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  1. #1
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    hubs with best flange geometry

    Hi folks,

    First post from a long time rider, ex-racer and bike mechanic, and lurker on these forums.

    I've always built my own wheels and being a 6'5" 200 pound rider, it matters to me to get hubs that are light, durable, AND have a high bracing angle. I found lots of great info on bracing angles concerning road hubs (and chose the Alchemy ORC for my road wheels), but very little for mtn hubs.

    Since I'm doing an XX1 build the hubs would need to be XD driver compatible/convertible. Bonus points for light weight and Centerlock. Price matters, but not as much as it did when I was in college 20+ years ago!

    So far the only centerlock hub that I've found that is reasonably light and XD compatible is the DT240, but there are rumors of long-term durability issues, and I have no idea whether it provides the best bracing angles. I do know that it's not hard to find road hubs with better bracing angles than the DT Swiss road hubs.

    I bought a 2012 Highball frame, so it's not a 142x12 through-axle.

    Good quality, high bracing angle, low weight, and centerlock, in that order. I'd appreciate any suggestions/info.

  2. #2
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    Not Centerlock, but these brag about high triangulation...

    TRS+ hub | the hive
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    SRAM X0 hubs talk about the canted flanges...
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  3. #3
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    Hadley hubs are good in this regard....most builds calculate out for spokes that are different by only 1mm, so they easily work with the same length spokes on both sides....relatively even spoke tension. They are super high quality, VERY low drag bearings, American made, convertible to any axle standard, durable and easy to service, cheaper than anything else that's comparable, and quite light when you use the XD driver..... medium/light with the standard freehub because it's machined from Ti rather than Aluminum, which eliminates any gouging of the splines. Only downsides are not the best wet weather sealing unless you change out the bearings, they're not Centerlock ( I wish! I really like the centerlock scheme), and they're often on long back orders.

    Buy them from the cool dudes at Balle Racing....
    Hadley Hubs Rear at Balle Racing

    or from Universal Cycles with a VIP10 or VIP15 discount.

  4. #4
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    You really can't go wrong with 240 hubs, ride and enjoy.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys. I've heard good things about Hadley hubs, but it's a shame you have to buy the hub for $280, then pay another $140 for the XD driver, then another $42 for the XX1 axle kit. That adds $180+ to the price of the hub. Ouch!

    Hmm, those Dt 240s are looking more tempting.

    How about The Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs? I can get one with the XD driver installed for about $220, and the weight is a decently light 285g.

    Again, I've heard good things about Hope hubs but there seems to be almost NO INFO on flange geometry/bracing angle out there for mountain hubs. How come the roadies seem to care a lot more about this than mountain riders? You'd think with the same wheel diameter on 29ers (albeit a wider rear hub), bracing angle would matter *more* to dudes who bash through rock gardens and single-track!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRoad View Post
    Thanks guys. I've heard good things about Hadley hubs, but it's a shame you have to buy the hub for $280, then pay another $140 for the XD driver, then another $42 for the XX1 axle kit. That adds $180+ to the price of the hub. Ouch!

    Hmm, those Dt 240s are looking more tempting.

    How about The Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs? I can get one with the XD driver installed for about $220, and the weight is a decently light 285g.

    Again, I've heard good things about Hope hubs but there seems to be almost NO INFO on flange geometry/bracing angle out there for mountain hubs. How come the roadies seem to care a lot more about this than mountain riders? You'd think with the same wheel diameter on 29ers (albeit a wider rear hub), bracing angle would matter *more* to dudes who bash through rock gardens and single-track!
    Wow... my bad... I didn't know you couldn't buy the hub already setup for 11sp... I guess you can forget the "cheaper than everything comparable" part. You might call Balle and talk to Erik to see if that's the only way to go...you'd think they wouldn't plan on doing it that way forever...seems wasteful and unnecessarily expensive and complex.

    DT's are excellent, and maybe not any more expensive than the Hadley's with the screwy aftermarket add-on situation.

    Hope hubs are fine if you like the low price and anodized colors, but don't really care about engagement speed and low bearing drag.... personally, I'm not impressed..... love their brakes though!

    MTB hubs can have less difference between the left and right center-to-flange dimensions thanks to the wider axle spacing and the fact that brake rotor mounts limit how far out the left side flange can be.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Wow... my bad... I didn't know you couldn't buy the hub already setup for 11sp... I guess you can forget the "cheaper than everything comparable" part. You might call Balle and talk to Erik to see if that's the only way to go...you'd think they wouldn't plan on doing it that way forever...seems wasteful and unnecessarily expensive and complex.

    DT's are excellent, and maybe not any more expensive than the Hadley's with the screwy aftermarket add-on situation.

    Hope hubs are fine if you like the low price and anodized colors, but don't really care about engagement speed and low bearing drag.... personally, I'm not impressed..... love their brakes though!

    MTB hubs can have less difference between the left and right center-to-flange dimensions thanks to the wider axle spacing and the fact that brake rotor mounts limit how far out the left side flange can be.
    I would call Hadley direct. Over the years I have had my LBS order my hubs the way I wanted them. My guess is you could order the hub with the XX1 driver at a small upgrade fee.

    Also I currently own DT 240's hubs on two bikes and one bike with Hadley. IMO DT 240's are overrated......If I was going to buy again it would be Hadley all the way.

  8. #8
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    I think Hope produces some of the best hubs out there. They are solid, light weight, well made hubs, easily and cheaply convertible to every common axle standard, and have the XD driver option. I personally think engagement points are over rated, but Hope moved from 24 to 40 points in their newest model, so the gap between them and the higher engagement hubs becomes even more marginal. Add in the fact that you can build a complete Hope wheelset for less than the price of many comparable rear hubs, and it's hard to see why to choose anything else.

  9. #9
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    I would go with Hadley Racing over DT Swiss 240's, for a few reasons:

    1)After some experience dealing with customers that ride 240's, heres the deal: A DT 240 is a usage specific, race driven hub. It was designed with short(compared to, say, a Hope Pro II) intervals in mind with frequent rebuilds after heavy service. That being said, they're tough as nails and almost infallible when properly maintained. If you're a casual rider, only a few rides a week, and in usually average conditions, you'll be fine. However, if you buy a set of 240's and ride the snot out of them, you're looking at replacing the bearings just about every season. If you want a super light, super low drag hub and don't mind the maintenance then go for it!

    2)Hadley hubs, I don't have as much experience with, but the ones I have dealt with had seen a relatively long service life compared to the 240's. That being said, I'm not quite sure how hard/much they had been ridden etc. But don't forget you would be supporting a homegrown company right here in the USA!

    So in short my consensus is if you want the ultimate in performance and don't mind a short service life(if you ride hard) and doing a little wrenching, et the 240's. If not, the Hadley's. Now this is strictly a view from a service standpoint, there are many other ways to approach, this is just my thinking.

    And If you get the 240's, get the hub tool

  10. #10
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    I never did find any information on bracing angles, so I ended up going just by cost/weight/value. I bought Hope Pro 2 Evo rear hub. No centerlock, but they do have a reputation for good quality. Add to that the fact that it was easy to find with the XD driver already installed, at a reasonable price ($182, shipped), and is reasonably light, and the deal was sealed.

    I did find a place to buy the Hadley hubs with the XD driver already installed, without having to pay for the hub and the XD driver separately, but both have a very good rep for quality and the Hadley cost more and weighed more, so the Hopes won out. I also REALLY like the I9 Torch rear hub, but I couldn't find it for less than TWICE the cost of a Hope Pro 2 EVO. 35 grams lighter and faster engagement would be nice, but I didn't feel that I'd be getting a hub that was twice as good.

    Thanks for all the help, and I hope this thread is useful for others!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRoad View Post
    I never did find any information on bracing angles, so I ended up going just by cost/weight/value. I bought Hope Pro 2 Evo rear hub. No centerlock, but they do have a reputation for good quality. Add to that the fact that it was easy to find with the XD driver already installed, at a reasonable price ($182, shipped), and is reasonably light, and the deal was sealed.

    I did find a place to buy the Hadley hubs with the XD driver already installed, without having to pay for the hub and the XD driver separately, but both have a very good rep for quality and the Hadley cost more and weighed more, so the Hopes won out. I also REALLY like the I9 Torch rear hub, but I couldn't find it for less than TWICE the cost of a Hope Pro 2 EVO. 35 grams lighter and faster engagement would be nice, but I didn't feel that I'd be getting a hub that was twice as good.

    Thanks for all the help, and I hope this thread is useful for others!
    Hope makes nice stuff. They are too loud for some riders but that is the only real complaint I have heard.

  12. #12
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    Re: hubs with best flange geometry

    I thought American Classic were the best for bracing angles, flange height, etc.

  13. #13
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    What about Kings?

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    Chris King anything is good, bulletproof and well thought out. Pretty spendy though, and I'm not sure if they have come out with an XD driver yet.

    American Classic, while an excellent option, seems to have aimed for a narrower flange spacing in their design. This balances the spoke tension between the drive/non-drive side better, but I still believe in going for the highest bracing angle possible, especially on the drive side, and then choosing a left side spacing that gives a reasonable tension differential. I found an excellent comparison of road hubs, with all the facts (bracing angles, tension differentials, weight, bearings, axle diameters, and expert opinions) from the guys at Fairwheel Bikes, but I never could find anything of the same sort for mountain hubs. I'm still waiting for my rims to arrive but my research leads me to believe that although I could have found a lighter rear hub, Hope Pro 2 Evos are high quality for a decent price.

    By the way, for those who have asked in other forums: I ordered from Cycle Sports UK about in early November (2013), and the Hope Pro 2 Evo hub they sent me was the new 40t version. In other words, the 40t upgrades are out, and available, at least in the UK!

    Also, as other have pointed out in discussions of Hope hubs, it was easy to customize these hubs. I decided I wanted to use a 10mm QR, and the conversion was easy to find, inexpensive, and easy to do. I suspect if I had thought of it before I could even have found the hubs with the 10mm QR option already in place, and saved the small cost of converting.

  15. #15
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    I think Extralite's Hypercamber 29er specific hubs may have the optimum flange geometry you're looking for, if you mean that in terms of spoke camber:

    hubs with best flange geometry-camber-angle.jpg

  16. #16
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    hubs with best flange geometry

    The spoke angles shown are correct only if the lacing is radial. With (semi)tangential lacing the flange diameter makes little difference as the spokes would originate from the flange nearly perpendicular from radial.

    hubs with best flange geometry-imageuploadedbytapatalk1387761736.579796.jpg
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  17. #17
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    ^ Shig has a valid point....
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  18. #18
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    I never really thought about it much before.
    I built my buddy Hope hubs laced to Arch EX rims a couple of years ago. These wheels stayed perfectly straight until he sucked up a big stick and bent the crap out of a spoke. It was still fine but it bugged me to see it wobble since I built the wheel. I finally got him to give it to me to fix.
    The spokes were the same length on both sides and tensioned up real nice on the repair. Made me really appreciate the quality of the hub.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    DT and AC hubs have poor geometry

    ACSE hubs are designed from the start to maximize bracing angle, and are very light WHILE being stiff (you can have a good angle with a not so stiff hub if the material under the bearings allows some flex for example). They also have a VERY fast engagement. But they are not XX1 compatible yet, and boutique price.
    ACSE : roues et moyeux fabriqués en France - Moyeux et composants VTT - AcSe parts

    To improve bracing you can also :
    -use a non symetrical rim ( with offset )
    -use a specialized 142+ frame and hub combo (+2mm)
    -use a 135/142 singlespeed hum with a 5-6 speed cassette
    -use a 150/157mm rear if your frame allows it

    Or a regular hub with a stiff carbon rim might also work...
    Frenchspeaking 29"ers community site http://VingtNeuf.org

  20. #20
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    I recognize everything you guys are saying in favor of Hope rear hubs, but after trying out 2 different sets (granted, over 2 years ago) on other people's bikes, I was shocked by the drag from the rear hub....totally, unacceptably too high as far as I was concerned....I'm not talking Chris King-level seal drag, but multiples higher than that....left me wondering why anybody would even think about running them on a high end bike that they actually intended to ride.... It is, after all a hub, so priority 1 in my book is always how well it rolls. But I may need to try them again since they've been updated....perhaps that issue's been rectified.....would love to hear some first hand comparisons of the current Hope stuff from any of you guys who've also owned Kings, Hadleys, or high end Shimano. If they roll well now, then I'd agree that they're a really attractive option.
    I was reminded yesterday about how much I like Hope stuff in general after bleeding my Tech X2 brakes for just the second time since I bought them 4 years ago.... took all of 10 mins, a torx wrench, and an 8mm open end.

  21. #21
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    My Hope Pro 2 evo hubs have little drag. It's not as good as a well adjusted XTR hub, but it's on par with any other cartridge bearing hub I've used.

    When I first converted to xx1, I did have noticeable drag. Turns out that I'd not properly set the labrynth seal on the freehub. The hopes aren't like the DT swiss, where you can just push the freehub on and have the seals engage. I had to remove the cassette, press the seal in with a tire lever and reinstall. After that, everything was great.

  22. #22
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    Cool.... I'd say my Hadleys are about 95% as as good as my well broken in XTR's and Campy road stuff... both of which are tip top in terms of low drag... and they're on par with the best cartridge bearings I've ever had, which are some old Mavic road hubs. The Hadley's are noticeably better than a proper set of Chris Kings.

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