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  1. #1
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    High Dollar Hubs. Bling or substance

    I have always used low end shimano hubs in the past with out much issue, but that was for mainly road use with occasional gravel. My riding has shifted to single track since last fall. I bought a Trek Stache last fall and love it, but I would like to build another lighter bike to use on road rides and gravel. I am shopping hubs and needless to say there are infinite choices out there. My main question is this. What is the advantage of Chris King, Circus Monkey, Hope etc. over a Shimano SLX or XT?

  2. #2
    I need a new name
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    I have had wheels with hubs from Mavic, Shimano, Stans, Formula, DT, and Industry 9. Here's some of my take on this subject. On tight and/or technical trails, you'll come to appreciate faster engaging hubs. The Shimano hubs I've used have been XT, one set the older slower engaging and the other the newer 36pt engagement. The 36pt XT hubs were my favorites among my current options (older XT and DT) until the I9s came along. In technical terrain, quick engagement allows you to ratchet pedal easier. For a gravel grinder, I'd probably save the money and go with newer XT or SLX hubs unless you just want some bling or to save some weight.
    i ride bikes

  3. #3
    Trail Prospector
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    Do some research here before accepting ^ this. (I had an xt-785 implode after 8 rides)
    P.O.E. can be misleading based on # pawls, a better guide is degrees of engagement, or in simple terms - how many clicks per full turn.
    Bling, if meaning colors then King, Hope, Hadley, I9

    Hope - 24/48 (SS) LOUD well-sealed, strong, light with alu freehub body.
    Hadley - 72 not always available, fast / smooth IMO - da kind.
    King - 72 most peeps fav, $ tools.
    DT 240 - 18/36 (with star ratchet upgrade) easy to service, a perennial favorite.

    All others use ^ these 4, as a basis for comparison.
    If yours isn't listed, don't get your panties twisted..
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  4. #4
    Ninja Master Powers
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    If ride a Shimano rear hub be prepared to walk. It will blow up at some point.

  5. #5
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    I've been riding old XT hubs through all kinds of crap since 1997. Ultegra hubs on my cross bike (that means mud) since 2000. I've done minimal/zero maintenance to both. Maybe the newer stuff isn't as durable?

    Today I'd buy XTR, DT or King. You can can't go wrong with any of them.

  6. #6
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    One thing to keep in mind is where the hubs are made. Hubs made in the US, UK, Europe such as King, I9, Hadley WI, Hope, DT are going to cost more simply because of increased labor costs. On top of that there is a level of fit and finish on these hubs that far exceeds Asian built hubs. They also use some very durable and nicely serviceable drive mechanisms.

    This is not to say the Asian built hubs don't perform well. I've used Shimano hubs for many years as most of them have been rock solid. I've had to replace a couple freehub bodies over the years but none left me stranded. They let me know with unusual noises that they were ready to let go and I listened. I personally find the SLX level hubs to be a very durable hub with a nice 32 poe freehub body.
    Former bicycle mechanic for 8 years, current soil scientist.

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  7. #7
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    stealth - one million billion gazillion clicks
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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  8. #8
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    Biggest pain about Shimano hubs is the loose balls/cone setup as compared to say Hope, Hadley, CK, and a lot of others who use pressed in, sealed bearings, so no adjusting needed. As said, nice blingy colours, sweet CNCing, High POE, ease of using various axles configurations and ease of swapping bearings if the need arises.

    For me personally, I'm a Hope guy, had my Pro2s for 4+ years/prob 6k+ miles and have only had to change the freehub bearings, which weren't expensive and was dead easy. I recently got a set of NukeProof Generator hubs for less than what 1 rear Pro2 EVO costs and so far am very happy with them, good engagement, look nice (got the yellow) and have options like Hope to swap axle configurations easily. If I had to go Shimano, I'd go SLX.
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  9. #9
    Formerly of Kent
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    I had 25,000 all-weather miles on a set of DA 7400 road hubs. Chicago winters, gravel dust spring, summer and fall, dirt roads fairly regularly. Gave them to a friend, who is still using them.

    Cleaned them once a year.

    That said, now I'm a DT Swiss 240 guy. Got 3 sets. Best thing since sliced bread.

  10. #10
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    I too love the 240 hubs. My last two wheelsets have had them and I dont think I will be using anything else. Fast engagement and the ability to swap axle types of my favorite features of them.
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  11. #11
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    Just to throw in 2cents, but a lot of folks are liking the new DT350? hubs. A lot of the benefits of the high end DT hubs, but at a reasonable price.
    You're so cute internet tough guy. Noogie...Noogie...Noogie.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Biggest pain about Shimano hubs is the loose balls/cone setup as compared to say Hope, Hadley, CK, and a lot of others who use pressed in, sealed bearings, so no adjusting needed. As said, nice blingy colours, sweet CNCing, High POE, ease of using various axles configurations and ease of swapping bearings if the need arises.

    For me personally, I'm a Hope guy, had my Pro2s for 4+ years/prob 6k+ miles and have only had to change the freehub bearings, which weren't expensive and was dead easy. I recently got a set of NukeProof Generator hubs for less than what 1 rear Pro2 EVO costs and so far am very happy with them, good engagement, look nice (got the yellow) and have options like Hope to swap axle configurations easily. If I had to go Shimano, I'd go SLX.
    Its also the best part about them. its easy to to service them, just open them up and clean/regrease. cant do that with cartridge bearing hubs, those are toast, needs new bearings. The shimano system works very well. most shimano hubs last for 10 years if repacked once or twice.

    No adjusting needed = no adjustment possible...

    most bearings used in hubs are single row ball bearings and those are not adjustable, actually you ruin them if you try to adjust away slack.
    Needs to be angular contact berings to be good imo. and thats just what shimnaos are. easily serviced ones.

    I rather maintain what i have than buy new bearings all the time just because they aren't servicable. but thats just me.

    that being said i have bling too.

    High Dollar Hubs. Bling or substance-1.jpg
    High Dollar Hubs. Bling or substance-2.jpg
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  13. #13
    transmitter~receiver
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    First, Circus Monkey not even close to the same category as Chris King & Hope.

    Second, the short answer is: you're getting what you pay for. Chris King hubs are not just bling... they have a specially engineered drive system that is 100% fabricated in the USA... including the bearings. That costs money. The same reasoning applies to most high-quality (and price point) hubs. There are reasons they cost more money that are not just cosmetic.

    That doesn't mean you couldn't be happy on cheaper hubs (like Circus Monkey), but nobody but you can answer that question.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  14. #14
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    you need to set a budget and then decide what is the best fit for it. if you spend $200, 400, or 600+ the answer changes on what the best bang for your buck is.

    for an entry wheelset i would rather have a set of mavic crossrides than an xt wheelset. they cost less and have similar performance. also seem to fail less. for example i paid 200 out the door for a set of v brake crossride wheels for my bad weather bike. they weigh 1700g set without skewers making them substantially lighter than the deore hub wheelsets they compete against price wise

    mid wheelset would be XTR. these things simply outlive the xt 2-3-4 times over. today it's easy to find buttery xtr 950 hubs, try doing that with an xt 737. aren't that many good ones left.

    high end would be chris king. it's not that i don't like DT hubs it's just they are priced against kings now a days and i'd rather have a king. the used market is different. old xtr and DT 240 hubs are some of the best used values out there

  15. #15
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    FWIW, I rode my XT 775 hubs with Arch rims every day on a 16 day road trip that involved riding in Grand Junction, Moab, Cortez, Durango, and Sante Fe. I've also put hundreds of miles on those wheels riding various places up and down the east coast. For a budget build, I'd go with XT hubs every time.
    i ride bikes

  16. #16
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    mentioning of xt hubs. when did they stop making them in japan? was it m750?

  17. #17
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    Give me a shimano hub everytime. Not putting down the CK's, DT 240's I've had both
    on my bikes. Great quality. I just hate the fishing reel and the loud clack clack noises they make. It drives me nuts. I want a quiet riding bike when I'm in the woods.
    Just saying.
    Since I got your attention, I got a rear CK ISO DISC hub laced to a MAVIC X317 rim.
    all in silver.
    I'd like to trade for a shimano xtr rear wheel (disc of course). Even steven

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by axm1388 View Post
    . . . I want a quiet riding bike when I'm in the woods . . .
    That's an easy fix . . . just don't stop pedaling
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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