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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 09-21-09, 10:27 AM   #1
brendon_ak
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Loose Ball Fixed Gear Hubs, A List

Hey,

I'm building a fixed gear specifically for training, most of the time during the off season, aka rain and crappy weather. I want some loose ball hubs, the lighter the better (with in reason, I know, an oxymoron).

Right now the only loose ball hubs that I know of are Dura Ace track hubs, but those aren't that light, cheap, nor are they best for use in bad weather.

I've heard that Miche, Surly, and Formula all make loose ball hubs, will those fare any better? I've also read that people have had problems with the Surly's coming unadjusted.

A set of hubs would be slick, but I'm most concerned with the rear hub as I can use a standard road hub for the front.

Also are there any loose ball hubs that accept a quick release? Also, any of these hubs come in red?

Thanks!
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Old 09-21-09, 10:38 AM   #2
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The surlys and formulas are both sealed bearing units, unless there's some other older models available or some loose ball hubs from those manufacturers I'm not aware of. The bearing adjustments you're talking ab are for sealed units and are really quite simple.

If you don't mind me asking, why are you preferring a loose-ball hub over a sealed? Seems more practical and less expensive to just go with a sealed setup. But then again, people tell me the same thing for running a loose ball bb.
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Old 09-21-09, 11:01 AM   #3
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I like the idea of a part "wearing in" that is the more you use and properly maintain a loose ball hub the better it rolls. I also enjoy rebuilding the hubs, its theraputic I don't have a press for the sealed bearings, though I do have access to a shop, I don't want to have to run over there with a wheel when I rebuild it.
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Old 09-21-09, 11:07 AM   #4
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huh?

you wont notice worn bearings unless they've been worn too much and need to be replaced.

and, yes, loose ball hubs typically spin faster by hand but you wont ever feel the difference while riding.

and riding loose ball bb or hubs or headsets in poor weather just means more regular maintenance. and that's it.

you do not need a press to replace hub cartridge bearings. read the DIY thread for a picture-by-picture explanation on how to switch them out (not a regular practice, by the way, even in poor weather).
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Old 09-21-09, 11:11 AM   #5
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I could have sworn the title and subject matter of my thread was a list of loose ball track hubs, not whether or not one was better than the other...
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Old 09-21-09, 11:14 AM   #6
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Hubs page at Business Cycles has all sort of options, incl open bearings + carbon on the Suzue Pro Max-CF, which sounds like what you're after.

And I know it's not in the thread title, but I'd echo previous comments about cartridge bearings -- they hold up well and they're easy to replace. Having ridden my sealed Forumulas through several nasty seasons on my commuter, I'm not sure open bearings are really necessary or even advantageous. But if you just plain like open bearings better, go for it. I think you'll have a hell of a time finding a loose ball hub in red, so you might have to give up on the bling if you go that route.
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Old 09-21-09, 11:15 AM   #7
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well, I could have sworn there is no list in this thread...only poor information regarding loose ball hubs...and I addressed your huge misconceptions.

miche, surly, and formula do not make loose ball hubs by the way.
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Old 09-21-09, 11:34 AM   #8
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miche, surly, and formula do not make loose ball hubs by the way.
Formula actually does make both sealed and loose ball.
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Old 09-21-09, 11:43 AM   #9
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track down a vintage Campy hub that's already worn in.

Or if you're going to be doing winter training, using the fixed wheel to work on your spin, you can probably get away with rota-fixing it to a freewheel hub and just keeping front and rear brakes. It may stand up to normal riding, but I really wouldn't trust it for skids and the like.
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Old 09-21-09, 12:42 PM   #10
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psirue-huge misconceptions? How? All I said is that I wanted them, I find rebuilding them therapeutic, how is that misconstrued from the truth? If you're just trolling for a fight please go somewhere else, I'm just trying to get info, pretty sure that's what part of what forums are all about.

kyselad-right, bww offers them, but I haven't found where to buy them. Seems like the best option.
fuzz-eh, too many people who buy those older hubs because they're "cooler" drive the price way way way too high. As for riding it on an older freehub that would be nice as I could just pick up an older, say, 600 hub, respace and run that, I'm just not super confident that it'll hold up. I don't plan to skid or anything, but I'm just not sure I want to chance it.

edit-yes I'll be running both brakes though
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Old 09-21-09, 02:28 PM   #11
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psirue-huge misconceptions? How? All I said is that I wanted them, I find rebuilding them therapeutic, how is that misconstrued from the truth? If you're just trolling for a fight please go somewhere else, I'm just trying to get info, pretty sure that's what part of what forums are all about.

kyselad-right, bww offers them, but I haven't found where to buy them. Seems like the best option.
fuzz-eh, too many people who buy those older hubs because they're "cooler" drive the price way way way too high. As for riding it on an older freehub that would be nice as I could just pick up an older, say, 600 hub, respace and run that, I'm just not super confident that it'll hold up. I don't plan to skid or anything, but I'm just not sure I want to chance it.

edit-yes I'll be running both brakes though
in my young (stupid) days I rode on of these for many thousands of miles, with no ill effects. Especially if you don't plan on putting much resistance on it, it's fine for an application like this. Plus, if it does ever come undone, you can re-attach it by the side of the road.
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Old 09-21-09, 03:07 PM   #12
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Right, my only concern is it coming undone on a decent, and crash into a huge tree. I'm not going to be skidding on it, but i do like to use my legs to resist the pedals some when slowing down.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:33 PM   #13
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psirue-huge misconceptions? How? All I said is that I wanted them, I find rebuilding them therapeutic, how is that misconstrued from the truth? If you're just trolling for a fight please go somewhere else, I'm just trying to get info, pretty sure that's what part of what forums are all about.
I understand the desire to maintain your bike -- it's fun.

but the notion that loose ball hubs "roll better" is silly. they often do (depending on how often you overhaul them, typically) when you spin them in your hand but you wont ever notice on the street. and if you're building up a winter training bike that will be ridden in crap weather, I'd stay clear. I ran a loose ball bottom bracket through months of intense snow and salt and street sludge -- that sucked. If I didnt overhaul them regularly, they'd get all crunchy. But if that's your thing and you want to overhaul them 2x a month, by all means, do it.
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Old 09-21-09, 05:01 PM   #14
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you were the one that said they roll better, i never claimed such things.

Anyways, its beside the point, I want them and thats all that matters.

I'm watching some older Mavic freewheel hubs, but I'm still on the fence about using a bb lock ring on a cog. I'd like to use some real fixed gear hubs with track lock ring.

I've also found the Surly Fixxer, but its pretty expensive, and it looks to put the cog in a strange place, still requiring a dish on the wheel. Anyone use this?
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Old 09-21-09, 06:04 PM   #15
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I use Campy C Record & Record loose ball hubs year round without any trouble and I service every 6 months.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:50 PM   #16
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I want to try VoloSolo's converted bolt-on Shimano hubs. Loose-ball. But most important thing is the parts are easy to get if you break some. You also notice weather seals that you can manipulate by hand.

I dunno how good the performance is, but apparently some people use em in competitions. I am pretty sure it ain't keirin compartible, but you wanted a "practice" hubs right? Not really bad idea I think.

I heard that some bearings are only for high rpm only. May be loose-balls are better for fairly low rpm. (You know we ain't T-1000's. I don't think most of us can go over 82mph like someone can.)
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Old 10-19-09, 07:11 PM   #17
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Old thread but has anybody mentioned SEAL DRAG? Its a real thing and its why people like me want decent loose ball track hubs
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Old 10-19-09, 07:52 PM   #18
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If anyone cares I picked up a Dura Ace low flange rear hub, and for the front I'm rocking a Shimano Sante road hub
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Old 10-19-09, 07:52 PM   #19
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Old thread but has anybody mentioned SEAL DRAG? Its a real thing and its why people like me want decent loose ball track hubs
can you really notice the drag? really? are you a cat 1/2 where every little thing matters?

I highly doubt that.

There's probably just as much resistance from using grease. Are you about to start dripping oil into your hubs every day before riding for that extra 0.1% of performance?

Last edited by psirue; 10-19-09 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 10-19-09, 08:23 PM   #20
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lol @ the idea of coming into the BFSSFG forum and expecting people to not give their opinion and answering the question asked. hell i'm happy with every thread i start that doesn't end up being pictures of lolcats.

i was all ready to provide relevant information, but obviously the OP already got what he wanted, so hurrah
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Old 10-19-09, 08:34 PM   #21
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ha, thanks anyways....the hub is going on a Leader too, I can't wait till people freak about that!
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Old 10-19-09, 10:45 PM   #22
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leaders are bad and you should feel bad!
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Old 10-20-09, 07:02 AM   #23
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Suzue Pro Max had a loose bearing version. I had some that worked great. They were known as the disco hubs I think because they had this sorta prism sticker on them. Not sure if they still make them.
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Old 10-20-09, 07:43 PM   #24
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Suzue Pro Max had a loose bearing version. I had some that worked great. They were known as the disco hubs I think because they had this sorta prism sticker on them. Not sure if they still make them.
Suzue pro max are the sealed bearing hubs, the loose ball bearings are the Suzue basic.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:51 PM   #25
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