Chris King vs. Dura Ace hubs
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  1. #1
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    Wink Chris King vs. Dura Ace hubs

    I'm about to get a new wheelset built up. I enjoy climbing, although I don't race, so I'd like the wheels to be light, but not scary light (yes, I know it makes no difference, but psychologically it sure does!).

    Anyway, I asked my wheelbuilder about the feasability of building up wheels around Chris King hubs (which one acquaintance of mine considers the best thing ever built). He said he could, but recommended that I use Dura-Ace hubs because they run quieter while coasting and that Dura Ace hubs are smoother.

    Anybody with Chris King hubs want to comment on the racket the hubs make? Is it pretty much un-noticeable once you reach coasting speeds and the wind is in your ears anyway? By "smoother", I guess he means that Dura-Ace hubs can coast for a longer period before stopping themselves due to internal hub friction?

    thanks!
    Kevin

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kfurrow
    I'm about to get a new wheelset built up. I enjoy climbing, although I don't race, so I'd like the wheels to be light, but not scary light (yes, I know it makes no difference, but psychologically it sure does!).

    Anyway, I asked my wheelbuilder about the feasability of building up wheels around Chris King hubs (which one acquaintance of mine considers the best thing ever built). He said he could, but recommended that I use Dura-Ace hubs because they run quieter while coasting and that Dura Ace hubs are smoother.

    Anybody with Chris King hubs want to comment on the racket the hubs make? Is it pretty much un-noticeable once you reach coasting speeds and the wind is in your ears anyway? By "smoother", I guess he means that Dura-Ace hubs can coast for a longer period before stopping themselves due to internal hub friction?

    thanks!
    Kevin
    Boy! What a can of worms!

    CK's are Gucci. Eye candy.
    D/A aren't as Gucci, but are easier to get replacement parts for.

    Re: loudness. You don't coast up to the guy you're chasing unless you're going downhill. That argument is fairly irrelevent.

    Both are gonna make your wheels go round and round for a long time.

    Buy the hubs that make you feel the best and ride the heck out of them!

    M
    I've moved back to NoVA. PLEASE change the weather!

  3. #3
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    From what I've heard and read

    - from what I've read, quality of the King is the best, best seals, immediate engagement. People say they are overkill for road use, and perfect for mtb use. I'd like to try them, but don't have the money, so I'm happily running D/A

    - from what I've heard: being behind somebody with King hubs is really annoying, I can tell you. They are SO LOUD !! Some like it, but I would get pissed in 10 minutes if I had a set.

    Pierre



    Quote Originally Posted by kfurrow
    I'm about to get a new wheelset built up. I enjoy climbing, although I don't race, so I'd like the wheels to be light, but not scary light (yes, I know it makes no difference, but psychologically it sure does!).

    Anyway, I asked my wheelbuilder about the feasability of building up wheels around Chris King hubs (which one acquaintance of mine considers the best thing ever built). He said he could, but recommended that I use Dura-Ace hubs because they run quieter while coasting and that Dura Ace hubs are smoother.

    Anybody with Chris King hubs want to comment on the racket the hubs make? Is it pretty much un-noticeable once you reach coasting speeds and the wind is in your ears anyway? By "smoother", I guess he means that Dura-Ace hubs can coast for a longer period before stopping themselves due to internal hub friction?

    thanks!
    Kevin

  4. #4
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    I have King hubs on my bike. Because of the seals on the bearings, they don't coast as long as hubs with cup-and-cone bearings (like DA hubs), but the small amount of friction they impart is really negligible when you consider the inertia of your entire bike. But how long a wheel keeps spinning isn't really indicative of the quality of the hub; a cheap hub with no seals will spin longer than even a DA hub, but it doesn't mean it's a better hub.

    The King rear hub is loud, but I stopped noticing it after a little while. It might bother your riding buddies to hear you every time you coast, but I think if you're going fast, wind noise really reduces how noticable the hub is. It probably wouldn't be the best hub for racing, because the guy you're drafting will hear exactly how little work you're doing, and might drop back to let you pull.

    As for the front hub, there's no reason not to get a King front hub, except cost.

    The King hubs have very good seals, are easy to service, and can go a long time between services. They're easily the best-made hubs I've seen. I've had Shimano hubs with slightly grooved and pitted cups -- if this happens, the only way to fix it is to rebuild the wheel with a new hub. But with a cartridge-bearing hub like the King, you just get new bearings. As for replacing parts: it is a little harder to get parts for King hubs, but then, you won't need them. The freehub mechanism won't wear out like Shimano freehubs, and the bearing races will last much longer, and overhauls don't require bearing replacement.

    There is one nice thing about having a loud hub.... My other rear wheel has an Ultegra hub with an LX freehub body (I got it after the original freehub body crapped out), which is almost totally silent. With this wheel, people on multi-use trails never know when I'm coming up behind them, but with the King rear wheel, they know to step aside.

  5. #5
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    Freehub body

    King uses an aluminum freehub body (unless you special order a hub with something else). Shimano 9 speed cogs will dig into the splines on the freehub body damaging them. For this reason all Shimano hubs (except 10 speed DA) uses either a steel freehub body or Ti (9 speed DA). In my opinion, this is reason enough to skip the extra expense of ANY hub using an aluminum freehub body (Hugi, King, White, ect.).

    Just my opinion, your milage may vary.

    Ed

  6. #6
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    Steel freehub bodies and/or spidered cassettes

    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    King uses an aluminum freehub body (unless you special order a hub with something else). Shimano 9 speed cogs will dig into the splines on the freehub body damaging them. For this reason all Shimano hubs (except 10 speed DA) uses either a steel freehub body or Ti (9 speed DA). In my opinion, this is reason enough to skip the extra expense of ANY hub using an aluminum freehub body (Hugi, King, White, ect.).

    Just my opinion, your milage may vary.

    Ed
    You can swap the aluminum freehub body at any time for a stainless steel one, which adds 48g to the total weight. It requires a special tool to move the bearings over, so you'd probably have to get your shop to do the swap.

    If you use a spidered cassette (like most sizes of Ultegra and Dura-Ace cassettes), then it won't get damaged. But even in these cassettes, the smaller cogs are individual -- I called King and they told me that because there's less leverage from the smaller cogs on the freehub body, that it's not a problem with the smaller cogs. In my experinece, the smaller cogs have made very small indentations in the splines, but nothing that causes a problem. Still, I'm getting the steel freehub body from them...

  7. #7
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    I didn't like the noise at first, it took me about a year to get to the point that I don't even notice them any more. I think there is a breakin period on King hubs, maybe it's just the grease and close tollerences. By comparison Campy Record 10 hubs are much louder than King hubs, I have both. You really can't go wrong with D-A hubs either, just get whatever you want within your budget. It may not matter to you but apparently there's no way to run a Campy spaced cassette on a Chris King hub.

  8. #8

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    Sound file of King hub.


  9. #9

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    I have been running Chris Kings on my bike for a while. They are tuff and worth the money. They will last forever and you would be wasting you money on Dura Ace. I have broken every wheelset( Rolf Pros, Spinergy Spox, Spinergy Xero, Vector Comps, Mavic Cosmos, Ultegra) I have own except Chris King. It is also the only rear hub that I have not bent. They are more money but you can also sale them down the road and still get more money out of them then the Dura Ace.

  10. #10
    jrm
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    They run on sealed bearings..

    Quote Originally Posted by kfurrow
    I'm about to get a new wheelset built up. I enjoy climbing, although I don't race, so I'd like the wheels to be light, but not scary light (yes, I know it makes no difference, but psychologically it sure does!).

    Anyway, I asked my wheelbuilder about the feasability of building up wheels around Chris King hubs (which one acquaintance of mine considers the best thing ever built). He said he could, but recommended that I use Dura-Ace hubs because they run quieter while coasting and that Dura Ace hubs are smoother.

    Anybody with Chris King hubs want to comment on the racket the hubs make? Is it pretty much un-noticeable once you reach coasting speeds and the wind is in your ears anyway? By "smoother", I guess he means that Dura-Ace hubs can coast for a longer period before stopping themselves due to internal hub friction?

    thanks!
    Kevin
    There isnt any ratcheting. I look at this way..they last for ever and are rebuildable notto mention thatthey can rewound about 3 X.

    Gotta love the bbbbbuuuuuuzzzzzzzz

  11. #11

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    Faced with the same decision, I chose Chris King. Here were my deciding resons:
    1. Their website has a video showing you how to rebuild the hubs - compare and contrast to shicrapo's dearth of useful info.
    2. Instant engagement - this is the one noticible thing that I like better than my Ksyriums
    3. The buzz is good! I rarely coast anyway unless I am flying down a serious descent where you won't hear the buzz. Beyond that, the only time I am coasting is when I am on the bike path where the buzz is better than a bell. One good backpeadal and those kids/dogs get reeled in quick!

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