Center lock vs 6 bolt ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Center lock vs 6 bolt ?

    I had a custom wheel builder tell me he prefers to build six bolt for mountain bike wheels since center lock can develop "play" at the interface between mount and hub. He opined that they are certainly better for road applications but he still likes six bolt for mtb.

    Any truth to this?

  2. #2
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    Not sure what he means, but I've not seen any such issues with CL. Though they both have pros and cons, I think 6 bolt and center lock are both fine.
    Do the math.

  3. #3
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    Centerlock can't develop play. That's ridiculous.

    CL is faster to mount and unmount. That's the only difference. I prefer CL because even if you don't like it, it can become 6 bolt with a $10 adapter.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Centerlock can't develop play. That's ridiculous.
    Actually, some centerlock setups will have play to begin with. The low end rotors with a stamped steel spline section will almost always have some play when mounted on a hub, you just can't get the tolerances that tight with stamped steel. The higher end rotors with machined aluminum center sections rarely have any play, I've seen a few of them wiggle a tad when mounted on non-Shimano hubs but otherwise they're solid.

    Personally, I go for centerlock every time if I have the choice, it's much easier to deal with than screwing around with bolts.

  5. #5
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    I couldn't find any Boost adapters for a non boost CL wheelset - only negative that came across my plate.

  6. #6
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    For CL hubs, you can use an adapter and then a normal boost conversion.

    Theres no play in CL hubs. They work great, just as 6 bolt does. I think CL is a little more resistant to ham-fisting and stripping little fasteners, but a marginal amount of care can prevent that with 6 bolt too. Not a big deal.

  7. #7
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    Even high end hubs and CL rotors have a small amount of play. Not noticeable on the trail, but if youre doing parking lot tricks going backwards, doing a 180, that kind of stuff the play is there. I had CL my first couple wheelsets but my favorite rotors were ISO. Yes, adapters work pretty good.
    But I prefer to go native, no adapters, so my current wheelset is ISO and I wouldnt change a thing.
    I mean, I guess CL is great if you got a pit crew swapping rotors like NASCAR at a race, or if you HAVE to have Shimano Freeza rotors (which suck). For everybody else, ISO is where its at.

  8. #8
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    I like CL better. I have some midlevel Shimano CL hubs on my commuter. My wife had some DT wheels with the CL interface for a little while, too. And I just ordered some I9 CL hubs for a new build I'm working on.

    I also have a few ISO hubs in the stable, too. For me, it definitely comes down to installation/removal ease as the primary benefit. And if you're running brakes that only offer ISO rotors (or the CL versions are stupid expensive), then using good adapters still allows you to take advantage of the ease of installation. I do this on my commuter wheels with the $10 Shimano adapters.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-SM...SABEgKHGvD_BwE

    But the DT adapter is even better, albeit marginally more expensive.

    https://www.coloradocyclist.com/dt-s...yABEgLJafD_BwE

  9. #9
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    6 bolt rotors give you 6 chances to screw up some threads



    Both are fine imo but I prefer centerlock if given a choice.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by XterraMike View Post
    He opined that they are certainly better for road applications but he still likes six bolt for mtb.
    I want some of whatever hes smoking
    My name is George. Im unemployed and I live with my parents.
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  11. #11
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    For the less obvious differences, I have bent a centerlock rotor enough so it wouldn't rotate thru the brake and didn't have a tool with me that could get it off so I had to remove the brake caliper and zip tie it so I could roll out. I now carry a wrench for this purpose.

    And on 6-bolt rotors I have stripped bolt heads way too many times.

    After all that, I do prefer centerlock. Although it tends to be easier to source a replacement 6 bolt rotor in a pinch so I carry a spare in my car.

  12. #12
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    It's easier to convert 6-bolt to boost or boost + if you are already boost.

    It's quicker to install a rotor, such as when transporting a bike, with CL. That's really the only "advantage" I notice.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    I prefer 6 bolt now. I was a big centerlock fan, but... Centerlock takes up more room on the hub.
    6 bolt will have a bit better spoke bracing angle.
    I learned this recently. My dt Swiss 180 rear hub center lock XD has a terrible angle, switching to a 6 bolt extralite the extralite has better flange spacing with the same axle width

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by okashira View Post
    I prefer 6 bolt now. I was a big centerlock fan, but... Centerlock takes up more room on the hub.
    6 bolt will have a bit better spoke bracing angle.
    I learned this recently. My dt Swiss 180 rear hub center lock XD has a terrible angle, switching to a 6 bolt extralite the extralite has better flange spacing with the same axle width
    I don't think that's necessarily true for everything.

    Since I'm building wheels with I9 CL hubs right now, I looked those up. For I9, at least, the CL hubs have fractionally wider flanges (meaning the CL interface occupies less space on the hub than ISO).

    Take for example boost hubs (digging up the full documentation for all their hubs is a PITA right now with their website rebuild):
    FRONT
    ISO NDS center-flange: 26.8mm
    CL NDS center-flange: 29mm

    REAR
    ISO NDS center-flange: 37.1mm
    CL NDS center-flange: 39mm

    It's only 2.2mm wider, but I suppose that would offer a minutely stronger bracing angle. Unless your issue is the angle at which the spoke/nipple exits the rim. But if you want to talk about crappy angles in that regard, you need to look at fatbike wheels. They're WIDE. But part of THAT equation involves the rims. I have some early Nextie carbon rims that are center-drilled, and the spoke holes are completely perpendicular to the axle, rather than angled to deal with the spoke bracing angles, and many spokes have an ugly bend after the nipple. Yeah, the wide hubs have extreme angles. But a couple mm won't change that very much. What would fix that spoke bend would be better rim drilling, which Nextie eventually addressed (of course, after I bought mine).

  15. #15
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    That is interesting.
    I was comparing my DT swiss 180 rear centerlock
    to an extralite JR
    The extralite has wider spacing, pretty significant, too.




    QUOTE=Harold;13985484]I don't think that's necessarily true for everything.

    Since I'm building wheels with I9 CL hubs right now, I looked those up. For I9, at least, the CL hubs have fractionally wider flanges (meaning the CL interface occupies less space on the hub than ISO).

    Take for example boost hubs (digging up the full documentation for all their hubs is a PITA right now with their website rebuild):
    FRONT
    ISO NDS center-flange: 26.8mm
    CL NDS center-flange: 29mm

    REAR
    ISO NDS center-flange: 37.1mm
    CL NDS center-flange: 39mm

    It's only 2.2mm wider, but I suppose that would offer a minutely stronger bracing angle. Unless your issue is the angle at which the spoke/nipple exits the rim. But if you want to talk about crappy angles in that regard, you need to look at fatbike wheels. They're WIDE. But part of THAT equation involves the rims. I have some early Nextie carbon rims that are center-drilled, and the spoke holes are completely perpendicular to the axle, rather than angled to deal with the spoke bracing angles, and many spokes have an ugly bend after the nipple. Yeah, the wide hubs have extreme angles. But a couple mm won't change that very much. What would fix that spoke bend would be better rim drilling, which Nextie eventually addressed (of course, after I bought mine).[/QUOTE]

  16. #16
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    DT swiss hubs seem to be on the narrow side. Compare a DT CL hub to a shimano hub, the shimano is almost guaranteed to be wider.

  17. #17
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    I definitely have play in my alfine cl hub.

  18. #18
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    Related question. If you are swapping wheelsets, and your hub/rotor alignment isn't 100% identical between wheels, isn't easier to shim 6-bolt vs. CL? Otherwise, you'll need to realign your calipers every time you swap wheels.

    I just order some new wheels with 6-bolt, because of this, but wondering if CL is just as easy to align and shim?

  19. #19
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    I'd say they're the same...maybe slightly easier for CL. CL is a circular shim. 6-bolt is a lobed shim with 6 holes in it.
    Do the math.

  20. #20
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    I built wheels recently and wanted the best I could get while remaining light and settled on 6 bolt.

    In no particular order here is sort of what I gathered.

    - CL Shimano rotors are probably the best rotors in regards to heat rejection, but are pricey.
    - CL weight savings are not really there, because the rotors themselves are considerably heavier
    - Play is relatively common in CL hubs
    - CL rims have less bracing angle than ISO, this is not good and for me is more important than the superior heat rejection of Shimano CL (that's what I was told by hub manufacturers), since upsizing my rotors overheating hasn't been an issue anyways or me.
    - Many hub manufacturers don't offer CL, so this might limit your options.

    In the end when I considered all of the above, 6 bolt made since for me.

    4 NM with a torque wrench with a little Ti anti-seize combined with Ti bolts from Alibaba has never given me any issues.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I built wheels recently and wanted the best I could get while remaining light and settled on 6 bolt.

    In no particular order here is sort of what I gathered.

    - CL Shimano rotors are probably the best rotors in regards to heat rejection, but are pricey.
    - CL weight savings are not really there, because the rotors themselves are considerably heavier [meh - weight savings on a mtb is frequently silly]
    - Play is relatively common in CL hubs [I have a few CL hubs, none have "play" and one set is several yrs old, so not sure I'd call it relatively common. I WOULD call it unacceptable and insist on warranty replacement]
    - CL rims have less bracing angle than ISO [not universally true. look at my earlier post in this thread where I posted ACTUAL specifications, which illustrates that at least for some hubs, the OPPOSITE is actually true. if bracing angles are something you really care about, you should be looking at flange spacing regardless of what rotor mount interface the hub uses], this is not good and for me is more important than the superior heat rejection of Shimano CL (that's what I was told by hub manufacturers), since upsizing my rotors overheating hasn't been an issue anyways or me.
    - Many hub manufacturers don't offer CL, so this might limit your options. [true, but I wouldn't say "MANY" hub mfrs don't offer CL. Some don't.]

    In the end when I considered all of the above, 6 bolt made since for me.

    4 NM with a torque wrench with a little Ti anti-seize combined with Ti bolts from Alibaba has never given me any issues.
    frankly, I think the CL interface is superior. I don't care much about CL rotors, to be honest. All my CL hubs have 6 bolt rotors on them, using adapters. Slot them on, tighten the lockring. Done.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    - Play is relatively common in CL hubs
    - CL rims have less bracing angle than ISO, this is not good and for me is more important than the superior heat rejection of Shimano CL (that's what I was told by hub manufacturers), since upsizing my rotors overheating hasn't been an issue anyways or me.
    These statements are just not true
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    These statements are just not true
    Well, it's what hub makers told me when I contacted when asking. So I dunno.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Once at a Shimano Tech gathering, we were told that the primary reason Shimano went centerlock was to ensure that the mounting surface for the disc was perfectly flat. That 6-bolt hubs could have tolerances that were off that would make the rotor more likely to be out of true (which is possible, but you can still true the rotor that way.

    I have also seen cheaper/entry-level centerlock hubs have a very loose interface. Pretty much any Sp*****ized bike under $1500 that has centerlock disc hubs with the "Axis" branding on them. But that is often considered an entry-level bike and that most of the riders in that grouping won't notice the play, or if they do it won't bother them.

    I've also seen 2 DT 240's that would exhibit this, BUT it was only (as someone previously mentioned) when doing trialsy type tricks on the trail and the parking lot. When the rotor was torque'd (by the brake pads) extremely hard in both directions, which most of the time doesn't happen as rider's primarily move forwards.
    Silly bike things happening.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Well, it's what hub makers told me when I contacted when asking. So I dunno.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Center to NDS flange rear hubs

    DT240 IS vs CL: 37mm and 36mm respectively.
    White Ind XMR vs CL: both 36.5mm

    I can't see a reason why it is necessarily so.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Well, it's what hub makers told me when I contacted when asking. So I dunno.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    what hub makers?

  27. #27
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    I contacted several of the premier hub builders, but which ones said what at this time I can't accurately recall as it was 6 months ago.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I contacted several of the premier hub builders, but which ones said what at this time I can't accurately recall as it was 6 months ago.
    So you don't remember, never measured, and didn't even look at the tech drawings & specs that several hub makers have available. Yeah.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    So you don't remember, never measured, and didn't even look at the tech drawings & specs that several hub makers have available. Yeah.
    Just spitballing here, but I'm guessing that a manufacturer(s) who sells ONLY ISO hubs would be the primary anti-CL voice he remembers.

  30. #30
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    When I had one of my Onyx hubsets recently reshelled to boost, I also changed to CL from 6-bolt, to match my other newer wheels. I noticed their CL rear hubs had wider flanges and smaller spoke hole circle diameters than the 6-bolt versions, but fronts were the same for both versions. I don't think it's a big deal either way, but it's definitely not a benefit of 6-bolt.

  31. #31
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    CL: easy on and off with tool
    6B: easy to space over for ever changing hub standards
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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