I am currently working on a wheel brought in by a local Masters road racer. His rear wheel, a Shimano Dura-Ace 7801 carbon tubular, has been absolutely worked over in the last 10 years. Commonly known as the “Dura-Ace C50” nowadays, this wheel was Shimano’s first step into the carbon wheel world.
Now, almost a decade later, the rim hardly feels worn on the brake track, but the hub is needing some help. The action feels gritty, replacement parts are scarce, and like so much decade-old component technology out there, it is not reasonable to attempt an overhaul and expect “like-new” results. The only solution in this scenario is to completely replace the hub.
The replacement, while not possessing quite the finessed feel of the Dura-Ace loose ball bearings, does have a worthy lineup of advantages. The ‘RAR12″ rear hub by the Bitex hub company (a 6061 alloy, 210 gram rear hub) has six individual pawls for solid engagement while pedaling. It also weighs less, has easily replaceable parts, is 11 speed compatible, and does not need proprietary spokes or tools for servicing.
The final result, a 755g rear wheel.