how rubbish are shimano hubs?

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  • how rubbish are shimano hubs?
  • Pete B
    Member

    They have always been rubbish IMHO.
    Moved to cartridge to get away from them.
    Some people like them. Suppose if you remember in time and don’t mind mucking about with manky grease then they’ll last.
    I used to be a mechanic – the last thing I wanted to do in my spare time is muck about with dirty machinery – I want to ride the ruddy bike!

    Which reminds me – I’ve got to bleed that expletive Formuala rear brake!

    dirtydog
    Member

    Pretty rubbish IMO.

    I had a similar experience to the OP (XT hubs), I don’t mind a bit of maintenance but having to clean and regrease hubs every couple of weeks got too much for me.

    They’d be decent hubs if it wasn’t for poor seals, cartridge bearings all the way for me now.

    Just to add, the sealing on the front hubs are fine, it’s the rears that that are crap.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    The XT on the rear of my fatbike seems to be surviving remarkably well given the conditions it has been (ab)used in.

    The XTRs on my tourer/CX Amazon must be on at least 10,000km now and are good as new.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    They’re pretty antiquated IMO. Cup and cone hubs when everyone else of any note is using cartridge bearings!

    My XT hub lasted 3 days on the Alps too before I bent the axle.

    lovewookie
    Member

    Bike service day today. Decided to be good and strip my hubs. They’re only 6 months old so figured a bit of preventative maintenance would be a good thing, even as they’ve not had a huge amount of use, maybe 6 hours a week at most.

    Front was Ok, grease looked a little emulsified, but surfaces good. The rear was a different tale. Full of crap.

    Drive side cleaned up Ok. Non drive side bearings, cone and hub bearing surface very dull. There’s pitting starting on the surfaces already.

    Not impressed at all, especially at xt level.

    Moved away from cartridges to give shimano a go, maybe I should have gone for XTR instead.

    When did they become so rubbish?

    plus one
    Member

    I put 4 years of hard graft into my xtr hubs before a strip/fresh grease/bearings 🙂

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Subscriber

    Stripped my rear Deore hub down after 12 months use, grease was still quite fresh considering.

    Biggest surprise was my Langster, opened the hubs after 12 months riding in some pretty horrible weather and the grease was nigh on perfect, un-branded hubs too.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    They’re shite! Stone Age technology, that there really isn’t a place in the 21st century.

    They might be ok if you lived somewhere where it never rains. In the north west of England I wouldn’t even contemplate running them. I don’t really understand why anyone does given that an infinitely superior option is so easily available

    My DA9000 freehub sounds shocking after about 1500 miles, scared to open it up and see the state of the bearings

    Junkyard
    Member

    In the north west of England I wouldn’t even contemplate running them. I don’t really understand why anyone does given that an infinitely superior option is so easily available

    work fine on my winter SS bike in the North West.
    they are cheaper

    Premier Icon zbonty
    Subscriber

    Cup and cone debate

    This was done a few days ago. Guess what? Opinions are divided it would seem.

    Premier Icon sillyoldman
    Subscriber

    The quality dropped when they moved production of XT hubs from Japan.

    The price also dropped pretty significantly though, so reckon they’re fine for their price.

    It has been pretty wet for the past 6 months Nik, so mebbe should have had a squint sooner…

    which model/number xt hub?
    my experience is that the freehub side gets dirtier inside sooner than the nds. But I have also heeded advice from here to steer clear of later xt hubs so have stuck to old centerlock lx and xt m765 (in centerlock and 6 bolt flavour, the insides are near enough the same anyway) -and more recently an slx hub with more clicky sounding freehub which is behaving itself though to be fair hasn’t yet had the battering the last one got. (all weathers singlespeed, cheaper to buy a whole new hub than find a replacement freehub)

    FWIW i find a rear cup and cone hub on a mountain bike that gets muddy a lot has a totally different life to one on a bike that gets dirty on the road.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I’m a big fan of old ones- my Exages are over 20 years old. But more recently they just don’t seem as good.

    Having said that, don’t know how much or where you ride but I’d have serviced mine long before 6 months- I don’t get 6 months from a pro 2 bearing either for that matter

    Premier Icon Sundayjumper
    Subscriber

    When did they become so rubbish?

    Early nineties, around when XTR came in and XT became mid-range. I’ve got some XT hubs from 1989 and they are still absolutely fine. When XT was top of the range, it was quality kit.

    I recall that RRP for them was £100 back then. What’s the price on a pair of XT hubs now ? £75 ? That £100 back in ’89 must be £200+ in today’s money – about the same as a pair of Hope Pro II, which is presumably what you’re comparing your £75 XTs to…

    b45her
    Member

    great on road bikes and bikes that dont see dirt much.
    atrocious on anything that see’s any sort of real mud and slop.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    lovewookie – Member
    Not impressed at all, especially at xt level.

    Moved away from cartridges to give shimano a go, maybe I should have gone for XTR instead.

    My XTR M975 front was the same as your XT rear after 6 months. I just about managed to save the rear.

    Dull question because I can’t be bothered looking up the relevant Shimano technical document;

    Loose ball bearings are widely available.
    Are the cones available as replacement items.
    What about the cups ? Replaceable or part of the hub ?

    cynic-al
    Member

    MTG – DS cup is part of the free hub body, NDS can be swapped from donor hub.

    Shimano hubs are fine if you have realistic servicing expectations – 6 wet months and 150 hours use is not realistic!

    When you say “can be swapped from donor hub” does that mean that’s the only source ?
    It’s not available to buy as a replacement ?

    I’m finding it hard enough getting used to the idea of rims being a disposable item since I bought a cross bike with rim brakes.
    I think I’ll stick with cartridge bearings.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Keep that in perspective though, a new rear XT hub costs less than a new set of bearings for a Pro 2

    Shimano hubs come with a negligible amount of grease in them. Just put some more in before you ride them. Shimano hubs are great when they work, but their sealing for axle sinking mudfests aren’t really their bag. I also fine the drive side sealing is pretty pants on mates bikes I have serviced. 1/4 inch bearings in the tool box is a must and 3/16 for the fronts, which never give grief.

    lovewookie
    Member

    6 months not realistic for a stripdown? Yeah they are cheap, maybe I’ll just need to change it once it dies proper.

    Just expected a bit more from the workhorse groups components.

    Previously cup and cone did me good for years, that was a while ago though, recently deores have been Ok. These were m765’s.

    Hey ho. Maybe back to old hope xc…

    orangeboy
    Member

    Is this becoming the new what tyre thread

    6 six wet crappy months is not unrealistic for a hub service IMO
    I’ve had cars that needed servicing every 6 months or more

    dannyh
    Member

    If you’re not into your regular maintenance schedule then cartridge has to be the way to go. On today’s ride I noticed a quite unhealthy sound coming from my hope rear hub. I suspected the bearings in the freehub body as I replaced the main wheel bearings late last summer. I was proved correct as the cassette and freehub body had a pronounced wobble. I took it to bits and the carnage inside was ‘epic’. The two inner bearings had totally collapsed. Swarf and bits of bearing everywhere. The ‘best’ ball bearings in there were hemispherical, some were dust. A couple of improvised tools and a good clean up meant I was able to replace them inside and hour and the hub is now as new. Even getting the outside of a bearing retainer out was not especially difficult with a flat blade screwdriver and a hammer. New bearings seated with an uncannily sized socket and a bit of thumb pushing.

    The problem with shimano cup and cone is that one of the most wear-prone bits is an irreplaceable part of the hub. And adjustment of the cone and locknut has to be absolutely perfect. I was never able to get the cone adjustment right after backing the cone slightly onto the locknut as you’re supposed to.

    Why shimano don’t do some kind of replaceable bearing surface I don’t know. Cones, bearings etc are cheap and easy to replace, hub shells are not!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    @dannyh- I’ve not done the most recent Shimano hubs but older ones certainly do have replacable cups and cones, as Al mentioned- just like cartridge bearings, the cups are pressed into the hub shell.

    lovewookie – Member

    6 months not realistic for a stripdown? Yeah they are cheap, maybe I’ll just need to change it once it dies proper.

    When I was using pro 2s in my trailbike, I was expecting to replace bearings much more often than that- not full sets, but I’d be replacing some bearings 3 or 4 times a year.

    The big difference is obviously the consequences of leaving it too late, I’ll happily leave a cartridge hub til it’s obviously shagged (and then some! Just as long as the wheel turns 😉 )

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Thrusty has it.

    When you get them, pull them open and fill them with the worlds supply of your chosen grease, from the factory they don’t come with enough in to cope with UK winter. Close them up, forget about them forever.

    lovewookie
    Member

    Suppose that’s it. Normally recommend servicing hubs every 6 months, once before summer then once before winter, so was expecting an Ok hub, not a half knackered one.

    Have no problems adjusting them properly either. The front took a few trys, but the rear adjusted well. Small amount of play out of the bike, let the qr take up the slack. Smooth as it gets

    Cartridge hubs I’ve had mixed experiences with. Set of hopes went >1yr before a bearing change, another set wouldn’t go 3 months.

    Just checked, the hub is a m785, not m765.

    I’ll see how it gets on in 3 Months then….;-)

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    10 mins before my race run at the weekend noticed my wheel was wobbling over to the shimano tent cones had worked loose

    Pita can’t wait till my new rims arrive to get the built up on my hopes

    Keep that in perspective though, a new rear XT hub costs less than a new set of bearings for a Pro 2

    Good point, but then I’d rather replace two bearings than respoke a wheel.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    You don’t need to replace the hub. (remember, this part of the thread came about because you were asking where to find replacement cups!)

    I must have missed something then. 😕

    dannyh “The problem with shimano cup and cone is that one of the most wear-prone bits is an irreplaceable part of the hub.

    Also, http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/shimano-deore-hub-cup-replacing
    The cups are non replaceable.

    And finally, http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/shimano-hub-cones-and-spares-dept422/
    Lots of cones, lots of bearings, no cups.

    Got a link to replacement cups for sale ?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    MidlandTrailquestsGraham – Member

    Got a link to replacement cups for sale ?

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-xt-m756-disc-rear-hub/?lang=en&curr=GBP&dest=1&utm_source=pla&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=uk&kpid=5300015034

    They come nicely packaged in a hub- remove cups, cones and bearings from one, fit to other. Like I say (and Al says), the cones are pressfit into the hubs, effectively the same as cartridge bearings.

    Lots of people don’t know this is possible, though.

    Right, got you now.
    I’m still not convinced that spending £36 on a Shimano hub, just to strip it for the bearings, is a better deal than £10.80 for a pair of Hope bearings though.

    Edit;
    But yes, I would agree that if you’ve got Shimano hubs, buying another one for the bearings complete, is a better deal than buying bearing parts individually.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I’m with you Nik, I’d suggest either older XTR hubs, or just the ease of cartridge. I’ve been hammering two sets of hope pro2 evo hubs for probably over a year and only had to change one set of bearings. regular riding in very muddy areas, wash with a hose after each ride, lots of uplift days so the hubs are taking a hammering and doing well. Rims are not standing up quite so well! One of them isn’t well sealed but I just bought a new seal that fits better and need to give it a clean out and fresh grease. It’s lost the click!

    Its not just the hubs. My saint pedals were clicking and creaking. Stripped them down to find cup and bloody cone bearings.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    MidlandTrailquestsGraham – Member

    I’m still not convinced that spending £36 on a Shimano hub, just to strip it for the bearings, is a better deal than £10.80 for a pair of Hope bearings though.

    Front hub’s £26 vs £10.80 for Hope… But £36 for a rear vs the price of 5 bearings looks much better (and more importantly, really should need done far less often)

    They’re usually adjusted too tight from the factory these days. If you deal with that when they’re new (leaving a tiny fraction of play when they’re not clamped in the bike), and put some more grease in, especially on the drive side rear, then they do stay good. The sealing on the rear driveside is dependant on freehub wear. I’ve got a M965 rear hub which was still clean inside after 5 years and loads of gritty winter riding, but the freehub is starting to sound a little grumbly so I’ll only wait 2 years before looking inside this time.. They do roll well though.. This “cup and cone does roll better” thing isn’t just marketing bs.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    They’re only rubbish if you’re lazy, or a crap mechanic.

    coastkid
    Member

    The older Shimano hubs were and are still good, i have them on commuter bikes and no idea when last serviced!. I guess as their made of decent materials and having replaceable cones is a neat feature- the ideal hubs to ride around the world esp in third world countries where you just need some grease for a quick relube service…

    New Shimano XT and LX hubs are rubbish cheap crap IMO, compard to a Hope pro 2 which will see you across those 3rd world countries on your RTW ride without a service!,

    Shimano rear hubs last 5 minutes on fatbikes on the coast with salt water exposure along with the Alfine 8spd IGH, probably the hardest enviroment as no hub was designed for salt water exposure,

    Hope pro 2 i have used for 6 years now and 10,000 miles and just a yearly strip down and sevice and every 2 years a £25 bearing replacement. 🙂

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