I don't like cartridge bearings.
BBI ingrained upon me the disposable nature, and lack of adjustment made them inferior to loose balls.
My personal experience has been they are generally reliable, but my preference is still loose balls. Plus I like to say "loose balls".
But there is always an exception to the rule and my front wheel is it. The Formula hub seems to goes through bearings with the lunar cycle. It was a cheap way for me to finally get into disc brakes. It wasn't always that bad, but after 4 years, I guess the tolerances are getting sloppy (like my work bench).
But the list of performance loose ball mountain bike hubs is very short. Very short indeed.
Short but sweet.
I sold the Niner carbon fork BluSteel was sporting for a couple of months. Due to the high demand of light weight plastic things my loss was more like a 2 month rental fee. It's found a home on what sounds to be a pretty high zoot rig down South.
I was thinking I'd have a nice little cycling funds nest egg for a while, but when a screaming good deal on a wheel with the best loose ball hub came down the pike, I just couldn't resist.
Here's to loose balls!