd never have it as I'd probably never shell out willingly for anything better than Deore/105. I've just never ever had a problem with those parts and regularly ride in the conditions you describe.

    I much, much prefer cone and cup style bearings. The only time I've ever had problems that require actual parts replacement with hubs was on sealed bearing units.

    I've got a 2200 on the rear of my touring/cyclocross/commuter/gravel road racing bike now and I've never even had to adjust the thing after 3 full seasons of use. With that kind of reliability, shelling out for even a 105 just seems silly to me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I voted Ultegra, but XT would be pretty good too. If you haven't used the Sun CR18's in 700c before, be warned to carry a few extra tire levers, because every tire I mounted on that rim was very tight.
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  6. #6
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    I'd stick with Ultegra if I had it, but I'd never have it as I'd probably never shell out willingly for anything better than Deore/105. I've just never ever had a problem with those parts and regularly ride in the conditions you describe.

    I much, much prefer cone and cup style bearings. The only time I've ever had problems that require actual parts replacement with hubs was on sealed bearing units.

    I've got a 2200 on the rear of my touring/cyclocross/commuter/gravel road racing bike now and I've never even had to adjust the thing after 3 full seasons of use. With that kind of reliability, shelling out for even a 105 just seems silly to me.
    I've been using a Tiagra for 2 years with no real issues, but in rebuilding and upgrading, I'm not sure how high I'm willing to step things up. The Ultegra will go on for a while, since I'm not shelling out the $$ for the new hub just yet. It's looking like the Phil is getting the vote so far, which is also a loose ball hub. I think the White Ind. is the only cartridge bearing hub on the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    I voted Ultegra, but XT would be pretty good too. If you haven't used the Sun CR18's in 700c before, be warned to carry a few extra tire levers, because every tire I mounted on that rim was very tight.
    Good to know about the CR18; thanks! Ever mounted a Pasela TG folding bead 32mm on one? How tough was it?
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  7. #7
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    The White Industries hub has two large bearings in the hub shell, and three more under the titanium freehub. It's pretty strong.
    The bearings are replaceable with a bearing press, that most bike shops should have. No other special tools are needed: see the hub service pdf.

    It looks sharp in polished aluminum finish:



    From fairwheelbike's hub review. (Mostly reviewing expensive lightweight hubs)
    On the White Industries H3 hub:
    ...
    Ron: This has been the most popular hub I use. It's strong, has a large bearing capacity, it looks nice, has a Ti freehub, and the price is good. I think it's the only hub in this review that has a steel axle. The weight is also higher than others in this review, but it is still not bad. It's easy to build solid wheelsets with the H3 that are in the 1360-1500g range, which makes them lighter than comparable factory wheels that are much more expensive.

    This is probably a good place to mention something about shell materials. White Industries is one of the few that uses the common and boring 6061 aluminum alloy for their shells (Alchemy is another). Most manufacturers use a very high strength alloy, and at first glance this seems like a good idea. Stronger is better, right? In this application though, I think that 6061 is better choice. The reason is that 6061 has higher corrosion resistance, and more importantly resistance to something called "stress corrosion cracking". The spokes exert concentrated and variable forces at the holes in the hub flanges, and high strength is a less important factor than ductility and corrosion resistance. Hubshells normally fail when cracks develop and grow at the spoke holes, and the flange eventually pulls away. Unlike many manufacturers White Industries hubs have no restrictions on lacing and spoke tension, yet I've not heard of a single one suffering a flange failure. Another advantage is that the softer alloy will deform more readily providing better support for the spoke in the flange. It is also one of the reasons why the silver hub looks so pretty... it is polished bare metal with no anodizing... yet is still corrosion resistant enough to stay shiny in most environments.

  8. #8
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    It's looking like the Phil is getting the vote so far, which is also a loose ball hub. I think the White Ind. is the only cartridge bearing hub on the list.
    Are you sure? I thought Phil Wood pretty much invented the cartridge bearing hub. I'd be surprised if it weren't.

    Anyway, the Phil Woods and Chris Kings and whatnot certainly *look* cool. I'd consider buying them based on that merit alone.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Are you sure? I thought Phil Wood pretty much invented the cartridge bearing hub. I'd be surprised if it weren't.
    Whoops. My bad. The Phils are also a cartridge bearing hub.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    Most of the hubs that you mentioned would work fine for me, but I don't tour. I'm also not hard on hubs. I've killed cranks, bottom brackets, chainrings, and freewheels/cassettes, but never a hub.

    Well...I've ruined a few front hubs in accidents with automobiles, but that does not count (all turned in front of me in fast downhill in traffic).

    The rear hub on my 1987 Trek may finally wear-out in the next year or so. While replacing the bearings and freewheel last year, I noticed quite a bit of wear on the old cone bearing races. I may have to go with a White or Hall hub for that one, because that bike is aluminum and has narrower spacing in the rear than modern hubs.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member canopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Whoops. My bad. The Phils are also a cartridge bearing hub.
    And with the Field Serviceable Axle make for an easy to maintain hub, much easier than the old design of pressed axles.
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  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinyon View Post
    Most of the hubs that you mentioned would work fine for me, but I don't tour. I'm also not hard on hubs. I've killed cranks, bottom brackets, chainrings, and freewheels/cassettes, but never a hub.
    Same here, if you throw in snapping a frame on a climb!

    My opinion, if you have the money, get the pretty one that catches your eye. After putting 20,000-30,000 miles on a 105 hub without any issues, I wouldn't worry about being left stranded on a 600k (375'ish miles) on any decent hub, 105, equivalent and above.

    BUT! I will vote fo the Phil Wood as a shop mechanic once told me he was able to service the hub on a touring trip for another rider. I guess that would help if you carry the tools.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-31-10 at 11:31 AM.

  13. #13
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    In addition to voting for the Phil Wood rear hub, also consider increasing the spoke count. For loaded touring I have gone to 40 or 48 spokes to eliminate wheel problems. My latest bike build also has disk brakes which should be pretty much impervious to rain.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClemY View Post
    In addition to voting for the Phil Wood rear hub, also consider increasing the spoke count. For loaded touring I have gone to 40 or 48 spokes to eliminate wheel problems. My latest bike build also has disk brakes which should be pretty much impervious to rain.
    40 or 48 spokes seems like overkill. A 36-spoke wheel built by a competent wheel-builder with modern components should last just about forever...

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    40 or 48 spokes seems like overkill. A 36-spoke wheel built by a competent wheel-builder with modern components should last just about forever...
    Even 36 is overkill for me. I've been riding 32h rims for years without problems, even when I weighed over 250 pounds. 40/48 is super mega overkill. Like burning down your house to kill a spider in the kitchen. I don't do any loaded touring; just brevet riding. My total of luggage is a Berthoud GB28 and a Carradice Pendle. At the most, I'm hauling tools, first aid, clothing for a 30 degree temperature change, and food for the next 30 mile stint between control stops.

    The competent wheelbuilder is me. I built the wheels for all 3 of my bikes. All of my 700c wheels are 32h. Even my 20 year old Wolber T410 Alpine rims on the singlespeed haven't given me problems.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    Parts availability would be a major consideration for me. If I was touring someplace where bike shops were very rare, and especially in a non-industrial country without easy access to cartridge bearing parts, then I would probably go with a White hub with bearing races.

    You can usually find the right size of free-floating replacement bearings just about anyplace that has a decent automobile/truck mechanic shop.

    Last edited by Pinyon; 03-31-10 at 01:02 PM.
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  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I found a 36 hole Dura Ace hub for chump change, I guess most roadies don't like spokes! It's been great.

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  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinyon View Post
    Parts availability would be a major consideration for me. If I was touring someplace where bike shops were very rare, and especially in a non-industrial country without easy access to cartridge bearing parts, then I would probably go with a White hub with bearing races.

    You can usually find the right size of free-floating replacement bearings just about anyplace that has a decent automobile/truck mechanic shop.

    Again, not much of a concern. While brevet riding does put us into the middle of undeveloped nowhere for some long miles quite often in the PNW, We're never usually more than 20 miles from a control stop where, at the worst if it's an info control, you can hang out until the morning and hitch a ride back to civilization.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member mr.smith.pdx's Avatar
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    Buy a Chris King, help the Portland economy.

    If you don't like a loud freehub, avoid the King. Their ring gear makes a buzz like a bunch of angry bees whenever you stop pedaling. Some guys like it.

    Chris King is made in the USA (here in Portland) and Idon't know anybody who owns one and doesn't love it. They support the heck out of the racing community here in PDX.

  20. #20
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Well, for now I decided to save a few $$ and go with the Ultegra I had laying around (after I cut it out of another wheel).













    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  21. #21
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Clifton - great pix...could you post similar pictures of the Open Pro for comparison?

    Like the shoes, too
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoste View Post
    Clifton - great pix...could you post similar pictures of the Open Pro for comparison?

    Like the shoes, too
    For comparison, Open Pro measurements.
    The OP is 75g lighter and my DT RR1.1 I'm replacing is 53g lighter.
    I use the same spokes for both wheels, but the CR18 is a box section so needs longer spokes making the spoke weight total slightly higher for the same number of spokes. Marginal total of an extra 10g per set, bringing the weight difference to 116g. The Ultegra hub is 50g lighter than the Deore hub; bringing the difference to 66g or 0.146 pounds heavier for the set.

    Open Pro o.d.


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  23. #23
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Thanks! I appreciate it.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  24. #24
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Regardless of the hub, I think you're going to like the CR18. I wedged mine in between a tree and the frame with enough force to bend the fork. Wheel didn't even need a truing.


  25. #25
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Askel View Post
    Regardless of the hub, I think you're going to like the CR18. I wedged mine in between a tree and the frame with enough force to bend the fork. Wheel didn't even need a truing.
    With any luck I won't have anything like that happen on my brevet bike. But it is a great testimony to the strength of the rim given a proper build.
    There are a couple other riders with the Seattle Randos rolling on CR18s, and they're some of the long-haul milers (1000km, 1200km) so that was enough to convince me. Plus I saw a friend's LHT with a pair of Velo-Orange Diagonale rims on 105 hubs (VO's house brand mirror polished 24mm o.d.) and they looked bling-tacular. Finding the 32h mirror finish CR18s for $30 cheaper a pair was difficult to resist.
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