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Informal Reviews on Track Wheels

Old 01-02-19, 10:05 PM
  #201  
taras0000
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Originally Posted by Super D View Post
So here's a bit of a perhaps unanswerable question...If all other elements are equal, who makes the fastest-rolling HUBS?

The follow-up to that is, has anyone tested track hubs fairly, eliminating variables and narrowing performance down to the hubs themselves?

I now have wheels with Mavic track hubs, Zipp track hubs, DA track hubs, FFWD track hubs and Onyx track hubs...curious to know which would actually roll the best----if all other elements were equal.

I bring this up, because in my experiences with road wheels, those with DA hubs seem to roll better/faster than anything else I've owned. Not standing up for DA as the best, but sharing empirical evidence (I generally seem to coast faster than most riders around me since switching to wheels with DA hubs. I didn't change anything else, so I'm thinking the hubs must be a factor.)
As a broadly generic statement, anything with cup and cone will be faster than a cartridge bearing. Cup and cone also makes it easy to change/test/use different lubricants instead of just the factory grease. Grease does break down over time, so any sealed bearing will not just degrade lubrication wise, but as it wears, it cannot be cleaned, leading to further degradation. Whether this is measurable or important to you is up to you. My old race wheels (Zipp 440 rims to DA hubs) were kept squeaky clean and I lubricated with oil. I COULD tell there was a difference. Whether or not that gave me a measurable gain I was never able to figure out, but psychologically, it felt better.
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Old 01-03-19, 05:05 AM
  #202  
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I agree with Taras. I've never seen a study on track hubs particularly, but in general you just have a lot more adjustment that can be made (tuning) with cup/cone systems.
Experimenting with fill rate and lubrication choice is where the (albeit generally small relatively) gains can be made.

In cartridge bearings it's harder to tease out better friction but it can be done. The biggest contributor of drag is the seals. For a track specific wheel (that means, only on a clean surface and no rain/water to deal with) you can remove the inner/outer seal (or just the outer seal if you don't want to remove/service/replace bearings fairly regularly) and that should be the biggest single gain you can do. After that, again fill rate (and the specific type of grease/lubrication) is the next most likely place to see gains. In my experience, ~50% fill with Ceramic Speeds TT grease has been best (supported by the old frictionfacts document)
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Old 01-03-19, 08:38 AM
  #203  
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Also, if tuning hubs that have cartridge bearings, remember that there are sealed, shielded, and unshielded variants in each size. Sealed has more dragthan shielded, which has more drag than unshielded. If ordering from a bearing wholesaler, you can also get "one side sealed", "one side sealed, one shielded", ...

You just have to do some digging through their catalogs to find exactly what you want. This is a good site to learn about different types and the nomenclature system in place to identify them.
https://www.astbearings.com/radial-ball-bearing-nomenclature-and-numbering-system.html

Pro Tip: when installing bearings, face the labelled side outward so that you can identify the bearing without having to remove it.

Last edited by taras0000; 01-03-19 at 08:42 AM.
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