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merckxman
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2,217 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was at a nice bike shop recently and out of curiosity was looking closely at the construction and getting an idea of the weights of many different wheelsets that the store had on display.

Holding one front wheel at a time, not turning it, I was turning the hubs to get a feel for how smooth they were. There seemed to be quite a difference. The smoothest by far, and felt jewel like, were a Gipiemme wheelset. Others I tried were Mavic ES, Shimano DuraAce, Campagnolo Eurus.

Does the smoothness one feels in a static test like this transfer into real life, or once they are on the bike these high end wheelsets are about the same in context of hub performance ?
 

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wheelbuilder
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2,220 Posts
No. The only thing it is worthwhile for is if there is crap in the bearings and you feel it. This isn;t much of an issue with most decent wheels. You can also check if the hub is adjusted properely if you know what your doing, but if you were to compare Chris King or Phil Wood hubs when they are new to new Campy hubs you would think that the Campy is so much better because they have less stiction (sp). The truth is that they are all high quality, but the Phil Wood and King hubs different bearings (sealed) than Campy. On the road it is not an isue. I do it anyway just because I'm a fidget freak.

-Eric
 

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Big is relative
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11,901 Posts
How a bearing feels under no load is not necessarily how it will be under load. I have a set of new Roval wheels that feel like "butta" when you spin them by hand, but that is because of sealed cartridge bearings. They roll nice but no better than the loose ball hubbed wheelsets that I use as well. Up to now I have stayed away from cartridge bearings because I don't mind repacking hubs, in fact I enjoy it. The Rovals are sweet though.
 

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Every little counts...
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3,924 Posts
Picked up a 25 year old Nuovo Record wheels and the bearings spin smoother and easier than anything available today. That is because they have absolutely no oil or grease seals.

Today, the Campy systems have better seals, but take awhile to break in. They will be stiff on the shelf as most sealed systems will be.
 
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