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Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Review: Primato Syntesi Hubs

 You can get a pair of Primato Syntesi 32h road hubs (any color you want as long as they're black) for $100 on Amazon. On a sale, I managed to get them for just under $90 shipped. Compared to the high end Shimano Hubs (which no longer are being sold), these are slightly heavier, but a heck of a lot cheaper. They also come with sealed bearings, which means that unlike the Shimanos you will not end up spending more than the cost of the hubs in bearing over hauls in just 2 years.

The front hub weighs 132g, while the rear hub weighs 295g. The front QR weighs 51, and the rear QR comes in at 55g. The rear is therefore about 45g heavier than the White Industries T11, the standard for rear hubs with sealed bearings, while the front is about 40g heavier than the equivalent white industries. But a pair of the White Industries T11 hubs will cost you north of $500!

Compared to my 7700 dura ace hubs, the rear wheel built from this hub will be a lot weaker --- wR is 16.1 vs the 21.1 on the 7700 dura ace hub. Compared to the White T11, it's also weaker, since that comes in at a wR of 18. On the other hand, you can swap out the free hub body on the Syntesi for about $50, switching to XDR if you need a 10-52 drive train.

I chose to build up with sapim laser spokes and a23 OC rear rim and a23 front. The front builds up easily, but the rear required a bit of tweaking to get everything down. I eventually gave in and tensioned past the recommended Velocity recommended spoke tension to get everything nice and tight, probably sacrificing rim longevity for wheels that stay true for longer.

The wheels ride nice, and are much quieter than the White Industries hubs, though nowhere as silent or near silent as the Shimano. I use them in the rain, and on the Roadini with TerraSpeed 40mm tires and beat them up with mountain bike trails. People watch me ride slowly down those trails and exclaim in surprise that I ride those trails with a road bike and sidepull caliper brakes.

To be honest, the Roadini rides much better than any mountain bike I've ridden, and the brakes never gave me trouble in mostly dry conditions. In any case, I'm not limited by the wheels that resulted and will happily recommend these hubs for all-round use if you're not a weight weenie. They're kinda hard to find in 36h configuration compared to the T11s, but otherwise I'm perfectly satisfied with them.

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