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  1. #1
    Rod
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    WTB laserdisc lite hub reviews wanted

    I am thinking about buying a wheelset that has these hubs laced to 319 rims. I am looking for the pros and cons of these hubs. I ride on trails shared by horses and the conditions can sometimes be completely nasty sometimes. I hear the rebuild is very easy, but lets hear about your experiences.

    Please include:

    How long you've used the hub
    Pros
    Cons
    Would you recommend it


    Thanks in advance,

    Rodney
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  2. #2
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    Well, they have nice geometry. I'd went for them if I were mostly on XC trails. But have nothing to say about their real life perfomance cause didn't have 'em.

  3. #3
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    I've had em on my Epic Disc since 07.
    Pros:Not one problem.Lightweight and they just keep rolling.
    Got em from Mike garcia at Odds and Endos.
    Cons:supposedly not the hub to buy if you ride in very wet conditions
    on a regular basis.I don't.
    Even MG confirmed this before I went with em.
    Now i split my time between another mtn bike and a couple road bikes.
    This year for instance I've got 900 miles on the Epic.
    You can spend a lot more money and get more bling but
    for the price range I'd reccomend em.
    LS

  4. #4
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    How long you've used the hub
    4 yrs with the same hub

    Pros
    Good engagement, durable, easy to service, good bearings

    Cons
    Aluminum freehub body is very soft - plan to use a spider cassette or plan to change the body which isn't cheap

    Would you recommend it
    Yes, but for the price I've seen for individual hubs I am considering White Ind or Hopes next time

  5. #5
    Rod
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    Thanks for the reviews so far everyone. I don't usually ride in very wet conditions so that shouldn't be a problem. I have a road bike when the trails are wet. I have seen the bearings pretty cheap for these hubs online, they're easy to rebuild, and a friend has this wheelset sitting around so I'm thinking about getting it.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  6. #6
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lickety Split
    I've had em on my Epic Disc since 07.
    Pros:Not one problem.Lightweight and they just keep rolling.
    Got em from Mike garcia at Odds and Endos.
    Cons:supposedly not the hub to buy if you ride in very wet conditions
    on a regular basis.I don't.
    Even MG confirmed this before I went with em.
    Now i split my time between another mtn bike and a couple road bikes.
    This year for instance I've got 900 miles on the Epic.
    You can spend a lot more money and get more bling but
    for the price range I'd reccomend em.
    LS
    I'm currently in college working a full time job so I can't really spend the money for more bling. I thought these seemed to be a solid hub for the price. Hopefully I'll be able to splurge on a wheelset someday though.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdlals
    How long you've used the hub
    4 yrs with the same hub

    Pros
    Good engagement, durable, easy to service, good bearings

    Cons
    Aluminum freehub body is very soft - plan to use a spider cassette or plan to change the body which isn't cheap

    Would you recommend it
    Yes, but for the price I've seen for individual hubs I am considering White Ind or Hopes next time
    Which cassette were you using? I just ordered an XT.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  8. #8
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    I lived in oregon and commuted on the rear hub (generator front) in oregon winters and ive not had any issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod
    Which cassette were you using? I just ordered an XT.
    I had a PG-970 on there and it chewed through the hub body. Ironically the replacement hub body I found for the Laserdisc is steel - it's the same on that comes on the Laserdisc Super Duty and it's a lot better than the stock aluminum on the Laserdisc Lite.

    Anyway, I also picked up some good deals on PG-990s on Chainlove so I don't have the problem anymore.

    I don't think you'll have problems with the XT cassette, it has a spider on the 6 largest gears I believe.

  10. #10
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdlals
    I had a PG-970 on there and it chewed through the hub body. Ironically the replacement hub body I found for the Laserdisc is steel - it's the same on that comes on the Laserdisc Super Duty and it's a lot better than the stock aluminum on the Laserdisc Lite.

    Anyway, I also picked up some good deals on PG-990s on Chainlove so I don't have the problem anymore.

    I don't think you'll have problems with the XT cassette, it has a spider on the 6 largest gears I believe.
    I would like to find some PG-990s on chainlove. I stopped watching that site because they never had any parts that I needed. It was always clothing and forks.

    Yeah, I don't think I would have that problem either with the xt cassette b/c of the spider. Thanks for the update.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  11. #11
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    I lived in oregon and commuted on the rear hub (generator front) in oregon winters and ive not had any issues.
    Good deal. If they can survive Oregon winters hopefully they can survive sand and some mud spots created by the horses.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  12. #12
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    I rode a set of laserdisc lite hubs for one year, and completely wore out all 4 bearings in the rear hub. WTB was nice enough to send new bearings for free, but one season is not a long time. The bearings where so shot, by the time I got the slop out of the hub, the brake rotor would rub the caliper because the hub shifted to the drive side. I had to tighten the hub that much.
    And once you pull apart the hub to service it, you will see what is actually engaging the pawls. A little tiny "wire" that drags across little dents in a plate. Looked super cheesy.

    After seeing that, I still rode it, but once the bearings became shot, I turned it into a back up wheel. I ordered a hope pro 2 hub to build up with the same rim. Which, by the way, is a WTB laser trail 29. And I think it's one of the best rims I,ve ever ridden.

    So I would not recommend the laser disc lite rear hub.

  13. #13
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by reallylike2ride
    I rode a set of laserdisc lite hubs for one year, and completely wore out all 4 bearings in the rear hub. WTB was nice enough to send new bearings for free, but one season is not a long time. The bearings where so shot, by the time I got the slop out of the hub, the brake rotor would rub the caliper because the hub shifted to the drive side. I had to tighten the hub that much.
    And once you pull apart the hub to service it, you will see what is actually engaging the pawls. A little tiny "wire" that drags across little dents in a plate. Looked super cheesy.

    After seeing that, I still rode it, but once the bearings became shot, I turned it into a back up wheel. I ordered a hope pro 2 hub to build up with the same rim. Which, by the way, is a WTB laser trail 29. And I think it's one of the best rims I,ve ever ridden.

    So I would not recommend the laser disc lite rear hub.
    How many miles did you ride them and what were your riding conditions? Wet, dry, mud?
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  14. #14
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    When I searched mtbr for issues with the laser disc lite hubs, the main complaint was the engagement mechanism, in that even after a click, the freewheel would still turn by a bit before it engaged. In the granny gear, when the bike is stationary, it's only about an inch worth of pedal movement, but it's worse when the bike is rolling. If u like to backpedal thru technical sections, it's about a few inches worth of pedal free play.

    I use my wtb hubs on my road wheels so it's not really a problem.

  15. #15
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    I don't know how many miles, quite a bit for a summer. I was training for, and competed in my first solo 24 hour race. Maybe a thousand miles.

    The conditions were pretty dry. I live in breckenridge, Co. I rode some wet conditions, but not much.

    Honestly the engagement was not that bad. I really liked the hub until the problems showed up. When I first pulled apart the hub and saw the inner workings, I thought the little wire that engages the pawls was actually a broken piece of some thing. It was not broken, just designed that "light". This hub is built "too light", in my opinion, for heavy use.

    I plan on putting in the new bearings wtb sent and using it as a spare wheel.

  16. #16
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    I have been running a set of WTB wheels on my Vassago for the last 2 and a half years. The front hub is a Laserdisc Lite and it does not seem any different than most other hubs of this design with cartridge bearings. The rear hub is a Lasedisc Single Duty, which is similar to the Super Duty Hub with the steel freehub. The engagement mechanism is the same for all the Laserdisc hubs. My wheels were a take-offs from a new bike and I got them for about half of what I had seen them advertised anywhere else. They were not very straight and I had a friend that works at a local shop, give them the once over.

    Probably the only real issue I have heard with the WTB hubs is with the bearings. Seems like a hit or miss, but I have heard more than few riders complain about low bearing life. Even though these hubs are a copy of American Classics, the bearings are a different size. I found Enduro bearings of the proper size and ordered enough to replace all the bearing for both front and back hubs. Going into the first winter, about 6 months of use, I pulled the hubs apart to see exactly what I was dealing with and went ahead and replaced all the WTB bearings with the Enduros. Knock on wood, these wheels have been solid ever since.

    As for the issues about not standing up to really wet weather, I would have to agree with that. While I do not think it is sealed any less than say a Hope hub, the engagement mechanism is not very tolerant of dirt and contamination. And while the engagement mechanism does seem light, especially the wire that engages a cam that reallylike2ride refers to in his post, it does work. I know several local Cat 1 racers that put more miles on their American Classics in one season than I get to ride in 3 years and they swear by them. Guess what design WTB is using in their hubs? Keep them clean and serviced, I doubt they will give you problems.

    Overall, if you are not going to ride in nasty conditions and can get these wheels cheap, I say go for it. I would recommend finding a set of the Enduro bearings to have on hand and on your first rebuild, go ahead and change out the stock bearings.

  17. #17
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    I've been running the hubs for 2 seasons with no problems except for the cassette body. Lots of abuse, mud, snow, rain and dust with no bearing problems and have not needed a rebuild. However, the soft cassette body is pretty annoying. I also have a set of American Classics which you probably know have some steel inserts to prevent gouging. I could not be happier with the AC's, but have only ridden them for half a season.

  18. #18
    Rod
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    Thanks for the reviews everyone. I'm going to get some wheels off a friend that have these hubs. I ride in all conditions sand, some mud, but i try to avoid it, snow, etc., but i may keep my old wheels as spares so i don't ruin the bearings really fast. I checked online and to rebuild both wheels would cost about 40 dollars and a little time. Thanks again for the input.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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