Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??

    I'm interested in buying the best hubs ever. It seems that Chris King and Phil Wood are the best ones. But has anyone really tried both hubs, felt their drags etc etc? What's your opinion?

    I have to use the hub for road touring and not hard core freeride, downhill etc which means that I need a hub with smallest drag possible (= does this mean I'll have to look for Shimano XTR?? )

    Somewhere I read that Chris King hubs have a large drag when you turn them by hand, but it vanishes when riding, ie they are designed in a way that the drag disappears when riding. Is that true?

    Lucas

  2. #2
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    I have king hubs and they are sweet. The free hub is insanely loud (if you have ridden them you know what I mean) and I also think the free hub causes more drag than a standard mecanism when coasting but the bearings themselves are smooth as silk.
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  3. #3
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    Big differences!!!!

    Phil and CK both make state-of the art super nice stuff. I've got a 16+year old front Phil Hub on my track bike, beat the living crap out of one of the old thread-on freewheel/cassette type Phil rear hubs, and currently ride a pair of CK ISO's on the racing bike.

    The huge difference is my set of CK ISO's weigh less than ONE Phil disk hub! If weight doesn't matter at all, go Phil. If you want bomb-proof, reliable, easy to service AND very light weight, go CK.

    Tight bearing seals that cause "drag" when you spin the axle with your finger are by no means an indication of any real "resistance" to your forward momentum. I always though that even the high end Mavic Crossmax SL's with there super "loosey" feeling bearings were just not sealed as well, and have seen this proven with decreased bearing life. Nothing horible per se, but never happens on the CK's or Phil's. Inertia while riding is not affected by this minor "drag" feeling at he axle.... which after a few hundred miles is reduced significantly anyhow.

    My XTR hubs ooze grease out of the bearings because the seals ar so crappy!
    Last edited by glenzx; 12-02-2004 at 04:49 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Good job! Now, what about the hubs from White Industries?? :D

    Buying the Chris Kings I need the Hub Assembly Tool worth about $135 (if I want to service them myself). Too, the Chris King hubs need the special bearings made by Chris King only.

    But what about Phil Wood? Do I need a special tool for servicing the hub? What sort of bearings are they using in their hubs? Are they using bearings readily available from SKF, Fafnir, Timken, *** (major bearing companies)? On their homepage I noticed they are using a bearing called 6903 2RS which i KNOW is a standard bearing used everywhere in the industry. But then again they claim that they manufactured with special tolerances for Phil only. So, have you tried to replace the bearings with regular bearings or dou you REALLY need the special ones.

    As an additional information I have had a look on the hubs from White Industries. They look very nice too and readily advertise that they are using 5 bearings in each rear hubs all of which you kan buy in a local (bearings are 6903 and 6902 i think). This would be a big advantage to mee, as it woud make my trips more worry free.

    So, does anyone have further Information?

    Lucas

  5. #5
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    First of all, Chris King hubs are fully serviceable with two 5mm allen wrenches and a pen knife. You only need the tools to replace the bearings (many many many years down the road). Now I know they recommend a full disassembly but it's completely not required. My rear King hub is on it's sixth season, second hubshell (was Classic now ISO disc), 4th rim etc and still going strong. It's only been fully disassembled once or twice (once for the hubshell conversion for sure). The other times a can of WD40 and compressed air clean it out just fine. And if you do want the tools, they are available for about $75 direct from Chris King.

    Again, PW hubs are bombproof but weigh a ton. If you were out touring the Andes or outer Mongolia without support, these are the hubs you would want. The key to hub longevity is in the bearings. Again with annual maintenance, bearing replacement is probably not needed for many many many years. Replacing the PW bearings with standard bearings will defeat the purpose of getting PW. If you just want any old bearings, get some other hubs.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeManiac
    . This would be a big advantage to mee, as it woud make my trips more worry free.

    So, does anyone have further Information?

    Lucas
    I think it's about time you actually made a decision, bought the hubs, built the wheels, and rode on them for a year or two, and THEN come back here with some useful feedback YOURSELF! I've seen your redundant posts, and an awful lot of great, helpful, intelligent responses, and yet you still belabor your "120 mile days" and the potential "loss of power" due to a quality seal, which incedentally, is JUST AS IMPORTANT on road/touring hubs, as the mileage is so much higher (duh) despite less mud and such. My road bike, at least in the winter, requires way more maintanence due to those 100-120 mile days out in "the sh!t".

    If you don't want King hubs, don't get them! Stop trying to convince those of us with thousands and thousands and thousands of miles on OURS that they may be inadequate or too "power robbing (too silly...) for you.

    King makes his bearings for one main reason: No others are good enough! Readily available or not. If even the most slack maintanence is done once in a blue moon on a King hubset, they'll just never let you down, so getting replacement bearings is a non-issue. Period. Maek a decision and freakin' go get some hubs already! Sheeeeesh....

    Dollar for mile, King hubs are very hard to beat, IMO. Can't wait to get some for my road bike one day!

    Demanding road instance: (Paris Roubaix)

    <img src="https://www.sportingtours.co.uk/classics/images/roubaix/roubaix02_1.jpg">
    Last edited by glenzx; 12-05-2004 at 10:11 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Go Hadley no tools required for service and just as loud as King!

  8. #8
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    About 1.5 years back I got some CK hubs as a gift, but I have never gotten around to building my wheels. I guess I am putting it off because I am afraid I will spend all of that time building the rear and then the noise will drive me crazy.

  9. #9
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    I find that if my CK hubs are getting noisy that a little bit of their grease will quite them down again.
    Last edited by kev0153; 12-06-2004 at 03:33 PM. Reason: bad grammer

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemmy999
    About 1.5 years back I got some CK hubs as a gift, but I have never gotten around to building my wheels. I guess I am putting it off because I am afraid I will spend all of that time building the rear and then the noise will drive me crazy.
    Heck, I understand.... PM me, and I'll give you my address, and you can dump those noisy suckers on me - I'll even pay for the shipping!

    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  11. #11
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    Well, I really do plan on getting those built this winter. As soon as I finish my stupid ceramic tile job I started 2 months back, I am starting on the wheels.

  12. #12
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    Haven't tried the PW hubs- they seem to be of the utmost quality but at a serious mass penalty. I will tell you that the drag difference I encountered with the CK hubs is not noticebale but the efficiencey of the engagement mechanism definitely is. Yeah, they are louder than other hubs- why are you coasting so much anyway?--on the down hills you won't even notice-- and nothing says "I'm faster than you" with more panache than a CK freehub whirring while you're coasting behind a comparabley pokey rider.
    Last edited by frank daleview; 12-07-2004 at 10:36 PM.

  13. #13
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    I agree with iceaxe, when you're screaming down some singletrack right on someone's wheel I really think the loud CK freehub makes people mess up. The constant scream just really seems to give them a sense of urgency and lose concentration for just long enough to get off their line .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabe0807
    I agree with iceaxe, when you're screaming down some singletrack right on someone's wheel I really think the loud CK freehub makes people mess up. The constant scream just really seems to give them a sense of urgency and lose concentration for just long enough to get off their line .
    LOL! What's funny is that when I'm racing - I love coming up on someones wheel - going up or down, as it's an obvious 'domination' thing or something, even if it is just a 65 year old beginner .

    The CK's hardly could make a difference - though I never have had the sensation of being overtaken while descending, so maybe I'm wrong. Antwho... if someones that sensitive or easily distracted, they may have other issues...
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  15. #15
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    There is a drag penalty to ringdrives like the kings vs pawl setups like the phils, and you discover it the first time you spin the rear wheels when they're on the bike. The king wheels coast to a stop way sooner than the phil's (sooner than shimano too for that matter). Durability wise well, you can read the reviews on mtbr and there's a far greater ratio of disgruntled king users than phils cassette hub users (I say ratio cause you gotta compare the total numer of reviews). The phil's freehub is designed for extreme tandem usage which is why there's a weight penalty to the hubs. The freehub has a double row of pawls, with 4 pawls per row (8 total) vs most normal freehubs like shimano, hadley, and ringle for example, with a single row of pawls and 2 or 3 pawls total.

    Rather than have different hubs for specific applications the way king does, Phil's just designs for the worst case user and everyone else gets to enjoy the weight penalty. Also Phil's are easier for the owner to completely service (less special tools) than King hubs are.
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  16. #16
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    Old thread but I'll post because I was thinking about the same question as the OP lately, but for different reasons. I went from shimano hubs (on my first mb back in 96) straight to Kings and have been riding them ever since, for obvious reasons. I can honestly say that I don't have a single complaint about King hubs, I think they're awesome! I have a set of ISO's on my newest build and have the classics on my back up ride (my first set, now 18yrs old!). After riding 18yrs on King's I was kind of wanting to try something new, just for kicks.... My only apprehension is the fear of being disappointed by anyone else's hubs since I've been riding one of THE best in the industry for so long. Since this thread is specifically about PW/CK, with the quality being on par for both and weight being the main determining factor, I would definitely go King... Light, beautiful, bomber and totally reliable. On the subject of servicing, if you don't want to acquire the tools to service exotic components then don't buy them, or have a shop do it. But in opinion it's worth it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx View Post
    I think it's about time you actually made a decision, bought the hubs, built the wheels, and rode on them for a year or two, and THEN come back here with some useful feedback YOURSELF! I've seen your redundant posts, and an awful lot of great, helpful, intelligent responses, and yet you still belabor your "120 mile days" and the potential "loss of power" due to a quality seal, which incedentally, is JUST AS IMPORTANT on road/touring hubs, as the mileage is so much higher (duh) despite less mud and such. My road bike, at least in the winter, requires way more maintanence due to those 100-120 mile days out in "the sh!t".

    If you don't want King hubs, don't get them! Stop trying to convince those of us with thousands and thousands and thousands of miles on OURS that they may be inadequate or too "power robbing (too silly...) for you.

    King makes his bearings for one main reason: No others are good enough! Readily available or not. If even the most slack maintanence is done once in a blue moon on a King hubset, they'll just never let you down, so getting replacement bearings is a non-issue. Period. Maek a decision and freakin' go get some hubs already! Sheeeeesh....

    Dollar for mile, King hubs are very hard to beat, IMO. Can't wait to get some for my road bike one day!

    Demanding road instance: (Paris Roubaix)

    Or you could just put good grease in regular hubs and be done. Its not that hard.

    Lol I now see that the post I'm responding to is really old.
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  18. #18
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    Now thats a thread bump.. 10 years!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Now thats a thread bump.. 10 years!
    That is actually pretty impressive that the site logged this thread from so long ago

  20. #20
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    Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??

    It's a testimony to the high quality of those 2 manufacturers that all the info is still relevant as well.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    It's a testimony to the high quality of those 2 manufacturers that all the info is still relevant as well.


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    Fast Forward 10 years, preferences aside, you dont think there are at least twice as many high quality hubs to consider?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev0153 View Post
    I find that if my CK hubs are getting noisy that a little bit of their grease will quite them down again.
    Exactly, mine aren't loud at all but I'm sort of a fanatic when it comes to maintenance. A buddy of mine has I9 and THEY ARE LOUD!

  23. #23
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    I have a set of CK ISO that have been in service 10 years and I never had to replace bearings, just clean and lube. I picked up the hub tool on ebay a few years ago for $75. In 10 years I've only done a complete teardown twice. I clean and lube the ring drive a couple times a year and they're pretty quiet actually.

  24. #24
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    Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??

    Quote Originally Posted by SandSpur View Post
    Fast Forward 10 years, preferences aside, you dont think there are at least twice as many high quality hubs to consider?
    Probably, I didn't mean to imply that they are the only high quality hub makers, just that it's impressive that through all the changes in the bike industry their hubs are relatively unchanged and still some of the best hubs out there.


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