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Sell me on one hub or the other ...(20 posts)

Sell me on one hub or the other ...Humma Hah
Aug 11, 2002 12:23 PM
The saga continues in the attempt to get the rear dropouts of the '74 Paramount out of a block of protective foam and onto a decent wheel.

120 mm dropouts, 36-spokes desired, fixed on one side, freewheel on the other, and the front wheel is vintage Campy with 36 spokes and a high flange, so I probably ought to be thinking of comparable quality.

I know we have some Phil fans here, and their AVH623 at $162 from Harris certainly fits the bill.

On the other hand, there's also a Suzue Basic of this same description for $39.95, with built-up basic wheels on-hand.

Keep in mind this is a wheel for actual riding. For show, I may very well find a vintage Campy track wheel at Trexlertown in October.

Can Suzue actually be that bad? Is Phil really that good?
Check these guys out also....Dave Hickey
Aug 11, 2002 1:56 PM They are very knowledgable about track/fixed gear.
re: Sell me on one hub or the other ...xxl
Aug 11, 2002 2:40 PM
Faced a similar dilemna myself, and went with the Suzue cheapsters. I found the quality to be decent, but not spectacular, and was able to adjust the bearings pretty well (they came practically locked out). I guess if Sora had a track hub, this'd be it. And I figured since I was just building a basic training rider that wouldn't see huge mileage, I didn't need the Phils. I also wanted to find out just how much I like riding a SS before I sunk major wheelset cash into it.

For about a hundred bucks, you can get those basic wheels, and ride 'em until you decide the SS path is for you. Then, splurge on a second set, and keep the Suzues for rainy days, or even your other bike(s). BTW, Sheldon Brown also offers the truly excellent Suzue Promax, and the NJS.
Except I've been singlespeeding for 44 years and ...Humma Hah
Aug 11, 2002 4:07 PM
... my other singlespeed got about 3800 miles last year including a 150-mile ride and three centuries. I'm thinking the bearings on the Suzues are maybe a bit trashy for my needs.

The Paramount is a lifetime bike (one of two). Maybe I better pay more than $39.95.
If the bearings suck...Lone Gunman
Aug 11, 2002 6:30 PM
swap them out for some DA bearings before you even turn the axle. Just make sure you inspect that hub before use. I found mine to have been over tightened and lacking in grease IMHO. Or go with the Suzue Promax hub.
Aug 12, 2002 8:21 AM
The current trend is for first-time fixers to simply shell out 800 bucks for a brand-spanking-new track bike.
Wrong board ...Humma Hah
Aug 12, 2002 9:18 AM
Brand-spanking new? Now THAT's blasphemy!

Naw, I shelled out $450 bid plus $50 shipping plus I'm guessing at least another $300 in parts for a bike nearing 3 decades old that I wouldn't trade for FOUR new $800 fixies.
Humma, when you breakdown price per mile,..........Dave Hickey
Aug 12, 2002 9:55 AM
You have the least expensive bikes on RBR. You could spend $1500 on your Paramount and still be way ahead of most of the people here.
couldnt agree more...Steve_0
Aug 12, 2002 11:01 AM
now that my 'new' bike is nearing 7 years in age, I may start riding it. If only it had horizontal drops.
re: Sell me on one hub or the other ...rwbadley
Aug 11, 2002 3:02 PM
Hummah Hah,

I have followed your saga, and can sympathize, as I have gone through it also. With nearly all mechanical items, we seem to be at somebodies mercy, unless we do it ourself.

I know what you want to accomplish on this, I think you should consider going to straight fixie. Skip all the fooling around, and get the high flange Campy and just fix the thing at your preferred gear.

I say this not in jest, I have reason for it.

When you build up the Paramount, it WILL become your favorite ride. When you ride it in fixte condition, you will associate this bike as your 'fixie'. In your mind you will go through all the mental changes that go with riding fixte. (the old DON"T STOP PEDALING thing)

If you switch the bike back and forth, even just for short changes etc... it will always be confusing. Can I stop pedaling??

We know that doo-doo happens. When it does, we want to react without thinking. Am I fixte? is the last thing I want to think about. My fixie is just that, and nothing else. When I ride it, I know what it is. The whole bike character is...

I'll try to post a photo of it soon. It has your favorite hubs!


Shhhhh! Don't let the cruiser hear you ...Humma Hah
Aug 11, 2002 4:14 PM
... I will never admit the Paramount is my favorite ride.

Let me give you a bit of advice, something I read by Robert Heinlein. "It is important to tell women how beautiful they are. The less true it is, the more important it is."

And similarly, it is important that I always tell the cruiser that it is my favorite bike. But I think it is OK if the Paramount is my favorite fixie.

The intent is to ride the 'Mount exclusively fixie after a short transition in which I work out fit issues. The singlespeed side is to allow me a lower gear and the ability to coast if I get exhausted on a very long ride. The bike is being built up for 300k+ brevets and double centuries.
Mmmm, ss double.. fixte triple k? nice...I likerwbadley
Aug 11, 2002 4:31 PM
Heinlein also. Amazing some of the stuff that mind came up with. The most entertaining sci-fi I ever read.

I guess I have less trouble admitting the Paramount is my favorite. They are all like kids, I guess. Gotta love 'em. Some are just easier.

Actually, regarding Heinlein ...Humma Hah
Aug 11, 2002 5:10 PM
... about 3 decades ago, while the cruiser was new, I read _Double Star_ and one other of his books, and thought I could do better.

Since then, I've published about a dozen SF stories in _Analog Science Fiction and Fact_, and they've been well-received. Also since then, Heinlein published his last few novels, and they were, by and large, dreadful. No new author could have gotten away with that crud.

Brin and Palmer are more my cup of tea.
Well, as they say...rwbadley
Aug 11, 2002 6:00 PM
There's a butt for every cushion. It all depends on frame of mind, I suppose. I haven't read RH for twenty years, but I remember being entertained by it..

I am curious, regarding the topic of bike having soul. You express the cruiser will overhear or intuit your emotion or feeling of attraction for 'another'. I feel similar in some respects, tho' I have to admit to the feeling also that they may be 'just tubes brazed together'.

I had a '66 MG midget (car) for a time in '78. I picked it up, made some repairs, and drove it for a year with no trouble. I sold it to a guy, and it immediately 'fell apart'. I felt bad, not for the guy that bought it; for the car, as he abused the poor thing.

Would the car have misbehaved if I had kept it?

Or was it just less likely the machine would fail under my care, as I did not abuse the equipment?

Did you raise the car from a pup?Humma Hah
Aug 11, 2002 7:27 PM
I bought the cruiser brand new in 1971, and it has been my primary ride ever since. It was manufactured barely a month before purchased, barely even weened. When you've been thru that much with a bike, it definitely has soul.

Evidence of soul: the very day after it first caught a glimpse of the Paramount frame, the coasterbrake hub spun in its flanges. That's an original part, never had failed in an estimated 25,000+ miles, and it just DIED one day after that trauma, just a few hundred yards away from work where I had the 'Mount stored.

As for brazing -- sir, this is a Chicago-built cantilever frame we're talking about here! It is "electro-forged", an upset welding process unique to Schwinn and responsible for their legendary strength.

Of course, I just admitted that I also write science fiction, but I swear, every word of the above it true!
Did you raise the car from a pup?xxl
Aug 12, 2002 3:40 PM
Speaking of the soul of the machine, I have had a similar experience, but with cars. You bring a shiny new part, say a water pump,fresh from the Autozone, put it in your car, and I swear, it makes the other parts feel shabby and dirty and, well, like they just don't belong. And then they usually crap out, because they felt bad about not being new; kind of a machine class-envy thing. And you have many more trips to the Autozone, for more new parts, that make the other old parts feel terrible, and the cycle continues.

Bikes, of course, being superior machines, put up with no such foolishness. I, and others here, have put together several Frankensteinian cobbled-together mishmashes of parts and frame, and they all work just fine, veritable gardens of mechanical diversity, as Taiwanese, American, Japanese, Italian, British, and even French components of varied age and breeding coexist happily; would that our own, human, societies functioned so well.
Agreed...except french parts get a little snippy...Djudd
Aug 12, 2002 4:54 PM
when you put them on an English frame.
I'll bite...Ahimsa
Aug 12, 2002 5:58 PM
get the Phil.

It is an elegant hub with really no equal among it's contemporaries. It is bullet proof, beautiful, and has loads of snob appeal. The snob appeal is important to note, as it will be going on a very anti-snob bike. I see the juxtaposition of the cherry clean vintage frame and the king of all modern high zoot rear hubs as a match on par with the cruiser and it's high dollar paint and cool V-brake addition.

Mix it up for maximum coolness.

It isn't like you are riding a $3000 carbon frame here. You can afford a little decadence w/o losing any cred.

Besides, while the Suzue hubs are certainly very decent, with the Phil you will not have to worry if you made the right decision. Once you hold it in your hand, you will know.

You only live once.

on thinking a little .... i agree .....Spirito
Aug 12, 2002 11:07 PM
why mess with a wheelset that is cheaper for now to then only pine for a 2nd "but i really wanna get" wheelset.

suzue's are cool but throw away the bearings and they will come with no grease and shitty track nuts that will make a mess of your dropouts. even then they are ok (basic, heavy, and average finish) but on a paramount its like dressing a jaguar with retreads or crossply's on taiwanese steel rims.

some mentioned that the suzue's will be good to keep for a rainy day wheelset but phil's are sealed bearings and well engineered so they will eat up all sorts of miles. you will also only need one set of tires and tubes and cogs/ lockrings etc. add those all those up for a 2nd set and it gets to be a false economy.

whenever i have bought something for a priority (ie flash) bike and i have opted for an interim solution i have ended up dissatisfied and lost money on extra parts and shipping. you ever tried to sell a basic wheelset or lower spec. part afetr using it and then not needing it anymore. your lucky to see 1/3 of your money.

i wouldnt hesitate on throwing down on a set of phil hubs with 32 hole ma2's (still available) and DT spokes. im sure harris can build them. ride em for a long time as im sure that combo would last quite some gorgeus miles. i would argue that a phil freehweel/track hub has no peers when high miles and quality is weighed in and you cannot fault their warranty and service values.

you can never have too good a wheelset and im always one to skimp where i can except for frames, wheels and cranks. if you plan on keeping the bike build it with the bits you want now rather than filling your garage with compromised bits and pieces. its a spanking frame and deserves a balanced build with regard to parts.

skip on pay-per-view, guns and ammo magazine subscritpion, darn socks, ebay off your basement junk, ask the family and friends for you b-day present early, cook more at home et VOILA !! your wheelset is paid for.

looking around too much and getting too many opinions will get you even more confused. get quality wheels from people who do them well and bite the bullet as cheap wheels is cheap wheels - you will get what you pay for.

re: Sell me on one hub or the other ...curlybike
Aug 14, 2002 3:53 PM
Can Suzue actually be that bad? Is Phil really that good? Yes Phil is that good, and Suzue is not so hot. As I remember the bearings are not protected from contaminants. I have built both. Campy hubs do not protect the bearings very well either. There is not much rain on the track. I built the Phil Flip-flop several years ago, and the guy has had no trouble. I live in the DC area, if you want to talk wheels and hubs send your Phone # to I don't check that often but I rather not put anything on this board. There are some pranksters around.