Tech White Industries hubs

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,575
2,269
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#1
I've been looking to get a new wheelset recently and was thinking of getting some White Industries hubs (CLD). Just wondering if anyone has any experience with them, and if so, did you source them in Japan or order them from abroad? Not sure what rims to lace them to yet. Enve are very nice but I don't like the price very much ;).
 

D'Pioneer

Far beyond the black horizon
Oct 9, 2015
458
229
83
#2
I had a front White Industries hub on my Specialized S-Works hardtail in the late 90s. I built it into a Mavic 521 rim. Was a very good hub and is still going to this very day on my friends MTB, after I sold it to him before moving to Japan.

I have built a T11 into a rear wheel for someone here in Japan. I got it from Fairwheel.

Observations;

-Titanium freebody, which means you won't get any bite marks in it from the cassette. This is not so much of a big deal, but it is certainly good.
-The axle is a steel 15mm unit, which is 2mm smaller than Tune and Extralite axles, which is technically not as good, but... it uses 3 6902 bearings, rather than 3 6803. 6902 are of a slightly larger diameter, and use larger ball bearings, so will be stiffer / stronger / longer-lasting than 6803s. This is good, and means the hub should require less servicing than one based on 6803 bearings. Even better, the large driver bearing is a 3802 double row unit (ie, there are two sets of bearings next to eachother, rather than a single row). This is very sturdy indeed, and should make things even tougher. The usage of much stronger bearings more than makes up for the 2mm trade off on the axle. Also, with road riding, you don't really need a super mega axle like you do in BMX or MTB.
-The lacing is standard, J-bend flange. 2 cross on the drive, radial on the non-drive.
-Spoke spacing dimensions of the hub are slightly wider (by about a mm) than Tune, so it will slightly stiffer when built. The tension limit is high, so you can built the wheel tight, which again is good.
-Servicing it is good. It uses a grub screw system to tighten down the axle
-It uses a standard 3-pawl system which is the best way to do that.

Due to the focus on strength and reliability, it is about 100g heavier than a Tune / Extralite hub, and slightly more than a Chris King. You will most likely be servicing it / buggering around with it, a lot less than either of these, however.

The person I built it for has had no issues with clicking, creaking, spoke tension problems, or anything like that, and rides it in the wet all the time (much to my horror). This is just one persons' experience, I realise.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,575
2,269
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#3
Good to know they are on the durable side. I don't mind a bit of added weight if they are pretty much fit and forget. 100g seems a small price to pay.

It seems that fairwheels don't have the CLD on their website. I contacted White industries myself a while back to ask some questions about their hubs and they responded within 12 hours which is always very nice when it happens. I might see if they will sell direct to me. Worth a try.
 

D'Pioneer

Far beyond the black horizon
Oct 9, 2015
458
229
83
#4
I might see if they will sell direct to me. Worth a try.
Yeah, 100g on the hub will not make any difference (this doesn't stop my quest for a 0g rear hub though, obviously)

Durability; well, I am only going by their design on paper, and the experiences of my one mate, but yeah, going from how they have designed it, durability and strength appears to have informed a lot of the design decisions.

Buying it direct; I have never encountered a small parts manufacturer who would not sell direct to me* They have prices on their site for the hubs, so I imagine they will sell you one. I get stuff from Extralite direct, for example, and it is cheaper than Fairwheel. The best thing about ordering direct is if you have any technical questions you can really get stuck into it with them, as with most small companies, the person answering the emails either sits next to the design engineer, or IS the design engineer. The email exchanges I have had with Extralite have been brilliant fun and beyond ridiculously technical. I have learned so much over the years from speaking direct to companies like this. It is really one of the best things about all this high end niche bike gear.

Disc hub? So you're building a disc machine then.

*Apart from Tune, at first, but even they gave in eventually.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,575
2,269
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#5
Yeah, 100g on the hub will not make any difference (this doesn't stop my quest for a 0g rear hub though, obviously)

Durability; well, I am only going by their design on paper, and the experiences of my one mate, but yeah, going from how they have designed it, durability and strength appears to have informed a lot of the design decisions.

Buying it direct; I have never encountered a small parts manufacturer who would not sell direct to me* They have prices on their site for the hubs, so I imagine they will sell you one. I get stuff from Extralite direct, for example, and it is cheaper than Fairwheel. The best thing about ordering direct is if you have any technical questions you can really get stuck into it with them, as with most small companies, the person answering the emails either sits next to the design engineer, or IS the design engineer. The email exchanges I have had with Extralite have been brilliant fun and beyond ridiculously technical. I have learned so much over the years from speaking direct to companies like this. It is really one of the best things about all this high end niche bike gear.

Disc hub? So you're building a disc machine then.

*Apart from Tune, at first, but even they gave in eventually.
I'll drop them another email and see what they say.

Disc? Quite possibly