Author Topic: Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??  (Read 4708 times)

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Offline BikeFreak

Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« on: December 03, 2004, 09:59:30 pm »
I'm interested in buying the best hubs ever. It seems that Chris King and Phil Wood are the best ones. But has anyone really tried both hubs, felt their drags etc etc? What's your opinion?

I have to use the hub for road touring and not hard core freeride, downhill etc which means that I need a hub with smallest drag possible (= does this mean I'll have to look for Shimano XTR??)

Somewhere I read that Chris King hubs have a large drag when you turn them by hand, but it vanishes when riding, ie they are designed in a way that the drag disappears when riding. Is that true?


Offline danhicks

Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2005, 06:19:24 pm »
Dunno about these hubs in particular, but in general it's not unusual for a bearing to have more drag unloaded than loaded.

Also, unless you're doing time trials, I doubt that the difference in drag between two similar hubs can make any difference (and certainly not more than tire choice).  For both touring and off-road you want a robust hub that can take shock and throw off dirt.  Weight and drag are minimal considerations.

Dan Hicks

Offline DaveB

Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2005, 06:32:44 pm »
Hub drag, no matter which make, is a very minimal part of the overall drag on any bike.  If you want to reduce drag to a minimum, remove the big lump on the top of the bike, i.e. you! :) Agonizing over hub drag is a waste of time and money.

Chris King, Phil Wood and similar boutique hubs are beautifully made but offer no advantage over Shimano or Campy's top line hubs except a super premium price.  In fact, Shimano's hubs (and Campy, but they don't offer any off-road hubs)can be serviced anywhere by any bike shop.  That's not true of the various boutique hubs that require special bearings and tools.

Also, Chris King hubs are NOISY since they ratchet loudly while freewheeling.  Not a big deal but it can be annoying.

Offline LDiskin

Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2005, 08:23:14 pm »
There are two main types of hub construction. The first type utilizes a traditional ball-and-cone bearing system. Bearings, cones, and axles for these hubs are readily available at most bike shops. (Like most shimano hubs).

The second type uses pressed-in sealed bearings similar to those found in in-line skate and skateboard wheels. Sealed-bearing hubs are usually more expensive because they run smoother and have the potential to go farther between maintenance. (Like Phil's or Chris King)
The catch is, if you are using a sealed-bearing hub and it does have a problem (which I have seen happen with even the best), it might be difficult to find replacement parts in a timely fashion since most of these hubs require unique parts and bearing that are only available at specialty bearing stores or from the manufacturer. Therefore, for maximum reliability, I vote for the traditional ball-and-cone hubs made by Shimano. The XT models, if maintined properly, will outlast most rims. Although the traditional ball and cone hubs may require a bit more maintenance overall, they are easy to service, parts are readily available at even small bike shops, and they will not likely leave you stranded with a catastophic failure.

People often forget to mention that the freehub bodies are unique to the hubs. That is an extremely vital part of the hub. Although there are some advantages to some of the freehubs on custom hubs, none have freehubs that are as reliable and easy to repair than the Shimano freehubs...

Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline OmahaNeb

Anyone tried both Phil Wood and Chris King hubs??
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2005, 01:12:59 am »
I have use the same set of Phil Wood hubs and bottom bracket on my 30 old road bike.  I have logged many touring and indoor training miles with never a broken spoke (knock on wood)or hardware issue.  What I really like about sealed products is that I never have to maintain the products.  Another point about the Phil's rear cassette is that it can be removed with a hex wretch instead of using a big wretch/chain tool and cassette removal tool.