Good hubs for a bad weather bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good hubs for a bad weather bike?

    I'm thinking about replacing my winter commuter next year with a 29er.

    The plan would be to run it as a singlespeed in the summer for fun and some commuting. Then in winter it would be 1x9, 1x8, or possibly 1x6 (an IGH could happen in a few years, but for now it will be a derailleur). I'd like to have fairly wide rims - ryhnolite, velocity p35, or salsa gordo - for bombing around in the summer, and for some float in the winter. Since the big rims are kindof spendy, I really only want one wheelset (which is another reason for no IGH)

    I'd think that cartridge bearings would be ideal for the bad weather, but most cartridge hubs seem to have alloy freehub bodies. Since I'm planning to do some singlespeeding, I'm worried that the freehub might get chewed up by the cog

    Since this will be a winterbike things will inevitably wear out, so there's no point in spending a fortune. But I wouldn't mind spending a bit more upfront if it will lessen my headaches later on.

    Will well maintained xt hubs give me years of winter service? Or is a fat Surly cog on an alloy freehub with cartridge bearings a better bet?

    Any advice is welcomed.

  2. #2
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    New SRAM X7 and X9 are cartridge bearing and steel FH bodies. I've had very good luck with XT's here in the PNW using a really good waterproof grease (Phil Wood, Bel-Ray Waterproof) and regular maintenance as well.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. The only review I could find for the sram hubs wasn't very positive. Did you have any experience with them to compare them to XTs?

    Is there anyone else who makes steel freehubs? I couldn't find the material for manufacturers like DT Swiss and Velocity, but I'm just assuming it's alloy? Hope sells an aftermarket steel freehub, so I could wear out the stock aluminum one and then replace it but that seems kindof roundabout.

    Oh, and how regular is your regular maintenance of the XTs?

  4. #4
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    Aluminum freehubs hold up no problem on an SS if you use a wide based cog (Surly, King, etc).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    Thanks. The only review I could find for the sram hubs wasn't very positive. Did you have any experience with them to compare them to XTs?

    Is there anyone else who makes steel freehubs? I couldn't find the material for manufacturers like DT Swiss and Velocity, but I'm just assuming it's alloy? Hope sells an aftermarket steel freehub, so I could wear out the stock aluminum one and then replace it but that seems kindof roundabout.

    Oh, and how regular is your regular maintenance of the XTs?
    DT Swiss 370 uses cartridge bearings and a steel FH body. I do not have personal experience with the SRAM hubs but they look like standard Joytech/Formula sealed designs that I have found reliable over the years.

    For weekend off-road riding in the PNW (lots of rain, water crossings, puddles, and mud) it's basically once a year. If I was riding daily in wet conditions it would likely be more often but frankly I'm surprised how clean my grease is when I service them.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    I'm thinking about replacing my winter commuter next year with a 29er.

    The plan would be to run it as a singlespeed in the summer for fun and some commuting. Then in winter it would be 1x9, 1x8, or possibly 1x6 (an IGH could happen in a few years, but for now it will be a derailleur). I'd like to have fairly wide rims - ryhnolite, velocity p35, or salsa gordo - for bombing around in the summer, and for some float in the winter. Since the big rims are kindof spendy, I really only want one wheelset (which is another reason for no IGH)

    I'd think that cartridge bearings would be ideal for the bad weather, but most cartridge hubs seem to have alloy freehub bodies. Since I'm planning to do some singlespeeding, I'm worried that the freehub might get chewed up by the cog

    Since this will be a winterbike things will inevitably wear out, so there's no point in spending a fortune. But I wouldn't mind spending a bit more upfront if it will lessen my headaches later on.

    Will well maintained xt hubs give me years of winter service? Or is a fat Surly cog on an alloy freehub with cartridge bearings a better bet?

    Any advice is welcomed.
    I have not had great luck with the XT hubs....

    I have had great luck with Mavic...

    Wheels bought prior to 07/08 winter and ridden 5 to 6 days per week for every winter including this one....Some 12000 winter kms....

    Yes I have changed the cartridge bearings say every year (BOCA yellow seal seem the best).

    Mine has a Ti freehub...

    Last year I washed my bike say once a month has opposed to once a week...

    The salt got in between the cassette and the freehub. The cassette was essentially welded to the freehub in the spring. I got it apart but both the cassette and the freehub were toast.

    That has been the only problem to date. Freehub costs $68 ea.

  7. #7
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    I deal with mud, Muck and rain on a daily basis and I swear my my XT's
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

    ____
    Kimo

  8. #8
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    Thanks again, folks.

    Jeff, since your winter weather is pretty close to mine (although I think we've got less salt and more sand) what issues did you have with the xt? And unfortunately Mavic doesn't sell standalone hubs, and I really am wanting a fairly wide rim, so I think they're off my list.

  9. #9
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    White Industries with a Ti freehub get a good wrap. If you're seeing regular mud and grit it's inevitable that cartridge bearings will die. Just go XT or XTR and service them when they get dry/rough.

  10. #10
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    IMHO, start with a proper greasing and repack before riding. Which ever hub you choose, this should only extend life of the component.

    So many components are coming with bearings with inadequate grease. By the time you notice a grease problem, damage has been done.

    So far I've checked new components going on my bike (fork & BB) and both needed more grease (or oil)

    P

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