it seems like Enduro brand bearings are the std option for mtb hub bearing replacement. is it because they are the best? simply the best distribution? are their better alternatives with better seals for coastal BC conditions?
Enduros are pretty good for a reasonably priced bearing. They're well known and easy to buy, so that's what most folks use. What hub? Sealing is probably going to be more or less the same between decent brands. Once you're using "good enough" bearings like Enduro, it's the overall hub design that's really going to determine how long they run in crap weather.
Due to tolerance mis-matching (bore oversized by .001 and bearing undersized by .001), you can get unlucky on certain hub-bearing combos and get play while everything is theoretically "fine". For example, plenty of people (including me) have had slight play running Enduro brand in Hope rear hubs. Confirm with someone who knows that hub really well whether your hub will happily take any particular brand of bearings. This is where experienced mechanics are worth their weight in gold.
I get good life even on lesser OEM Hope bearings by popping the bearing seals and cleaning if necessary, then stuffing them full of Phil's grease several times a year. In pivots and pedals I use heavier PM600 Military grease. Bike greases are all kind of wimpy, so I always go heavier if efficiency isn't at stake.
As someone who goes down a billion times more than most here, I'll just say my hub bearings seem to last for fucking ever.
Every other piece of my bike is absolute garbage at ... midway through the year, but my bloody hub bearings seem to last forever.
To the point where I feel like I'm being filmed. They're brand new at the end of the year.