Components – Hubs

Ambrosio Zenith

Low priced yet decent quality hubs which are offered by the manufacturer that is more well known for producing a range of top-quality rims. Their hubs are simply re-badged Novatec hubs built to their own specifications. The basic hub shell and internal bearing and pawl design is based on an earlier Campagnolo model and as such works well when it comes to weather resistance. The flanges are sufficient for a custom built wheels, though there are other options available from other manufacturers with thicker flanges that make for a stronger build. The Endurance model provides better weather sealing and bearings, whereas the Superlight combines both these upgrades along with a lighter hub-shell.

 

Campagnolo

A perennial favourite for Campagnolo users, Record hubs are reliable and fairly light weight with cup and cone bearings, making bearing cleaning and replacement easy to do with just basic tools. 32 spokes per wheel may put off those seeking a low-spoke count wheelset, though this ensures a strong build – perfect for training, long distance and commuting on bad road surfaces.

 

Chris King

The pinnacle of hub technology, Chris King have been in the bicycle components game longer than any American manufacturer. Their R45 hub design is excellent, providing a very lightweight hub with thick flanges that make an excellent basis for custom wheel-building. Their unique pawl design gives instant engagement and with weather sealed bearings of their own design makes sure they are a perfect match for dirty winter conditions. Top of the tree with regards to pricing, but oh so worth it and a range of colours to boot.

 

DT Swiss

Born from the mountain biking scene, DT Swiss’ forte is in hub design with strength and reliability at the core of their manufacturing philosophy. The 240s and 350 hubs are truly something special with user-serviceability at its heart. The pricier 180 ceramic bearing hubs are race-ready thoroughbreds, completing a lightweight carbon build very sweetly.

 

Hope

British made hubs from the heart of the Peak District, Hope also came from the mountain biking scene and now produce their excellent Evo and RS Mono hubs for road applications. Great value for money hubs that rival pricier competitors.

 

Miche

Another manufacturer that’s been in game since before the days of Coppi and Bartali, the Italian producer of bicycle components started in France as Michelin before they went separate ways. Now made in Treviso, Italy, Miche makes very affordable yet excellent hubs in their Primato range. A tad on the heavy side, yet top quality and user-serviceable with a classic cup and cone design. Highly recommended for those on a budget and also available lower spoke count sets.

 

Novatec

The world’s largest OEM hub manufacturer, Novatec is a highly popular choice for those looking to bend the envelope with weight versus cost ratio. They are a good choice if you want DT Swiss or Chris King sort of weight for 5 times less cost. Not terrible quality, and plenty of examples of them lasting years if the bearings are cleaned regularly.

 

Shimano

A superb range of hubs the world’s largest components manufacturer, Shimano have been on the scene long enough to know exactly how to make a decent hub. 105 hubs are 32-spokes per wheel only and heavy, but can be used to hammer in nails all day long – they’ll last for years. Likewise, Ultegra, but a chunk lighter. Likewise Dura-Ace, but very light, available in lower spoke counts, super reliable and fast. A superb trio of offerings to suit any budget, also echoed with their disc offerings XT, XTR and 28-spoke only CX75.

 

Tune

The German manufacturer took the lightweight cycling revolution to the next level with their ridiculously light components and remain one of the lightest available. An excellent choice if you’re looking to smash your personal best and not break your bank.