for the start xtr is much heavier than our hubs (at least rear).
second thing is you would be surprised how many people build their wheels improperly tensioned or improperly trued after some time. Difference in best and good product is that best product is "idiot" proof as people say.
Like i wrote somewhere else, you (as each of you separate) think and act locally as you see by eyes of your experience. We have to take in account more factors not just what is happening in Wales, or other part of the world for that matter. People do different stuff with wheels.
I had that privilege to work for few big bike companies before and i know exactly what fails in the hubs and what's not as i have see thousands of them broken from different makers. You will not find this in books or forums as every manufacturer always hide that data. Based on this knowledge we created our hubs. Every single detail is well though.
Yes, they are a bit heavier than lightest ones on the market. We did not aim this time at being lightest, but most durable. Brands you have just pointed out use quite small bearings compared to ours. Our bearings alone weight 60g more per set than the ones from Tune hubs for eg. We use 6903 all over both hubs and freehub.
Bigger bearings roll better as well.
We also aim at trail and enduro crowd rather than XC. Many of the hubs mentioned earlier are only rated for XC and Marathon. We aim up to very aggressive enduro with no weight limit. It's like with rims. XC rim is lighter than all mountain one as it has to be burlier...
We can make adapters to the bearings like extralite does (effectively changing bearing size) and save 50g in a second but this is not our goal here.
Lastly. Hubs inside are kind of "round". Making them look like outside would be madness:) This in cross section gives very interesting structure and adds only small bit of weight.. Mattias, if you want to buy one and cut in half then no problem:)
njee20 - uneven tension compromises bearing life. Bearings usually sit at the flange. Now if you start pulling that flange in different directions by spokes it will start to deform very slightly. If tension after lacing is even all is good. If not then you leave internal stresses in the flange and bearing sit is not "round" anymore. Of course we speak about very small differences here, but if you do that with another flange as well, bearings are no longer in the axis. That just puts stresses to the bearing and they wear out quicker.
In very rare occurrence you can even twist hub shell by lacing it:http://oli-roadworks.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... y-day.html
just scroll few pictures down when you see silver hub.
forgot to add DanW - (about narrow/wide singlespeed cogs) you would be shocked by response we got from our customers... remember if something sounds silly to you it does not necessarily mean same to others. We solved problem here and these people who experienced it before, appreciate it greatly. Like i wrote above we have to think globally as a company, not locally. So some products may sound not right for you, but they sound excellent for others...
The better the product usually is the more polarizing opinions we usually get:)