Thread: Choosing a Hub
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Old 03-23-21, 09:30 PM
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Choosing a Hub

I'm slowly working on building up a frame for touring. I'm planning on a front load front panniers and a handlebar bag. I have put rack mounts on the rear, but don't plan to put a lot of wight on the rear.

I have found that most "touring" frames are far beefier than I need. I weight 120 lbs (55ks), and camp with around 5 kg in each front pannier, and another 4 or 5 kg in the handlebar bag. I don't need massively oversized frame tubes, or 48 spoke wheels. The rear (and the fork, once I've built it) will be set up for direct-mount centerpull brakes. I'm hoping that I can also get a 26" wheelset with wider tires to fit, for those time when I want to tackle rough gravel or trails.

I have 32-hole 650b rims Velocity A23s and a wide flange SON generator hub on order for the front. I'm having trouble locating a suitable rear hub. What I'm looking for is
  1. Silver colored, 'cause that's what I've chosen for the rimes and the front hub.
  2. 32 hole, 'cause I have the rims. (I guess that I could put one back into "stock" and go up to a 36 hole hub and rim if I had to.)
  3. Rim brake (i.e., no centerlock mount)
  4. Shimano 9-speed compatible. I think that 9-speed is the sweet spot for gear range and durability.
  5. Preferably Shimano, because I like loose-bearing hubs for their maintainability, and Shimano has been making them well for a long time now
  6. 135mm over lock-nuts, because that's how I built the frame. Of course, I could use a 130mm hub and simply add 5mm of spacers to the NDS.
I have a few hubs on my bench that I've been considering:

At the top is a nice 105 road hub, but its 130mm over the fancy axle ends, and because of those ends it does not adapt itself well to 135mm spacing.

Next is a Shimano 600 "tricolor" hub, that I was keeping as a source of spare parts for another wheelset. I could adapt that to 135mm spacing. It's a nice hub, but if I use it for this build, then I'll have two wheels using 600 hubs, and no spares!

Third is a Shimano 105, old style (mid 1990s, IIRC). Maybe I should adapt this to 135mm spacing? It's dull silver rather than shiny, but beggars can't be choosers. :-(

At the bottom is a newer CNC'd hub that's from a lower groupset: FH-MC38. It is the right width, though!

I could also buy a new(er) hub, and started looking for Deore XT or similar. I can't find anything that meets my requirements. I could also look at other brands, but I'm not sure where to start.

I'm open to suggestions from the Forum!
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