Touring Hubs

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  • Was surprised to see there was no thread on touring hubs. There is a lot of discussion online over the last 10 years with regards to this but I dont see much consensus and I trust people here...for some reason.

    Long story short, I built up some wheels for lightish weight (not kitchen sink) but long distance touring and I went with Chris King R45D hubs...cause well....cHriS kiNg LaSt fOreVer.

    Now I'm worried because if/when they need serviced or fail I'm not going to find anyone to do that in Albania (I imagine) for instance.

    I've got 6 weeks to sort it, if indeed it is something that needs sorted, what am I getting?

    32 hole, centre lock disc, 11 speed.

    Shimano something?

  • Hope rs4 would do the trick. Very reliable.

  • I actually have RS4's on my gravel wheels and having looked into it, I think you are right. Good availability too.

    Can tuck away a set of bearings in the kit as well.

  • What's the difference between Chris king and hope in how serviceable they are? Not tried working on either but assumed they're both just shells for some bearings?

    Feel like your current CK hubs should be fine surely? I am quite ignorant on these topics but just wouldn't have thought it was that big a deal.

  • Ck hubs are well built for sure. I’m just put off by their cost and their spares prices and availability.

  • From what I can tell, I'm also largely ignorant, a simple clean and relube service with the bearings in place is a fairly simple job.

    But should those bearings need removed for a full service, then its a proprietary tool job (£200 tool) to strip and reassemble. Chris King suggest servicing the bearing every 6-12 months and they'll last forever.

    Thats what I've deduced anyway. So for touring in far flung places where Chris King service shops will be very hard, if not impossible, to find, I think Hope with the easily replaceable cartridge bearings are a more stress free option. Basically need a hammer and I'm happy to carry a set of bearings, springs, pawls etc.

    I imagine the same is true with the likes of Shimano and DT Swiss, easier to fix by most mechanics.

  • Crikey... Would never have thought.

  • Before discs the go-to touring hubs were Deore.

    Has this changed?

  • I had read somewhere that certain parts had gone from steel to alu in some of the goto Shimano parts, affecting longevity? Can't confirm that, just saw it said.

    My Genesis Tour de Fer came with Deore disc hubs but haven't put extensive miles on that.

  • Deore are reliable but need fairly regular cleaning and fresh grease, the seals aren't great. Deore XT better but as mentioned there has been murmurings of reliability issues (with the rear hubs in particular i think)

  • Why would you bring spare cartridge bearings? It's not like they fail catastrophically, and unless you're riding 100k a day for months on end they won't wear out enough for you to notice.

  • I’ve literally put 12000 miles on mine without any massive hassles. Tbh, just check them regularly and follow the maintenance schedule. They can be serviced quite easily, if I can do it most folk can!

  • Trip might last 2 months, might last 12. DI don't have a time limit. Just tuck them away and forget about it.

  • Aye I've serviced RS4 hubs, got them on a set of wheels already which take much more of a wintery gravelly hammering, pretty gross after 6 months but still smooth. No issues in that department.

    I've ordered the hubs and the bits. Option is there to take some spare bits n pieces.

  • Guess Hope is a good choice.
    Would have said Shimano, but the combination of cup and cone and through axle felt awkward to me.
    I have SON and DT Swiss 350 on my tourer because I can do a lot of cleaning without tools on the DT.

    And even if I did 12 Months of touring I would not carry spare bearings, but order online and deliver en route if something was needed. This should be possible almost everywhere, and if you carry bearings, where do you stop? Cassette? Chain?
    Cables, tubes and pads, zipties and gaffa is all you need in my opinion.

  • Fine. I'll leave them.

    Cant I take some pawls n springs? :(

  • No idea I've never ridden a bike more than 1k in a year.

  • CK tool is a luxury not an essential surely?

    Really you should be using drifts and presses etc to do Hopes too.

    Would agree with those that have suggested a cup and cone hub. Packed with decent grease they should be outlasting your tyres, rotors*, etc.

    *Talking of which, you think you’re getting a centrelock rotor in the back arse of naewhere when it wears out/gets dinged on a rock?

    XT 756 would be my recommendation. Spa still has them in stock and plenty nos on eBay too.

  • That is something I cannot find an answer to, the ease of removing and reinstalling CK bearings without the tool. From the one decent video I found with the tool, it looks a lot more complicated for mere mortals like myself. Especially when compared to the excellent tutorial Hope provide which even says "its better to use a press but..." I feel a lot less stress knowing I'm going to use the RS4's now.

    Rotors would be a cross that bridge order online when it comes to it job...contrary to what I've intimated above, I'm happy to roll with the punches in those instances. Its actually quite fun innit.

    Naturally I bow to your superior mechanical knowledge and have no doubt you'd just make a hub and brake rotor out of the same beer can. However, I can't bring myself to learn the cup n' cone n slimey baws fleein about thing.

    I've just have too much time to think about this tour with it having been postponed for so long. Too much research, dreaming up problems n' having a mild panic as its only 6 weeks away now.

    Happy to leave this thread to others looking to answer the question of suitable touring hubs. Cheers everyone :)

  • I have been in your situation so completely understand your worries. My longest trip ended up being only 1 month but I have done various trips over the years.

    What I learn when touring is that you cannot really plan for much, say you have spare parts with you but not the one that fails. I think it is unlikely your hubs will fail and wouldn’t worry about it. If it does, you will find a solution, especially if you are not under time pressure.

    I would go as light as possible (not easy when starting in beginning of March) and adapt you setup on the way. You will get more experienced while you travel. There are shops (Decathlon) on the way to Albania so you will have plenty of time and resources to adapt before you hit more challenging countries.

    I have done the Balkans in March 2016. PM me if you like to chat about it.

  • Good post! I am actually pretty experienced in long road trips in the car, separate trips in Central Europe, Balkans and North America and like you say, solving the issues that arise is actually part of the fun. Obviously this "risk" is more pronounced on two wheels, im not equating the two.

    Leaving Scotland 20th of April so while still a bit chilly hopefully not too bad. To my mind I have a streamlined kit, just under 15kg (ive lost 10kg of my own weight thankfully) for full camp set up et al. Bike at 11.5kg albeit minus 2 kg of full bottles.

    On the question of the thread, I have already replaced the CK Hubs with Hope and feel better for it.

    I may be in touch mate, thanks for the offer.

  • streamlined kit, just under 15kg

    Kit list/photos please (for the bored, stuck at home cyclists that never get to go anywhere different now and live vicariously though others travels...)

  • Right now I can offer you a photo sans aerobars...I've got rough list, I'll put something together. I think it's quite common that nobody else in my life gives a shit about this stuff aside from strangers on the Internet.

    Edit to preempt the abuse for using carbon rims and Shimano GRX for touring while worrying about CK hubs. Thank you, noted.

    1 Attachment

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  • strangers on the Internet

    Feels like 90% of my bike life these days!

  • This trip deserves a thread imo

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Touring Hubs

Posted by Avatar for Stoo61 @Stoo61