Pick up a durable WTB 32h LaserDisc Lite Front Hub, and lace it up to a lightweight rim for XC domination, or use a wider rim for all-mountain cruising. The fully machined aluminum shell, alloy axles, and adjustable stainless steel cartridge bearings give this ultralight hub strength and performance without the fat.
These hubs came on my WTB laser TCS Trail 29er wheelset. The wheelset is great, the rims are stout, they seal up tubeless with no issues, I was in love. Less than 100 miles on the wheels and most of that a short 2 mile round trip commute to and from my job here in NYC and all of the sudden the rear hub just gives way. I decided to do some research on it to see if it's a known issue and of course, I see that this has happened to many people. I'm a 250lb clydesdale and new to MTB from the road world. I don't do any crazy riding but basedon the reviews it sounds like these hubs simply are not up to the job. I'm just grateful they broke down on my block instead of out on the trail which for me living in nyc car free is a 40 minute train ride and a 4 mile bike ride each way to the trail. Seems like a serious design flaw with the hubs. Hopefully the warranty service will be good, I really like the wheels but I hope they don't send the same one out, I may end up biting the bullet and just getting my own hub and relacing.
a Weekend Warrior
from Woodsticks, Onterrible, Eh.
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2010
Strengths: they are black
unique freehub pawl design
Weaknesses: unique freehub pawl design
freehub body does not like individual-cog cassettes
cartridge bearings are very small considering the size of the hub
freehub body and engagement plate are considered "wear items"
avoid the rear hub. no way around it.
there is a principle design flaw when the freehub body (what is it made from... sintered metal?) is so soft that the 6 pawl teeth (of the otherwise ingenious freehub system) will wear away and cause ridges to build-up on the edge of the freewheel engagement points.
plus, the whole thing relies on a SINGLE spring-wire end to snag into a stamped steel plate to engage the 6 drive pawls. huge problem, since the end of the spring wire that does all the work is also constantly worn down and made less effective, plus if any of the corresponding engagement points on the plate get knackered... you're screwed! 6 bomb-proof engagement pawls depend on 1 little temperamental interface, that's just dumb.
I bought my example used, and it was a mess. after re-furb'ing what I could, there is still one spot in the engagement that skips. it's a horrible feeling to stomp on the pedals and not have the freewheel bite.
it's like: rebuild the wheel with new freehub body + "service" parts, 4x new bearings... and then try to sell the pile for more than the amount of money you just dumped into the thing. or, keep it as a spare, that you will never use, because it is lame.
somewhere along the way, this was a great design idea that got shanghai'd into budgeted-manufacturing doom.
a Cross Country Rider
from Kansas City
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2010
Weaknesses: Not terribly durable
Teeth on the freehub body gave up. Effectively ending my race. But, hey. These things happen. Ordered a new freehub body....2 months ago. It's looking like I still have another 2 weeks to wait for this part. In the middle of riding season. 3 months without my wheels. If this were my only bike, I'd be realllly fired up.
E-mail'd WTB. No response. So. In my humble opinion. Iffy product. Crap service.
Similar Products Used: Mavic CrossMax, XTs on 517s, Rolf, XTR, Hope
Bike Setup: Hardtail 29'er
a Cross Country Rider
from Mountain View, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 20, 2010
Strengths: Fast, smooth rolling. Durable.
Weaknesses: Freehub is a little loud.
These hubs are great. They roll very well and basically just do what hubs are supposed to do. I never had to adjust them or perform any significant maintenance on them in the year that I used them. These wheels have since moved to my girlfriend's bike, as I needed 15QR hubs for my new bike, and she is perfectly happy with them. If I could have used standard dropouts on the new bike, I'd have been happy to move these hubs/wheels to it. I wouldn't hesitate to consider these bikes on a future wheelset.
i weigh 225 and these have held up great. they came on a set 717 mavics from colorado cyclist a few years bad. after the first three of four rides I had the local shop check the spokes and make some adjustments, and since then (over 4 years ago) they have been great.
i would recommend these to anyone. WTB makes some great stuff.
Weaknesses: soft freehub body,chrome(not stainless) sealed bearings(in 2009 model),soft engagement spring and plate.
these hubs are built to be light. For x-country only apparently and im sure with yearly service they would hold up to that.Unfortunately they dont work for heavy trail riding,i meticulously clean and adjust them and subsequently Destroyed them(internals)in 600 miles. Great warranty response from those guys. Brand new bearings internals and free hub body sent out to me no questions asked. Apparently this has happened before.
a Cross Country Rider
from Denver, CO
Date Reviewed: August 29, 2009
Strengths: Decent price, light weight
Weaknesses: durability is an issue
I bought this wheelset from Colorado Cyclist built up with mavic 819xm. good weight and initial ride quality. But the hubs failed (bearings and freewheel) with less than a year of moderate use. Colorado Cyclist makes great wheels, and they warrantied the hubs no problem. I think the second rear hub I got worked for aout 7 months before it started to develop play. They warrantied them again, and then I sold the entire bike a few months later. Cant recommend them with a good conscious. Hubs just gotta work. Engagement, durability and weight. What else is there?
Bike Setup: Turner 5 spot, Sram X0, Bontrager Race lite tubeless wheelset. XTR Cranks, Hope minis
a Cross Country Rider
from Macon, GA
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2009
Strengths: Light. Sealed bearings last forever and require no maintenance. When they do go south they are easy to source and replace. WTB is easy to deal with for other replacement parts. Ease of adjustment.
Weaknesses: The freehub design will eventually fail. It may take 3 years of hard riding, but they will fail. Check once a season at least.
Bottom line...They ride well enough and are cheap enough to maintain that it doesn't make sense to either go to a cheaper, heavier hub or a more expensive, more brightly colored replacement.
I'm going to call the last guy out. When the rear hub develops slop, it can be brought back into line with a couple of cone wrenches and two nuts on the non-drive side. You don't even have to remove the wheel from the frame. Those same nuts hold the axle and freehub body in/on the hub body. It's a supremely easy hub to keep adjusted.
It is easy to get a nice light wheelset out of the LDL hubs without going nuts on parts. Butted spokes and decent rims and you are golden.
Maintenance is easy (above). Twice in the six years I have had the hubs I have need to replace the freehub. Both times I called WTB directly and they were more than happy to get me what I needed. Once you get the stuff on the bench, You aren't in the guts of the thing long before you are rolling again.
Similar Products Used: Only high end hubs I've ever had. I don't feel the urge to go to something anodized.
Bike Setup: Kona King Kikapu. 27lbs. or so for abusing and racing occasionally
from New York, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2009
Strengths: sound, price
Weaknesses: bearings are crap, freewheel is crap, can't be adjusted, develops incurable play
Hubs were stock on the bike. Developed play within hours of use. Although the play didn't get worse. It's just there. Made the whole bike feel loose. Hubs can't be adjusted. I removed the sprockets from the rear-hub (actually I tried to) and the whole freewheel came off! The sprockets had made deep marks on the freewheel body and I needed a hammer to get them off! Seems like it's made from play-doh! I have never seen anything like this before, on no hub of mine (XT, XTR, LX, Saint, Dura-Ace, Record, Chris King)
Hands-off these hubs if you plan on doing more than cruising around in town. Get yourself a pair of Saints or XT's - they are a b#$ch to adjust but they won't let you down.
Similar Products Used: Shimano Saint 815, Chris King, DeeMax
Bike Setup: 2008 Jamis Dakar Bam 2, Canke Creek Double Barrel, Chris King/Mavic 823 wheel-set, Minion DH UST Supertacky Totem Solo Air, Avid Code/Juicy7
a Weekend Warrior
from Winston Salem, NC
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2009
Strengths: Everything! Looks cool, light, stiff, not too expensive, quick engagement, and the rear hub makes a very cool click noise.
Weaknesses: None so far after 2 years
I weigh in at 190 and I consider myself an aggressive trail rider who likes to throw in a bit of free ride, but nothing too crazy. These hubs are light, and can take all the abuse I can dish out. They've needed no maintenance after 2 years of abuse. I've heard they are re badged American Classics but I don't know if there's any truth to that. Regardless, great affordable hub!
a Cross Country Rider
from Fort Collins, CO USA
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2009
Strengths: Light for disc hubs, high quality, reasonable price, made in USA
Weaknesses: none so far...keep in mind that these are XC hubs...not for jumping off of cliffs.
I built up a pair of these hubs with some Ritchey spokes and OCR rims when I switched my bike over to disc brakes last summer. After researching other premium hubs I do remember these being the best bang for the buck..I paid $210 for the pair. They're light, well made, and build into nice wheels. I haven't had any problems after several hundred miles of XC riding. The freehub has a nice loud click to it which reminds me of the original Ringle Super Bubba! Highly recommended.
Fantastic deal :thumbsup: I just picked one up for my new race wheelset.
[url=http://www.bikewagon.com/wtb-laser-disc-lite-mtb-rear-hub-32-hole-9s-9x135-black.html]WTB Laser Disc Lite MTB Rear Hub 32-hole 9x135 Black 9s[/url]Read More »
My Weyless FS needs a rebuild. My LBS took the rear wheel apart to find out what bearings it needs. The rear wheel has the MTB laserdisc lite rear hub with the following on the hub: 15267-2RS. The mechanic also wrote down "Chin Haub", but I don't know what that means.
Searching led to revie ... Read More »
i'm gearing up to build up a new 29er wheel set with possibly Flows but am currently doing my research on potential hubs. the wheel set will go on a hardtail ridden on aggressive XC trails and i weigh around 200 lbs.
WTB LaserDisc Lite hubs are currently peaking my interest due to their weight a ... Read More »
I am thinking about buying a wheelset that has these hubs laced to 319 rims. I am looking for the pros and cons of these hubs. I ride on trails shared by horses and the conditions can sometimes be completely nasty sometimes. I hear the rebuild is very easy, but lets hear about your experiences.
... Read More »