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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding xc for a number of years now and recently purchased a Yeti 575. I've also recently discovered a passion for the trials aspect of riding - rocks and roots and switchbacks, the gnarlier the better, I love conquering the nasty parts of a trail as well and just finding stuff to try to get over like boulders and logs.

I've recently started hopping the bike and have become greatly annoyed with how far back I have to peddle to re-cock my crankarms and get them in the right position. And then sometimes they are then too far the other the way.

One of my riding buddies has a Chris King hub and I rode his bike. On his bike, you can back peddle a miniscule amount and it engages again right away. Very unlike my XT hub.

So now I'm feeling the need for a new hub. CK hubs are very expensive. Are there other hubs that have the more finite engagement? Suitable for both XC and trials riding/abuse?

I'm thinking I will just build up a whole new wheelset, so I am interested in opinions on rims, too. I've been running tubeless rear tires so I can run low air pressure and not pinch flat. Given my tendancy to run into rocks pretty hard to try to get up nasty sections, I crunch the tire into the rim with regularity. The Yeti came with Mavic 819 Disc rims and they've held up well.

I talked to a guy at the LBS and he REALLY pushed the CK hubs. And he said I should get a wider rim and run wider trials tires - a 25 or 26 mm rim and 2.5 or 2.6 tires. Another LBS employee chipped in his opinion that "Hugi (sp?) DT Swis Onyx with Sun Rhyno Lite rims" would suit my needs just fine and cost a lot less, but then LBS Guy #1 blasted him and said the cost difference wouldn't be that much and the CK hub is way better. They started talking about CK maintenance being harder (or not!) and hub longevity and got into a bit of an argument and I excused myself, utterly confused.

I have very little knowledge of hubs/rims/spokes, so advice is welcome!

Oh, and any thoughts on bike mods to make my ride more suitable for trials and rock bashing would be welcome as well. I put a bash guard on the chain rings to protect them. I have a Progressive 5th Element and a Fox Talas, so I can crank down the front travel and it hops more controllably than my Rocky Mountain Instinct with the Fox Floater and Psylo hopped. More thoughts welcome on that, too!
 

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Neither of these shop rats are doing you any favors on the hub suggestions. The Chris Kings are great hubs, would do what you want and they are very expensive. The Onyx are OK but would not be up to the stresses of trials. They are also MUCH cheaper than the CKs. You can buy both Onyx hubs for less than the front CK alone and the CK rear hub is twice as much as the front.
Service is a moot point. They both need it.

Other hubs with quicker engagement than your XTs or the Onyx include Hadley and Hope Pro II.

Your 819 rims are fine. Use them if you want to run UST tubeless. 28mm rims are only slightly wider. If you use new rims it could be worth going to the wider 28-32mm rims though (keep your old wheels as backups). Rhyno Lites would be a downgrade IMO. They are also very difficult to mount and remove tires. LOTS of other good rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
shiggy said:
Neither of these shop rats are doing you any favors on the hub suggestions. The Chris Kings are great hubs, would do what you want and they are very expensive. The Onyx are OK but would not be up to the stresses of trials. They are also MUCH cheaper than the CKs. You can buy both Onyx hubs for less than the front CK alone and the CK rear hub is twice as much as the front.
Service is a moot point. They both need it.

Other hubs with quicker engagement than your XTs or the Onyx include Hadley and Hope Pro II.

Your 819 rims are fine. Use them if you want to run UST tubeless. 28mm rims are only slightly wider. If you use new rims it could be worth going to the wider 28-32mm rims though (keep your old wheels as backups). Rhyno Lites would be a downgrade IMO. They are also very difficult to mount and remove tires. LOTS of other good rims.
Is there a way to compare the engagement action of the hubs? Like how many pawls? My neighbor with the Chris King hubs says they have 32 pawls and an XT has 6. He learned that from the sales guy. Is that right? And does that mean the CK engages 5 times more frequently?

If that is a good way to compare hubs, any idea where I could get the info for Hadley or Hope? I can't seem to find it on their web sites. In fact, the Hope web site doesn't seem to have the Pro II hub on it at all.

I found Hadley hubs at richardsbicycles.com and they appear to be about the same price as Chris Kings. I can't seem to find the Hope Pro II. Suggestions on where to find them?

Any thoughts on the Stans ZTR 355 rims? They have a different lip design and are shorter / wider to give a flatter footprint for the tire. That appeals to me since I really care about traction in trials situations; I don't downhill at all. I saw the Stans rims at richards as well:
http://richardsbicycles.com/site/itemdetails.cfm?ID=4777&Catalog=39&sort=Price desc
 

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Do a search on this board. Many discussions on "points of engagement" of hubs (number of clicks in one rotation). CKs have 72 points of engagement, XTs around 18.

The Hopes Pro 2 is just hitting the market.

Universalcycles.com is a good place to look for hub info.

Stay far away from the Stans rims for your use. They are primarily designed for light weight and to attempt to make DIY tubeless easier. The lower rim sidewall does not widen the tire's footprint in the same same as a wider standard rim.

You want wider, stronger, more durable rims. You will have better traction and a more laterally stable tire (important for trials) on a wide standard rim.
 

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As Shiggy said, definitely avoid the Stan's rim for your needs. I build a lot of wheels with the Hadley's and feel those are a very good choice, they offer them with 108pt engagement - even faster than CK and they are less expensive (still pricey though). You can also get the Hadley with a 10mm thru-axle, which would be a stronger/stiffer option than quick-release, probably a good way to go for you. If, you need to keep the cost down more than Hadley, the Hope Bulb (or maybe the new Pro2 as Shig said) are nice hubs for the price. I would look at rims in the 25-28mm range like the DT 5.1, Syncros DP25 & DS28, Mavic 321, Alex FD-28.

Larry
Mountain High Cyclery
[email protected]
 

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Ventanarama said:
As Shiggy said, definitely avoid the Stan's rim for your needs. I build a lot of wheels with the Hadley's and feel those are a very good choice, they offer them with 108pt engagement - even faster than CK and they are less expensive (still pricey though). You can also get the Hadley with a 10mm thru-axle, which would be a stronger/stiffer option than quick-release, probably a good way to go for you. If, you need to keep the cost down more than Hadley, the Hope Bulb (or maybe the new Pro2 as Shig said) are nice hubs for the price. I would look at rims in the 25-28mm range like the DT 5.1, Syncros DP25 & DS28, Mavic 321, Alex FD-28.

Larry
Mountain High Cyclery
[email protected]
And I will pug Larry as a good guy to build the wheels you need. His reputation is among the best.
 

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When you are looking for a hub to use for trials, you need to consider two things: Engagement points, and contact area. Most hubs (like shimano) have a few springloaded pawls that ratchet when you coast and catch when you pedal. These have miniscule contact area and do not hold up for trials use. Chris King uses a ring drive and has 72 engagement points, but all 72 teeth make contact and thus it has a much greater surface area and is much stronger. That is why Chris King is the hub of choice for trials. If King only had 16 Engagements, we would still use it because the ring drive design is orders of magnitude stronger than everything else out there.

This question gets asked every month or so on http://www.observedtrials.net "what hub has snappier engagement than my shimano but costs less than a king?"

The answer is always "save up your money and get a king." There are hubs that cram more pawls and teeth in and achieve more engagement points, but that design will not hold up for trials use. If you buy a hugi or whatever else you can find that has more engagements than a shimano but costs less than a KIng, you will only be spending more money on a hub that WILL break.

All of the above assumes that you are or will be riding actual trials (pedal kicks, gaps, sidehops, etc...). If you are just into technical riding, then it doesn't really matter what you use.

If you decide to build a bicycle dedicated to ride only trials, a MUCH CHEAPER alternative to King that is every bit as durable is available. That involves running a singlespeed drivetrain with a White Industries Trials Freewheel. But I doubt you are at that point....

The best tire ever made for riding trials is the Michelin DH comp24.1 in a size 2.2. You need to get the widest rim possible to use with that tire. What used to be the greatest rim for trials use was Alex DX32 (36 mm wide). Some companies came out with stuff way wider that works even better (48 mm wide), but I doubt you could fit it in a regular XC frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The trials of trials - hubs, bashguards, crank length

nikolai said:
When you are looking for a hub to use for trials, you need to consider two things: Engagement points, and contact area. Most hubs (like shimano) have a few springloaded pawls that ratchet when you coast and catch when you pedal. These have miniscule contact area and do not hold up for trials use. Chris King uses a ring drive and has 72 engagement points, but all 72 teeth make contact and thus it has a much greater surface area and is much stronger. That is why Chris King is the hub of choice for trials. If King only had 16 Engagements, we would still use it because the ring drive design is orders of magnitude stronger than everything else out there.

This question gets asked every month or so on http://www.observedtrials.net "what hub has snappier engagement than my shimano but costs less than a king?"

The answer is always "save up your money and get a king." There are hubs that cram more pawls and teeth in and achieve more engagement points, but that design will not hold up for trials use. If you buy a hugi or whatever else you can find that has more engagements than a shimano but costs less than a KIng, you will only be spending more money on a hub that WILL break.

All of the above assumes that you are or will be riding actual trials (pedal kicks, gaps, sidehops, etc...). If you are just into technical riding, then it doesn't really matter what you use.

If you decide to build a bicycle dedicated to ride only trials, a MUCH CHEAPER alternative to King that is every bit as durable is available. That involves running a singlespeed drivetrain with a White Industries Trials Freewheel. But I doubt you are at that point....

The best tire ever made for riding trials is the Michelin DH comp24.1 in a size 2.2. You need to get the widest rim possible to use with that tire. What used to be the greatest rim for trials use was Alex DX32 (36 mm wide). Some companies came out with stuff way wider that works even better (48 mm wide), but I doubt you could fit it in a regular XC frame.
I checked out the videos on observedtrials.net. WOW!!! I would really love to be able to do that sort of thing. Man, that really got my juices pumping!

I do a fair amount of hopping (straight and sideways) and am able to get up and over thigh-high boulders. Nothing like the videos, but I'm working on it. (And making a lot of mistakes.)

I'm not to the point of building a trials-specific bike. From factionbike.com, it looks like that would be about a $1500 deal and I'd end up with a bike I can't really trail ride, it would strictly be for trials. It is likely to be a while before I get to that point!

I went to Mojo's bike shop in Denver and talked to a guy named Bob. He seemed extremely knowledgeable and suggested a Hadley 108 hub and a Mavic 819 like I have now. I asked about a wider rim and he was pretty much against it, advised me to stay with the same width as the current rim. My current Mavic 819 has a sticker that says "Maximum tire width: 2.3" ". And the post above says "widest rim possible". Any thoughts on rim width for use with tires that I can still peddle on 2 hour xc excursions?

He also suggested putting on a bash guard that replaces my big ring (my current bash guard is in addition to the big ring) since that would give me about an inch additional clearance. He suggested a relatively new design made out of polycarbonate instead of metal. Anyone try one of those? I bash a lot of rocks and really don't want to explode a $40 guard. I am skeptical that one would hold up to the bashing I give some rocks.

I bash my cranks all the time. They are Shimano XT 720 hollow core 175s. I'm considering 170s, but that is only about 1/5th of an inch. 165s would give me almost a half-inch additional clearance, but then I wonder how they would pedal. And whether that would be worth the approx $200 expense. I'm 6'2" tall, so really short cranks might not fit my legs/height. Thoughts?

I really appreciate the help!
 

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MultiRider said:
...I do a fair amount of hopping (straight and sideways) and am able to get up and over thigh-high boulders. Nothing like the videos, but I'm working on it. (And making a lot of mistakes.)...
If you can do that already you are doing great! The expert trials moves are are from easy though the top riders make it look easy.

...I asked about a wider rim and he was pretty much against it, advised me to stay with the same width as the current rim. My current Mavic 819 has a sticker that says "Maximum tire width: 2.3" ". And the post above says "widest rim possible". Any thoughts on rim width for use with tires that I can still peddle on 2 hour xc excursions?...
Mavic is VERY conservative in their tire width recommendations. You can easily use any 2.5" tire on the 819 rim. In fact some 2.3 tires are as big as some 2.5-2.6" tires.

I would not recommend running tubeless though. I have burped UST tires on 819 rims when doing side hops. Did not lose too much air but my hops were not that extreme either.

A 28-32mm rim used with inner tubes would work well.

Kenda Nevegal 2.35 or Maxxis Minion 2.35/2.5 tires (among others) would be decent tire choices.
 

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Also, 819 rim is not particularly light. It is claimed to be 465g, but you need to add additional 50g for the pieces that screw into it which hold the spoke nipples.

DT 5.1 and Alex FD28 weight 500g. They are lighter and are 5mm wider. Running a tube is not really a weight penalty as the tubless tires are about a tube heavier than standard tires.

Kings are definatelly great hubs, and getting them used off of ebay will save you a chunk of change. One think to keep in mind, though, is that the cassette carrier is aluminum, so in your trials moves, where you torque that cassette very much, you put some deep gauges into the carrier. There's a HD option on the King hub, but it makes it astronomically expensive. Hadleys come with Ti cassette carriers by default. I wish I knew more about their engagement, but you can rest assured that if you break the mechanism the company will take care of you.

_MK
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for the info, sounds like the DT 5.1 or a 819 just like I have would be a good choice. I'm not currently planning to do a new front wheel, so it is tempting to stay with an 819 so they continue to match visually.

It also sounds like the Hadley hubs would be good. I found a thread that talked about the maintenance of Hadleys vs Chris King, but there wasn't much of a consensus on frequency, ease, or special tools.

I haven't heard of burping a tubeless tire while hopping, but that makes a lot of sense as a risk. The first time that happens will probably be the point at which I switch back to tubes.

Hub and rim durability are VERY high on my list of requirements. Engagement speed/frequency is first priority (that's the main reason I'm doing this), durability second, weight is a close third, and, of course, price is kind of an over-arching consideration.

I noticed that Dave's Wheels is rated extremely high in the review section. Every post seems to be massively positive. But I can't find any contact info for the company. I must be missing something; could someone help me out with a phone number and/or web site? :confused:
 
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