Which Hubs & Spokes?: Our Guide
ALL OUR SPOKES AND HUBS ARE BLACK UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
With so many spoke and hub options it can get a bit confusing! So, we’ve summarised all the key features and options here. Also, there is now a handy link to this page - on every single product page. Enjoy - and we're always here to assist! We like to give a clear honest appraisal of the key strengths of each bit of equipment ..
We say: "choose the right parts based on what you really need. Lightest equipment for lighter riders and summer usage & more robust kit if you're a heavier rider or plan to use the wheels all year round ".
Hub choice is all about: weight/engineering/durability/price/drag/bearing quality. We use only high quality hubs of course as they do a heavy use job. Especially in the UK & Ireland with our wonderfully 'challenging' roads and weather.
You'll notice immediately that we don't use unbranded or our 'own brand' hubs. Many wheel brands cut their costs enormously by 'badging up' unbranded low-cost hubs from the far east. (Most of these hubs are ok quality wise - from the sorts of brands you will see selling hard on ebay like Powerway for example)
But it does mean that in a few years time you may find it tricky to get spares/service for your wheels. We've seen so many hundreds of decent wheels discarded over the years just for want of a freehub body that's no longer made!
That's why we only use high quality branded hubs from very reputable companies - All European/Taiwanese - and all of whom have been building hubs for over 25 years. Their knowledge, quality and customer service mean we can better serve our customers - now and throughout the life of your wheels.
ALL HUBS WE BUILD WITH ARE SEALED CARTRIDGE TYPE WITH ALL PARTS BEING SERVICEABLE!
Miche Primato Hubs (rim brake)For the price, we view Miche as the best value economy hubs available. They have some fantastic credentials that make them stand out from the crowd. Italian made. Loved by mechanics everywhere for fantastic build quality, ease of servicing and superb bearing life - even in enduring harsh weather.
Interestingly some recent UK tests have shown that the Primato’s have the lowest drag of any popular hub - irrespective of cost. For a mid-priced hub this is pretty amazing too. Partly that's because Miche plumps for larger hub bearings than most companies do - throughout the hub range
Not only do they have the best drag figures but there's more. Power transfer: Miche Primato hubs feature an incredibly strong/stiff steel axle that just does not flex under even heavy rider load. Most road hub axles are alloy! This makes for the best power transmission for all riders - and that goes double for heavier riders.
They are not super-light hubs of course. That's entirely because of the above characteristics. But what they are is tough, fluid, fast, durable - aimed at everyone except weight weenies! (Weight weenies also need to know that there is a trade off by going for the lightest kit .. please read on!!)
They are also a pretty quiet hub in terms of clicky-noises! Some like quiet hubs some like machine-gun clickiness. No accounting for taste!
Miche Hubs (Disc brake)
These are excellent all-round/all-season hubs. With Miche's quality bearings and attention to detail. Not the lightest hubs and so we use them mainly on our standard rather than higher-end builds. They are also only available for 12mm Thru-Axle fitting (not QR or 15mm). Likewise they can only run with Centerlock rotors (not 6-bolt).
For all our mid/higher end builds we use Bitex and DT Swiss disc hubs - all of which are available in QR/12mm/15mm and in Centerlock/6-Bolt. (Details below).
Ambrosio Hubs (rim brake)
These are the standard entry-level hubs on most of our builds. We love them. Italian made. Nice and light and they are mechanics favourites as they are so easy to maintain and service, and very reliable. Spares are easy to come by and they have decent bearing life. Alloy axles and freehub bodies make them pretty light too - but you need to make sure cassette is done up nice and tight to avoid 'cutting-in'. Medium-loud hub sound.
Bitex Hubs (rim brake)
Our Favourite lightweight high quality, rim and disc brake hubsets. We always think that these hubs should cost twice the price! I should say that quietly or Bitex will hear! Taiwanese made and incredibly reliable. All hubs have high end features like 6-drive hubs and anti-bite guard. We use these on builds for all but the heaviest of riders! We'd say they are medium in terms of clicky-hub noise.
Just be aware that the superlight rim-brake hubs use lighter bearings and lighter axles to help get the weights down. Great for race's, fast training and everyday wet-weather use. Be aware that lighter bearings can need changing more frequently and lighter axles can flex with heavier riders.
Our Bitex SL rim brake hubs for example have a 66 gram front hub and 190 gram rear hub. These weights are pretty astonishing compared to what was possible only a few years ago. To be clear: We love these hubs - you need to be sure that they are the best ones for you. Just ask us for advice is best way and we can talk you through it. We sell more Bitex hubs than any other hubs!
If you're a competitive athlete looking to get 100% full-on performance - It makes sense to change the bearings every 3 years or so. We can do this for you as can any good bike shop.
In contrast our Bitex BX207 tough hubs for heavy riders use much bigger bearings (and twice as many of them!) and tougher axles. They will add weight but they will carry heavier loads for longer. There's always a trade off!!
Bitex Hubs (disc brake)
Our Bitex Lite Disc brake hubs are both light and strong for multi-season usage. They use bigger bearings and axles but employ higher grade alloys to keep weight down and durability and strength up. This balance is needed for the rigours of disc braking - which is far more demanding of components than is rim braking.
For heavy riders we employ the supertough BX103 bitex disc hubs rated to well over 150kg!
DTSwiss Hubs (rim and disc)
The pinnacle of hub choice options in our opinion. Swiss precision engineering at its finest and with a uniquely engineered approach. They are endlessly durable and reliable.
The 350 is not the lightest hubset (on a par with our Miche hubs and heavier than Bitex. Its the Swiss precision engineering and hence longevity that carries the price tag.
The DT Swiss 240 hubs (both in rim brake and disc brake versions) are the top of the food chain. Light, fantastically engineered, and go on for countless years.
Being Swiss you could say they are literally like a Rolex for your wheels - though priced a little more kindly.
Formula Hubs (rim and disc)
Double sealed, and used specifically and only with our super aero 3.2mm bladed spokes these are a reliable and fast rolling hubset from Taiwanese brand Formula. Not the lightest with their super strong steel freehub - we use these on wheel builds that are aero first and foremost where weight is less of a consideration.
All our spokes are either Belgian made (Sapim) or Taiwanese made (PSR AERO 1432, PSR AERO, PSR AERO SL and the K1 Bladed spoke).
The best spoke in the world full stop. The pro's choice: Superbly light at 4.5 gram, It’s also the most aerodynamic bladed spoke available. And there’s more. It also is unique in strength and elastic responsiveness. Not cheap of course but a sound investment if you can afford it. If you can make this upgrade you really will see where your money is going! Ideal for both Rim brake and Disc wheels http://www.sapim.be/spokes/aero/cx-ray
PSR Aero and Aero SL
The PSR Aero spokes are our 'go-to' performance spokes.
The PSR AERO is very aero at 2.2 x 0.9mm and very light at 5.5 grams. Or you can upgrade to our PSR AERO SL (Superlight) option. At 4.9 grams and great aerodynamics It is an affordable economic equivalent of the SAPIM CXRAY spoke.
K1 3mm Aero BLADE
This is our own full aero spoke - which is now supplied as an option on some of our carbon and alloy wheelsets. At 3mm across and 1mm thick it’s aero credentials and of course its looks are something we’ve been very proud to achieve. In fact there are now very few brands who take the trouble to develop and supply full aero spokes - as it requires complex and custom machining of the hubs. We do like to go the extra mile -especially when the benefits are so clear. Because of the hub machining requirements we only offer these spokes on our basic hubs (Ambrosio and Formula) which have the right parameters for extra drilling.)
This is the standard ‘go-to’ high quality spoke known for its strength and rigidity of build. Not the lightest but ideal for even the heaviest of riders - and the mechanics favourite to work with. Ideal for both Rim brake and Disc wheels: http://www.sapim.be/spokes/butted/race
We use this more bladed version of the 1422 spoke on some builds where weight saving is not an issue. They are ideal bladed spokes for heavier riders. Due to their special characteristics they must be used only with certain hubs.