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  1. #1
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    A2Z hubs (Rotaz too?) Long Term Review

    Well not exactly long term, but in the last 7 months I've put somewhere between 5000 and 7000km on these hubs.

    The good:
    - front hub is great and trouble free;
    - bearings are excellent quality, well sealed and still going strong;

    The bad:
    - rear hub engagement mechanism has an inherent flaw - it has started to flog out in the last 1000km or so. The pawls sit in the alum hub shell and the softness of the alu mean that they eventually deform it and things go downhill from there.

    I'm not sure how long it'll go before complete failure, but I'm ordering either a DT Swiss 240s or Tune King to replace it ASAP.



    Conclusion: maybe OK for a cheap weight weenie wheelset for occasional racing, but not up to serious everyday offroad riding. How long they'll last for you will probably just depend on how much time it takes you to do 5000km.

    More pics here.

  2. #2
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    thx for the review, gonna get it for my kid's 24 inch wheel build. Think it'll do well for lightweight riders/kids.

  3. #3
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    Front hubs don't do much. Buy a cheap light front and spend the big bucks for the rear...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhkang View Post
    thx for the review, gonna get it for my kid's 24 inch wheel build. Think it'll do well for lightweight riders/kids.
    They'll be perfect for that. A2Z front hub is lighter than Rotaz equivalent (Rotaz has larger heavier flange on NDS). A2Z/Rotaz rear hubs weigh about the same. Rotaz are generally a little cheaper.

  5. #5
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    For a cheap high engagement hub, the bitex hubs are very good. They're also within a few grams of the A2Z. Uses a more conventional pawl setup. bikehubstore.com sells them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    For a cheap high engagement hub, the bitex hubs are very good. They're also within a few grams of the A2Z. Uses a more conventional pawl setup. bikehubstore.com sells them.
    By more conventional, do you mean the pawls in the freehub body vs in the hub body?
    Last edited by mtnbiker72; 05-20-2012 at 08:53 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, pawls on the freehub, set in a steel ring on the freehub.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Yeah, pawls on the freehub, set in a steel ring on the freehub.
    What's the POE and are those the MTB252 hubs?

  9. #9
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    48pt! I used to import and sell a ton of them, but its hard to compete with BHS so I kinda quit. Never saw one come back or heard a complaint, I think they're kind of a overlooked gem. The bearings arent fantastic, but changing them to decent ones is cheap (I havent bothered yet).

    Its the mtb252's.

  10. #10
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    Those MTB252 hubs look strangely similar to my PureXCR hubs from BWW.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryank930 View Post
    Those MTB252 hubs look strangely similar to my PureXCR hubs from BWW.
    I thought the PureXCRs looked more like the Rotaz / A2z hubs. Does it have a ring gear in the hub or teeth on the freehub?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    I thought the PureXCRs looked more like the Rotaz / A2z hubs. Does it have a ring gear in the hub or teeth on the freehub?
    BWW have the gears on the freehub body like the Rotaz


  13. #13
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    bitex hubs

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    48pt! I used to import and sell a ton of them, but its hard to compete with BHS so I kinda quit. Never saw one come back or heard a complaint, I think they're kind of a overlooked gem. The bearings arent fantastic, but changing them to decent ones is cheap (I havent bothered yet).

    Its the mtb252's.
    So in your experience these are pretty reliable.

    It seems you think they are better than the Rotaz, which on BHS are more expensive?

    I'm not concerned with fast engagement (I'm currently riding a pair of AmClassic hubs and I'm very much happy..). just want a reliable hub, possibly cheap..

    Do Bitex's use standard industrial hubs?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    BWW have the gears on the freehub body like the Rotaz
    I heard new rotaz hubs now have a different free hub? Has it been improved since the version reviewed in this thread?

  15. #15
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    If I was after some relatively cheap hubs now I'd get either:
    • circus monkey HDW3 - very lightweight - but unknown reliability;
    • bikehubstore 252s' - seem to have better engagement mechanism than A2Z/Rotaz/BWW XCR, Chin Haur etc.; or
    • novatec 811/812s - heavier but stronger with easy parts availability


    My A2Z rear hub is still hanging in there and I've probably got almost 10,000km on them. Engagement mechanism aside, my main beef with these types of hubs is the flexy alu axle that allows contact between freehub and hubshell on bigger jumps.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    So in your experience these are pretty reliable.

    It seems you think they are better than the Rotaz, which on BHS are more expensive?

    I'm not concerned with fast engagement (I'm currently riding a pair of AmClassic hubs and I'm very much happy..). just want a reliable hub, possibly cheap..

    Do Bitex's use standard industrial hubs?
    I think they're a lot better than rotaz just for the pawl arrangement. Id say they're reliable like a hope hub. Its a buncha pawls, decent sized teeth and pretty hard steel. I dig them.

    Im guessing you mean standard bearings, but yes they're regular sized nothing-special bearings. Easy to find and replace.

    They've gotten really big in the road bike world. bigger than people know since they're so often rebadged and sold under other names. I honestly cant recall even hearing about someone having issues with them (even under different names). The mtn hubs are basically the same, but beefier.

  17. #17
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    So now I'm lending towards Bitex, rather than Rotaz hubs.

    @One Pivot What about the axle of the Bitex's? In your opinion is it stiffer than the "flexy alu axle [on the Rotaz's] that allows contact between freehub and hubshell on bigger jumps", as reported by @TigWorld?

  18. #18
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    But is the MTB252 on BikeHubStore a Bitex?
    MTB252 Rear Disc Hub - 10mm Axle

    I see several rear mtb hubs on bitex's website, but I don't find any perfectly equal:
    Bitex + Bicycle & Wheelchair hub

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    My A2Z rear hub is still hanging in there and I've probably got almost 10,000km on them. Engagement mechanism aside, my main beef with these types of hubs is the flexy alu axle that allows contact between freehub and hubshell on bigger jumps.
    To me this shouldn't be an issue as I have a 15 mm front thru-axle and a 142x12 mm rear thru-axle, should it?

  20. #20
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    You'll have to look at the design and see where the 12mm thru axle is supported but I'd guess it shouldn't be a problem.

  21. #21
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    I'm not sure I understand it correctly, but the thru-axle is supported by the frame dropouts.

  22. #22
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    Take a look at where the thru axle is supported by the bearings in the hub. If you can't find a cross sectional diagram, you can sort of work it out based on the bearing sizes.

    eg. the 252 rear hub has 6902 and 6802 bearings. Both these bearings have a 15mm inner diameter, so the hub uses a 15mm axle.

    In QR config the hub is supported on the ends by axle end caps. What you need to find out is if the 12mm thru version only supports the 12mm thru axle on the ends or if the 12mm thru axle supports the 15mm hub axle all along its length. ie, is the inner diameter of the hub's 15mm axle 12mm, or is it larger and needs end caps to drop its inner diameter to 12mm?

  23. #23
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    On BHS.com, the mtb252 specs say:
    Axles: 9mm (135mm) or 12mm (142mm)

    But this refers only to axle compatibility, doesn't it? So it does not refer to the hub axle inner diameter (?)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    But is the MTB252 on BikeHubStore a Bitex?
    MTB252 Rear Disc Hub - 10mm Axle

    I see several rear mtb hubs on bitex's website, but I don't find any perfectly equal:
    Bitex + Bicycle & Wheelchair hub
    I cant really speak for BHS's products, but he has told me that no, its not a "bitex".

    It is however, very very similar. The pawl spring setup on the BHS hubs is better than what bitex sells if you buy direct from bitex. The overall design is the same, the geometry and weight is the same too.. but its just a little different and maybe better.

    For comparisons sake, what ive said about bitex and my experience with them is applicable to BHS, but BHS is not 100% a bitex hub. Might sound weird and like semantics, but thats how a lot of asian sourced stuff goes. I bet the rotaz/chin haur/A2Z branded stuff has similar slight differences.

    I just pulled my axle caps off, and it looks like its a 14mm axle, just eye balling it. Its pretty thick too. with QR's, I never felt this hub flex even at 220lb.

    I have nothing to do with BHS, but I do think its a good product and one I like to endorse.

  25. #25
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    Yes, I think I'll go with those Bitex-like hubs. I've read lots of good comments on both Bitex road hubs and BHS.

    Plus, I have 15 and 142x12 mm thru-axles, and supposedly Rotaz hubs aren't available in those options.

    I'm just waiting for Brandon's answer to some questions I sent him regarding availability (front 32 holes unavailable?), and then I'll probably buy them.

    I'm thinking of lacing them to Stan's NoTubes ZTR Crest 29" rims and DT Competition spokes with alloy (?) nipples. It should result in a good weight, hopefully not too weak!

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