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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the boards for this but nothing came up for these keywords (both in singular and plural form), so here goes:

I'm getting a pair of wheels built to replace the stock low end Mavic's that came with my bike. The builder sources from BHS and is leaning towards SL218's. MY question is really pretty basic, if not vague: Why do BHS hubs cost a third of the next best thing? Which corners are being cut? I can' help to shake the idea that they are bargain basement priced and will eat themselves in a two or three years. A 1 year/season warranty doesn't inspire confidence.

On paper the 218's have upgraded bearings (2 x 6802, 2 x 6902) over the 211's (I've read some gripes about this elsewhere) and slightly better flange spacing,
SL218 Rear Hub - 213 grams so R&D is being done to stay competitive, I guess. Still, $70 for a hub?

mileage: 1.5-2K per year
build: Kinlin 279's, 24/28, x-ray, brass nip, can't remember suggested DS spoke type if alternate and lacing

Thanks guys!
 

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I believe they're just another branded version of somewhat generic chinese hubs. I was searching a lot in the "generic chinese carbon wheel" threads and I came across the OEM brand name somewhere. You can get similar quality and similar prices with slightly different or tailorable specs. Search on terms like Bitex or Novatec. Most folks understand you get what you pay for in terms of materials and bearings etc. I probably would've got my hubs from BHS (is where I bought spokes), just didn't like the rear hub sound they made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm. Thanks for the reply.
 

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In short, they are generic. That is neither good nor bad. I have a lot of wheelsets, two of those are build on generic hubs, one on the SL218 rear. They function perfectly, engage quickly and sound fine. I prefer my Chris King, P321, Hope and WI hubs, but not by much and largely because I think they are pretty. I greatly prefer the SL218 to my American Classic rear hub, which has dreadfully slow engagement.

In the end the QC may be a little below that of the well known manufacturers, but many people are using those hubs on this board, and I have not heard of even one problem. You should be just fine.
 

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I have built a few of the BHS hubs and have not had any issue. If you look around, you'll find alot of smaller wheel builders are using these or similar hubs. I have yet to see any broken flanges or cracked hubs. Bearing can be replaced, so can free hubs if something does go bad. Are they high end hubs? certainely not, but they are good hubs at a very reasonable price. I can build 2 sets of wheels for what name brand wheels would cost.
 

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wyrd bið ful ãræd
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I have been using the SLF85W & SL211 hubs with the XR19W rims. Done about 800 miles to date and they have been very good. About the same weight as Dura-Ace wheels I think, but no where close to it in terms of price.

Been through pot holes and gravel roads. Rims and hub held up well to date. I could not tell the difference between the 'SL' and Hope hubs that I was using prior to this. In fact, the engagement is quicker on the 'SL's.

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/wheels-tires/my-first-road-wheel-build-281543.html
 

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The hubs are made in Taiwan, not China, and they are so cheap because there are straight from a manufacturer and don't have the cost of advertising, sponsoring pro teams... custom super-duper awesome trademarked logos...

The design of the hubs have changed over the last few years and appear to be getting better (i.e. better geometry). I can't think of anyone who says anything negative about the hubs (from those folks who actually own them anyways).
 

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I probably would've got my hubs from BHS (is where I bought spokes), just didn't like the rear hub sound they made.
You do realize that you can tailor the hub sound and especially the intensity by the type and amount of lube? Don't like "noisy" Oriental hubs? Re-lube them. With most of them that takes two minutes tops. I could do it roadside if I had lube with me. Want 'em loud - use a bit of thin oil. Want 'em quiet - use thin grease.
 

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The BHS hubs are made in Taiwan and are essentially clones of Circus Monkey hubs. The bearings are upgraded with US-made Enduro bearings (solves a problem that Circus Monkey hubs have - dried out bearings) and the freehub has 6 six pawls instead of 3. The entire construction is aluminum including the axle, so you may want to reconsider using those hubs if you're a heavyset guy. Otherwise those are an awesome deal.
 

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Circus monkey hubs are from chosen I believe. BHS isnt from chosen (I dont think they're from qualita either, that looks like another company who puts stickers on someone elses product). BHS also isnt from bitex, which I verified with the owner. Hes got his own source for hubs, all though they are dimensionally similar to bitex (the freehub springs arent though, they're better than bitex).

Really for what its worth, the BHS hubs are BHS hubs, they're not something you can really buy somewhere else too easily.

While the bearings are enduro bearings, they're the economy line and not exactly a high end bearing. They're not bad by any means, but dont expect DT swiss quality bearings or anything. For the price its a very acceptable bearing. If you wear them out, a high quality stainless steel upgrade is about 30 bucks.

I run thick oil in mine to make them as loud as possible. The wind noise at speed is louder than the hub. When cruising around at low speed, they're loud enough to let people know you're behind them. They're by no means obnoxious, and using grease instead makes them even quieter.

Ive also found the freehub aluminum VERY hard. I run a loose cog cassette and it has almost no wear or dig marks, even using a 28t cassette.
 

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Unless you have them both in your hands, disassembled, I wouldnt make that assumption. Check out bitex's site. They look the same, same dimensions, same weight... internally they're slightly different and BHS hubs arent from bitex. Check out moyons site too, same thing. Theres a few others I dont remember off the top of my head.

Taiwanese business is *very* different than US business. Qualita doesnt look like a manufacturer of anything, just another reseller. This is very common practice in Taiwan.
 

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They are most definitely the same products that BHS sells. If Qualita doesn't make them directly, they are certainly the distributor.

Unless someone else can find a website where the products match exactly, I'm going with Qualita as the manufacturer.

BHS Dati: DATI Hubs
Qualita: Qualita

BHS UL Carbon: UltraLight Carbon Straight Pull Rear Hub
Qualita: Qualita

BHS 218: SL218 Rear Hub - 213 grams
Qualita: Qualita
The BHS SL218 is not shaped like the Qualita hub you linked. The hub shell is cone shaped (wider on the drive side and narrows to non-drive side). It's not a RAR13 but a RAR12 (see Bitex site).
 

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I have built a few of the BHS hubs and have not had any issue. If you look around, you'll find alot of smaller wheel builders are using these or similar hubs. I have yet to see any broken flanges or cracked hubs. Bearing can be replaced, so can free hubs if something does go bad. Are they high end hubs? certainely not, but they are good hubs at a very reasonable price. I can build 2 sets of wheels for what name brand wheels would cost.
This ^^^

My take on the hubs:
First Impressions: BikeHubStore.com Hubset | GRAVELBIKE.com
 

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In the end the QC may be a little below that of the well known manufacturers, but many people are using those hubs on this board, and I have not heard of even one problem. You should be just fine.
I had to throw away one front hub. Terrible wobble after I laced it up. Couldn't figure out what was wrong until I opened them up. Bearings slid out by hand. That's skipping QC. Shells way out of tolerance.

I've laced up three rear wheels with BHS hubs and been very happy. Don't really trust the front hubs - even the ones that didn't wobble felt a bit noodly. I have another build coming up with some BHS hubs I bought about 18 months ago. They're cheap, so I'm really just losing my build time if anything goes wrong.
 
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