May 15th, 2010
C-4 is a relative new comer to the U.S. wheel market but seems to be on what we’d consider the proper path to really do well. We found them shortly after their U.S. release and have continued to be impressed with them. They seem to focus on constantly changing and improving their products, which may be annoying to some, particularly those that just bought a wheelset prior to a new one being released, but we also appreciate the desire to improve. Lately they seem to have finally found the focus and are reigning in the 2011 product range. They have now moved production from the Far East to Southern California which they claim enable them to adjust to a changing market and implement improvements quicker and with only a minimal impact on price. They’ve added several new hubs, new colors, new bearings and have even more beyond those that we’ll show.
Recently some unfinished hubs from C-4 were shown on Nico’s blog. Those hubs have since been finished and will be part of the 2011 product line. We managed to get some of the finished ones before they go to market, which should be any time now.
We’ll start with the new front hubs.
C-4 Front Hubs
U.S. made, 7000 series alloy, this hub is based on the previous 76-78 models. Changes include wider flange placement, changed from 65 to 78mm and adjustable preload. Expanded color range, silver, black, red and gold. Ceramic bearings are coming stock, with the option to change them to Phil Wood for those that want SS. Weight drops to a claimed 65 grams and the price changes to $165. I find myself quite impressed with this hub. Light, inexpensive, smooth bearings and wide flange placement.
U.S. made, this hub is a lighter flangeless version of the FH-65. It has the same center to flange width, and the same ceramic bearings. Also the same axle, and material go into this also California made hub, but the change to the straight pull spokes further reduces the weight to 55grams claimed. This hub is also available in 4 colors. The price on this one is also $165. As with the 65, I like this hub a lot it has all the same positives, but a lighter weight.
A stripped down version of the FH-55SP hub. The 45SP takes the basic design of the 55 and shrinks it. The bearing moves to a smaller 688 ceramic. The smaller bearing allows for a smaller hub shell and end caps. These reductions in size allow a savings of about 10 grams and a price increase of about $30 up to $199. This is the hub for the really weight conscious. Feeding the spokes into such a small opening turns out to be really time consuming, but functionally the hub works quite well.
For the rear hubs we have so far only gotten one of the new ones, but other versions based on this design are coming.
C-4 Rear Hubs
A flanged drive side with a straight pull non-drive side hub. Like the others this hub is made in the U.S. but does use an imported forged freehub body. A mix of 6802/6902 bearings, a large axle wide flange spacing and a range of colors. This hub is nicely made and at a price of $395 with ceramic bearings it’s quite a nice deal.
That’s a good start, but not all. There are other things listed in the pricelist that we received. Of course since none of them are done, there can’t be any guarantees, but there are some interesting things in it such as a 35gram front hub at just over $200. There is also a flanged version of the 195 for the same price listed. Above that are 2 rear hubs with similar designs to the 195, but with projected weights in the 170 range and again in the 150 gram range. As they push into the upper end of the lightweight hub market the prices of course change to reflect that with expected prices around $500 and $600.
We’ll of course keep you updated as new stuff comes available and will continue to try and bring you products and our thoughts on them before they hit the market.