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  1. #1
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    Tough-as-Nails Rear Hub

    Does anyone have suggestions for a tough rear hub for a light touring/randonneuring bike (ie 130 rear spacing)? The bike will haul moderate loads and will be taken through some rough urban territory in addition to longer trips. The Phil Wood looks nice, but pricey and heavy. The Chris King looks nice as well, but similarly pricey. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I know that you asked for 130 rear spacing, but I am currently using a Deore LX on my randonneuring/touring bike. It's been through two wheels and 8,000 miles -- including one full Super Randonneur series; 1,000 miles of loaded touring, 3 years of commuting, several miles of off-road/fire-road/doubletrack and it has been stellar throughout. If your bike's frame is steel, it can probably be cold set to accomodate the wider 135mm spacing.

  3. #3
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Yeah, I second the choice of a Shimano Deore LX or even better an XT hub. They're very strong and well-sealed. You could respace the axle on a 135 mm hub for 130 mm fairly easily. Though I agree with spokenword that for long-distance reliability you're better off with 135 mm spacing since it means less dish on the rear wheel!
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  4. #4
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    I think SB stated somewhere on his site that XT hubs are as good as you are going to get as the foundation to build your wheel on unless you go whole-hog and buy a Phil Wood hub.

  5. #5
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22
    I think SB stated somewhere on his site that XT hubs are as good as you are going to get as the foundation to build your wheel on unless you go whole-hog and buy a Phil Wood hub.
    Yeah, that's a good summary of what he said! Basically, he thinks Phil hubs might be *slightly* stronger than XT, but since they cost about $400 compared to $50 for an XT (that's the price at Nashbar right now), it's probably not worth it.
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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    XT hubs are good but I ride a Tandem. Tandems can eat an XT so if you are looking for stronger than these there are quite a few that seem to be able to take the extra strain. Chris King and Phil woods are out of of my price range, but still plenty of Choice. I use Hope Bigun hubs. I also ride this Tandem offroad so a lot of strain does get put on them. This Year I put them into my LBS after 4,000 miles offroad. One of the Rear bearings was Going so I had all 3 changed and they regreased the pawls in the Freehub. ( as on most quality hubs- these are rebuildable.) Front wheel only needed trueing.

    So if you want a hub as good as a Phil Woods but cheaper- Then Look at the Hope Hubs.
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  7. #7
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    XT hubs are good but I ride a Tandem. Tandems can eat an XT so if you are looking for stronger than these there are quite a few that seem to be able to take the extra strain. Chris King and Phil woods are out of of my price range, but still plenty of Choice. I use Hope Bigun hubs. I also ride this Tandem offroad so a lot of strain does get put on them. This Year I put them into my LBS after 4,000 miles offroad. One of the Rear bearings was Going so I had all 3 changed and they regreased the pawls in the Freehub. ( as on most quality hubs- these are rebuildable.) Front wheel only needed trueing.

    So if you want a hub as good as a Phil Woods but cheaper- Then Look at the Hope Hubs.
    What makes the Hope hubs so good? I took a look at their website, and they don't seem to offer any hubs drilled for more than 36H, or with high flanges. My understanding is the main features tandem hubs need for extra strength is larger spoke count and high flanges, but the Hope hubs don't seem to offer either...
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  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    What makes the Hope hubs so good? I took a look at their website, and they don't seem to offer any hubs drilled for more than 36H, or with high flanges. My understanding is the main features tandem hubs need for extra strength is larger spoke count and high flanges, but the Hope hubs don't seem to offer either...
    No need for more than 36 spokes on a Mountain Tandem with 26" wheels. Similarly on the High flanges- but the Bigun is a large hub in any case. What makes the Hope bubs good is the quality of the unit,and if it can stand up to the power required on a Tandem,the weight of the tandem bearing down on it and then the extra stress that offroading gives it- They are definitely strong enough for a touring bike that will be taking a bit extra weight.
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  9. #9
    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    Well here goes for my first post on this forum... I would say the Phil Wood is the best thing money can buy. I have a King rear hub on my mountain bike. Kings need to be torn down every year or so where as the Phil Wood just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny from what I hear.

    One big difference between hubs like the Hope, Hugi, King, etc. is the prong count. The engagement is faster than due to the higher prong count than hubs like XT or LX. This may not be a big deal in touring or road riding, but it is for MTB. Also the higher end hubs have fully sealed cartridge bearings. The XT and LX do not; they are sealed but they do not have cartridge bearings.

    This is not to say that an XT hub will not last you a long time because it will. You will have to tear it down more frequently but it is a solid hub. For the next step up, without going all the way to King or Phil Wood, you could look at WTB (Laser Lite I think), possiblely Hugi, American Classic, or Hope.

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Phil Wood 48. whoops, thought i was in the touring forum.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Personal experience only . I kept breaking rear axles (3 times) on one bike and made it home each time with the quick release holding things together. A bike shop buddy gave me a set of track axles/hubs? and I had a rear wheel, 7-speed cluster and all, built with it. End of breaking axles. Worth a thought.
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