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Thread: Chris King hubs

  1. #1
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    Chris King hubs

    I need a new wheelset, as I'd certainly like to start running disc brakes. I am currently running a White Industries Ti Cassette (rear) and Tracker (front). I believe the rear has the same 24T engagement, 15 degree, as the new White Industries M15 and M16 hubs. I've been considering the Hope Pro II, also a 15 degree engagement, as it comes in black and has one more pawl than the Whites. Although, I have also been contemplating spending the extra $250, over the Pro II, on the wheelset, and buying a Chris King wheelset;

    However, I have some questions about it. See below, which comes from THIS POST. I'm hoping I can get my questions answered.

    Quote Originally Posted by royta
    Quote Originally Posted by thebronze
    ...and the bearing tension issue is a nightmare IMO...worth the original price despite the chain tension issues caused by the seal drag...The seals are over engineered to the point of causing shifting issues...neglect their service and tensioning.
    Can you please elaborate on this? Could you please explain how long it takes to set bearing preload, and how often it is necessary (during break-in and after)?

    The price for a DT 4.1D wheelset with Chris King is $250 more than with Hope Pro II. I'd like to go Chris King (based on engagement), but am not sure if I can justify it just yet.

    I don't seem to have a problem with the 15 degree engagement of the Hope's, my White Industries Ti Cassette/Tracker wheelset (non-disc) has the same, but I like the idea of having 3.5 degree engagement of the King's, plus having the security of no pawls. Although, I'm only 165 pounds when dressed and watered for riding.

    Thanks.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Go with the Kings Roy. I wish I did instead of my ProII's. Engagement is wayy quicker on CK's. Why is this on a Turner forum??

  3. #3
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    hadley!

    Split the difference and go Hadley. The Hopes are lighter and look pretty nice. I think the Hadleys have better engagement, and are well proven. They have a few diiferent colors as well...if that matters to you. Price is right between the Hopes and the Kings.
    Cheers!

  4. #4
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    All you need to adjust bearing preload on the Kings is two 5mm allen wrenches and your fingers. You remove the wheel from the bike, put one wrench in the drive side to keep the axle from turning, put the other wrench in the non-drive side and loosen the axle end. Then you finger tighten the adjusting cone to pre-load the bearing and retighten the axle end to "hold" the adjustment. Install the rear wheel. It's a 2 minute job. You can check for excessive play by holding the frame tightly (rockers or seat stay, for example) and rocking the wheel back and forth.

    I have 3 King wheelsets. On new sets I've had to do this anywhere from 2 to 4 times in the first couple of hundred miles. After that I have to readjust maybe twice a year. Its no big deal.

    Personally, I think the whole seal drag issue is a non-issue. If somone is having shifting issues its most likely because of poor wrenching or neglected maintenance elsewhere in the drivetrain. The only issue I can think of is right after adjusting preload there is a little more drag for a while and the chain can droop onto the chain stay or hang off the front d if you back pedal, but you'd really have to do something stupid (like back pedal through several revolutions) to cause a major problem.

    If you have the budget I wouldn't hesitate to get the Kings.


  5. #5
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    I went w/ Hadley's for my flux wheels. I've read about some recent problems, but have had none myself. The extra $$ and the seal-drag issues of the CK's steered me away (although I dig some of the colors!).
    I am absolutely spoiled by the instant-engagement, and am already contemplating a new wheelset for the spot to replace the 'sloppy' XT hubs on it, even though they are only 8 months old...

    The Hadley's do buzz loud, though...
    ...every day sends future to past...

  6. #6
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    I'm building up some hadleys at the moment...

    I thought briefly about the kings but couldn't justify the price but i was on a bit of a budget.

    FYI to save even more money i went a PRO II front hub. It even gives me the option of easily converting between QR and 20mm thru axle and really there is not much to a front hub so why unecessarilly bling it up. Some of the colours may be hard to match but if you went both silver or both black (like me) you'd be sweet.

    My 2 cents.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseKipp
    Why is this on a Turner forum??
    Because I didn't think I'd get very good answers on the Diamond Back - Raleigh forum.

  8. #8
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    This begs the question...

    ...what makes CK's superior to hadley's????
    ...every day sends future to past...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop
    ...what makes CK's superior to hadley's????
    I'm confused. (1) I don't see logically how the question of superiority is begged and (2) I'm not sure if your question is directed to me personally because it stems from my post (but I'm not quoted) or if its a general question to the forum.

    In any event, I don't think I'd personally characterize Hadley and CK hubs in terms of superiority and inferiority, but rather in terms of differences like weight, price, etc. They both seems to be at the higher end of available mtb hubs and they both seem to have their admirers and detractors. I have no experience with the Hadleys so I'm not in a position to offer meaningful opinions.


  10. #10
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    Nothing personal. I just wonder if there is any justification for the additional cost of the Kings that I'm not aware of. As best as I could tell, they are fairly equal, quality and performance wise. I like the reputation that CK products carry, and I appreciate the color choices, but are they 'better' than Hadley's??
    ...anybody...???
    ...every day sends future to past...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde S Dale
    I have 3 King wheelsets. On new sets I've had to do this anywhere from 2 to 4 times in the first couple of hundred miles. After that I have to readjust maybe twice a year. Its no big deal.
    ...
    Personally, I think the whole seal drag issue is a non-issue.
    ...
    If you have the budget I wouldn't hesitate to get the Kings.
    I had to do it many more times than that. Many. Got to be a complete PITA. I also think the drag issue is a huge issue. I was constantly dropping my chain on downhills because it would sag so much from the drag. Also, during the winter the drag got so bad I couldn't backpedal. It wasn't a case of needing to be broken in either; they had close to 1000 miles on them.

    I sold my set and didn't miss them at all. I decided to go Hadley when my XT rear wheel started to go. Money wasn't an issue at all since I would have gladly paid what the Kings cost if they hadn't been so annoying.

    Dave

  12. #12
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    For the ones who have had trouble with your Chris King hubs, what "series" (310, 311, 312, 314, and so on) were your hubs? See HERE for explanation of what I'm talking about.
    Last edited by royta; 05-17-2006 at 05:58 AM.

  13. #13
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    i would also consider that, in general, the wait time for Hadleys can be awful and false promises are common in terms of wait time.....having said that, same is true for mango or green kings so who knows....

  14. #14
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    Clyde S Dale gets the prize.
    Adjusting preload on the Kings takes 5 seconds and 2 allen wrenches.

    After the first week I only need to adjust preload once a season.
    Put some muscle into it and the cones stay tight. I have no idea how or why people struggle with this mechanism but I suspect operator error.

    As for superiority over Hadley, that topic has been hashed over ad naseum. For me it comes down to King's lower weight, superior engagement mechanism, bomb proof bearings and superb customer service.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  15. #15
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    Clyde S Dale gets the prize.
    Adjusting preload on the Kings takes 5 seconds and 2 allen wrenches.

    After the first week I only need to adjust preload once a season.
    Put some muscle into it and the cones stay tight. I have no idea how or why people struggle with this mechanism but I suspect operator error.

    As for superiority over Hadley, that topic has been hashed over ad naseum. For me it comes down to King's lower weight, superior engagement mechanism, bomb proof bearings and superb customer service.
    what do you care? you dont even ride Kings anymore (well, maybe once every 2 months that is)

  16. #16
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    As with any product, you are gonna hear both the good and bad. I'm sure there are many people that have had their fare share of troubles with XT, Hope, Hadley and King hubs. I have had 2 sets of Kings, one 6 years old, and the other only 1 year old. I have never had any of the problems that others describe. I have to adjust the hubs 3-4 times the first few months and that is it. I have never had and drag issues with my freehubs.

    Kings can be fully serviced with 2 5mm wrenches. Remove the axel, grab the freehub and pull and you are ready to go. If you have never seen the inside of a King, it is a masterpeice.

    Here is something to consider: King has been using the same hub design forever. The design works, and it is proven. How long did the Hadley 108 last? 18 months maybe? And talk about loud! But you never hear anyone *****in about the noise on those. King is at the top IMHO, and this makes them a target for consumers to take aim. If money i a concern, don't buy yhe hubs. If you have the money, you have many good options to choose from.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  17. #17
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    I have had basically the same experience as Clyde S Dale. I have two sets of hubs (one set purchased in 1997 and one set in 2002). Each hub has required no more than a few adjustments during the break-in period. One adjustment after a few hours of riding, another after a week or two, and then maybe once a season after that. I adjusted my rear hub of my main bike at the start of the season last summer and it's still tight today. I can't remember the last time I adjusted either of my front hubs. I don't put in as many miles as a lot of these guys, and I rotate between four bikes, so other people may have to adjust more often than I do, but it's been a non-issue for me.

    Seal drag has also been a non-issue for me. If I lift (either) bike and spin the rear wheel as fast as I can, the crankset doesn't move and the chain doesn't droop. I have no problems at all back pedaling. There just isn't any detectable drag at all in either of my hubs.

    I wonder if some of the people who have seal drag issues aren't running a bit too much bearing preload. Finger tight is much too tight and will result in lots of drag, drooping chain, back pedaling problems etc. The first time I adjusted my hub, I set the preload adjuster finger tight and I had these problems. It took a few tries to get it just right. Too tight and you get drag, too loose and you have a bit of play. You have to just barely snug up the preload adjuster. Just enough to get rid of the play and no more. At least that's the way it is with my hubs. Of course, that's only a sample of two.

    That being said, my next hubset probably won't be a King. I want a 20mm convertible front hub and I'm not overly fond of the sound so my next hubset will most likely be from Hope. But, it won't be because I'm unhappy with the performance of my Kings. They have been flawless.

  18. #18
    Knollician
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    How' this:

    "Those who know...ride King"
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  19. #19
    Roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightySchmoePong
    Also, during the winter the drag got so bad I couldn't backpedal.
    I had this problem as well and called King. Turns out I simply needed to clean and rebuild the hub. Once I did that, it was back to smooth King perfection. I do ride in pretty cold weather here as well, but it doesn't seem to affect my drag at all.

    I would offer a third alternative, however: Hope Bulbs. I have these on my pack and they are higher end over the ProII's. They roll extremely well, but they don't have quite the engagement as the Kings. I like the Bulbs alot.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    How' this:

    "Those who know...ride King"
    Careful! I think Tony Ellsworth has a patent on that phrase.

  21. #21
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    Hadley freehub mechs break if you pedal hard up steep hills with lots of traction (slickrock).

    King freehubs don't break. My new King rear hub does have a bit of that drag when backpedaling, but much less than original. Funny thing, my old King on the other bike never had this, and still doesn't (once a year rebuild/service).

    If I didn't need the quick engagement and indestructibility of the King ring drive, and was going to go with DT 4.1 rims, I'd sure consider their complete wheelset. The stardrive is idiotically simple and might even be as strong as the ring drive (but after one failed experiment with Hadleys, I'll just stick with Kings, thanks).
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  22. #22
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    Why aren't DT 240s hubs being mentioned here? I thought the Hugi star ratchet system is supposed to be pretty decent. I dunno, in the US it's not mentioned with the likes of King, but in Europe, it's a totally different story.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    Clyde S Dale gets the prize.
    Adjusting preload on the Kings takes 5 seconds and 2 allen wrenches.

    After the first week I only need to adjust preload once a season.
    Put some muscle into it and the cones stay tight. I have no idea how or why people struggle with this mechanism but I suspect operator error.
    There's a little more to it then that, and I suspect a lot of you guys bought used hubs and that's why you dont encounter it. The seal issue is real. King's own reps have admitted it and have no fix for it other then use. Theres no way to struggle with the adjustment, you run it in finger tight and then lock it. My grandmother could do it. The problem is if you back it off just a bit to slack the chain, later on the tension is too loose and then you are right back where you started. The wheel is functional the whole time, but shifting suffers. I, and others I ride with, are spending too much time fiddling with the damn things and its been going on for over a year.

  24. #24
    MK_
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    I am willing to pay the price of brake in to get a set of hubs which will spin and engage with consistency for years. Just like I am willing to spend a little extra effort during brake-in of my Marzocchis to get a consistent and superior performance out of them for a long time. (There's a whole another issue of new forks coming out, all the time, though )

    King has FAR superior engagement and it has nothing to do with quickness, which is very quick, indeed. I run my rear with Fun Bolts so I sacrifice a little weight. I am not sold on the front being the best 20mm hub out there, but for all intents and purposes, it is great. I probably would save my money and get something different these days. Back when I got it I liked the idea of swapping the axle for Maverick axle, since I ran the DUC.

    If Kings were cheaper, noone would question their superiority. The hub choice these days boils down to bang for the buck. King definatelly doesn't give the best one.

    _MK
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo
    Hadley freehub mechs break if you pedal hard up steep hills with lots of traction (slickrock).
    You mean YOUR Hadley broke pedaling up a steep hill with lots of traction. I think its a bit much of a blanket statement to say that Hadleys in general brake in this situation.

    Kings are great hubs. I would have bought King hubs if it wasn't for the price increase. So far the Hadleys have been rock solid for me (even pedaling up steeps).

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