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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-07-05, 08:40 PM   #1
emayex
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Poor man's hubs vs ...

so we all know about the junky hubs (aka quando, suzue)...

in this corner: IRO/Formula Hubs

in the other corner: Phil, Paul, Campy, DA, Level

what is the difference?

everybody with IRO hubs seems to love them....would they love the higher end hubs more?

is it a feedback issue, efficiency, or is it just a label thing...which i guess is understandable?

thank you kindly,
max
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Old 05-07-05, 08:56 PM   #2
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I know there was a huge difference between Surly and DA for me - I thought I was coasting when I put my new wheel on...
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Old 05-07-05, 09:12 PM   #3
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I can't speak for the specific hubs you mentioned, but there is such a thing as a wheel that becomes "too nice" for everyday use. I don't know what you use your bike for, but I'd save top shelf hubs for race day only wheels- if for no other reason than a top shelf hub needs a top shelf rim needs top shelf spokes... needs good supple (get shredded on the streets) tires, blah, blah, blah...

If you are locking your bike up, you might want a worry free hub. If you don't want to be afraid of the weather, you might want a low maintenance hub. I don't want my equipment to dictate when and where I ride.

Frankly, when you reach a certain level in quality, you'll feel more of a difference from your tires than your hubs... or even tire pressure.

That's my three and a half cents...
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Old 05-07-05, 09:14 PM   #4
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that's an interesting question. i usually follow the 'buy the best you can afford' philosophy, so i went from suzue basics (cr4p) to phils and campys.

i was able to tell the difference easily, but from what i've heard of formula/iro hubs, i'n not convinced i could differentiate between them and phils/campys based purely on the way they ride.

i look forward to hearing other folk's opinions/experiences.
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Old 05-07-05, 09:35 PM   #5
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havent ridden the phils, but i bought Phil spec'd bearings for my IRO's. The IRO bearings are not bad, but the Phil spec bearings seem to roll a bit smoother.

I honestly dont think anyone would notice a performance difference in the hub itself. There are too many variables that would affect your judgement. Spokes, wheels, tires, airpressure, spoke tightness road conditions. (EDIT: have to add lacing pattern, faulty lacing could destroy a hub)

However, one aspect off phils that i have noticed that is better, is the overall craftsmanship. I think they are definetly manufactured to higher specification then are the IRO hubs.
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Old 05-07-05, 09:41 PM   #6
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more answers like dolface and ostro.....no wheel is "too good to rid," and that has nothing to do with the question...

the best you can afford rule is nice...but i think a lot of it must be in the name..no? i mean you dolface of all people know of the crap thet goes for a fortune on ebay because it is branded campy or has a little clover on it

ive heard as much ranting with joy abour the iro sets as i have for phils...is that because the people who have iro's are reaplcing incredible crap and anything is an upgrade? or are they really basically equivalent?

~me
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Old 05-07-05, 09:43 PM   #7
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I've never seen or ridden high end hubs like phils, but in the past 2 days I've played with 3 sets of hubs of varying degrees of quality: sovos (?) crap hubs off a KHS that I just sold, my IRO hubs on my commuter, and the ProMax set that replaced the Sovos'
I would rank them: Sovos<IRO<Promax (and I sure 99% of everyone here would agree)
The difference between the Sovos and the IRO/ProMax is night and day. The bearings felt square and chunky and the hub body itself was crap. Cheap weak threads.
The differences between the IROs and ProMax were more subtle. duh! you say, they're both mid-range hubs.
But I doubt that my riding skill would be able to distinguish between a midrange hub and phil or a DA, or campy.....
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Old 05-07-05, 09:54 PM   #8
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hmmm i forgot ProMax...i guess ive been kinda jaded by my basic hub
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Old 05-07-05, 10:07 PM   #9
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well, i have a couple wheelsets with IROs, and i am soon building a set with phils.

my IRO hubs have been wonderful. i don't have a bad thing to say about them. however, phils have passed the test of time, and durability is what i'm most concerned about.

the fact that phil now makes cogs is a big plus to me, too. perfect hub/cog/lockring compatibility is a good thing.
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Old 05-07-05, 10:10 PM   #10
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I have a wheel with a Pro Max and a wheel with an IRO hub, I can't say I notice any practical difference between them. On the other hand, when I first tossed my old Suzue basic hub for the Pro Max wheel, there was a pretty huge difference.

So the cheapest stuff out there rides noticeably worse but this plebe can't tell the difference between adequate and primo.
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Old 05-07-05, 10:26 PM   #11
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I bought Phils because I don't want to have to think about the reliability or performance of my hubs. Good results so far.
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Old 05-07-05, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emayex
more answers like dolface and ostro.....no wheel is "too good to rid," and that has nothing to do with the question...

the best you can afford rule is nice...but i think a lot of it must be in the name..no? i mean you dolface of all people know of the crap thet goes for a fortune on ebay because it is branded campy or has a little clover on it

ive heard as much ranting with joy abour the iro sets as i have for phils...is that because the people who have iro's are reaplcing incredible crap and anything is an upgrade? or are they really basically equivalent?

~me
to be sure, there is a lot of overpriced crap out there, and people who are willing to pay for it based on name alone, and that's the way it is for anything.

riding performance isn't the only variable i pay attention to though, things like durability, useful lifetime, manufacturing processes, and community involvement also figure into the equation.

for frames, since i like classic lugged steel i'm a little constrained, likewise for the campy high-flange stuff.

for modern stuff though, i have a choice, and i chose phils. i ride them almost every day, and i can't think of a reason why i would ever need to replace them. sure,they'll need new bearings at some point, but unless i get into a truely horrendous accident i should be able to ride those hubs for the rest of my life.

also they're made within fifty miles of where i live, and when i called them up to ask if they wanted to donate anything for prizes for the alleycat that judah is putting on (basically, a race put on by one guy with no track record, and a bunch of his friends), they kicked down a bunch of stuff, including a hubset.

that kind of community support is valuable to me, and is one more (non-performance) reason, i'm happy to give them my money, even if i'm paying a premium.
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Old 05-07-05, 10:40 PM   #13
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some of the $$$ for phil's goes towards paying people in the US a decent wage for a decent day's work. I think that's a good thing.
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Old 05-07-05, 11:20 PM   #14
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I totally agree with Dollface and potus. The money we spend on local manufacturers and vendors goes right back to the community. And, it makes a good thing better!
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Old 05-08-05, 01:50 AM   #15
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I don't think the IRO's can be beat for the money. I would put my IRO's against most any hub. I haven't ridden Phil's, but I bet I couldn't tell the difference. I can see however, that Phil's might have a longer lifetime or something like that.
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Old 05-08-05, 02:44 AM   #16
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I basically bought Phil for the simple design, bearings, domestic factory/ non-slave labour and reputation for strength and durability. I'm going to leave these things to my kids when I die. I dont understand why/how you could actually feel the difference between hubs though, that doesn't make sense to me. Can others actually tell a difference in stiffness and whatnot on hubs? Are we talking about bearings? Because you can buy as set of Phil bearings for cheaps and slap them right into you current hubset no prob...
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Old 05-08-05, 02:50 AM   #17
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I stripped an IRO hub. Besides feeling remarkably smoother, I quickly realized that with a Phil I didn't have to worry about anything going wrong. Riding brakeless puts a lot of strain on your hub, and you don't want to suddenly find out that you can coast. Well worth the extra cash.
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Old 05-08-05, 05:36 AM   #18
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The IRO Hubs are nice for the money, but put against any other hub? Not a chance. They are smooth, but not as smooth as Phil, Campy, Dura Ace, Promax, Level, or even Woodman in my experience. As well, try them in a year of regular use and you will see the difference continues.

Please don't misunderstand me though. For the money I would place the IRO Hubs (as well as Miche Hubs) as the best value for the money in the entry level to mid range hubs.

As well as paying for locally built Hubs costing a little more (not only because of salaries, but also because of lack of importing, duties etc), Campy, Phil, Paul, Level Hubs are better. Are they THAT much better, my opinion is definitely yes. Does everyone care about THAT much better? Definitely not.

If EVERYONE wanted the BEST or could afford the BEST, our streets would be lined with sports cars and BMW's and no Echo's and Sunfires!
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Old 05-08-05, 07:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emayex
no wheel is "too good to rid," and that has nothing to do with the question...
Hey, I'm just saying a $300-400 hubset in a $800 to $1300 wheelset? A Formula set for $85? Or a Campy Pista set for over $400? Of course there is a difference. My point is you won't notice the difference nearly as much (if at all) on a street with flat-resistant clinchers as on a track with silk tubulars... that the application of a hub has some influence on the perceived value of its strengths or weaknesses. You ask if the difference is worth it- it may well be worth it to a racer. There truly is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to equipment.
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Old 05-08-05, 07:58 AM   #20
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yeah dude...sorry to snap.......i just did not want the thread to tunr noward people talking about their "sweet 5th tuesday of the month track day wheelsets." i definately know what you are saying

as for made in usa....don can tell you...i fully support slave labor...hurah for capitalism!

toodles
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Old 05-08-05, 08:48 AM   #21
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Campy and Dura -Ace both use a "loose"bearing in their hubs. Generally these run smoother and a little easier than any stock cartridge bearing hub. Cartridges have a fair bit of hydraulic resistance to them and whether or not you can feel it with your legs, there is a difference. Zipp uses very high end ceramic bearings in their hubs for this reason. You can gewt ceramic replacement cartridges for just about any hub....and these will roll easier than stock bearings. I had an old (80's) Dura-Ace hub that I rode the hell out of when I was on the road and with regular re-packing lasted me for 5 years upon which time I sold it too a German Messenger who then rode it for another 4 years. The biggest downside to the Suzue basic is the smaller bearing size in the fixed side. Why they do this I will never know.
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Old 05-08-05, 08:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtersweep
I can't speak for the specific hubs you mentioned, but there is such a thing as a wheel that becomes "too nice" for everyday use....
I have Campy Record on my commuter.
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Old 05-08-05, 09:40 AM   #23
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I have Campy Record on my commuter.
I do too- with Armadillos- and my point is, it is ridiculous. Beautiful hub, but with those tires, on city streets, it feels no better than my Nashbar hub.
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Old 05-08-05, 10:17 AM   #24
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switching da hubs for phil woods adds 1.5lbs to ur bike...
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Old 05-08-05, 10:18 AM   #25
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I just wanted to add that I don't really see how my IRO's could roll any smoother. If there is a difference between them and other hubs that are $200 more I don't think I'd be able to tell. While it is true that you get what you pay for in a lot of cases, a lot of times the American consumer believes that if they spend more money the product will be far superior. I think what you are paying for on some of the higher end products is reputation. I'm willing to take the gamble with my cheapo hubs that work great and we'll see how long they last. If I get three years out of them I'll be happy, by that point I will probably have the itch to build an entirely new wheelset anyway.

My $.02
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