View Full Version : Phil Wood Hubs...

06-14-2005, 10:08 PM
Expensive and heavy...

Are they worth it? Does weight really matter so much for the hub? (we all know size matters, but I digress). Isnt it the outside rolling weight that truly matters?

I know they are beautiful and have been told that they are bomb proof and should last a very, very long time.

Should the weight really matter that much? Its about 2000 grams for a set, built up with DT rims and Wheelsmith spokes 3 cross, 32 spokes.

They will be used on an all around, all purpose bike. A bike that I'd like to train hard on, climb hills on and do Centuries with. I am NO racer. (I only play one on TV)

Opinions, comments, theories or just general ramblings all appreciated.

As always, thank you all in advance,


PS: Paying more and getting heavier. Is there something wrong with this equation??? Or, should I just lose an extra 3/4 of a pound and call it a day?

Too Tall
06-15-2005, 07:28 AM
Buy them for all the reasons you listed. Also, they are made in the USA by folks who answer the phone and give very good customer service. I've had three Phil Wood hubsets. One is a early prototype from about 1970, it's still running well. Second is for my commuter and before I switched to tubulars racked up at least 50,000 miles of rough duty. Third set was on our Santana tandem which saw us through yrs. of Brevets and one PBP....so I guess they are OK ;) I like to give my hard earned $$s to folks who are part of the enduring bicycling culture and respect, Phil fits that bill nicely.

If you want inexpensive and just as durable but with no Panache or zing buy an Mavic OP / Ultegra wheelset from one of the big mail order houses on sale.

Fair and Balanced pandering.

06-15-2005, 02:02 PM
I did buy the PW hubs for all the reasons you mentioned. I just didnt bargain for a wheelset that weighs 2,000 grams....

The real question is: Does the "hub weight" really matter in the big scheme of things? I mean, isnt it all about outer diameter weights and rotaional weights. Adding a 1/2 a pound to the bike is like adding an extra weater bottle, yes?

Or, am I missing the point? Does adding that much extra weight to a hub really make a difference?

As always, thank you in advance,


06-15-2005, 02:40 PM

I posted a comment in your other thread, but I think the question to ask yourself with regard to these wheels is what do you want them to do. If you bought them for the reasons listed: durability, reliability, and beauty then they are perfect. If you wanted superlight weight to make the ultimate "mountain climbing bike" they probably aren't the best choice.

Too Tall
06-15-2005, 02:43 PM
I tend to agree.

06-15-2005, 03:44 PM
whether I want to put them on the CSI (which I dont ride very much & its a 9 speed) Or, my new (old) Hors Cat, which I am planning on riding often and great distances (10 speed). I have a set of White Ind. hubs laced to 32 spoke 14/15 3 cross DT spokes and DT rims. That set weighs about 1650 grams. The White Industry hubs are super sweet as well!

I am thinking that the White Ind wheelset might just do me better on the Hors Cat.

Thoughts, opinions, comments, rants? etc, etc etc???


H.Frank Beshear
06-15-2005, 09:50 PM
Campy or ShimaNO :D White is compatble with the Italian stuff Phil isn't. Frank

06-15-2005, 10:04 PM
I found that Campy didnt work as well for me. I hated the wired cadence on their ergo brain, actually the whole ergo brain didnt work very well.

Also, set up properly, Shimano stuff is just as precise and you dont have to think about your shifts. I use triple stuff and the Campy front der left a great deal to be desired (triple wise).

Just my $.02, for whats its worth (probably nothing).


H.Frank Beshear
06-15-2005, 10:11 PM
And I was just the oppisite I rode triples before I went compact and much prefered the way the Campy front worked over the Shimano. Different strokes and all. You can't go wrong with either . Frank

06-15-2005, 11:04 PM
I was gonna start a Campy-Shimano war....Thank G%d that got settled.

I was Mac guy too...I guess thats why they don't paint all bikes green, right?

Aint life grand!


06-15-2005, 11:04 PM
I've got a Phil Wood Cassette rear hub. Bought it because it's on my commuter which sees no mercy weather-wise. When I ordered it from my LBS I ordered the wrong axle length. I called Phil Wood direct (didn't want to bother the LBS with my dope move). They mailed me the part I needed and said it wasn't important to return the wrong piece; now THAT'S customer service.

Incidentally, all it takes to convert the rear hub to various axle widths is to screw on new axle ends; a five minute job.

The cassette mechanism is noisy, especially if you're used to Shimano. And it's stiff, too, so that as you wheel the bike along the cassette will turn the pedals. It does tend to loosen up somewhat.

They do make an SL version for even more bucks; I think it saves 85 grams.

Yeah; it's worth it if you are going to punish your equipment.

06-15-2005, 11:25 PM
The cassette mechanism on my Shimano is silent....and yes, it is stiff as all get up. Kind of like the CK hubs I have. They will loosen up, I hope.

Yeah, they shipped me the wrong axle. Got the heavier one. They are shipping me the lighter one any day now. I guess 85 grams is 85 grams, right?

I was expecting them to be noisier, actually. Thought they would be a bit like the CK hubs, but nary a squeak out of them. Super silent, super smooth, super tight, super pretty and SUPER heavy!


Too Tall
06-16-2005, 07:30 AM
Since we be hub geekin'....

10 yrs. ago I asked Phil Wood to make an aluminim axel for their cassette hub. After some discussion about durability and me saying I'm going for a long "test ride" they agreed. I've sent back positive reports to Brent for yrs. The saved weight will get more folks into Phil Hubs who otherwise might not and at very very little loss in durability. Next on the hit list is the boat anchor cassette body :cool: Hehe I'd like to think I helped :)

You can modify the pawl spring at your own risk. For most folks a slightly slacker spring will work 100% great and it's very quiet. On the other hand, I use a heavier than normal spring for the tandem. As James E. Jones opines (for big money) It's nice to have choices.

The National Tandem Track Champs use Phil Wood hubs.