Review: Fixcraft CORE Series Hubs

fixcraft back hub

Hubs are pretty basic pieces of equipment in the bicycle lineup. In this I mean they are generally just three components: a hub shell, bearings, and an axle. Sure, there are other elements, but that’s the core of what makes an axle work. When I was trying to gain support from some of the guys in my club to write this review (mostly to make sure that I didn’t sound like a complete buffoon), they all repeated the same thing: there’s really nothing that exciting about a hub.

But I’d beg to differ, and let me explain why:

When I first started playing this sport, I rolled around on whatever was available (I think a lot of us had that same kind of upbringing in bike polo). my first hubs were the ones that came with the ten dollar wheels I bought at a Velo Swap, and they worked. Not well, mind you, but if I turned the wheel on my front fork, it spun around for a few turns before slowing to a stop. That’s what I thought a wheel was supposed to do, and for a long time what I imagined hubs were supposed to do, too.

My first set of fresh-from-the-box hubs came from Fixcraft when Sean allowed me to purchase the HV1 prototype polo bike. It came with a set of the Fixcraft Core Series hubs (in particular, the 100mm 48 hole front disc and 135mm 48 hole rear disc). It was from that point that I realized how hubs/wheels were supposed to feel, and that has made quite a difference to me.

Build

black rear

picture from fixcraft.net

The thing that goes without saying about Fixcraft is that they really don’t put out products that they can’t stand behind, and it’s the same with their CORE hubs. I found myself impressed with the weight of the hubs (no, weight weenies, they felt like they could take a wallop and keep on going strong), along with the cleanliness of the build. The attention paid is notable, and it’s clear that the hubs were made to sustain in polo environments, unlike other hubs which were made for racing a bicycle around on a track, which makes no sense to me at all. There’s not even a ball to chase in that sport.

Pulling directly from Fixcraft’s website, the shells of the hub are made of  6061 T6 aluminum which is then machined to a high-tolerance finish. The axle cones and nuts are likewise CNC machined out of 7075 T6 aluminum, and packed inside are sealed cartridge bearings from same country that brought you the Samurai.

green disc

Picture from Fixcraft.net

Something to note here: the hubs currently come only in the 48 hole variety, which may set some of you off your kilter. While I don’t have a problem with it, the conversation is another post altogether, and one I’ll probably write at a later date. However, for those of you who don’t want 48 spokes on your wheels, Fixcraft has alluded to offering other hole counts in the future.

 

Here’s a few more specs for those of you that have an interest:

Front disc:

• 100 spacing
• 48 hole pattern
• 252 grams
• 9 colors available
• High-quality precision built
• Top notch Japanese sealed cartridge bearings (10mm x 26mm x 8mm)
• Hub flange diameter: 58mm
• Hub Center to Flange Center (non-disc side): 35mm
• Hub Center to Flange Center (disc side): 22mm
• Spoke hole diameter: 2.5mm

Rear disc:

• 135 spacing
• 48 hole pattern
• 318 grams
• 9 colors available
• High quality build
• Top notch Japanese sealed cartridge bearings (10mm x 26mm x 8mm)
• Hub flange diameter: 58mm
• Hub center to flange center (drive side): 39mm
• Hub center to flange center (disc side): 34mm
• Spoke hole diameter: 2.5 mm

For the other varieties, hit up the Fixcraft merch table here: http://fixcraft.merchtable.com/

Feel and Use:

fixcraft hub 04I’ve had the hubs on my bike for just under a year now, and they still spin true and smooth. I was expecting some degradation in the ability for the wheels to spin clean and free, but it seemingly hasn’t happened through the rain and misuse that all polo bikes are likely to receive. Furthermore, I haven’t had any cause to change anything about the hubs (I didn’t expect to, nor would I expect to for a hub, but all the same it bears mentioning).

I can’t say for certain what kind of impact the Fixcraft hubs have had on my game, but I can say that I’m quite sure I’m getting the least amount of resistance from them, and furthermore they have taken quite a beating from me (as I am hard on equipment as a general rule), and they’ve shown me nothing but kindness.

I guess I can put it this way: if my bike were crushed by a trash compactor and then burned, and then shot into space, I’d buy a set of Fixcraft hubs over another company’s brand.

Price:

orange disc

Picture from fixcraft.net

The front hub (w/o a disc) is $77.99, and the front hub with a disc is $91.99 (at the time of this review). The rear fix/free hub is $101.99 and the rear disc hub is $114.99.  That puts the price at around the middle to high-range for hubs, depending on where you look.

That in and of itself might throw some polo players off, and I can understand that visceral emotion. But I would remind you of this: you get what you pay for, and if you want something that was built for polo specifically (and made to withstand that good ol’ polo abuse), you’ll understand why that price is worth it.

Overall:

I don’t have any complaints. They work perfectly, they come in a variety of colors, and they are made by a company that understands/contributes to bike polo. It’s a part of my bike polo equipment that I don’t think about, and that’s saying something when it comes to equipment, I think.

I’m curious about other folks who picked these up – what are your thoughts?

Want to check them out for yourself? Look here:

http://fixcraft.merchtable.com/

 

 

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