Is there a good cheap hub?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is there a good cheap hub?

    I want to rebuild 2 wheelsets. 1 has Shimano XT and the other Sram x7. I hate them both, but the rims are nice.

    So looking for affordable F/R hubs that can hold up to a bit of abuse. I am hoping DT350 @$300 a set isn't the only option.

  2. #2
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    I have used Bike Hub Store hubs. I think that the price and reliability have been good. ~$170 for a pair. There is a long thread on here if you want a wider range of opinion.

    There are also a number of places that source novatec hubs they tend to be more economical but don't have as fast of engagement.

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  3. #3
    Hitching a ride
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    There is not a good cheap hub. Dt350 have let me down too much so I'm ditching them. White, Onyx, Syntace, and XTR are what I'm trusting now.

  4. #4
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    What don't you like about XT hubs?

  5. #5
    No Clue Crew
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    Iíve had good luck with SRAM 900 and Bitex hubs.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  6. #6
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    Hope hubs are about $250 (for both front and rear) in my part of the world. I'd say they're the best; being priced under $300 a pair makes them real good value too.

    For a lower budget, Novatecs are pretty ok, just don't go for the lower-end models.

  7. #7
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    + 1 Hope (Pro 4's). Just recently added another set of those hubs for less than $300 (Jenson USA). Great hubs, but loud rear hub (good or bad), if that matters to you.

    But, yeah, like scoon asked. What don't you like about the hubs you have now? That may drive what you buy next.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  8. #8
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    I like the hope hubs too. They are loud, but work really well.

  9. #9
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    Is there a good cheap hub?

    Nope.

    DT 350 or Hope is where it starts to get "good".
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  10. #10
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    OP, what is the problem with the current hubs? What kind of riding do you do? How big are you?

    I must not be as hard on hubs as everyone else because I've rarely encountered hub issues. In dozens and dozens of wheelsets over the years, the only problem I've encountered was trashing the freehub on a Mavic Crossmax. I am only 165lbs fully geared up, so maybe that makes a difference, but I have thousands of miles on "cheap" hubs with no issues, so most any hub will work for me.

  11. #11
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    This is like the ages old adage about cheap, light, and reliable. My criteria is always reliable first. Hubs never break at a convenient time or place, and its not like you can swap them out in 15 minutes.

    If cost is a concern, there isn't really too much involved with a front hub. The bitex and BHS class front hubs seem to last just fine. I'm sure the bearings are not as good, but in my anecdotal experience moving up to the low end of the more favored brands hasn't increased bearing life anyway.

    More anecdotal, one or low data point stuff. I've had two Novatec rear hubs fail at the pawls and rings. My Sram 900 rear hub has XT splines, and they are made of cheese. It seems to need a new freehub body every other cassette, which is not acceptable. I took the $60 way out last time to save time, next time I'll buy a hub or wheel. The xD freehub shouldn't have the same issue. I've also owned 5 hubs with Specialized branding on them, all mid grade OEM stuff and they all blew up, no one asked about rebranded junk ... so I'll leave it be.

  12. #12
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    They are falling apart at this point. The XT would get water in it on the freehub side. The Sram I have issues with front bearing. They are not worth fixing.

    I have a couple wheelsets with Hope and they are fine. These wheels probably won't see a ton of use but they may see some ebike road use.

    I'm not someone who typically breaks freehubs, just normal wear and tear issues.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Iíve had good luck with SRAM 900 and Bitex hubs.
    Coincidentally, so have I.
    Do the math.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Dt350 have let me down too much so I'm ditching them.

    How, exactly, are they failing?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Coincidentally, so have I.
    One more with good experience with Sram 900 here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verbl Kint View Post
    Hope hubs are about $250 (for both front and rear) in my part of the world.

    Which part of the world is that?!

    I'm a US-based Hope dealer. The price you've quoted is less than my cost on them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Which part of the world is that?!

    I'm a US-based Hope dealer. The price you've quoted is less than my cost on them.
    I'm in the Philippines. A front+rear pair is about ₱13,000 or roughly $250.





  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    The more you ride, the more wear you will put into your hub. In my experience cheap hubs can work for some riders, but they are more likely to have defects.

  20. #20
    Hitching a ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    How, exactly, are they failing?
    I'm not going to be as certain as I usually am about this, so bear with me.

    Bearing life: low. I suspect the lack of preload limitation does this. The full torque spec on my rear axle is too much for it. I only ride in dry and dont spray it with a hose. 200hrs and new bearings? Terrible. Hambini says lack of straightness can also cause this but I haven't measured that.

    Annoyances: ratchet gets loud quickly after lubing. And now I have a mysterious creak that showed up two weeks ago and it's being a bitch to fix.

  21. #21
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    Think of a good hub as more of a long-term purchase, like a frame or fork. Tires and grips wear out, rims get smashed, pedals break. Hubs don't take direct impact and can be reused on several wheel builds over several years. Changing axle spacing standards aside, a good quality hub will last you over a decade of you take care of it.

    A Hadley rear boost hub is currently $320 at Balle Racing. US made, smart bearing design, titanium driver. I have had one for about two years now. The first one had a skipping issue that must have been a fluke. They sent me another one and I expect it to be on my bike for many, many years and to out-last half a dozen rims.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    A Hadley rear boost hub is currently $320 at Balle Racing. US made, smart bearing design, titanium driver. I have had one for about two years now... I expect it to be on my bike for many, many years and to out-last half a dozen rims.
    Yup, I just ordered my second Hadley. Great hub. I'm pairing it with an XT front hub for this wheel build and I'm struggling to find a reason to spend more on a front hub? (unless you want some bling)

    In a similar price range I've had great luck with my White Industries hubs. Also made in USA, titanium free hub body, bling, etc. Not quite as good of engagement as the Hadley though. Both are great products.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Think of a good hub as more of a long-term purchase, like a frame or fork. Tires and grips wear out, rims get smashed, pedals break. Hubs don't take direct impact and can be reused on several wheel builds over several years. Changing axle spacing standards aside, a good quality hub will last you over a decade of you take care of it.
    what about the low-end to middle-of-the-road OEM hubs (sunringle SRC) that came with the bike?

    will they last a decade if I take care of it? should I bother to take care of it or is it the sooner it goes bad the sooner I'd get to shop for a new hub/wheels?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweeder82o View Post
    what about the low-end to middle-of-the-road OEM hubs (sunringle SRC) that came with the bike?

    will they last a decade if I take care of it? should I bother to take care of it or is it the sooner it goes bad the sooner I'd get to shop for a new hub/wheels?
    Honestly I like a lot the WTB Serra on my HT. Silent and with steel internals.

    Problems: 15 POE, will likely damage the (cheap) bearings during service, cup/cone bearings, difficult to grease (I just gave up and used teflon oil). Nothing that ever compromised the use, but a liability for the future.

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