I currently have four wheels, all using the White Industries hubs. All were custom built by Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com.
Two are for 10-speed drivetrains (SRAM Red) and two are for 10-/11-speed drivetrains (Shimano 9070).
Normally I try not to be an early adopter but I decided last year that I just had to try the new Shimano 11-speed DI2 for my next custom bike...
My three training wheelsets all use HED. C2 clincher rims.
1) Decent city road training
Front wheel: WI MI5 hub, 28 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, DT Swiss Prolock Hex nipples, Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 24mm tire, Latex tubes
Rear wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, DT Swiss Prolock Hex nipples, Vittoria Open Pave EVO CG 24c tire, Latex tubes
Front wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced radial, brass nipples, Continental 4000s 25c tire, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
Rear wheel: WI MI5 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Continental 4000s 25c tire, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
Front wheel: WI T11 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Vittoria Open Corsa CX 25c, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
Rear wheel: WI T11 hub, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 3x, brass nipples, Vittoria Open Corsa CX 25c, Vittoria Ultralite butyl tubes.
My climbing/fair day/indulgence/now favorite wheelset uses the ENVE 3.4 Tubular rims with Veloflex tires
Front wheel: WI T11 hub, 20 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, Veloflex Carbon Black 23c.
Rear wheel: WI T11 hub, 24 Sapim CX-Ray spokes laced 2x, Veloflex Arenberg 25c.
A bit about myself:
Well, I am fat at 195lbs, have ridden seriously for only 2-3 years, am a spinner/masher at an average cadence of 90-95 rpm, am 44 year old with a partially torn right ACL due to skiing, rarely get out of the saddle to pedal, do not produce massive watts with a FTP of about 175, and generally ride solo 80-100 km in 3-4 hours on both Saturday and Sundays as my exercise training rides. I try to do a solo centuries in 5-6 hours on coastal roads about once a month.
In the past year, I have ridden about 8000 km on one training wheel set for the 10-speed bike and another 2000 km on the other training wheel set for the other 10-speed powermeter bike, without any issues with the wheels and they have stayed completely true and round - and I have ridden on rough countryside roads and salt farm roads where the salt crystals have caused punctures.
So far, I have only ridden about 1000 km on my WI T11 wheel sets for the 11-speed DI2 bike and have not noticed any spoke-unwinding issues nor flexing issues - but that might be because I am fairly gentle on my wheels.
I was thinking about another wheelset for my 11-speed bike so, after reading a thread about problems with 11-speed wheels and hubs, I sent a couple of emails regarding hub selection to Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com, and a side email to Jason Woznick of Fairwheelbikes and to Wheelbuilder.com.
I would like to share excerpts of the email conversations:
From John Olson of Wheelbuilder.com:
"The ORC-UL has been very delayed. We were supposed to get them in March, but have not really seen any. I would look the CK at this point because we really have no idea when the UL would be ready for builds. I find CK to be very reliable. I found the ELF to not be very durable for larger riders. They are finicky and I would not recommend them to riders over 165 pounds. Also they have some play in them and if you overclamp you can destroy the bearings."
From Jason Woznick of Fairwheelbikes (he is one of the authors of the FWB 11-speed hub review):
"I like both the Alchemy (Mark: ORC-UL) and the King (Mark: CK45), but would probably choose the King over the Alchemy. If the rim was not so stiff then there might be more of a difference but in this case the rim (Mark: ENVE 6.7) is so stiff that the hub really doesn’t matter all that much. I’d choose the durability/reliability of the King over the Alchemy.
I’d also recommend the DT240 over the King. The reason is that it has a better left/right tension ratio which helps keep non-drive spokes from going slack better than the King. You also get the same durability/reliability of the King, but with a hub that can be serviced at any shop in the country. Most shops do not have the proper tools to fully service a king hub."
From Richard at Prowheelbuiler.com:
"So my thoughts on White Industries versus Chris King, I have listed a pro’s and con’s list below for you to review. Please keep in mind that both are great hubs and although there are several differences none will be a huge difference in the next 5 to 6 years and both hubs can be kept in service well past 10 years (although the White Ind T11 will last longer).
White Ind Pro’s
Non proprietary bearings
Side load adjustable
Titanium driver body
Cromoly axle 15mm
Large Ball Bearings
Non shouldered axle design
Lowest drag driver mech.
White Ind Con’s
Heavy (29 grams over ck r45)
Set screw collet
Chris King Pro’s
Non radially loading driver mechanism
Side load adjustable (with threaded collet)
Multiple color options
Light (29 grams lighter than wi t11)
Non shouldered axle design
Chris King Con’s
Very high drag driver mech.
Proprietary bearings ($45 each)
Proprietary tools needed for service.
Aluminum driver body.
The article you reference (Mark: I referred him to the FWB 11-speed hub review) mostly speaks about flange diameter and placement. As I build with a lot of different hubs I have found that this makes far less of a difference than the article would have you believe. But that being said the T11 is better than the R45 in this as well however I would definitely (Mark sp) not let that be a concern. Hope this helps. Thank you."
I also sent an email to White Industries and got back the following emails. I am impressed with their level of customer service in their willingness to reply to an email from a random person - their response is probably a bit biased towards WI but understandable:
From Lynette Toepfer of White Industries:
"I pulled up the blog (Mark: I referred them to the FWB 11-speed article) and read through it. As you were able to read there are a lot of challenges with the new 11 speed system that Shimano introduced and it has been a difficulty for all hub manufacturers. The bracing angle isn't going to be as good as with the ten speed cassette which is true, however, we have had the same offset for the Campy 11 speed hubs for the last two years with absolutely no problems so we are confident in the design. As far as comparing against the other manufacturers, I'll have to call Fairwheel on Monday to question them. The only other manufacture that has a compatible hub in production is DT with an 3.5mm vs our 3.3mm as reported by them. I'm not sure how they can compare the production hubs specifications against the other manufactures 11 speed hubs that have not been introduced or manufactured as if yet. It seems only fair that comparisons would be finished product to finished product. Like I said, I'll give them a call when I'm back in the office."
"I don't think I got back to you after receiving your follow up e-mail. Thank you for being such a supporter of our products. I’m delighted that you have been using our hubs in your wheels. Rich is a good guy and puts a lot of time and effort into his wheel builds.
A quick comment about the Campy 11 speed, while it is true that the largest cog cantilevers over the shell a bit, the offset still needed to be different for Campy vs Shimano (10 speed) for clearance reasons. This Campy configuration was even needed for our H2 model previous to the H3 so this same bracing angle has been in production for many years and we have never had one problem. We are confident in the integrity of the hub and wheel if properly laced."
Like I said, I am impressed with White Industries customer service and have used their hubs without any problems. I also like that she knew of Richard of Prowheelbuilder.com.
Well, all three builders sell more than one hub (CK45, WI T-11, and DT240, with only FWB having the ORC-UL now), so figure that asking all three might be able to get a combined, unbiased opinion. I do have a good history with Richard so I would tend to give him more credit - and he does probably build at least 1000 wheel sets a year.
I was originally pretty much set on choosing the CK45 hub for my 11-speed bike until the last email from Richard.
What do you all think?