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Bitex hubs?

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Old 01-11-19, 11:08 AM
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phtomita
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Bitex hubs?

I am looking for some new wheelset and got to know of these Taiwanese Bitex hubs.
Searching on the web, there is Pro Wheel Builder from Atlanta area that carries this hubs. Not much other places from what I can find.
Reviews for the Bitex RAR12/RAF12 seems good - but I found there is also RAR13/RAF13 that is much more cheaper.

Does anyone have experience with these hubs?
Anyone know the difference between 12 and 13 - some cheap carbon wheelset from China has the 13 one on eBay.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:05 PM
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The Bitex website doesn't list the RAR13. I suspect it's because this model is an OEM only offering. Expect some internal cheapening to be present. Like steel instead of AL axle/freehub body. Or lower cost ratchet design, maybe an outsourced freehub body? Andy
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Old 01-11-19, 04:28 PM
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I've built with them. They look cheap but seem to work fine. Customer who took wheel reports they are common and well regarded in UK. Customer also eats a lot of equipment but has many trouble free miles on the Bitex wheels.
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Old 01-13-19, 01:57 PM
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Just got a front and rear hub from bike hub store, along with rims and spokes, built up but not yet ridden and bike not ready to go. The hubs seem much better than I expected. On my stand the front hub spins really well. The rear also seems very good, 6 pawls for the freehub and spins nice, quieter than the videos would have you believe. is it as good as my Campy 10 speed hubs, time will tell, but since Campy is getting out of the hub business, and i'd guess others will follow, we need alternatives. They look great in polished silver, even if the bearings wear out, they are common cartridge bearings so no issues getting them. Brandon at BHS is a good guy.
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Old 01-13-19, 02:24 PM
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I recently installed the Bitex fatbike 197mm version. Very happy with them. They have 54 PoE and seem solid. They are also easy to disassemble and service (unlike the pain DT Swiss owners have to go through...).
They also sell the freehub separately for a bit over $50, so if you are worried about longevity of the pawling, it isn't the end of the world if you had to replace that.

Bike Hub Store seems to be the official US distributor and the sale process was easy and shipping fast.

Before buying I researched and heard only good things. Take that for what you will. they don't have bling, but you don't pay for bling. In fact, the fatbike hubs don't even have a logo.

As an alternative, shimano hubs are a great value if you can live with cup/cone bearings. Honestly, servicing them annually (or more often if you really muddy around) isn't that big of a deal. But for cartridge hubs i definitely would look at Bitex again.

BTW, the pawl noise will change with lubrication. They are not very loud to begin with. After some hundred miles i serviced the freehub (just cleaned off the pawls and put some lube on) and they are even quieter. i guess once they get a bit noisier it is time to service. It wasn't really dirty in there to begin with, though.

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Old 01-13-19, 03:44 PM
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The 13 hubs seem very similar to the 12's. Front is a smig lighter and rear body is a slightly different shape. http://www.bitexhubs.com/upload/down...99569e3af1.pdf

And speaking of the 13's, cheap set being offered here...https://www.amazon.com/LOLTRA-Pawls-.../dp/B07427TPFQ I wonder if the 13 has the "anti bite" strips on the freehub?

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Old 01-14-19, 12:05 AM
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Thank you for all the feedback/opinions.
I'll give it a try for 20/24h on H + Son Archetype rims that should come around 1500 grams.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Thank you for all the feedback/opinions.
I'll give it a try for 20/24h on H + Son Archetype rims that should come around 1500 grams.
unless you weigh 50 # and only ride butter-smooth roads i strongly recommend more spokes
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Old 01-14-19, 07:25 PM
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They're basic cartridge bearing hubs. Not fancy, but utilitarian and work. Easy peasy servicing; hubs are cheap and so are the parts. A few things not to like IME from having a set:

A) Freehub is moderately loud. Can quiet it down with more oil or heavier lubricant....but that is temporary. Note how I said "not to like" above rather than "cons"
B) Even the "anti-notch" FH doesn't resist notching well as it only reinforces one side of the splines. But, cheap hub...that is what you get. Cheap.
C) The pawl engangement tended to miss much more often than say Shimano hubs (which are almost as cheap). E.g. apply power and you;d go--but I'd get a metallic BANG as a pawl would finally ram home into place under torque where it wasn't quite before.

For cheap hubs...they do the trick. OTOH you get what you pay for. Per a commenter above---unless you;re a feather weight (some are), I'd recommend more spokes.

One outright con:

-You will not find documentation on hub servicing....you'll need to rely on internet videos.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
They're basic cartridge bearing hubs. Not fancy, but utilitarian and work. Easy peasy servicing; hubs are cheap and so are the parts. A few things not to like IME from having a set:

A) Freehub is moderately loud. Can quiet it down with more oil or heavier lubricant....but that is temporary. Note how I said "not to like" above rather than "cons"
B) Even the "anti-notch" FH doesn't resist notching well as it only reinforces one side of the splines. But, cheap hub...that is what you get. Cheap.
C) The pawl engangement tended to miss much more often than say Shimano hubs (which are almost as cheap). E.g. apply power and you;d go--but I'd get a metallic BANG as a pawl would finally ram home into place under torque where it wasn't quite before.

For cheap hubs...they do the trick. OTOH you get what you pay for. Per a commenter above---unless you;re a feather weight (some are), I'd recommend more spokes.

One outright con:

-You will not find documentation on hub servicing....you'll need to rely on internet videos.
I can't tell about longevity. but lack of documentation is a downer here.

But even I could figure it out. just unscrew the endcaps and it comes apart. Very similar to Hope hubs etc.
Alternative hub designs have endcaps held by O-rings and you "wiggle" or just pull them off.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
unless you weigh 50 # and only ride butter-smooth roads i strongly recommend more spokes
Uh-oh ... already posted my order for the rims and is shipped.
How bad is to go with fewer spokes - I am at 140 lbs.
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Old 01-15-19, 09:06 AM
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I have a set on my gravel bike. I do a lot of mountain bike like riding on it. Never slipped when busting up a steep hill after a coast.

I think they're a great combo of performance as a function of price.

To the OP. You weigh what I do, for a road bike and fast wheels, I'd be happy to run 20/24. I wouldn't on my gravel bike or crit or daily rider/training.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Uh-oh ... already posted my order for the rims and is shipped.
How bad is to go with fewer spokes - I am at 140 lbs.
For road riding...if you're "light" on the bike they're probably acceptable.

ProWheelBuilder is a good outfit...so long as they're building them and you told them your weight/use, they'll make them right (or call/email you if they see a problem). If you have concerns, email/call. I have a set of 106F/R Bitex laced to SL25 rims from them.
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Old 01-16-19, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Uh-oh ... already posted my order for the rims and is shipped.
How bad is to go with fewer spokes - I am at 140 lbs.
I think you will be okay. It would be a good idea to check spoke tightness and wheel true on a regular basis to make sure none of the spokes are getting loose. This sort of thing is always a good idea but it's particularly important on lower spoke count wheels.
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Old 01-16-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Uh-oh ... already posted my order for the rims and is shipped.
How bad is to go with fewer spokes - I am at 140 lbs.
I think it is fasle weight economy to save on spokes. I'm conservative and use 32 spokes. A spoke just weighs about 6g, so you save 72g to go to 20 spokes. but have limited rim and hub choices. it is also more difficult to true fewer spokes. and if one spoke breaks out of 20 (which is more likely than 1 out of 32), the wheel is much out of true or even unrideable. a 32-spoke wheel can deal with one broken spoke to get you home, especially if you have rim brakes.

At your weight i'd risk using 28 spokes, but wouldn't use 20. but you may be lucky. those are what they call race day wheels and people use training wheels for normal riding.

Make sure they are equally tensioned, double-butted and have a good rim.
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Old 01-16-19, 05:35 PM
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I've been using 28h rims for more than a decade and never broke a spoke. For my most recent set of wheels I moved to 24h just because. My weight varies between 170 and 200 depending on season (yeah I know, that's bad), but regardless, I'm of the opinion that 32h is not needed these days for guys that ride the road and don't beat the crap out of their stuff. Oh and it's not just about weight, less spokes means less aero drag and that can be noticeable. I've got a cheap set of performance wheels with low spoke count and they roll noticeably faster than my 28h'ers when blasting down hills at 35+mph.
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Old 01-16-19, 06:06 PM
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Never heard of them, (so) you may be orphaned when seeking parts.. in 5 years..
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Old 01-16-19, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Never heard of them, (so) you may be orphaned when seeking parts.. in 5 years..
Living under a rock? Bitex is one of the larger hub makers in the market. The point about parts may be valid, but what is there is need other than maybe a freehub body and bearings, which can be found anywhere?
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Old 01-17-19, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by phtomita View Post
Searching on the web, there is Pro Wheel Builder from Atlanta area that carries this hubs.
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
ProWheelBuilder is a good outfit...so long as they're building them and you told them your weight/use, they'll make them right (or call/email you if they see a problem). If you have concerns, email/call. I have a set of 106F/R Bitex laced to SL25 rims from them.

I live about an hour from prowheelbuilder.com and was at their shop Tuesday, 1/15.

Richard the owner repaired a dented American Classic wheel for me. Everyone said the rim was toast but he was able to fix it with some metalworking tools.

He had three of his PWB house branded wheelsets ready to be packed, all using Bitex hubs. He weighed the Terra i22 disk set and the scale agreed with the weight claim on the website. Based on what I saw at the shop and what I've read about Bitex, I would ride them any day.

I ordered a set last night () but upgraded the hubs to Industry 9 because they were on sale.

Bike Hub Store also sells Bitex but I wouldn't hesitate to call or email Richard if you wanted a set built.


-Tim-

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Old 01-17-19, 10:13 AM
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NB I never see them on any bike sold in the Shop here , buyers here are not seeking carbon race bikes

a more practical older clientele & in the summer, visiting, bike touring..

( big drop off in winter and now with USCG not getting paid.. & 2 cutters at Sea, that's another zero.)
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Old 01-17-19, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I live about an hour from prowheelbuilder.com and was at their shop Tuesday, 1/15.

Richard the owner repaired a dented American Classic wheel for me. Everyone said the rim was toast but he was able to fix it with some metalworking tools.

He had three of his PWB house branded wheelsets ready to be packed, all using Bitex hubs. He weighed the Terra i22 disk set and the scale agreed with the weight claim on the website. Based on what I saw at the shop and what I've read about Bitex, I would ride them any day.

I ordered a set last night () but upgraded the hubs to Industry 9 because they were on sale.

Bike Hub Store also sells Bitex but I wouldn't hesitate to call or email Richard if you wanted a set built.


-Tim-
Lucky dog you were able to get them fixed. Thought about those PWB house rims...Decided against it when I could get LB rims of a similar weight but with the Onyx hubs I really wanted for the less than Whites/PWB.

You'll enjoy those machine guns pawls. Check your local noise ordinance for compliance.
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