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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 09-12-05, 10:50 AM   #1
jonb
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Suzue Pro Max vs Phil Wood, Opinions Please

I'm building up my keirin 'Presto' frame and I'm getting down to having a new wheel set built. I've always wanted Phils but when I think about the 80 bucks(give or take) that I could save if I buy a set of Suzue Pro Maxs, I start to twitch, that 80 dollars could buy a lot of other parts. This will probably be the first nice wheelset I've owned and I certainly want to do it right, is the money better spent on Phils or will the Pro Maxs impress me?

Opinions, feedback, whatever, is all welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-05, 11:14 AM   #2
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i love my phil's, but the guys in SF that i rode with saturday (judah, you there?) swear by the suzue's. i think it depends on who you talk to, and also how well you plan on taking care of 'em. Phil's work best if you repack the bearings about once a year.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:16 AM   #3
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Depends what the bike will be used for.

I have wheelsets with Phils, Promax NJS, and Promax SB. My opinion, and others will probably argue, is that the Phils aren't really worth the extra money unless you ride the bike a *lot*, in any weather. My experience has been that the bearings have more drag than the NJS Promax, and the hubs weigh quite a bit more. Of course, if you plan on this being a work-bike, then the Phils may be the right choice, as they are pretty bomb-proof, and the bearings are easy to replace. Pro-max SB are also lighter, and have replaceable bearings, and I rode a pair daily all through the winter last year and had no issues with them.

Just my $0.02

Edit: I actually swear by Superbe Pro hubs, but Promax NJS are a great deal for the money
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Old 09-12-05, 11:17 AM   #4
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these two can't be compared.
they look totally different, and when riding a track bike the "look" takes priority. joking
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Old 09-12-05, 11:28 AM   #5
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If speed is a concern, Phil makes open cartridge "low drag" bearing sets for track apps - but riding open bearings on the street, well...

I really like the ProMax SB hubs I have, and Judah is right about the phils - bomber for sure for year round riding. I know a few people in Chi that ride the SBs year round and really like 'em.

If it is Phils or ProMax - go ProMax
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Old 09-12-05, 11:37 AM   #6
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Great, there doesn't seem to be a downside to the Pro-Max and I save money plus the glittery decal thing matches my frame. It doesn't get any better than that.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:38 AM   #7
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i tend to think that phil are overhyped -- this is not to say that they aren't great hubs, but they are certainly not the "end-all." many hubs are just as good if not better.

for the best cost/performance ratio of the two i would certainly go with promax hubs. if you want to be a proper njs hipster (to go with your frame), go with the 36h promax loosebearing.
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Old 09-12-05, 11:41 AM   #8
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So, it seems that the consensus is:

Daily, year-round, heavy riding = Phils
Daily, year-round, commute riding = Promax SB
Weekend/fair-weather bike = Promax NJS

To clarify, on my beater/winter bike I have Phils, but I'm just as happy with the Promax SB that I used to have on there (which are now on my wife's beater bike). On my keirin bike I have Promax NJS or Superbe pro NJS(best hubs ever!), depending on what kind of riding I'm doing, and I'm very happy with the Promax NJS, they spin very nicely, but I don't know that I'd want to have them on a rain bike. Mostly because I don't want to be constantly servicing hubs in the winter. For winter/weather riding, I think Promax SB are a good choice, again, unless you plan to seriously abuse your bike, in which case you should go with the Phils.

Last edited by Judah; 09-12-05 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:46 PM   #9
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Good answers. I get to ride 4 or 5 times a week when time and work permit. I don't commute so I wouldn't really call the bike or any of them beaters, unless we're speaking baout appearance. I'll try the pro max, combined with the polished fusions it should work out pretty well.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:47 PM   #10
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I'm no hub expert, but its worth noting that winter in SF is not the same as winter someplace where it snows. The issue is not as much the snow, as the salt on the roads...
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Old 09-12-05, 09:29 PM   #11
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I've had no problems with my Suzue Promax SB rear hub other than things which were clearly my fault, ie bending an axle. Don't expect your bearings to be as unresistant in a few months as when you took it out of the box, but the mechanical advantage of turning the axle with your fingers vs. chain/rim turning it are a lot different.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:46 PM   #12
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[cough], Phil's.
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Old 09-12-05, 09:52 PM   #13
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If you're gonna build up an NJS bike do it right man. Go with the NJS. However as a phil owner, if you're gonna be doing riding on the street rock the phils, they're the jam (as many on the forum would say)
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Old 09-12-05, 10:15 PM   #14
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the promax njs is one sweet hub. really too bad suzue has muddied their name with that "basic" pos hub.

also, at around $110 for the set, i think the suzue promax sb is the best hub for the money out there. i just wish they were fix/fix.
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Old 09-13-05, 03:05 AM   #15
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Gonz said don't be a tight wad.

Phil.
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Old 09-13-05, 07:53 AM   #16
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I own Phil's. I was recently at Yojimbo's here in Chicago and I was looking at the possibility of getting tubulars: Suzue ProMax NJS loose ball would serve as the hubs. Now, I was curious about weight and thus held a Phil Wood SLR (weight reduction cut out version) and the ProMax. The ProMax was heavier.

I then held a regular Phil Wood, single sided fixed and the ProMax - the ProMax was heavier. Now, I didn't weigh any of these and these were based on feel and switching hands but I was surprised since everyone seems to say that Phils are heavy. Maybe my mind was playing tricks - a proper weighed solution must be sought.

I bought Phils for a few reasons:

1) I wanted durability and I wanted to buy from a small company based locally that had good customer service. Brent at Phil Wood has posted on these forums before and I have heard nothing but good things about their customer service. I don't know how easy getting Suzue ProMax's serviced or replaced or whatever should something go wrong, would go, at least locally.

2) Chicago's winters are harsh and I ride all year round through snow, salted streets and so on and so forth. I need a hub that will take that kind of abuse. Thus, Phils.

3) I do love that the axle is hex/allen. It means one less tool for me to carry and tightening and adjusting Phils are a world apart from adjusting regular track nuts/axles.

4) I can replace that axle for a quick release conversion kit - not for quick release but for locking skewers, which is unlikely for me, but I like the idea of having that option.

I have no doubt that Suzue ProMax's are great hubs - I want a pair myself. But given the choice, Phil is the way to go. For me, at least.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:11 AM   #17
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Suzue Pro Max vs Phil Wood vs Dura Ace?????
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Old 09-13-05, 08:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesweaterkid
Suzue Pro Max vs Phil Wood vs Dura Ace?????
Phils on the Cross-Check, Suzue Pro on the Raleigh and DA on the GTB.


And a set of IRO's on the fixed 1x1.
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Old 09-13-05, 08:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImOnCrank
If you're gonna build up an NJS bike do it right man. Go with the NJS. However as a phil owner, if you're gonna be doing riding on the street rock the phils, they're the jam (as many on the forum would say)
The JAM!! It's spreading like wild forrest fire!

Do we call this new vernacular Shantsese? Shants-bonics? Shantsish?

I'm not sure. I do know, however, that apart from 'the jam', "ultra" should be used as a superlative prefix for EVERYTHING that is better than something else.

You can read my "On Language" guest column this coming Sunday in the NYT magazine.
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Old 09-13-05, 09:02 AM   #20
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i really should be a total ******bag and bring back "k-rad." i'm convinced that it could happen.
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Old 09-13-05, 09:04 AM   #21
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may I suggest we swap ultra with uber, and reintroduce the use of such old school surf jargon such as tubular and radical
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Old 09-13-05, 09:18 AM   #22
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i really should be a total ******bag and bring back "k-rad." i'm convinced that it could happen.
mmm ... \<-rad
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Old 09-13-05, 09:36 AM   #23
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dude the jam is totally boss
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Old 09-13-05, 09:43 AM   #24
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could we then, perhaps, consider this thread to be 'the jam'?
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Old 09-13-05, 09:48 AM   #25
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nah dude, this thread is boss too
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