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wheel hub selection novatec vs dt swiss 350?

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wheel hub selection novatec vs dt swiss 350?

Old 10-08-18, 04:52 PM
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spectastic
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wheel hub selection novatec vs dt swiss 350?

I'm going to buy some carbon disc wheels, and I get to choose between cheap novatec and higher end dt swiss 350 hubs. Right now, I'm wrestling with whether the dt swiss 350 hubs are worth the extra $190, compared to the novatecs. I called a bike shop, and they say that so long as the novatecs are cartridge bearings, then relability wise, they should be the same. what do you think?

I won't really be using these for racing, but they will see the majority of my training miles.
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Old 10-08-18, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
I'm going to buy some carbon disc wheels, and I get to choose between cheap novatec and higher end dt swiss 350 hubs. Right now, I'm wrestling with whether the dt swiss 350 hubs are worth the extra $190, compared to the novatecs. I called a bike shop, and they say that so long as the novatecs are cartridge bearings, then relability wise, they should be the same. what do you think?

I won't really be using these for racing, but they will see the majority of my training miles.
Novatec makes a decent reliable hub, but the freehub is a 3 pawl design. I say "but", not because it's necessarily a bad thing, but one thing the DT hub has going for it is the star ratchet with many more points of engagement. None of this matters one bit to me and most of the world, but if you are concerned about a few degrees of lost motion every time you start turning the cranks, the DT has the solution.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:02 PM
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There are some extremely light weight carbon/aluminum composite hubs. So, for pure "weight weenie", the Chinese hubs with the Carbon Fiber Sleeves probably take the cake. And, if something was to go bad with the hubs, they would be cheap to replace.

I bought a couple that I haven't built into wheels, and was somewhat disappointed by the stiffness feeling of the rear bearings. I'm not sure if they would get better with wear, but they seemed quite stiff. I think they use 4 cartridge bearings??? On the other hand, the Shimano hubs use 2 cup and cones to support the axles, although if one gets too much grease into the labyrinths, one gets added friction.

Also, the Shimano hubs are sealed on the outside, but not on the inside. I presume the Chinese sealed bearings all have inner and outer seals, with very little dirt penetration from the inside, so those inner seals do little other than adding friction (and holding lube in place).

I'm not sure about the DT hubs. Perhaps they have some of the same issues.

So far I am liking the straight pull spokes, but there may be a lag before all the local shops fully support them with replacements.

Hmmm...

Disc brakes?
Scratch the idea of the carbon sleeve. I'd probably go for a more rigid hub construction.

Another option to consider. You can buy deep wall carbon fiber clincher rims, you can buy them with no through spoke holes. Thus, no rim tape needed for either tube or tubeless configuration.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:05 PM
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I believe the freehub body on the novatec hubs can be upgraded from 3 to 6 paws. Either case, it's nothing I'm losing sleep over.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:07 PM
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i'm definitely keeping my spoke holes.. tubeless is not even on my radar, and replacing spokes is so much easier with spoke holes.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:16 PM
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One is Swiss.
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Old 10-08-18, 08:10 PM
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novatec front and dtswiss rear
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Old 10-09-18, 07:37 AM
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DT 350's are generally regarded as higher quality hubs, and a good value as there's not a whole lot of difference between them and the much pricier 240s. The star ratchet is really nice, reliable, easy to service, and quiet. In fact, they are sometimes inaudible to my ears (unlike my Hope Pro 4's). I believe the default ratchet rings have 18 points of engagement but you can easily upgrade them to 36 or 54T if you care (I don't).

Novatecs have a sketchy reputation in some circles, but others have reported good luck with them, so given the way web forums work, that probably means 95% of them are fine and odds are they'll be fine for you. I'd probably stick with Novatecs if the wheels are on the cheap side (say $500-$700) and upgrade if I'm already spending >$1000, which is pretty easy to do with carbon rims.

One thing I don't like about the DT's is that the default freehub body is alloy, and it doesn't have one of those "bite guard" steel strips that some Novatecs have to reinforce the hub splines and protect them from getting destroyed by the cassette over time. You can replace the whole DT freehub with a steel one, but DT Swiss replacement parts are expensive. IIRC their freehubs are around $100 vs $30-40 for the Novatecs. Other Novatec parts, like endcaps for different axle standards, are cheaper too, sometimes even bundled with the hubs or wheelset, whereas DT will bleed you for them if you don't shop around.

As for bearings, yeah you can always replace them. But, unless you pay someone to do it, press-fit cartridge bearings are a bit of a PITA to replace without special tools, especially the kind that are pressed on to both the hub shell and the axle at the same time. More importantly, bearings don't tell the whole story. The hub shell, axle, freehub, etc. still all have to be manufactured with good tolerances and quality control at the factory in order for everything to fit together precisely and give good bearing life and smoothness. I assume DT will have higher standards in this regard but who knows.
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Old 10-09-18, 07:47 AM
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spend coin on carbon rims but use the cheapest hubs?

i just upgrade my failing novatec to bitex hubs on my fat bike and just ehw 150g weight savings are great.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:16 AM
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On the subject of bearing replacement, you would need a ratchet ring removal tool to replace the drive side bearing in the hub shell on the DT hub.Not a huge deal, they are available fairly cheap on ebay, but it's one more tool you would need if you do your own overhauls.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
On the subject of bearing replacement, you would need a ratchet ring removal tool to replace the drive side bearing in the hub shell on the DT hub.Not a huge deal, they are available fairly cheap on ebay, but it's one more tool you would need if you do your own overhauls.
Yeah that is the problem with DT, many specialty tools needed. And the 18 PoE (mostly requiring ratchet upgrade) makes them expensive. When I decided to get the bitex hub for my fat i figures the DT would cost me over twice or more inc. the tools, ratchet upgrade. Maybe if you have many DT hubs the tools become less expensive. but different models also require different tools.
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Old 03-22-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
the problem with DT, many specialty tools needed.
I own a DT swiss rear hub and used to own a pair of their fancy carbon sus forks. The products are amazing in every way except the servicing experience. The service ritual was so annoying with the forks I sold em! ( 60 ) The hubs are also annoying to work on in comparison to a hope pro 3 for instance but they do the job so well in regards engagement reliability and general durability that I'm still running them. From a wheel build perspective I seem to remember that the flanges are slightly different sizes to account for hub center to flange dimension. This means that instaed of different spoke lengths for drive and non drive side, you only need one length.
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Old 03-24-19, 03:00 PM
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Some Novatecs are good, some are total garbage. DTs are some of the best hubs on the market, easy to service and get parts for, and super reliable. I'd go with the DTs.
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Old 03-25-19, 12:26 PM
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I would go for the shimanos. Reliable and easy to work on. If properly maintained they last forever. Most important is the right side bearing is outboard for a stronger hub. Two pawls work just fine. The reality is that multiple pawls is marketing hype as they don't engage at the same time.
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