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  1. #1
    Human Test Subject
    Reputation: Volsung's Avatar
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    low maintenance hubs for crummy conditions

    I'm at that point where I need to upgrade my Moonlander wheels. A lot of my miles are spent commuting on salty city streets in the winter, but my summer miles are split between single track, sandy or muddy river bottoms, and sometimes riding through flooded areas.

    Right now I'm using the stock Moonlander wheels but want something to handle the disrespect and neglect I put my bike through. I like US made things and was thinking of Chris King rear and Paul front (have a Carver fork) but was wondering how well they're sealed against the elements.

    How do those compare to Hopes? I have a Hope front on my cx commuter and have no complaints. I know they're kind of the standard for durable hubs and won't count them out, but I'm willing to pay more for American and really like the CK 5 year warranty.

    Suggestions anyone?

  2. #2
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    My oldest bike has been ridden in the sloppiest winter conditions over the past 20 years. It has a shimano alivo front hub that has never faltered. Its a cheap cup and cone hub.

    Its just one hub but it says to me that the most durable hubs may not be the most expensive ones.

  3. #3
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
    Reputation: JordyB's Avatar
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    Like Traktor said, there's something to be said about using cheap parts if you know your going to just trash them in a short amount of time. If I had sand/silt/salt killing my bike 5 days a week, i'd go cheap because nothing will last. With that said, I commute on my Fatback running Hadley hubs, I don't see salt, but sand/silt/nasty spring breakup. They have been trouble free for the last 2 years. Spoke heads are starting to show signs of corrosion around the hub flanges even tho I try to wash the bike after a heavy use of nasty.

  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
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    I have the CK's on my mtb commuter/trail bike that I ride winter & summer. Winters see plenty of salt and road sand, summers plenty of rainstorms, road grit, the occasional stream crossing, but not too much mud. This summer it rained nearly every day on my 10 day bikepacking trip and I had no problems. I've had the hubs on since, um, '99, but didn't ride winters until more recently. They've survived 3 winters commuting most workdays, although it had a lot of days off last winter thanks to the fatbike. Anyway, in the first 2 winters the conditions killed 2 BBs (XTR & XT), but the CK hubs still run smooth with a little DIY maintenance before the winter & summer seasons.

  5. #5
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    I love Chris King headsets and used to like their hubs _ I've got three wheelsets and the spendy hub tool. A long rainy trip through the Black Hills once caused a rear hub to seize, shortly after a complete overhaul using CK lube. My theory is that there is just too much stuff going on in the CKs, along with too tight of tolerances yet questionable seals to make them reliable for true bad-weather riding. Many cheaper hubs are probably better for crappy weather, in my view. Kinda like the sloppy tolerances on an AK-47 that allow them to be fired in sloppy conditions. Just saying.

  6. #6
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    I have a dt swiss (coda branded) from the early 90s that was on a friend's tandem... it has over 30,000 miles on it now including daily 15 miles worth of commuting the last 3 MN winters and all my winter training rides.

    I was impressed enough that I built up two sets of fatbike wheels using similar hubs- I would buy dt swiss.

  7. #7
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    I understand the appeal of CK and other fine US made hubs, but I've been nothing short of impressed of these cheap Shimano 529 "29er" hubs. Very stout and cheap! For crummy conditions, they are hard to beat. Bling factor is zero though.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  8. #8
    Human Test Subject
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    I'm kind of hesitant to go with Shimano hubs just because of how crummy the stock XTs are. When you combine the hub wobble and how misshapen Innova makes tires it looks like I'm riding on a fat oval (total over exaggeration).

    I'm TRYING to keep my upgrades American. Have bars, grips, stem, seatpost, headset, and compression plug so far. But I recognize it'll be impossible to go 100% so I'm fairly flexible.

    Basically looking for something as good as Hopes but US made, with good customer service, and hopefully a good warranty. I just got my GF her engagement ring so I have a free pass to buy whatever stupid fat bike stuff I want for a while.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post

    Basically looking for something as good as Hopes but US made, with good customer service, and hopefully a good warranty. I just got my GF her engagement ring so I have a free pass to buy whatever stupid fat bike stuff I want for a while.
    thats rather easy. chris king if they produce what you seek.

  10. #10
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    Fatback imports

    Going into their 4th trouble-free year for me. Haven't been nice to them: mud,silt, beach sand/salt, snow, submersed.
    The older I get the better I was...

  11. #11
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    Once upon a time we didn't have sealed bearings and just about everything was cup and cone. We did ride offroad through mucky conditions, yet hubs seemed to go forever.

    The difference was that we all knew that maintenance had to be done regularly, so after ever mucky ride we would be dribbling oil through the bearings or even stripping and cleaning them.

    I have 70 year old hubs that still spin nicely, and 10 year old Shimano Deore hubs.

    So, assuming the basic quality of your hubs is good, then the answer is maintenance.

    That said, sealed bearing are wonderful.

    Just swap in new bearings, and you can upgrade the quality of the bearings easily. (Guess what I use these days )
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  12. #12
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    +1 on the dt swiss hubs. I am removing the Deore rear hub on my Pugsley in favor of a dt 350. Same mechanism as a 240 but with a heavier shell. And only $250!

    If you're looking for American made and cheaper than King I would take a look at White Industries. The MI6 is good looking hub.

  13. #13
    addicted to chunk
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    I rarely service my hope's (once in the past 4 years on the old bike).....they are great, just work, & not terribly expensive.
    Riding.....

  14. #14
    pug biker
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    ROHLOFF hub rules, but only available in 135mm!!
    miesj

    create your own FAT path 2 succes, don't just follow others

  15. #15
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    Hopes are good, reliable hubs. I'd opt for the steel freehub body option though. I exploded 3 alloy freehub bodies on my Pro2 EVO hubs this summer, all cracked along the key spline and the FH bearings turned to shrapnel. Once my LBS switched it to the steel its been all good.

    Lots of local guys built up fatbike wheels this year with the new FATSNO Hopes (135 front, 170mm rear). They are all currently raving about them. They are basically wider versions of the PRO2 EVO's.

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