Monday, 20 February 2012

Hope Hubs, and stock Moonlander hubs...

Those beady eyed out there maybe noticed a shiny gold hub now on the Moonlander in the last post and film.
I had the wheel off for 5 days while friend Jake at Alpine Bikes at Glentress in the Tweed Valley laced the wheel and i got it back on Friday evening.
I have to say just how nice quality the Surly Clown Shoe rim is, a lot lighter than it looks...

Jake mentioned feeling a bit flex in the rim while building not felt in the  Large Marge rims, need to watch these rims on rocks - nice and slow over them...
I took the bike down so Jake could check the alignment but it was spot on, i think Jake just wanted a wee shot of the Moonie -:) ...

Jake has built all my wheels over the last 5 years and none have needed a spoke key on them.
Jake is leaving to a new job soon, but i will continue to get wheels built there as his fellow mechanics have seen the wheels being built and have all the info needed from Jake.
If you need offset wheels built give Alpine Bikes at Glentress a call. They now have the extender legs for the truing stand to take the Moonlander hub width, and indeed any 170mm inline fat bike hub.

Why did i get the wheel re laced so soon?, When the Moonlander comes with a Shimano XT hub?...

Non cycling readers bear with us for a bit...

Well without going off on a rant as i know a lot of people like Shimano hubs i think a cup and cone bearing hub as no place on a bike for beach riding.
I am going to keep my opinions on Shimano hubs on offroad bikes to my blog as there seems to be a big following of fans of them, and mentioning this on a forum will just erupt in arguments!, something i do not go on the internet for...
I have read that Shimano hubs are reliable, last forever etc, and the loose bearings drag less than sealed bearings, a fair point and for road cycling they still have a place.
I would end it at that but i had a bit grief with it.

When Shimano hubs are new they are best stripped and re greased as there is not a lot of grease in them and also adding a touch of loctite on the axle threads keeps the cup and cones tight.
Now i never touched the hub (inside) as i planned to only use it for a month or two, and of course the cones loosened whilst out cycling!. I should have known better to have not checked them. It was the cones on the drive side under the cassette too so i could do nothing until home.

I wonder how many people this happens to who pick up there new bike from a shop properly built and ready to go as you the buyer would expect a new bike to be?. The average purchaser of a bicycle is not a home mechanic or even aware of goings on inside hubs.
This is not the bike shops fault. But it seems to happen quite often according to another bike mechanic i spoke to. Why do Shimano not have them built properly?. This from the Worlds biggest manufacturer of bicycle parts from a country respected for there attention to detail.

So back home that evening i go to remove the Shimano cassette to access the cones and my Shimano cassette remover tool does not fit over the cones... Phone mate Jason.. "Ah you need the new Shimano remover tool, i bought one for the Alfine",
This one... Shimano part; TL-LR10

 So i borrowed said correct tool, and it didn`t fit over the cones either, same as my older Shimano tool, "mama mia!" and a few Scottish swear words!, and in 3 seconds i had decided time for `Operation Hope hub transfer`... -:)
I still had to get the axle out the Shimano hub from the non drive side but could not get the cassette off, so had no choice but lever out - and ruin in process an alloy cap over the cones,  then got the cassette off.

Anyway, my point is would you buy a cup and cone Bottom Bracket nowadays for a Mountainbike?, or a loose bearing Headset?,  of course you wouldn't.  When you can stick some sealed bearings in there then check them once or twice a year and job done, no hassle.

So why are cup and cone bearing hubs still being made and put on good quality off road bikes?, and esp something like a fat bike and the likely wet conditions it will see?, who knows...
Apparently there is a third Shimano cassette removal tool, what a load of nonesense!.

To balance the record a bit my 1994 Dawes Super Galaxy has Shimano Deore hubs, original items and the first owner of the bike racked up more than 40,000 miles. all 3 of my cassette removal tools fit the LX cassette too!,

I will also be changing the front Surly hub as for some strange reason it has angular face bearings with cup and cones instead of a regular shouldered axle, yep you guessed it, they loosened off too!,

I took some advice on line and replaced the lock rings with Shimano ones, they are still tight but, i have lost faith in it now, every ride i at least once go for a shake of the front wheel!.
Friend Jason had nothing but problems with his front hub cones loosening. The Moonlander uses a rear hub up front too but unlike the Pugsley it is in line, so i am just going to get a Hope Pro 2 SS trials rear hub like i have on my Pugsley laced on before summer.
The Hope hub is symmetrical despite the narrow cassette spine which will have spacers, but hey it means i will have spare cassette pawls just in case!.

For beachriding in the UK the stock Pugsley and Moonlander hubs are a bit of a let down for reliability and low maintenance.
To replace them even if you have hubs your looking at £45 per wheel for spokes and build, then also postage of wheel or petrol costs (£15 return fuel for myself).
Do the sums and thats not short of £400 for a swap to Hope hubs.

Now with its UK import price of around £1500 (same as a complete Surly Pugsley) the Salsa Mukluk is a good deal with its decent spec and regular sealed hubs. For someone who wants a bike ready to ride on the beach without any further outlay..

But Surly must have realised about the hubs because there launching new hubs soon, sealed with shouldered axle, This makes me happy as soon there complete bikes will be bomb proof  if these hubs are fitted.

I think the News on TV should be read like this...typical Surly -:)

Anyway... bike porn time...

I have 5 rear Hope hubs, at around £140 each that's a lot of money right? just for a hub?, not long term,

This Hope hub is about 7 years old, it was the first Pro 2 hub i bought and was built onto a Kona Cowan hard tail, then two Cannondales, and then my 29er wheels. It has seen hours and hours of riding.
Oh and it is still on ORIGINAL BEARINGS, and cassette pawls.
The red object is the 28mm offset spacer needed for building the wheels, if you buy a Pugsley you will get one that is 17mm long.
The beauty of these hubs is there simplicity to quickly pull apart and clean and service. ideal if you submerge your bike regularly in fresh or sea water, pull em apart, a quick airline then a squirt of GT 85 and job done,
Another reason to love Hope products is the warranty back up and available spares.
Many makes of hubs do not have available spares, all are available for older Hope stuff, and their warranty is second to none. I  had a 3 year old (out of warranty) HID light battery replaced free of charge - i mailed about its fault and they said `post it and we will have a look`,  and a friend had the whole internals of an early XC hub replaced due to a bit wear on the axle - even though it was over 10 years old.

A full service on the Pro 2 Hub takes no time as shown here in this film...`That`s a good hub`

If Carlsberg made hubs, they would still be not as good as these...


  1. Back in the 1990s, we pulled every hub apart on new bike builds, properly greased them, and then adjusted them. In these days of "move more product at a lower margin", in bike shops, it is probably cost=prohibitive to do that to every bike.

    But, to me, a high-end bike/high-price bike like the Moonlander should go out the door with everything adjusted and correct. Just my two cents (pence?) worth...

  2. Agree John, A mechanic in Edinburgh said they used to do the same, not anymore.
    Shimano should still do them right at the factory.
    Hopefully future complete surly bikes will have their new hubs as standard!,

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