Hadley Racing Products, producer of Hadley hubs are somewhat of an enigma to many riders. This company has eschewed the limelight by not making themselves known through social media like Facebook or even Instagram. Hadley doesn't even have a website as of yet so their reputation has by necessity been built over the years on word of mouth endorsements by its dedicated crowd of owners. Other than this peculiar aversion to standard marketing practises what can we conclude about their hubs?
Hadley has provided the MTB world with some superb hubs that have garnered a fierce following. Their designs have enabled very straight forward and easy maintenance which is a big plus for many riders who aren't necessarily that mechanically inclined. A handful of readily available wrenches like a 21mm and a Park SPA-2 spanner will enable you to do hub adjustments. Swapping out various axle options is also relatively easy. Hadley also has their own wrench's on offer in a deep rich anodised finish. Very cool!
What about engagement? Well, with 72 points of engagement and a 4 pawl set up, you get 5 degrees of play which is perfect for technical riders and overall pedalling efficiency. The noise of their freehub compares somewhat to that of a Chris King. A little loud and proud! If silence is golden then this may not be a marriage made in heaven. But if you want a sonic serenade on the trail then look no further. I should mention that there is an option for a titanium upgrade which in my opinion is definitely worth considering. Personally I love titanium freehubs. Only slightly heavier than alloy ones but longer lasting indeed.
Another thing that I appreciate about Hadley hubs is the fact that they are made for traditional J-bend spokes. This enables wheel builders like myself to decide on what lacing pattern will suite a particular build and be free to use what is in our opinion the best option. I like that.
Hadley uses the common 6 bolt interface for disc brakes. I like the fact that both flanges on the rear hub are identical in size. It's something that you certainly don't see that often these days. Many hub designers opt for differing rear flange diameters and sometimes this can result in large tension variations between the drive and non-drive side. I won't go into a lengthy technical discussion of what is going on with this design but suffice to say that Hadley's time tested approach undoubtedly has it's merits.
So what are your colour options? Hadley offers silver, black, red, blue, and gold anodised finishes. Custom colour requests are possible for an up charge. They also have quick release skewers in 6AL-4V titanium in matching colours no less! If a ceramic bearing set up is a must, they also have this as an upgrade. Japanese Ezo bearings come standard on all their hubs. I heard quite recently that Hadley is redesigning their hub shells for a new look. I'll post some photo's as soon as they are available.
Cognoscenti Cycles is very proud to now be a dealer for such a fine hub company. These gorgeous hubs would build up to a fantastic set of gravel grinder wheels or some very happening cyclocross wheels. The MTB guys have already beaten the trails with these for several years now. Call me if you see these in your crystal ball. I will make it a reality!