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Which hubs to invest in? Cartridge vs. cup & cone(6 posts)

Which hubs to invest in? Cartridge vs. cup & cone_blt_
Sep 6, 2001 5:55 AM
I will soon be purchasing a new training wheelset, and down the road a back-up/racing set. I would like to settle on one common hubset that I can maintain and will last several builds and many years. I need to decide between a traditional DuraAce type hub, or a fancy King/Hugi cartridge type, which I have never owned. The catalogs tout "cartridge bearings for ease of maintenance", but is that really the case? I mean, it's pretty easy to degrease/replace loose ball bearings. Trying to clean out a cartridge with a toothbrush would seem like a pain in the butt. So would buying expensive toolsets to press fit cartridges for replacement. I also know little about disassembling/maintaining rear freehubs and which models are maintenance-friendly. But of course the fancy hubs are lightweight and very cool, for what it's worth. And maybe they're easier to work with than I imagine. I really don't know which would last longer.

So any suggestions? Stick with DuraAce, or spend the extra for King or Hugi? Maybe even Phil Wood, though they're awfully heavy. By the way, is the Campy Record hub available for a Shimano 9 drivetrain? Seems like I heard that somewhere.
re: Which hubs to invest in? Cartridge vs. cup & coneJofa
Sep 6, 2001 6:45 AM
Just get Shimano. They're far the best designed: King and Hugi seem fetishistically overbuilt where it doesn't matter and underbuilt where it does, and are of course pricy. Campag are fine and shiny but don't support the rear axle as well: this is a carefully defended patent of Shimano, in any case. Shimano freehubs are long-lasting and cheap to replace: disassembly is possible but usually pointless. The cup and cone design is the strongest, and easy to service as you say.

The others all will work: few hubs don't- the requirements are hardly high which is why anybody with a CNC machine will market their own. But when the best are also the cheapest it makes no sense to go elsewhere.

re: Which hubs to invest in? Cartridge vs. cup & conealex the engineer
Sep 6, 2001 7:11 AM
I've never owned a Hugi hub, but I understand that special tools are needed for working on them, whereas Phil hubs can be worked on by anybody.
It seems to me that cup/cone bearings tend to last longer, and are always easily replaced. Sometimes you need a press tool for cartrige bearings. You can also choose the type of lubrication you want with a cup/cone bearing. The only downside is that they require more maintenance.
They all work pretty well, but...Retro
Sep 6, 2001 7:29 AM
...Actually I've never been able to tell any difference between one hub and another when I'm on the bike. Weight at the center of the wheel is pretty much a non-issue.
I like cup & cone just because you can work on them easily and get new bearings at any hardware store...but how much of a problem is maintenance REALLY? It's fine to rebuild or repack the hubs every year, and I try to do it. But I've had bikes that went years without any attention. The old Trek I ride in winter has had the same lube, except for the chain and the brake and derailleur pivots, for eight or 10 years. Still works fine.
re: Which hubs to invest in? Cartridge vs. cup & coneTom C
Sep 6, 2001 7:30 AM
I'll limit myself to trying to answer your question. You seemed to answer part of it yourself, that is,..." it's pretty easy to degrease/replace loose ball.." Campy in the late 90's utilized cartridge bearings in their hubs but went back to easily servicible loose ball bearings with the new aluminum axle hubs. This tells me something. As far as using Record hubs with a Shimano drivetrain you would need Wheels Manufacturing Shift Kit #7 and a loose Campagnolo 9 speed cassette i.e. no bolted together carriers. This is a respacing kit which will respace the Campy cogs for Shimano drivetrains. It should be available from Branford Bike or possibly Excel.
Thanks all. You support my case for Dura Ace. (nm)_blt_
Sep 6, 2001 4:50 PM