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Quality difference in hubs ? Claris vs. Sora vs. Tiagra

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Quality difference in hubs ? Claris vs. Sora vs. Tiagra

Old 07-31-19, 05:50 AM
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Brocephus
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Quality difference in hubs ? Claris vs. Sora vs. Tiagra

Looks like I'm probably gonna have to replace a jacked-up road wheelset pretty soon, and am on a serious budget. I weigh about 200, and my rides are generally just steady-paced 2-hr, 35 miles runs, no big training or club rides, no sprinting, just casual exercise, so my demands and expectations aren't very lofty.
The ( roughly $150 ) wheelsets I'm currently considering all come with DT spokes and one of these 3 Shimano hubs. I know they're all at the lower end of Shimano's line-up, so nothing special, but I'm wondering if there's any significant quality or maintenance differences in them, and any reason to consider where they rank in the hierarchy (as I understand, Claris is the lowest, then Sora, then Tiagra, which is just below 105, you get the idea.)
They're all standard cup-and cone, ball-bearing hubs, and I'm familiar with adjusting and maintaining them.
Any help is much appreciated.......
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Old 07-31-19, 05:53 AM
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I used Tiagra hubs in my wife's touring bike build. They've been solid for probably 8,000 miles now. Very nice quality. I can't speak to the others.
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Old 07-31-19, 06:10 AM
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There must be other differences for the wheelsets to be similarly priced. Rims and spokes?
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Old 07-31-19, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
There must be other differences for the wheelsets to be similarly priced. Rims and spokes?
Not necessarily, I think the hubs probably sell for pretty close to the same price, none of them are going to have any serious (percentage-based) jump in price like you see going from 105 to Ultegra, or Ultegra up to Dura Ace. There's a $10 or $20 difference in the prices of the wheelsets I'm looking at, which I'm guessing would cover any difference in hub price.
And, I believe they're all built with standard DT's, so no difference there, and on one of this company's house brand rims (that seem to get good reviews, going back a few years). One might be a low-end Mavic, I forget.

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Old 07-31-19, 07:07 AM
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There's no downside to going higher in the food chain, so Tiagra would seem to be the pick of those three. I wonder if the Tiagra are now 11 speed compatible, might be useful in the future.
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Old 07-31-19, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
There's no downside to going higher in the food chain, so Tiagra would seem to be the pick of those three. I wonder if the Tiagra are now 11 speed compatible, might be useful in the future.
No argument on all that, I was just wondering there was actually any known, tangible (i.e. significant) difference, or if it was essentially a case of " six of one, half a dozen of the other" at this lower level.
But to come clean here, my reasoning here is actually kinda superficial, because I can get the others in all-black, while the Tiagra wheelset is a hard-on-the-eyes shiny silver aero rim. The listed retail value of that set is considerably higher, but i've found that companies make up those prices routinely, so who knows.
And the 11-spd thing is a fair point, but i suspect it's highly unlikely I get into a new road bike in the foreseeable future. And most of these I'm looking at seem to be 8-9-10 spd compatible, with a significant upcharge for 11-spd, so I'm probably stuck with the 8-9-10 spd variants( which is fine, as my bike is a 10-spd).
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Old 07-31-19, 12:24 PM
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I'd guess you might be able to detect a difference in bearing smoothness. If I were in this buying situation I'd probably go with Tiagra; heck, if I were in the market for a new bike I'd likely look at what's available with a Tiagra group.

Awhile back I bought some wheels on eBay that were said to be new take-offs from a Specialized Allez with Mavic CXP 22 rims and generic Specialized branded hubs for $125. They've run perfectly fine for about 4 years now.
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Old 07-31-19, 12:28 PM
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I bought a set of OEM wheels from a guy who was "upgrading." They were 32h Weinmann trekking rims on Tiagra hubs. Rode them for years as commuter/training wheels. Frickin bombproof.
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Old 07-31-19, 01:34 PM
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This is a bit apples to bananas, but-
On the low end mountain hubs (experience with RM30 specifically)-
The cones aren't polished, but have an "oxide" coating. I've "eaten" a couple DS cones already, even with "generous" servicing.

For $20 more, go up the food chain! That's only $10/hub. I haven't priced them, but I'd be a bit surprised if you found the hubs for only $10 difference.

On a psychological note-
IF I was a wheel building "squirrel" in one of these online shops...
Would I show the same care on a wheel with a Claris hub as a Dura Ace??
Maybe they pay a bit more attention as the price goes up?

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Old 07-31-19, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys, but it looks like it's a moot point now, as I just scored a set of near-new wheels with Ultegra hubs, which negates the whole question !
I got them from a serious bike guy on ebay, with a stellar reputation as a seller, and they didn't cost a whole lot more than one of the Claris/Sora/Tiagra wheelsets I was unhappily considering from BWW.
I messaged back and forth with the guy, and everything seemed to check out well, and the 'watcher' count was steadily rising and I knew i was probably gonna get snaked soon, and they were about as ideal as i could ask for, so I stopped waffling and hand wringing, and just now popped on them.

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Old 07-31-19, 04:54 PM
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late now but $180 105 Mavic CXP Elite Shimano 105 5800 Hubs Silver Road Bike Wheelset [640117/640298] - $179.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike
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Old 07-31-19, 05:40 PM
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Thanks man, that looks pretty good, though shipping may jack it up considerably (I didn't see any free shipping mentioned in the ad, just that if you return something, they're gonna get their shipping back, LOL!!)
The wheelset I just got was a nearly new, all-black set of CXP22's, with butted DT's and brass nips (my preference) and Ultegra hubs, w/ QR's......for $175, delivered !!! If they check out like I expect they will, then I'd say it was a pretty solid score, that I was unlikely to beat anytime soon.
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