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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm tired of replacing XT hubs (just fried the rear hub on a <1yr. old wheelset) and I'd like to get something more durable, and lighter if possible. All right, I know - why even ask – get Kings.

It's just that they cost almost as much as my frame. There are plenty of Hope and Hadley riders here, so I thought I'd ask if anyone's ridden them all and could give a fair comparison. There are good reviews on all of them, but as you all know, Hopes and Hadleys cost considerably less than Kings...

Is it worth saving for months to have the Kings? Would I really notice that much difference in durability and performance?

Thanks y'all.
 

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Yeah! I got the same question, except I'm looking for a set of hoops for my new Burner. I'd consider XTR hubs (I've had two sets of excellent XTR standard hubs) but I don't want to be limited to centerlock braking systems.

I'm looking at getting the Hope XC/Mavic 717 disc wheelset that Jenson is selling for $329. Dang that's cheap.

I'm not crazy about that buzzing noise the King hubs make, so I won't miss shelling out the big bucks for them.
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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I have a set of WTB laserlight hubs; two sets of DT 240s; a set of King Discos, a set of King ISOs, and a King 20mm front; a Hope Bulb front; two sets of XT discs; and some random other wheels. If I were broke, I'd buy more Hopes. If I weren't broke, I'd buy more Kings.
 

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Not just famous; infamous
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WTB Input

Hey, Tscheezy, how are the WTBs? I'm also looking to replace my XTs with something a bit lighter, but more importantly, waaayyyy faster engagement. How the the WTBs compare with XT/Hope/King?

The only way I'm gonna get my grubby hands on ISO hubs is to retrofit my King RaceLites :(
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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Honestly, they seem like XT hubs on a diet. They use a really annoying cone-wrench system to set the bearing preload. It takes 3 hands to do it: one to hold the drive side, and two hands to manipulate the two cone nuts on the non drive side. I ended up stuffing a 5mm allen into the drive side axle end and holding the allen in a vice while messing with the cone nuts. Then you have to mount the wheel back in the frame and check bearing preload with the wheel QR snugged down because it seems to apply more preload, and AM Classic warns against making the preload too tight. In fact they recommend there being a little play(!).

I rode them for about two months when they came on the Pack, but they are hanging in the garage right now. I would not spend money on them, personally, unless weight were an overriding factor.

Everyone seems excited about the new Hope hubs, but the number of engagement points is going down to 24 from the Bulb's current 36. I'd get Bulbs. They are very similar overall to the DT hubs I have EXCEPT that with the Hopes you an get into the bearings to clean and relube them. This is HUGE to me.

I have not owned XTR hubs since the early 90's, but those did run for ever...
 

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Waiting to exhale.
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tscheezy said:
EXCEPT that with the Hopes you an get into the bearings to clean and relube them. This is HUGE to me.

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What do you mean this is huge to me? Hopes have cartridge bearings as opposed to the cone and ball bearings??? I am assuming the bearing is the better route?
 

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Lookin for that extra can
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I hear ya... I just went through the same process and decided on Hadley. They are light, 108 point engagement, titanium hub body, bullet-proof, and have been around for a very long time. Many folks on the wheels forum would put them at or above King quality. Unfortunately, I'll have to post again in a year to tell ya how they've held up on my pack :p

--rip
 

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Not just famous; infamous
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tscheezy said:
Honestly, they seem like XT hubs on a diet.
That's what I needed to know. Guess I'll save some cash and get the ISO kit for the RaceLites. I'm using those wheels on my "road" bike right now. It's fun to watch the pedestrians on the paths look around in a wild panic for the killer bees as I get closer. :D At least they can't say I snuck up on 'em.

I have a buddy who's designing a hub that's silent with instant (yes, actually instant, not sort of instant) engagement. Maybe he'll let me be a "tester" and I can get one for free :p
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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Shimano has some of the last true cup and cone hubs out there.

Some cartridge bearings have permanent metal shields pressed into both sides and are not serviceable. Others have rubberized shields which can be removed. King has their own proprietary bearings which have a neoprene gasket held in place with a small snap ring. These are the best in the business that I have seen. Hope uses a more standard cartridge bearing with the removeable rubberized side sheilds. You have to be a bit careful not to bend or tear the shields, but you can get in there to clean them. A lot of the DT rear hub bearings are extremely inacessible or simply not serviceable (in the freehub). That is my one big gripe. The sealing is ok, but if I can't get in there to stop the rot, what's the point?

Another consideration is that some hubs use an angular contact bearing which can be preloaded, and others just rely on perfect tolerances to achieve slop-free performance. The Shimanos use the angular contact cup and cone variety. They are tedious to adjust perfectly, as are the Am Classics. The Kings also have a preload system, but I find it much easier to get right since you don't need to be an octopus to do it. The DTs and Hopes just rely on tolerances to keep stuff adjusted, there is no preload. This has actually worked fine so far, and there is nothing to adjust which can be nice (until something needs adjusting, that is).
 

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Bite Me.
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Well - Tscheezy and I are never going to agree on the WTB lazerlites - he hates 'em, I love 'em. I'm 18 months into my first set with no problems at all. My second set is on the Burner and no problems either after about 500 miles. I do agree the adjustment is more trouble, but they're light and quiet and the 2004/2005 versions have been beefed up considerably by WTB, better springs, pawls, etc. You can hear the difference. They're basically a licensed version of the Am. Classic hub, but I think they have a nicer looking finish. I won't say they're close to the Kings in beauty or refinement, but they have worked really well for me for XC and general trail riding. Again - I'll refer you to Mike Garcia's site to get his take the hubs. That's also a great place (in addition to Larry at Mt. High) to get a nice custom set of wheels that won't drain the bank account. www.oddsandendos.com
 

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cutthroat said:
...he hates 'em...
I don't hate them per se, I'm just not very impressed by them. I guess I have been spoiled rotten by Mr. King.

I was surprised that they come built as dedicated FR wheels though. WTB must have some serious faith in them. I'll put them back on and see if I can't destroy them for ya. :D
 

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Bite Me.
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tscheezy said:
I was surprised that they come built as dedicated FR wheels though. WTB must have some serious faith in them. I'll put them back on and see if I can't destroy them for ya. :D
I think WTB may have two versions of the hub, a beefier FR and a "normal" XC version. PLEASE don't start hammering them - you'll bust them wide open then all hell will break loose on mine. And while you're at it, get rid of the Pike Air too, my Reba is starting to sweat that a failure is imminent. Keep your destructive karma away!
;) Going riding now - gotta love daylight savings - week end whoo!
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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The rear hub says "Laserdisc Lite" on it. It looks spindley as all heck (I thought the rotor mount tabs would snap off the first time I hit the brakes). Surprised the poop outta me when that thing showed up laced into a 30mm wide 580g Dual Duty FR rim.
 

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There's BCK and ACK...........

Before you try Chris King, and After you try Chris King.

Before, engagement.....pppppppthhhhhhh, who cares, doesn't matter anyway.....

After, engagement moves up to the second reason to buy a hub, second only to durability.

Before CK, I didn't give a rats a$$ about engagement, just give me something I didn't need to fix every 100 miles, didn't need to adjust every 50, and I was happy, as long as it wasn't a boat anchor.

Now, the first thing I do with a new hub is see how quickly it engages. I have the CK's, have the Laser discs (easy to work on, very easy), but engagement just isn't there, have the XT's (adjust every time you get to the bottom, on the way to the lift), have had the Onyx (decent cheaper hubs), and now I'm playing with the Hugi 440 FR's. The Hugi are very similar to the CK in engagement, time will tell on the others. I prefer CK's over any other pre-built Mavic wheelset or even Spinergy Xyclones, which were Very stiff with the PBO spokes, and the Hugi's, if time plays out right on them, are right there.

The next ones to try are the Hadley's.... :D
 

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I'm with tscheezy on this one:) I am not a fan of the WTB/am classic hub. I don't hate them, but I would spend my money on other things before..

I use King hubs, and ofcourse am very happy with them. I recently got a set of wheels from Chad(redbarnbicycles.com) for a friend. They are Hope XC/supercomps/DT d4.1's, I am actually very impressed with them. They seem very nicely made and spin quite nicely. They also look to have decent seals on them.

I will probably be getting hope hubs when it's time for another wheelset(for another bike..). They are much much cheaper then kings, and seem to do the job quite nicely.

BTW.. that price that jenson has for the hope XC hubs/717's is not all that great. Contact either Chad(see above..) or Larry and I'm sure they will work out a better wheelset for not that much more money:)
 

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esquire said:
Before you try Chris King, and After you try Chris King.

Before, engagement.....pppppppthhhhhhh, who cares, doesn't matter anyway.....

After, engagement moves up to the second reason to buy a hub, second only to durability.

Before CK, I didn't give a rats a$$ about engagement, just give me something I didn't need to fix every 100 miles, didn't need to adjust every 50, and I was happy, as long as it wasn't a boat anchor.

Now, the first thing I do with a new hub is see how quickly it engages. I have the CK's, have the Laser discs (easy to work on, very easy), but engagement just isn't there, have the XT's (adjust every time you get to the bottom, on the way to the lift), have had the Onyx (decent cheaper hubs), and now I'm playing with the Hugi 440 FR's. The Hugi are very similar to the CK in engagement, time will tell on the others. I prefer CK's over any other pre-built Mavic wheelset or even Spinergy Xyclones, which were Very stiff with the PBO spokes, and the Hugi's, if time plays out right on them, are right there.

The next ones to try are the Hadley's.... :D
I have had two CK wheelsets, and they worked great (although the rear tends to losen up pretty often) - I now also have a Hadley set for my VP Free -seems great, although again, it does losen up - there doesn't seem to be much between the two - although I think CK's new pricing is crazy, and would like to see their sales punnished as a result
finally, I've had a pair of XT/Rhynolite's that I've abused beyond belief, the front is now Marz's own 20mm (which works great) and the rear the same old abused XT (as a single-speed on my dj bike) - the XT seems fine, especially for the abuse it takes, I could never see spending CK type cash for that bike's hubs (although that bike does have a CK headset - what else?)

I'd give Hadley a try - they seem to be doing really well
 

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SNGLSPD
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kings annoy me

I like a quieter wheel,and kings seem to need more adjustments
I think DT 240's are on par or above quality wise with Kings.
The DT freeride wheelsets are bombpfroof if you don't mind a little weight.
DT has a great customer service too(as well as Chris King)
 

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Not completly stuck with Shimano.

Roostalee said:
Yeah! I got the same question, except I'm looking for a set of hoops for my new Burner. I'd consider XTR hubs (I've had two sets of excellent XTR standard hubs) but I don't want to be limited to centerlock braking systems.

I'm looking at getting the Hope XC/Mavic 717 disc wheelset that Jenson is selling for $329. Dang that's cheap.

I'm not crazy about that buzzing noise the King hubs make, so I won't miss shelling out the big bucks for them.
Two solutions

Inelegant but works - Problem Solvers from Quality Bike. Allows the bolt on of 6 bolt rotors with scrws as normal. Only works for 160mm +

Elegant - DT's adapter - no bolts needed, does't look like there is a limitation on rotor size. My current plan for my LX centerlocs. Allows any standard 6 bolt rotor.

The way I figure it, there will only be about a 3 year window before shimano figures out a way to force a redesign of the adapters, or just makes 'em not worth being made. So still have some time. :)

JmZ
 

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SNGLSPD
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JmZ said:
Inelegant but works - Problem Solvers from Quality Bike. Allows the adapter - no bolts needed, does't look like there is a limitation on rotor size. My current plan for my LX centerlocs. Allows any standard 6 bolt rotor.
I think I would use a Shimano rotor before I went the adapter route.
Or get the 6 bolt hubs.
 
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