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  1. #1
    K3G
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    Strength vs. Cost: Singlespeed specific rear hubs, worth it?

    I'm looking to upgrade my wheelset, and I seem to notice a significant price increase in single speed specific rear hubs. I understand there's a solid strength gain (mostly impact related) due to less "dishing" of the rear wheel, but I'm not quite sure if the (nearly double on average, from what I'm seeing) price increase is worth it.

    Any thoughts from people who have gone one way or the other? Horror stories of using a cassette styled rear hub and spacers to run single speed?
    "...Can I make that jump?" "Who cares dude, we have free medical." - A common discussion before jumps/drops on base.

  2. #2
    Former Bike Wrench
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    What hubs are you talking about?

    Most hub manufacturers I'm aware of don't charge twice as much for their single speed hubs. In fact most are either the same price or a marginal increase in cost over multispeed hubs.

  3. #3
    K3G
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    What hubs are you talking about?

    Most hub manufacturers I'm aware of don't charge twice as much for their single speed hubs. In fact most are either the same price or a marginal increase in cost over multispeed hubs.
    The figure of double may be exaggerated by my lack of knowledge of good sites to hunt for SS 29er parts on.

    For example, on Jenson, a Hope Pro 2 Disc in SS is 269, whereas a 135mm Rear hub is 75 bucks.

    Got any better places/brands I should be looking at?
    "...Can I make that jump?" "Who cares dude, we have free medical." - A common discussion before jumps/drops on base.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by K3G View Post
    The figure of double may be exaggerated by my lack of knowledge of good sites to hunt for SS 29er parts on.

    For example, on Jenson, a Hope Pro 2 Disc in SS is 269, whereas a 135mm Rear hub is 75 bucks.

    Got any better places/brands I should be looking at?
    First off, the "$75" Hope hub on Jenson is a front QR RED ONLY disc hub

    Hope Pro 2 Evo for instance is the same price for a multi speed and single speed hub

    Universal Cycles -- Hubs & Parts > Mountain Hubs > Hope Hubs

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by K3G View Post
    I'm looking to upgrade my wheelset, and I seem to notice a significant price increase in single speed specific rear hubs. I understand there's a solid strength gain (mostly impact related) due to less "dishing" of the rear wheel, but I'm not quite sure if the (nearly double on average, from what I'm seeing) price increase is worth it.

    Any thoughts from people who have gone one way or the other? Horror stories of using a cassette styled rear hub and spacers to run single speed?
    It's a simple function of your priorities.

    Want to save $$$ above all else? Any hub can be run SS.

    Want the stiffest and most durable wheel, that also happens to be lighter than an equivalent geared hub? SS hub it is.

    Cheers,

    MC

  6. #6
    K3G
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's a simple function of your priorities.

    Want to save $$$ above all else? Any hub can be run SS.

    Want the stiffest and most durable wheel, that also happens to be lighter than an equivalent geared hub? SS hub it is.

    Cheers,

    MC
    I'm hoping to find a good middle ground. My budget for a wheelset is somewhere around 600, but that can flex a little bit if it needs to.

    From what I've seen around the forum, you seem to be a credible source for building wheels. Got any rim/spoke reading sources I can go do some research on? I'd like to understand more than just Brand v. Brand, and figure out what goes into actually building wheels.

    Also, when building my own wheelset, would you recommend investing in the tooling to do it, or just having an LBS do the build? Or is this something I can do on my bike with a few tools?
    "...Can I make that jump?" "Who cares dude, we have free medical." - A common discussion before jumps/drops on base.

  7. #7
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    I recommend that you go to mikesee's website, give him a call, and order a set of wheels from him. Everyone who uses him is happy - and he knows a lot!

    (No, I do not work for mikesee or have any affiliation with him whatsoever.)

  8. #8
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    Mikesee Said it all

    Mikesee hit the nail on the head.

    Equal Spoke length + more strength. It doesnt mean like all the time. i have a Planet X disc rear hub, bolt up. Its bulletproof, but a brick. Its 36h on a mavic A719 dbl wall dbl eyelet. I have never need to true this wheel and I'm 125kg. None of my geared wheel have come close to that reliability or longevity (its about 6 years old now and it was on my 1st 2niner
    29er you just know when ur ready!!!!

  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    What do you bet...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    First off, the "$75" Hope hub on Jenson is a front QR RED ONLY disc hub

    Hope Pro 2 Evo for instance is the same price for a multi speed and single speed hub

    Universal Cycles -- Hubs & Parts > Mountain Hubs > Hope Hubs
    That $75 Hope hub is a front? I haven't looked, but very good chance, I think. If not, I want one!

    Also, the Hope ProIISS hub is 48 POE and the gearie ProII is 24 POE. Man, I wish they could figure out how to make the gearie ProII a 48 point. I'd be all over a set.

    Heh... I scored my ProIISS hub off craigslist. Some guy built up a DJ bike and never rode it... and parted it out.

    Nice hub... kinda draggy, tho.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 01-24-2012 at 10:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Old school BMXer
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    Quote Originally Posted by K3G View Post
    I'm looking to upgrade my wheelset, and I seem to notice a significant price increase in single speed specific rear hubs. I understand there's a solid strength gain (mostly impact related) due to less "dishing" of the rear wheel, but I'm not quite sure if the (nearly double on average, from what I'm seeing) price increase is worth it.

    Any thoughts from people who have gone one way or the other? Horror stories of using a cassette styled rear hub and spacers to run single speed?
    This is the 29er forum, right? So we're talking about 29er singlespeed hubs? I can't say I've ever heard of such a thing.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  11. #11
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    I should pick up my new wheel with a Surly SS hub on it today for my Swift. I'll report back....
    If you need me I'll be at the bar

  12. #12
    Uncle
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    From where I'm standing, $600 can build a pretty sweet wheelset, SS or otherwise. I'd suggest finding a reputable local wheelbuilder first, if you have such a critter in your area. If dealing mail order only, Lace Mine 29 - Big Bicycle Wheels would be a great place to start.

    Also worth a thought: The function of a front hub is pretty simple compared to that of a rear, and as such, there's not a whole lot of difference between performance from one to the other. They also tend to break less often than rears for this same reason, so they tend to be readily available at really good used prices (compared to the rear). If you're on a tight budget like I am, you can use whatever works up front and invest more coin in the rear, and in the build up. I'm currently using a Hadley front hub that I picked up for $45, and DT Swiss 240SS hub out back. They don't match but they work great. And since the rims, spokes and nipples match, they look just fine. On my little bike, I'm using a Sram X9 front hub 15mm (~$60 IIRC) with a Hadley rear. Again, stans hoops and silver spokes match just fine, it all looks gravy (pun intended).
    Last edited by Entrenador; 01-24-2012 at 10:58 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaster1200 View Post
    This is the 29er forum, right? So we're talking about 29er singlespeed hubs? I can't say I've ever heard of such a thing.
    Meh. Granted the wheel forum would be more appropriate, but 29er wheels stand to benefit more from the differences in using a SS hub. This forum also has a lengthy thread on using a SS hub with a shortened cassette for 6 speeds. I think most of the people doing these kinds of mods are on 29ers so it'll get the right people's attention here.

  14. #14
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    This! I've got the Nashbar equivalent. You can get a Novatec/On-One/Planet X/Woodman SS hub for a pretty cheap price. They're not light, but they're smooth, relatively quiet, and bomber. If you pair it w/ a front hub that's the same color and nearly the same flange diam., the only folks who are gonna notice your mismatched hubs are those whose opinion you needn't be concerned with anyway. Buy the spokes, rims, nips & build from a reputable builder like Mikesee, and you'll come in under budget and have a wheelset with which you'll be thoroughly pleased.
    - Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by ozbikebuddy View Post
    i have a Planet X disc rear hub, bolt up. Its bulletproof, but a brick. Its 36h on a mavic A719 dbl wall dbl eyelet. I have never need to true this wheel and I'm 125kg. None of my geared wheel have come close to that reliability or longevity (its about 6 years old now and it was on my 1st 2niner
    We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character.

  15. #15
    K3G
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaster1200 View Post
    This is the 29er forum, right? So we're talking about 29er singlespeed hubs? I can't say I've ever heard of such a thing.
    At what point was 29er specific hubs mentioned? After skimming my post again, I didn't see that written. Rather, this was posted here due to the knowledge in this forum. Folks here ride 29er SS, which has far different loads and forces than a 26er SS. I'd rather tap the best advice then get 90% 26er posts that I'll have to disregard.

    Anyway, done some more reading. Looks like after I figure out enough about what's out there, I'll have to give a wheel builder a call and hash it out with them.
    "...Can I make that jump?" "Who cares dude, we have free medical." - A common discussion before jumps/drops on base.

  16. #16
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    29er-specific response

    If you are wanting to go really light on 29er rims and 29er spokes, then the wider stance of the SS flanges provides a little more support. For example, I have a mike see built wheel with a 240s SS rear, 29er crest rim, and lighter 29er spokes. With a standard dished hub, that combination might have been pushing the flexiness barrier for my weight (~190).

    On the other hand I have an old Bonty Mustang 29er rimmed wheel built on a 240s standard cassette that has seen 98% of its duty as a single speed. Blindfolded, I could probably not tell the difference between riding that wheel, and an Arch 29er rear wheel built on a single speed hub (rims comparable weight, bonty probably a little stiffer.) So if you are trying to keep cost under control and don't plan to go ultralight on the 29er rim and 29er spokes, standard cassette hub is just fine. Gives you more options to use and/or sell the 29er wheel set in the future.

    If I rode blindfolded though, I would surely crash.

  17. #17
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    I'm not crazy about SS specific wheelsets because I'm too fickle. Normal hubs allow you the option to be SS or have gears and I'm constantly changing my mind about my bike setups. Besides, I don't think you are really compromising too much strength going with a standard hub. Have you ever heard someone say, "I don't want to ride a geared bike b/c geared wheels aren't strong enough"?

    As for building a wheelset, go for it. Iíve built two sets of wheels and loved every minute of it. The process may be too tedious for some people. Here is a link that can point you in the right direction.

    Wheelbuilding resources

    Things that helped me with my builds-
    Read everything you can before you start.
    Buy or make a truing stand and a dish tool.
    Get a spoke tension tool. Parkís is easy to use.
    Use spoke prep.
    Donít go super light on the rims. A sturdier rim is easier to build up.
    Take your time.

    Good luck.

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