Hub recommendations for commuter

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Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby sorted » Wed May 20, 2015 1:45 pm

A few months ago, I built up a single speed bike from an old steel road frame to see how it worked for me as a commuter. After racking up ~2000km, I really like the immediacy, simplicity and near-silence of no gears. The cheap wheelset I used has always felt a bit soggy and also flexes noticeably under load. Not great. Last week, I broke a spoke on the rear wheel that I can't replace without removing the freewheel, which I can only remove destructively (it doesn't appear to have notches/splines for a removal tool, so I think it's probably terminal). It's time for some new s/s wheels.

I want something that will be durable and am looking at going hand built (possibly by me) as the best way to get wheels that do what I want. For rims, I'm pretty much settled on H Plus Son Archetypes, 32h, laced with 3-cross with plain-gauge spokes. My normal load (me+luggage+bike) is around 100kg and my commute is 20-25km each way along a PSP that's pretty rough in places, so the wheels will have a pretty hard life. Hubs have been harder to choose. What I'd like is the following:

- Easily replaceable cartridge bearings (don't mind cup and cone, but reading up on it, people don't have many good things to say about the 'cheap' ones, so cartridge bearings are probably more practical in terms of maintenance and replacement in the long term)
- 32h
- Can be spaced to 126mm (I'm happy to cold-set the frame to 130mm if need be)
- Freewheel (or fixed/free flip-flop - would prefer to have a symmetrically dished wheel for strength/ease of building)
- Low flange (nice-to have, purely aesthetic preference on my part)
- Black (I'd settle for silver, but would prefer black)
- Good quality but not too fancy, as the bike is pretty utilitarian and will be used in all weather etc.

I've looked at Novatec hubs which see to fit the bill nicely (A265SBT A266SBT) but are expensive/hard to get in Australia. I can get Miche Primatos from Wiggle, which also look as if they'll do the job OK, but I'd rather have a low flange. I've also looked at Formula hubs (TH50/51). Are there any others in the ballpark of $150 that I've missed and should look at? Thanks in advance.

TL;DR: I want single-speed hubs for my commuter wheels that are well built, durable, easily serviceable and not too fancy. Novatec A265SBT A266SBT track hubs look good to me, but seem tricky/expensive to source in Australia. Are there any other similar ones that I've missed?

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bychosis
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby bychosis » Wed May 20, 2015 3:18 pm

I sourced my Novatec hubs from FactoryFive Located in China but posage wsa pretty fast. Don't know if they have that particular model though.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

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Posts: 63
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby sorted » Wed May 20, 2015 3:43 pm

bychosis wrote:I sourced my Novatec hubs from FactoryFive Located in China but posage wsa pretty fast. Don't know if they have that particular model though.


Thanks for that - just the job. They have high flange Novatec but also some nice looking Gran Compe hubs that seem to fit the bill nicely.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed May 20, 2015 4:32 pm

I have heard good things about the Gran Compe hubs. As an aside they are now available in a 36 home NJS version. Miche sealed hubs are pretty good too. They use SKF bearings. My mates got 10000km in his and they still spin nice and smooth.
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HLC
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby HLC » Fri May 22, 2015 7:46 pm

If it's a road frame,

Why not just buy whatever road wheelset you like, and chuck a single speed kit on the freehub?

Most single speed/track hubs are all 120mm, so you'd be either spacing out the axles, or cold setting the frame narrower.


If that is still the path you want to go down, any Novatec / Formula / Velocity / TWE sealed hub will be fine. They are all pretty much identical.

If you want something that looks a little nicer/more baller that is sealed, then look for the Suzue ProMax Re-issue, Miche, Gran Compe or $$ on Phil Wood.

OR, if you don't mind loose ball - Dura-Ace HB-7600 all day every day, or any other NJS Hub, Gran Compe, old Suzue / Suntour, or Campy Pista.

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Gordonhooker
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby Gordonhooker » Mon May 25, 2015 10:29 am

I have a flip/flop wheel you can have - it is off a Reid Harrier 2013 vintage.
OI onya bike!!!

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Nate
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby Nate » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:20 am

I can HIGHLY recommend a sturmey s2 wheel...

I bust spokes like a trooper on all wheels except the ones i've built with nice DT swiss spokes... including my brand new canondale synapse ultegra...
took < 1 month before bustin spokes on the rear & 3 months for the front to go.

The sturmey wheel i got from cell has never lost a spoke, $160 & has 2 gears - chicken dinner.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:55 pm

Strong because it uses a proper number of spokes
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wqlava1
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Re: Hub recommendations for commuter

Postby wqlava1 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:32 pm

I know this is late, but for those who come later, those Novatec hubs you like are $95 a pair delivered from Aliexpress, Other popular Novatec hubs are available there too, but not all models by far.

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