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Thread: 48 hole hubs?

  1. #1
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    48 hole hubs?

    I'm thinking of building a 48-spoke wheel for LHT (135mm dropouts), but can't find any suitable hubs, other than the hideously expensive variety (phil wood). Are there any other decent hubs out there?

    (Note that I've seen some tandem hubs, but they are 145mm).

    Thanks,
    pete

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    Somewhat less expensive at times are the DT hubs, they are said to be stronger than the Phil in some respects. The cassette shell and the bearings for one. Though I heard they were prone to some other kind of failure like maube the flange, of course that was probably in 32. Google around. Best case as far as I can see you are going to save about 100.

    There isn't a lot of rim choice, but Velocity is one and they have complete sets with their own hubs. Check out the Oz website. That is probably the cheapest.

    Of course there is a weakest link thing here. I mean LX 36 hole hubs are pretty good as is. To really go to the next level and not just one component, but take the wheel to the next level, is butted spokes, premium hub and rim, and more spokes, that is going to cost a lot. You are probably looking at 100 for the rims, 100 for the spokes, 350 for the rear hub 120 for the front. Still well below the cost of Rohloff on puny 32 spokes and rear only. And doubtless you can shave some bucks off those ballparks, but still...

    If one could only improve one thing above say LX levels, it would be to go to the very strongest rim available, then the very best spokes, then the hubs, then more holes and spokes. In all cases the build has to be bombproof. It just is going to be expensive.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I am not sure what your specific needs are, but 36 spokes are enough for most tourists even big guys who carry a lot. Are the wheels on your LHT not holding up well? If you absolutely need 48 spokes I think read that the 145mm tandem hubs can be narrowed up a bit by changing out the spacers. I think it required different dishing of the wheel. If I run across the article I will post it. Anyone else seen that or am I remembering incorrectly?

  4. #4
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    As a card carrying Clydesdale cyclist who has used 700c 36 hole hubs successfully for over thirty years all over the world on really bad terrain, I wonder what conditions make you think that you need 48 hole hubs?

    I only have used 48 hole hubs on an early Santana Tandem in 1978 because that is what came with the bike. I even use 36 hole hubs on my Fat Chance mountain tandem without problems on and off road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post
    As a card carrying Clydesdale cyclist who has used 700c 36 hole hubs successfully for over thirty years all over the world on really bad terrain, I wonder what conditions make you think that you need 48 hole hubs?

    I only have used 48 hole hubs on an early Santana Tandem in 1978 because that is what came with the bike. I even use 36 hole hubs on my Fat Chance mountain tandem without problems on and off road.
    I'll probably weigh 250 when I hit the road for a 2000 mile, fully loaded tour. I've had problems w/ rims splitting (32h) before. My current stock LHT has 36h Alex Adventurer rims. In about 800 miles, I've already had to true the rear wheel. I read about (big) guys traveling thousands of fully-loaded miles on 48h wheels w/o every needing to true them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Somewhat less expensive at times are the DT hubs, they are said to be stronger than the Phil in some respects. The cassette shell and the bearings for one. Though I heard they were prone to some other kind of failure like maube the flange, of course that was probably in 32. Google around. Best case as far as I can see you are going to save about 100.
    Do you have a link? googling '48h dt hub' seems to return lots of BMX stuff.

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    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    I have a LHT and use Shimano hf08 48 hole tandem hubs with 145mm spacing. I spread my LHT's rear dropouts 5mm on each side. Do you realize how much spreading this is? 5mm on each side is about this big:

    |-|

    It took me no more than 10 minutes to complete the task and I was fortunate to get what appears to be spot-on accuracy on each side the first try. Bought front and rear tandem wheels, not just hubs, off ebay for about $230 but had to replace the spoke nipples since they started to rust.

    As others have noted 36 holes is usually enough; if I were buying another LHT I would probably go with 36 this time, but if 48 hole is desired, Shimano's hf08 hubs are solid and inexpensive compared with other 48 hole hubs designed for cassettes.

    PS

    Nashbar has the hf05 version of the front hub with 48 holes for $15

    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

    and you can buy the hf08 rear hub for about $150, do a google shopping search:

    http://www.google.com/products?q=shi...w=dd&scoring=p
    Last edited by bwgride; 02-16-08 at 03:07 PM.

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    Senior Member Fueled by Boh's Avatar
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    you waited 800 miles to true your rear wheel? and you weigh over 250lbs? more likely than not, that is your problem. no matter how many spokes a wheel has, it still needs at least some basic maintenance.

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    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Get a good wheel builder to build you a set of wheels from Mavic A719 rims, Shimano Xt hubs and DT or Wheel Smith spokes ( or any similar components ). In my opinion the true strength of a wheel is in the build.

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    For what it's worth I have 48 spoke rear, 40 spoke front on my Cross Check. I'm about 260 and carry another 30 pounds when I do mini-tours (3 or 4 days). I haven't really had problems with lesser wheelsets, but I wanted to be as sure as I could be that I wouldn't in the future. Mine are Velocity Dyad Rims with Phil Wood hubs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    I have a LHT and use Shimano hf08 48 hole tandem hubs with 145mm spacing. I spread my LHT's rear dropouts 5mm on each side. Do you realize how much spreading this is? 5mm on each side is about this big:

    |-|

    It took me no more than 10 minutes to complete the task and I was fortunate to get what appears to be spot-on accuracy on each side the first try. Bought front and rear tandem wheels, not just hubs, off ebay for about $230 but had to replace the spoke nipples since they started to rust.
    You did this a la the late great Sheldon Brown? (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html)


    Quote Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
    PS

    Nashbar has the hf05 version of the front hub with 48 holes for $15

    and you can buy the hf08 rear hub for about $150, do a google shopping search:

    http://www.google.com/products?q=shi...w=dd&scoring=p
    So the first found is this.

    Question, this hub is threaded for a drum break. I presume this does not get in the way or cause problems if you just use rim breaks?

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    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quester View Post
    You did this a la the late great Sheldon Brown? (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html)
    Si


    Quote Originally Posted by quester View Post
    So the first found is this.
    Good find.

    Quote Originally Posted by quester View Post
    Question, this hub is threaded for a drum break. I presume this does not get in the way or cause problems if you just use rim breaks?
    No

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    Phil 48 hubs with a freewheel are not too expensive, and very nice around 150. I'm heavy and have had fantastic luck with them.

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    AT, now you jumped into it. I've tried that recomendation a number of times around here and you might as well be selling Porsche on buggy whips. I agree with you by the way.

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    Why not 40 Hole? Or 40 hole on the rear and 36 up front.

    48 is way overkill I would think.

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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    XXXI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Tourer View Post
    Phil 48 hubs with a freewheel are not too expensive, and very nice around 150. I'm heavy and have had fantastic luck with them.
    On the Wood site, they are indeed listed. However, I haven't had luck finding them advertised anywhere on the web!

    Also, I'd need to use a freewheel then. My current cassette is 11-34. Sadly, the only freewheels w/ a 34tooth granny look like this. There's a jump from 24 to 34!

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    Bikes..

    When Arvon Stacey built my touring bike specifically for the Australian outback (self-supported and pulling an Ibex trailer) I supplied him with 2 48 hole PW hubs that I bought 'new' on Ebay. He did not dish the rear wheel - instead building the frame so the wheels tracked perfectly but with the frame built slightly asymetrically in the rear.

    The bike and wheels were bulletproof. The wheels stood up to real abuse - like when the front went almost 90 degrees to the direction of travel when I hit loose sand (bulldust) at speed and keeled over. Bummer.. The frame is really strong.

    I did have trouble with the Shimano BB getting loose so we finally welded one side to the frame... The rear derailler lost a screw at night and the bottom most plastic black wheel fell off - no more shifting, etc..

    The wheels are with Sun rhyno-Lite 26" rims and the tires are the Schwalbe Marathon top-of that series ones... As soon as a torn muscle heals in my foot I am back into training for 'nother tour :-) Oh, I am 6' 4.5" and about 110 kg. I have a fused right ankle and use a leg brace to keep the ankle from snapping due to the torque on it while pedalling/walking. I am an insulin dependent diabetic and have been so for about 44 years... I will be 60 in June..

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    Bikes

    FWIW I just noticed several PW 48 hole rear hubs on e-bay and a 700c rear wheel with a 48 spoke PW hub. All hubs seem to be for freewheels.... I got my cassette 48 hole PW black hubs by just looking every day, and waiting..... waiting.....waiting.....

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    I bought one last summer from licktons on the web. ( $124)I built up one last winter and the thing is tough. I know that cassette is better, but if all you can afford a 48 hole phil with a soild axle this thing is tough. You either get why 48 hole is better, or you don't. I tend to bend /break axles so the solid axle is a major advantag. Also, if you are willing to go freewheel ANY cog configuration is out there. Freewheels dominated the picture for a long time for a reason. Yes, the best option would be a phil soild 48 in a cassette, but the hub is about 3x the freewheel version.

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    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_ca View Post
    Why not 40 Hole? Or 40 hole on the rear and 36 up front.

    48 is way overkill I would think.
    This is certainly an option, but here are two thoughts about this configuration that I considered when adopting 48 holes front and rear.

    First, if one is going beyond 36 holes for strength, why not go for 48 instead of 40? If 48 is just overkill, then that means more strength which seems to be what some heavy riders seek.

    Second, if one strays from a standard 36 (or 32) hole rim and cycles in remote parts, it may be wise to use the same number of holes front and rear. Suppose one cracks the rear rim while riding in the part of Georgia where I live. While there are local bike shops, none carry a 48 hole rim, so immediate replacement is not possible without overnight shipping (and even this assumes good timing because overnight shipping can still take two days, or longer if over the weekend). In this scenario, my plan is to un-build the front wheel (remove the hub), and rebuild it around the rear hub. (One nice thing about the Shimano HF08 tandem hubs is that 145mm rear uses the same length spoke as the front hub, so I could reuse the front's spokes as well.) To replace the front wheel, I'll buy an inexpensive front 36 or 32 hole wheel and likely be on my way by noon the next day.

  22. #22
    WATERFORD22
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    I agree that Phils are expensive - but they are great. Phil feewheels 48 hole hubs come up on regularly on ebay at a resonable price. My touring bikes have 40 hole White Industry Hubs, Hugi 40 hole tandem hubs, and most recent build Specialized High Flange Freewheel hubs - got them new on ebay for $50, nice but limited to a 8 speed freewheel just like the Phils.

    I agree with the other heighy weights - 30 plus pound bike, 225 pound body, 50 pounds gear, 10 pounds of water - and probably more - in the middle of no where I rather have a few extra spokes. Have not built 48 hole wheels yet, but that's what is on my tandem.
    Last edited by vosyer; 02-17-08 at 11:46 PM.

  23. #23
    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    Here is some lateral thinking for you. Being a man who's first bike love was BMX I have some knowledge of 48 spoked wheels.

    If you but a pair of 48 spoke hubs from a BMX supplier with a freewheel fitting (not casset as is now popular) and a 10 mm axel (not 14 mm as is now popular especially on rear bmx wheels) you will have yourself a cheap pair or 48 hole hubs. Due to the new BMX technology you can get some good quality freewheel hubs cheap.

    Now buy a new longer axle for the rear (get a hollow one if you really want to have quickrelease but I don not see the point in quick release unless you're racing).

    Buy some spacers and a good quality whatever speed free wheel you want. You can get much better freewheels than the one you listed above with the large jump in the lowest gear..

    This will give you a 48 spoke drilled rear hub for cheap. It will be sturdy as anything and smooth. It should end up the correct spacing by my calculations (taking some quick measurements from my bmx flange to flange measurements comparing to my MBT e.t.c

    Teh front can clear just be laced up as normal.
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    Tinkerer since 1980 TheBrick's Avatar
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    There is quite a wide range freewheels at Harris without the big jump in gearing that you did not like.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/freewheels.html


    I just like the BMX hub idea as they are bomb proof and have smooth bearings that really will take a pounding but of course this dose require some diy.
    Travelling without inertia

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    Lets make this happen.

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    The End Result

    I gulped and went ahead w/ Peter White. I talked w/ him about a freewheel/shimano-mega combo, but he really did not think this combination was durable. His feeling was that the Phil Wood freewheel hub, in combination w/ the old SunTour freewheels, was well-matched and durable, but there was no comparable freewheel being produced today. This would not be an issue for most applications, but for a guy of my size on a loaded tour, it is.

    The end result was a Phil Wood hub, Velocity Dyad rim, single-butted DT spokes, something like $465, plus shipping.

    Thanks for all the help and comments, and see you on the road....

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