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disc hub ideas for a new wheelset

Old 07-09-19, 03:01 PM
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disc hub ideas for a new wheelset

So I am going to build(or have built by prowheelbuilder, maybe) a disc wheelset for a new gravel bike. Itll most likely be 28h/32h with butted spokes, a quality mid-priced hubset, and aluminum hoops(h plus son would be the default).
Im not married to that, but its what i am guessing ill use based on what I like on one of my paved road bikes.

Question here for all the smart disc folk- is there a hub that is in the Bitex quality, weight, and pricerange that doesnt buzz like a next of angry bees?
I actually like the Bitex RA12 hubs on the road bike and the noise is nice because it easily signals I am close to cyclists ahead of me much like a bell. But I dont need that or want it on gravel. Its just me out there- me, music in my ears, and thoughts in my head.
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Old 07-09-19, 03:56 PM
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I actually have the same thing in mind. I am going with the Shimano RS770 hub though. Shimano doesn’t get a lot of attention, but I like them because they are silky smooth, have steel or titanium freehub bodies and I can service them myself without a bearing press. The RS770 is actually pretty affordable as well. I have the same hub sans the disc brakes on my training wheels for my dedicated road bike and they are whisper quiet.
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Old 07-09-19, 04:15 PM
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The Shimano hubs are a tad heavier than the Bitex hubs. If you're targeting a specific weight for a wheelset, it's something to keep in mind. I think I'd prefer quiet over a few grams.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:16 PM
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Is the bitex rear you looking at in the $150 price range? That's mighty close to hope pro4s from Merlin.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:21 PM
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No idea what the Bitex hubs are, but I have built a few H+Sons with DT Swiss 350, and they've been awesome. Very subtle sound.
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Old 07-09-19, 05:34 PM
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Add a dab of grease and it should quiet pretty much any pawl freehub system
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Old 07-09-19, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Is the bitex rear you looking at in the $150 price range? That's mighty close to hope pro4s from Merlin.
Holy cow. I just looked at those. I full Wheelset with nice hubs and Sapim double butted spokes for $417
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Old 07-09-19, 08:00 PM
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The Bitex hubs I have on the wheelset Mill City built aren't exactly silent, but they're not nearly as loud as some of the hubs I hear out there. I'm not sure which model hubs they were exactly. The invoice specifies the rim model, but not the hubs.
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Old 07-09-19, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
Is the bitex rear you looking at in the $150 price range? That's mighty close to hope pro4s from Merlin.
I love my Hope Pro4 hubs, but they aren't what I would call quiet. My DT350 with a 54t star ratchet is actually pretty loud. I like the fast engagement when riding over technical terrain so I just deal with the noise.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:40 AM
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Ha, well thanks all for some responses. Pretty sure Im searching for a unicorn here though.

I have Shimano 5800 105 hubs on a wheelset and they are very quiet, but that wheelset has the same rims and butted spokes as the Bitex wheelset and is 430g heavier. If its were a few oz difference, I wouldnt think twice because weight is not the be all end all for my decision making, but nearly 1# difference is apparently past where I dont care.

Ill look at the DT 350 hubs. I thought they were pretty loud, but maybe not? Admittedly I dont know much beyond that they exist.

Same with the Hope hubs- I know that Hope exists as a wheel and misc anodized bits company, but dont know much more. Ill check them out.


thanks again!
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Old 07-10-19, 08:44 AM
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maybe a dynamo hub, ? got electronics aboard?
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Old 07-10-19, 10:18 AM
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I have bitex on mine. They aren't loud. Yes, they are louder than the Campy hubs on my road bike and also louder than Shimano. Once you're off pavement, the sound of dirt, washboards, winds, my breathing, and birds all seem more present than my hubs.

I've snuck up on deer and even a lynx this year. Must not be too loud

I only coast downhill above 30. That's pretty loud and engaging. I never hear the hubs then anyway.

Fwiw though, both my bikes are steel with Al rims. They are dead silent except the hubs. It's been a long time but I seem to remember carbon frames were much louder, carbon rims even louder. If that's what you have, maybe turn up the music?
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Old 07-10-19, 10:26 AM
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you could go with a Project321 for just the rear hub and opt for the quiet option. They aren't as cheap as Bitex but if you only get that for the rear hub it could be an option. I think they are similar weight too.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tdilf View Post
you could go with a Project321 for just the rear hub and opt for the quiet option. They aren't as cheap as Bitex but if you only get that for the rear hub it could be an option. I think they are similar weight too.
havent heard of these, thanks i have some afternoon reading to do!
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Old 07-10-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I have bitex on mine. They aren't loud. Yes, they are louder than the Campy hubs on my road bike and also louder than Shimano. Once you're off pavement, the sound of dirt, washboards, winds, my breathing, and birds all seem more present than my hubs.

I've snuck up on deer and even a lynx this year. Must not be too loud

I only coast downhill above 30. That's pretty loud and engaging. I never hear the hubs then anyway.

Fwiw though, both my bikes are steel with Al rims. They are dead silent except the hubs. It's been a long time but I seem to remember carbon frames were much louder, carbon rims even louder. If that's what you have, maybe turn up the music?
I should swap the Bitex wheelset onto my current gravel bike and see how it sounds on gravel with the increased outside noise(rolling over gravel, wind, washboard, etc). Its steel for my current and future gravel bike, with aluminum rims. So no potential carbon echo chamber.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ha, well thanks all for some responses. Pretty sure Im searching for a unicorn here though.

I have Shimano 5800 105 hubs on a wheelset and they are very quiet, but that wheelset has the same rims and butted spokes as the Bitex wheelset and is 430g heavier. If its were a few oz difference, I wouldnt think twice because weight is not the be all end all for my decision making, but nearly 1# difference is apparently past where I dont care.

Ill look at the DT 350 hubs. I thought they were pretty loud, but maybe not? Admittedly I dont know much beyond that they exist.

Same with the Hope hubs- I know that Hope exists as a wheel and misc anodized bits company, but dont know much more. Ill check them out.


thanks again!
Grease them up and they quiet down quite a bit. The great thing about Hopes is that they can be completely rebuilt and parts are everywhere. Also they have endcaps to work on everything. If you going to spend cash on a hub go for something that can work on anything like DT 350's, Hope Pro 4's, i9's, etc.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So I am going to build(or have built by prowheelbuilder, maybe) a disc wheelset for a new gravel bike. Itll most likely be 28h/32h with butted spokes, a quality mid-priced hubset, and aluminum hoops(h plus son would be the default).
Im not married to that, but its what i am guessing ill use based on what I like on one of my paved road bikes.

Question here for all the smart disc folk- is there a hub that is in the Bitex quality, weight, and pricerange that doesnt buzz like a next of angry bees?
I actually like the Bitex RA12 hubs on the road bike and the noise is nice because it easily signals I am close to cyclists ahead of me much like a bell. But I dont need that or want it on gravel. Its just me out there- me, music in my ears, and thoughts in my head.
The thing about Bitex...they're light and cheap...and the highest praise that can be said about them is "they're cartridge bearing hubs". IME, the engagement of pawls is meh. Pawls sometimes slam into place while riding under power with a BANG! Even the anti-notch FH body will notch, just not on the one side with the steel wire. Novatech stopped selling the Ti FH body--didn't make much sense for a $150 FH body for such a bottom-of-the-barrel hub.

You want something similarly cheap and bottom-of-the-barrel....Seek ye Novatech. Be warned, they too are cheap, and the seals aren't generally good--but they're light and cheap and cartridge bearing so when bearings die they can just be replaced.

Otherwise, seek ye Shimano hubs.

Lots of gorgeous hubs--but Novatech/Bitex are basically the entirety of the bottom-of-the-barrel segment. Some more expensive wheel makers have taken to using them and charging $1K (Hunt or Rodeo to name a few)
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Old 07-10-19, 01:49 PM
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It baffles me how Hunt has the gall to charge $1000 for a carbon wheel with a super generic hub when We Are One charges the same with an i9 hub. And the We Are One rim is made in Canada with US sourced carbon fiber.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Lots of gorgeous hubs--but Novatech/Bitex are basically the entirety of the bottom-of-the-barrel segment. Some more expensive wheel makers have taken to using them and charging $1K (Hunt or Rodeo to name a few)
So what hubs are there at $200 or less for a set that arent 'bottom of the barrel' yet still light(so not Shimano)?
Itd be rough to hear that $200 cant buy hubs that are better than the worst you can get(bottom of the barrel).
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Old 07-10-19, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
It baffles me how Hunt has the gall to charge $1000 for a carbon wheel with a super generic hub when We Are One charges the same with an i9 hub. And the We Are One rim is made in Canada with US sourced carbon fiber.
Rodeo Adventure Labs...don't get me wrong, I like the owner and the other products the company sells....sells Bitex CF rim'd wheels starting at $1,550

https://www.rodeo-labs.com/shop/wheels/wheels700c/

I paid less for my Light-Bicycle rims laced to Onyx MUSA hubs with Sapim spokes.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Rodeo Adventure Labs...don't get me wrong, I like the owner and the other products the company sells....sells Bitex CF rim'd wheels starting at $1,550

https://www.rodeo-labs.com/shop/wheels/wheels700c/

I paid less for my Light-Bicycle rims laced to Onyx MUSA hubs with Sapim spokes.
That's insane. For that kinda coin We Are One sells you their wheels with i9 Hydra.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So what hubs are there at $200 or less for a set that arent 'bottom of the barrel' yet still light(so not Shimano)?
Itd be rough to hear that $200 cant buy hubs that are better than the worst you can get(bottom of the barrel).
You are very close to a set of Pro4s at $200 if ordered from the UK. More like $225 for the set actually.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
So what hubs are there at $200 or less for a set that arent 'bottom of the barrel' yet still light(so not Shimano)?
Itd be rough to hear that $200 cant buy hubs that are better than the worst you can get(bottom of the barrel).
$200 for a hubset is where the bottom of consumer hubs is. Even the Bitex rear hub by itself is a $100-$150 part.

I think Velocity has a hubset around $250, but it'll be heavier. Even the Hope and Shimano and DT350 are like $100+ just for a front hub, add in the front and you're probably 50% over your desired budget. DT makes a lower tier hub, the DT370 that I've seen on DT's own wheelsets--but Prowheelbuilder for example doesn't list them as a discreet part.

https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/prod...&price=100-200

Granted Prowheelbuilder and other wheelbuilders will probably do the build for less than the MSRP or MAP of the individual parts. If not regularly then PWB for example has sales all the time (they have an ongoing 4th of July sale ATM)
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Old 07-10-19, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
$200 for a hubset is where the bottom of consumer hubs is. Even the Bitex rear hub by itself is a $100-$150 part.

I think Velocity has a hubset around $250, but it'll be heavier. Even the Hope and Shimano and DT350 are like $100+ just for a front hub, add in the front and you're probably 50% over your desired budget. DT makes a lower tier hub, the DT370 that I've seen on DT's own wheelsets--but Prowheelbuilder for example doesn't list them as a discreet part.

https://www.prowheelbuilder.com/prod...&price=100-200

Granted Prowheelbuilder and other wheelbuilders will probably do the build for less than the MSRP or MAP of the individual parts. If not regularly then PWB for example has sales all the time (they have an ongoing 4th of July sale ATM)
Good info, thanks. I'm coming to this from road hubs as that's what I have on all my road bikes, touring bike, and gravel bike.
Ultegra 6800 hubs cost $125 total for both from Jenson and PWB sells the bitex ra12 hub set for $200, so I figured that $200 mark would have hubs that aren't bottom of the barrel.
But I figured that because I haven't viewed the bitex ra12 hubs as bottom of the barrel since they cost more, are lighter, and have been as reliable as Ultegra 6800 hubs...and I don't view 6800 hubs as bad. Heavy yes, but not bad.

Looks like I have a good bit of learning to do on what makes disc hubs 'good' and 'bad' beyond the number of engagement points.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:46 PM
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Or a fair bit of learning regarding other people's opinions here.
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