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  1. #1
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    Alto hubs? Hub choice overthinking

    Been pondering getting a lighter set of wheels for my roadie. Currently running Grail hoops on Hope Pro 4's. Got these to take on tough situations such as light trails and bike packing. They're tough as a tank, but the drag on the hub pawls is noticeable.

    Anyway, I've been going back and forth between I9 Road hubs and going back to Chris King. In searching for comparisons, I came across Alto. Never heard of them, but after reading them, they're impressive. I spoke to one of the guys there, and came away even more impressed.

    Any experience with these? Or, any experience in freewheel drag comparing I9 and CK?
    I have a single track mind

  2. #2
    changingleaf
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    I have not used the Alto hubs, but they look like a standard 3 pawl design. Hope hubs have heavy springs and a tight seal around the freehub body which provides durability, but extra drag. I9 has lighter dragging pawls, but across more teeth. Chris King's entire 45 tooth ratchet drags, but fairly lightly.

    Lighter dragging hubs are:
    DT Swiss with 18 ratchet teeth lightly dragging
    America Classic has almost no drag except for one tiny spring that engages the pawls when it grabs the clutch.
    Shimano hubs have fairly low drag.
    Onyx hubs are silent, but do have noticeable drag.
    White Industries has 3 lightly dragging pawls.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peanya View Post
    They're tough as a tank, but the drag on the hub pawls is noticeable.
    I'd suggest that's all in your head. There's just no way anyone could perceive how much the pawls are slowing you down. Or if you're talking about spinning on the stand, who cares, that's got nothing to do with how they spin with a rider weight on them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I'd suggest that's all in your head. There's just no way anyone could perceive how much the pawls are slowing you down. Or if you're talking about spinning on the stand, who cares, that's got nothing to do with how they spin with a rider weight on them.
    Chain droop when coasting would be indicative of pawl (or more likely seal) drag. Whether that is significant on the road is another question, but clearly if the chain is not drooping then it truly is all in the head.

  5. #5
    wheelbuilder
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    In some designs, significant chain droop means there's some binding going on. Many floating axle systems have a thrust washer in between the shell and the freehub. If that's missing you will get some binding or worse.

    If no droop, you're fine.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    The other solution to any freewheel drag is never stop pedaling.

    Seriously, is this really perceivable?
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Free hub drag? Really? Definitely 'overthinking' it.
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  8. #8
    xxl
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Free hub drag? Really? Definitely 'overthinking' it.
    Yeah? You try dealing with sequins getting caught in yours.




    More Americans wanted Hillary Clinton to be President than wanted Donald Trump.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Free hub drag? Really? Definitely 'overthinking' it.
    Guilty as charged. I'm mainly focused on quality engagement and total weight savings. I guess I'm just trying to avoid those cheap designs that don't always catch where they're supposed to (happens on my MTB, and happened on an older wheel).
    Made up my mind finally anyway, will post when I get to try the new wheels out!
    I have a single track mind

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