Hadley 135mm 15mm Thru Rear Disc Hub: Hadley hubs feature adjustable annular contact cartridge bearings, meaning they're dead easy to service and look after yourself. Axle conversion kits mean that you can swap your frame as often as you like without needing new wheels...
Strengths: strong, reliable, relatively light (ok, I haven't compared it to other hubs), easy to maintain, EXCELLENT machining
Weaknesses: seals let in a bit of junk, so you need to clean them once in a while.
I've been riding these for a couple years now and they've been excellent. They're a fairly old revision, and I got them used. I serviced them myself when I first got them and they were very easy to work on, much easier than a Shimano hub. I knew the seals wouldn't be the greatest, but it's still a very reliable hub. You just have to take it apart and clean it every few months, though lately I've been a bit slack on this. I'd like to get new seals sometime but it's a pretty low priority.
They didn't need it, but I replaced the bearings when I services it (mainly based on some of the reviews here). They've been fine for two years so I don't expect them to give me any problems in the future. This is riding through lots of New Zealand mud and crud that can gum up my shifter cables within a half a dozen rides.
I got this hub after I broke one too many Shimano freehubs and got really annoyed when it forced me to pull out of a race (see my review of the weak Shimano XT hub). These hubs have been excellent, never a problem when I've been mashing up nearly unrideable uphills. The engagement is very quick and feels solid.
My twin brother has a Chris King hub and while he really likes it, it also needs a lot of maintenance or it will have problems. The difference is that you need the expensive Chris King tools to do it (or pay the bikeshop ransom), whereas a couple of 5 mm allen keys will do almost everything you need to the Hadley, nice! I could repack this thing in the middle of trail if I really wanted to.
The machining is amazing, probably the nicest looking machining of any component on my bike. Too bad it's 135 mm, cause I'd love to use these hubs on the next all-mountain machine I get.
I also have nothing but good things to say about the Hadley front hub except that it's not 15/20 mm maxle compatible. They are expensive hubs but they're also some of the best you can buy.
Similar Products Used: lots of terrible shimano hubs
Bike Setup: Cannondale Prophet with lots of reliable gear
from Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2011
Strengths: Has lasted 5 years and still going strong. Instant engagement, low maintenance, great looks, everyone knows its a Hadley
Weaknesses: None that I have come across
These hubs have run on a Commencal supreme DH, a Giant Reign X, a Glory DH and are now on my prized VP free. To say they have taken a beating would be an understatement.
I have been crushing downhill and freeride on these since 2006. I have serviced the rear hub exactly 1 time to replace the cartridge bearings. I went with the enduros for replacement.
Its a great hub. I have an old 108 point engagement and it is awesome. I never really think about my hubs as being great, and in fact i never really think about them at all, and THAT is why they are so awesome.
It occurred to me today that i have not trued the wheels these are built into in over 2 years and have not serviced the hubs in as long and that is why i am writing this review.
These things last forever, are strong, and you can all but forget about them. Great product.
Downsides?? Mine are not gold anodized?? I dono, I find fault with every piece of equipment i own except these hubs. I had a problem with the price when i bought them, but after 5 years i am not complaining anymore. If i ever kill em ill buy another set, just wish they still made the 108pt.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz VP free rolling on mavic 729s laced to the hadleys, fox 40, dhx coil, hope tech M4's and a lot of titanium
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2010
Strengths: Outstanding quality, last forever, positive engagement, no conplaints. Excellent customer service from Hadley Racing when needed, which is rare. It is important to use Hadley tools when servicing the hub. It makes service much easier.
I have used Hadley hubs both DH and XC for about 10 years and I'm still impressed by how well these hubs hold up and the ease of maintenance. Very little if any maintenance is needed. I have had issues with most hubs out there over the years, including Kings and DT's. Riders who know hubs will know Hadley.
Weaknesses: a bit heavy, difficult to contact manufacturer, not supported by mediocore LBS
After a full year of all sorts of riding (I estimate about 1700 miles and over 500 1-3 foot drops to hardpack or cement), with both disc and rim brakes, I've never had to adjust the bearing pre-load even once. The hubset came with through bolts to fit my front/rear qr frame/fork.
In comparison to the King's that I have before (now switched over to another bike), these are a dream. The Kings' lock nuts would work itself loose every 150 miles or so. The Kings also drag a ton. I've coasted faster than road bikes with kings on slight down hill pavement with the Hadley's. The Kings also flexed a bit more. I found the window of adjustment fairly tiny to balance between too much drag vs too much flex. With 185 rotors, resonant ringing came up fairly often at 15mph with the Kings, and never with the Hadleys.
Since we're talking maintenance, the King ring drive needs to stay clean and well lubed. For most MTBer, this is not really an issue, but for trials riders and those who demand quite a bit more from their drive trains, it is a dangerous situation. Although both King and Hadley have 72 points of engagement, when a poorly maintained King slips an engagement, it tends to skip quite a bit before everything catches--I've seen as much as a half crank. This is because all the teeth are on the same moving part--the drive ring. The Hadley uses 3 individual pawls per engagement and if it slips which I've only seen once, it only slips one click. Obviously, the ring drive has the advantage of engaging all points simultaneously (when it does catch), I rather have a controlled malfunction and a full blown failure when a drive train slips. I've had (and seen) too many gnarly accidents caused by drive train failure.
As a side note, my pro-level trials buddy breaks on average a frame every one and half years. He blew through a King within 6 months, and not where you'd expect. He lands with so much force, that over time, the bearing seat stretched enough so that the cartridge just slips out! He's been riding the same Hadley for two years now and has broken one pawl. Even then he didn't know about it until he took it apart during regular maintenance. Replacement for the pawl (with full freehub rebuild kit including bearings, pawls, springs, orings), $40. Replacement of just the ring in the King...$$$.
The titanium freehub shell that's standard on the Hadley is a bit of bike bling, but no one will ever see it anyway, and if you use top-shelf cassettes (XTR, XT, PG990), freehub shells are the least of your concern, so this is a bit of an overkill IMHO.
Yes the Hadley's are louder (which was my seller's gripe), but do you really care? Yes, they are a bit heavier than Kings, but I'd rather have a solid rear hub that doesn't flex or drag my chain so much that I can't freewheel without getting a ton of slack. On the flip side, I do salute King for their exceptional customer service and for their wide-spread market penetration (available at most LBS)whereas most LBS don't even have Hadley's contact info. Hadley doesn't have a website either.
To summarize, if you go with a King, you'll get widespread recognition but expect spending significant time and $$$ maintaining that status. You'll get a lighter hub but with more drag in the drive train, and if you are a heavily drive train-dependent rider, expect a dramatic failure periodically. If you decide on a Hadley, however, you'll be rewarded with a bombproof hub nearly maintenance-free hub that will perform consistently every time. Though little heavier and slightly less status on the social scene, you'll sleep better knowing you have the better hub.
Bike Setup: Hardtail, urban/trials/dj/trail/commute
from san jose ca
Date Reviewed: September 23, 2010
Strengths: great pawl engagement, hard titanium cassette resists gouging by cogs, good tolerances and tight end caps, replacement bearings are inexpensive
Weaknesses: non drive end cap is big and required grinding of my dropout a little, having to use pin tools for maintenance is a pain, non-drive end cap uses a 21mm cone wrench which is hard to find at shops and the groove is not wide enough to take a craftsman wrench, bearings hard to press in and out since they are the same size.
Really good hub that held up really well for 4 years before needing to have the bearings replaced. When I did have to replace the bearings I was able to find some at a local shop for $8 each. The rest of the job was the hard part since I had to grind a cone wrench out to 21mm and then figure out a complex combo of washers and bolts to press the old bearings out. The only hard part was that the drive side bearing comes out the non-drive side so you not only have to press it past it's own seat but then align and press it past where the non-drive side bearing was too. This is risky cause the bearing wants to flip crooked on ya. Be careful and go slow.
Bike Setup: turner DHR, 888 rc2x fork, mavic 729 rims laced with dt 14/15 spokes
from Sydney, Australia
Date Reviewed: April 27, 2010
Strengths: Unbreakable, good noise, quiet, good looking, smooth
Weaknesses: From a business point of view, does not break enough...
Anything that can last 9 years of DH bikes, constant abuse, and admittedly less maintenance than it should have copped gets the two big thumbs up from me. Never had to replace bearings, pawls, freehubs, springs, shells, axles, anything... I dont know if i have destroyed to the point it works perfectly, or (more likely) it still actually does work perfectly, Mike Hadley has got onto a good thing with these hubs.
Similar Products Used: Hope bulb, Chris King, DT 440
Bike Setup: Norco Vps1, then Intense M1, then M3, then M6, now 951. Monster t's on Vps1, then Dorado's on the rest, all the usual Intense bits, XTR or saint, XT 4 pistons, Saint 4 pistons.... Use your imagination...
a Weekend Warrior
from Brisbane Australia
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2010
Strengths: Strong, great pickup from the freewheel, street cred from the cool sound
Weaknesses: Cost and the main hub bearings suck. The left side went after 6 months with very few wet rides and never once being submerged. The right one went 6 months after that. After replacing them I've still had to pull the thing down every 12 months and either clean them out or just replace them again. If your rachet starts catching and pulling your chain around, it means one of the main bearings has gone.
The seal between the hub body and the back of the rachet isn't much better either and it doesn't take long to lose it's shape and go all floppy. The rachet bearings still seem to hold up pretty well despite this though. If you're regreasing the inside of the rachet, use a thin grease or a thicker grease sparingly. If it's too sticky in there the free wheel won't freewheel.
A friend with a Hadley Cross Country (which is very similar) has had all the same problems.
Save your money and buy something cheaper. If you spend AU$500+ on a hub you just expect it to just work. The Hadley doesn't. The first time it let me down was in the middle of the night in the middle of an enduro race. That sealed it for me. I've only persisted with it since because it cost me so much money. Overall 2 chillis because the rachet itself is a nice piece - 108 pickup points and titanium body.
Similar Products Used: DT Onyx, shimano XT, Formular, ( ya i know but i couldn't afford any other hub back then)
Bike Setup: Trek fuel EX 8, XT groupset, Hadley's laced to Syncros
a Weekend Warrior
from surrey, uk
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2008
Strengths: seems strong, always engages
Weaknesses: i have just changed the bearings after probably 2 years of use in all conditions. have also been jet washing the bike (and hud) to rid it of welsh and french mud the bike so im probably to blame that the bearings were feeling a little notchy. thought i would get new ones. theres a good advice on sicklines on how to do this (thanks to the dude who wrote that its invaluable). main problem was using the park spa2 pin spannier on each end. as i have had the hub adapted for a floating rear brake you need pin spanner each end. pin sp anners are impossible to use if they are done up to tight. vice grips work far better if your not worried about a little scoring. probably the best tool ever invented. the bearings in the hub body are 2No. 6804's with a needle bearing and cartridge bearing in the freehub. got new bearings online fairly cheaply. will pack with finish line grease and see how the hub goes.
2 years in and ok so far. if im changing the bearings again soon the rating will drop. IT REAL ANNOYING HADLEY DOESNT HAVE A WWW (HADLEY PLEASE GET A WWW). While hopes arent the best hubs ever you can get all the info you ever need and more on their www.
a Weekend Warrior
from North Vancouver
Date Reviewed: February 21, 2008
Strengths: Strong, engages quickly, comes in a 150mm format
Weaknesses: none yet
Great hub, and I have a great story: so I went out to the local skate park one night to ride the skinnies and the obstacle, take drops to flat and just play around on the concrete. What I hadn’t realized was that the through axle wasn't torqued in all the way, by some miracle the wheel didn't fall apart and the hub, although it was moving due to not being locked in, withstood about an hour of abuse. On my way home, I stopped at a light and realized that my rear derailleur had been making noise, looked down and realized the through axle was completely loose. I am certain that the only reason that the rear hub didn't buckle, leaving me badly injured or in the hospital, was the fact that the hub was so well built and able to withstand the impact and force of being thrown around for a substantial amount of time.
Bike Setup: IH 7point, Maz 66 SL1, X9 drive train, tuned SVP free swinger 6-way
from Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2007
Strengths: Runs smooth, nearly instant Engament, loud, strong, light. Hub runs amazingly well, hasn't needed service yet. the Ano BLue looks awsome. Build quality is amazing. Best Hub I have run. 72 point engament
Weaknesses: None found yet
This is the best hub I have run to date. Quite a bit cheaper then a King hub yet nearly equal performance. When you tap the pedal it engages. Works just as good as it looks.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Jose
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2007
Strengths: Awesome hubs. Strong,smooth, and reliable. Priced descent as well, cool colors, axle options.
Weaknesses: None so far
These hubs are awesome. I have an XC wheelset on my Heckler and a DH wheelset on my Diablo, both UST and I could not be happier. I have a problem with a review below from Hamatha saying these hubs broke on you. In your review you claim that you have "broken all brands of hubs, more than once." Hmmm, I consider myself a pretty aggresive rider who loves jumping and doing big drops and I have never broken a single hub in over 20 years of riding. Maybe needed new bearings here and there but never "broke" a hub. Dude, you list yourself as a XC rider, how do you break any hubs riding XC?
Bike Setup: Heckler and Diablo, both Hadley wheelsets, both tricked out
from Tucson, AZ
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2007
Strengths: light, strong, looks good, and hadley customer service is the best
Easily as good if not better than kings and cheaper too. Super smooth bearings and quick engagement like the kings without sounding like a fishing reel. Dont worry about hadley not having a website just give them a call and theyll hook you up every time.