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Phil Wood Hubs?

Old 04-27-08, 10:18 PM
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kzac
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Phil Wood Hubs?

I see them everywhere, but never have actually got to feel how smooth they are. Do they live up to all the hype?

My current wheelset has some butta smooth Campy HF hubs, but I ride them in all weather. So, do I keep what I've got and get some Formulas for the winter/rain, get a Phil set for year-round goodness, or just learn to stop worrying and love what I've got?
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Old 04-27-08, 10:39 PM
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Campy trak hubs are going to spin way smoother than Phils ever could.

Get Formulas, replace bearings with Phils, and you now have hubs as smooth as Phils. Simple. But no cartridge bearing is ever going to be as smooth as a looseball...
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Old 04-27-08, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
Campy trak hubs are going to spin way smoother than Phils ever could.

Get Formulas, replace bearings with Phils, and you now have hubs as smooth as Phils. Simple. But no cartridge bearing is ever going to be as smooth as a looseball...
Yes and yes. Very good advice, although in my experience there's no reason to replace the Formula bearings with Phils spec'd until they wear out.
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Old 04-27-08, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kzac View Post
I see them everywhere, but never have actually got to feel how smooth they are. Do they live up to all the hype?

My current wheelset has some butta smooth Campy HF hubs, but I ride them in all weather. So, do I keep what I've got and get some Formulas for the winter/rain, get a Phil set for year-round goodness, or just learn to stop worrying and love what I've got?
Smooth? Nope. They have a huge drag from the bearing seals. Almost as bad as a looseball hub on a new walmart bike.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:02 PM
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Couldnt you buy a set of DA 7600's for the price of a phil rear?
If you are looking for smooth, but want sealed buying anything more expensive than formulas is pretty silly.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:07 PM
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actually, zipp claims their hubs have no seal drag, and in my personal use of them, im inclined to agree. unnecessary, yes, awesome, absolutely. they use close fit shields rather than traditional seals.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
actually, zipp claims their hubs have no seal drag, and in my personal use of them, im inclined to agree. unnecessary, yes, awesome, absolutely. they use close fit shields rather than traditional seals.
care to explain for me?
whats the difference?
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Old 04-27-08, 11:18 PM
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The biggest advantage to PW hubs is the bearings themselves. They are incredibly well sealed against the elements and will last a long time even after being ridden in the harshest of environments.

One thing to keep in mind is that PW produces several different levels of bearing; the ones with the best seals (equal or greater to those found on submersible pumps) are only made for PW products, with the exception of ones made for outboard bearing BBs.

As for seal drag, they break-in very nicely after a few km and roll very well.

All that being said I'm very happy with the PW bearings in my Formula hubs.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Smooth? Nope. They have a huge drag from the bearing seals. Almost as bad as a looseball hub on a new walmart bike.
So, why are they so popular?

Edit: Ziemas answered for me.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:19 PM
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Doesn't Phil also offer a low-drag "track" cartridge bearing?
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kzac View Post
So, why are they so popular?
****ing bombproof. They're not nearly as free-spinning as a well-adjusted loose ball hub, but they're still smooth (just in a different sense of the word).
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I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kzac View Post
So, why are they so popular?
Because they are extremely high quality, last a long time, roll smooth, and a tiny bit of drag for the first 25km you ride them is unnoticeable.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by kzac View Post
So, why are they so popular?

Edit: Ziemas answered for me.
Expensive and boutiquey. See also: Chris King headsets, NJS anything, etc.

Quality is high, but IMO, not high enough to justify the expense.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by el twe View Post
****ing bombproof. They're not nearly as free-spinning as a well-adjusted loose ball hub, but they're still smooth (just in a different sense of the word).
loose ball hubs take 30 minutes to service, why are people so adamant about having sealed bearings if they dont roll as smooth, and are close to twice as expensive for phils?
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Old 04-27-08, 11:30 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of loose-ball everything. That being said, the ride it and forget about it aspect of Phil's (and others', really) cartridge bearings is quite appealing for an everyday bike.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
care to explain for me?
whats the difference?
from the zipp site...

"To make sure that your power continues to be transmitted the most effectively, our bomb-proof shells ride on the finest ball bearings running in sets matched to 10 millionths of an inch separated by a molded Teflon ball retainer which is lighter and generates less friction and wear than traditional brass retainers, and we use very close fit non-contact shields instead of seals to ensure that the bearings remain free of contamination, but have ABSOLUTELY NO SEAL DRAG. To ensure perfect alignment of the bearings, any hint of flex is eliminated by our 15mm oversized solid 17-4 stainless steel axle. This material is just over 4 times stronger than the 1018 steel threaded rod traditionally used in track axles, and roughly twice the hardness to ensure that you will crush your dropout into powder before the axle thread gives way. Due to the use of these materials and the 15mm axle diameter, the axle is more than 10 times stiffer than a traditional axle assembly!"

basically, the bearings run free without touching anything other than the retainer. a normal bearing looks like this



Bearings reduce friction by providing smooth metal balls or rollers, and a smooth inner and outer metal surface for the balls to roll against. These balls or rollers "bear" the load, allowing the device to spin smoothly. in sealed bearings, the bearings are protected from dirt with the seals, but the bearings also touch the seals, which have more drag than metal.

The best designs for keeping dirt out include two seals: a contact seal closer to the bearing, and then either a labyrinth or a second contact seal further out. if anyone is a big enough nerd to subscribe to VBQ, the home made Herse BB was a perfect example of this.

Also, from the bike FAQ

Most so called sealed bearings are not water tight, mainly because
they have run dry, burning the seal lip which becomes a capillary to
suck water when wet. Phil Wood used bearings designed for used in
electric motors that use a rubber lip seal to prevent air (dust) flow
that always occurs in rotating machinery that sucks at the axle and
blows at the periphery. Such bearings were never meant to prevent
water intrusion, something they can do only for a short time when new.
This is the main reason why such "sealed" hubs were not available at
the time he introduced them
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Old 04-27-08, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
Expensive and boutiquey. See also: Chris King headsets, NJS anything, etc.

Quality is high, but IMO, not high enough to justify the expense.
I'm going to disagree with you on this one. I recently pick up a set of PW hubs, solely for the reason of the superior seals on the PW bearings. I ride in the wet a lot, and no bearing has ever lasted me more than 9 months. It's a pain in the ass and expensive to change bearings so often. After speaking with an engineer at PW I'm hoping to get at least several years out of this set of bearings.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by frankstoneline View Post
loose ball hubs take 30 minutes to service, why are people so adamant about having sealed bearings if they dont roll as smooth, and are close to twice as expensive for phils?
Constant maintenance is a PITA for those of us who live in wet climates. The smoothness factor is all in your head; there is no difference when actually riding a bike.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by onetwentyeight View Post
actually, zipp claims their hubs have no seal drag, and in my personal use of them, im inclined to agree. unnecessary, yes, awesome, absolutely. they use close fit shields rather than traditional seals.
They're also ridiculously expensive though...

As far as Phils, I think the main reason to get them is as a status symbol. A hub can be broken down into a couple different parts: there's weight, which Phil loses out on but most people riding fixed don't care about. There's the flange, which shouldn't fail under normal conditions. Haven't heard of anyone breaking their Formula's at the flange yet... There's the hardware. Phil's hardware is bombproof and a piece of art, but Formula has nothing wrong with it except the locknuts, which is negligable because of how cheap they are to replace if they break. And finally you have the meat and potatoes, the bearings. You can buy whatever track hub you want and throw in some super high quality ceramic bearings and you'll suddenly have the best rolling cartridge hubs money could buy. Of course it'd also probably be hard for a good deal of us to notice the difference.

I dunno, I like Dura Ace and don't think I'd ever consider Phils, although I'm guilty of lusting after semi-expensive hubs and considered buying them in the past myself (Dia Compes).
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Old 04-27-08, 11:43 PM
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just a ? for those who own phil hubs. Have any of you run Dura Ace cogs on them? I want to get some new cogs and worldclasscycles has a great deal on DA cogs (13t-16t all for $65). I just want to make sure it's compatible.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
Constant maintenance is a PITA for those of us who live in wet climates. The smoothness factor is all in your head; there is no difference when actually riding a bike.
I disagree... the difference between looseball and cartridge is felt on the road IMO if you're actually going fast and throwing in hard accelerations. But the difference is not noticeable at all between okay cartridge bearings (Formula) and better cartridge bearings (Phil), atleast in my experience.

If looseball bearings didn't make a difference, what reason would there even be for their continued sales? Hell, Dura Ace road hubs are all loose ball today, they're just well sealed.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:54 PM
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When you guys say "phil bearings in a formula hub" are these cartridge bearings or loose ball?

I am guessing cartridge, but after reading a few posts it got me a little confused.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by diff_lock2 View Post
When you guys say "phil bearings in a formula hub" are these cartridge bearings or loose ball?

I am guessing cartridge, but after reading a few posts it got me a little confused.
Cartridge.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:57 PM
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Phils, Formulas, Dia Compes, Miches, et cetera. = cartridge
Dura Ace, Campy, Suntour Superbe, Suzue Promax (non SB's), et cetera. = loose ball.
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Old 04-27-08, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
I disagree... the difference between looseball and cartridge is felt on the road IMO if you're actually going fast and throwing in hard accelerations. But the difference is not noticeable at all between okay cartridge bearings (Formula) and better cartridge bearings (Phil), atleast in my experience.

If looseball bearings didn't make a difference, what reason would there even be for their continued sales? Hell, Dura Ace road hubs are all loose ball today, they're just well sealed.
Loose ball are for racing in the velodrome where fractions of a second count. If you think you can tell the difference between a loose ball and a properly adjusted quality cartridge bearing while riding on the street you are fooling yourself.
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