Thursday, 20 December 2018

Miche Primato Syntesi - the most underestimated hubs in the market

The end price of the wheels is important, we all know that. The hubs play one of the main role in the whole setup as they are responsible for stiffness and durability. They can be also pretty expensive and that's why we have so many hubs from far east which come with good price, average geometry and not that great durability. You can find them in most of the system and hand-buit wheels, rebranded to custom brands. So... is there anything else available in the market? The answer is Yes, Miche hubs.


Italy - one of the most interesting countries in Europe. Famous from beautiful landscapes, brilliant food, excellent espresso and... cycling. Yes, cycling is the DNA of Italy. Giro Italia, big names and champions, races, events, bikes and small steel frames manufacturers, all in one country. If you're the cyclist you can't not love that place!

One of the very interesting brands from Italy is Miche. They make many products but one of them deserves for special recognition - the hubs. Miche Primato Syntesi are one of the best hubs in the market in my opinion. Great geometry, stiff axle, quality bearings, excellent sealing, low drag, super quiet clutch and top price. That all makes them very interesting choice for wheel builders. 


The negatives? I see only one and only related to weight-weenies. The weight of the whole set is 430g. This is about 100g more comparing to Novatec or Bitex. It might be, that this is the main reason why they are not so popular and well promoted. 
Looking from the other side, this extra 100g is not the rotation mass so it doesn't have that big influence on the wheels dynamics. I'd say even opposite, thanks to great geometry which makes wheels super stiff, those can be faster and more responsive than the same with lighter, but worse geometry hubs.

In this build I used 40mm graphene rims, Pillar Wing20 spokes on front and Wing21 spokes on rear wheel. The whole set shows 1586g on the scale without rim tape. This is still very good result and such wheels will serve for many years without bearings change. Robust carbon workhorses, perfect for training and racing no matter of weather conditions.

The whole secret of good hub's geometry for traditionally laced wheels is widely spaced flanges with high flanges diameter. Those two things improve the bracing angle and thus the lateral wheels stiffness. The downside of such setup is relatively low tension of NDR and therefore shorter lifespan of spokes. In practice, a good wheel builder who is aware of that can improve the NDR spoke tension by few important steps.



First of all, with such hubs only asymmetric rim should be used on rear wheel. These 2-3mm of the offset makes really big difference in terms of spoke tension.

Second, only well calibrated tension meter which shows the true values will allow to achieve a proper spoke tension on NDR without risking a rim cracks on spoke holes on DR. I've seen too many over tensioned wheels with cracked spoke holes due to lack of good tools. Even the high end tension meters needs to be calibrated on regular basis and therefore tension calibration jig was developed by me. With that I'm 100% confidence that 120kg on drive side is real 120kg, not less and not more. For this setup I've got 120kg on DR and 60kg on NDR which is perfect.

Last but not least, tying and soldering spokes helps greatly to distribute equally the spoke's load and prevents single spoke going slack under high torque. Small hand-made improvement, makes overall wheel much better and durable. No need to worry about future wheel corrections. If there is a need to re-center the wheel, it can be done even with tied spokes.


For riders who like to ride in rain, graphene rims with textured brake pad is excellent choice. For all others, standard basalt brake surface will do the job as well and there I'd recommend Gigantex rims which I also have in my offer.


To keep the weight below 1600g I used excellent Pillar Wing series spokes. Those are used by Campagnolo in their top Bora wheels. Great stiffness, aero shape, lightweight, thicker J-bend section and proven quality. I don't look back to any other spokes anymore.


Solid, good looking semi aero hubs with lifetime hubs. Set comes with tubeless rim tape, spare spokes and nipples, brake pads and original Miche quick releases. Price for the whole is 899CHF. More details in my shop.

T.
blog-wheelbuilding

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