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  1. #1
    "Big old guy"
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    Re-Greasing new Shimano Hubs

    I have a set of new XT hubs from about 1999 (new old stock). I have heard in the past it was a good idea to grease Shimano hubs before building up the wheels. Would this be a good idea for these hubs? Thanks for the help.

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    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoss10
    I have a set of new XT hubs from about 1999 (new old stock). I have heard in the past it was a good idea to grease Shimano hubs before building up the wheels. Would this be a good idea for these hubs? Thanks for the help.
    Not likely to hurt...unless you don't know how to adjust the cones properly.
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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    As Nessism says, it's not likely to hurt.

    But if these NOS hubs spin smoothly, then it's likely that there's nothing wrong with the grease... and it's probably a waste of time to repack them. I know that some greases break down over time, but I figure if the bearings feel smooth, then no worries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    As Nessism says, it's not likely to hurt.

    But if these NOS hubs spin smoothly, then it's likely that there's nothing wrong with the grease... and it's probably a waste of time to repack them. I know that some greases break down over time, but I figure if the bearings feel smooth, then no worries.
    Concur.

    Probably a good idea to test the feel occasionally until you do eventually repack 'em.

  5. #5
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    Eight year old hubs? Re pack them - definately. The oil has probably seperated from the soap.

    So what if they spin smooth. The entire point of preventative maintenance is to service the component before trouble occurs. If you wait until they feel gritty, the damage is already done and you'll be buying new parts.

  6. #6
    LF for the accentdeprived
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    If you're sure you can adjust them right, it's even worth repacking 2007 hubs. The big s is notorious for being very sparing with grease for some reason. Many people take new s hubs apart as standard practice afaik.
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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I'm with Moxfyre here. There's plenty of good greases in which the oil wouldn't have remotely started to separate from the soap after 8 years in a hub.
    However, LóFarkas is right about there often being very minimal grease in hubs coming from the manufacturer. I'd open it up and take a look inside real quick, and then just tighten and adjust the cones back down if there's plenty of grease.

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    I've seen a variety of adjustments even with new hubs so I adjust the bearings routinely even with brand new ones. My brand new Campy Chorus hubs came slightly too tight so if Campy can do it, anyone can.

    As to 8 year old NOS hubs, I'm of the "disassemble and repack" school. Shimano uses good grease but any lube can dry out and new grease is way cheaper than new cones.

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    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    I agree with HillRider. I've had a new hub so poorly adjusted that it bound up on me. I check them when I get them now, might as well check the grease while you're at it.

  10. #10
    "Big old guy"
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    Thanks for the help, I guess I will repack them. One more question, I like grease, can you put too much in when you repack?

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoss10
    Thanks for the help, I guess I will repack them. One more question, I like grease, can you put too much in when you repack?
    When I repack hubs, I usually pack them to slightly overflowing, so that there's grease oozing out around the seals when I put back them together. I then wipe off the bits that are on the outside of the hub. It seems to work quite well.

    I have no particular explanation for this, but I believe extra grease around the bearings can't hurt, and possibly will "dilute" any dirt that gets into the hub.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    When I repack hubs, I usually pack them to slightly overflowing, so that there's grease oozing out around the seals when I put back them together. I then wipe off the bits that are on the outside of the hub. It seems to work quite well.

    I have no particular explanation for this, but I believe extra grease around the bearings can't hurt, and possibly will "dilute" any dirt that gets into the hub.
    I do exactly the same thing and have to wipe the "bleeding" extra grease off the hubs after the first couple of rides. I want the grease to leak out rather than dirt to leak in and the excess grease forms an effective seal.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Not likely to hurt...unless you don't know how to adjust the cones properly.
    I wish somebody would teach Shimano how to adjust the cones properly. Every hub I open is overtightened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets
    I wish somebody would teach Shimano how to adjust the cones properly. Every hub I open is overtightened.
    Shimano isn't the only one. As I noted above, my recent Campy hubs were too tight when I got them.

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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Is proper adjustment of cup-and-cone hubs the sort of thing that is easily automated, or not? If not, perhaps Shimano and Campy assume that bike shops or end users will properly adjust hubs before using them?
    I really have no idea on this, just a potential explanatory hypothesis...

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    To me it's kind of like locking your car. It'll probably be OK if you don't but, once you think about it, you have to do it.

    Since it probably won't take you much longer to do than it has taken to read all these messages, I don't see a downside to opening up the hubs and regreasing them.

  17. #17
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    +1 on LOTS of grease.

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    LF for the accentdeprived
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    I'd think hub adjustment is difficult to automate well.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LóFarkas
    I'd think hub adjustment is difficult to automate well.
    Yeah, a machine to test hub runout, then adjust cones and locknuts, then repeating would be a pretty expensive machine. Then to adapt that machine to BMX, road, MTB, tandem, and track widths just makes it worse.

    It's still frustrating to see people riding around on loose-ball hubs, thinking to myself that they're probably too tight -- but such wonderful hubs.

  20. #20
    Yet another vegan biker
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    I don't see a downside to opening up the hubs and regreasing them.
    I have to be extremely careful to avoid marring the protective caps when I open up hubs. I've deformed a few.

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    I notice that most LBS in this country (Malaysia) do not bother to check the cone adjustments of new wheelsets firtted to newly built bikes. They are fitted as they come and consequently many wheelsets suffer premature wear... Because of our smaller market, they are quite expensive here! General attitude of cylists ere is also of no help!!!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    I do exactly the same thing and have to wipe the "bleeding" extra grease off the hubs after the first couple of rides. I want the grease to leak out rather than dirt to leak in and the excess grease forms an effective seal.
    Excess grease in a rear hub will work it's way up into the freewheel mechanism and can cause the pawls to stick (on a Shimano hub anyway) if you are using a heavy bodied grease such as marine grease. Care to ask me how I know?
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism
    Excess grease in a rear hub will work it's way up into the freewheel mechanism and can cause the pawls to stick (on a Shimano hub anyway) if you are using a heavy bodied grease such as marine grease. Care to ask me how I know?
    I never had a problem with this but I use Phil Grease which is light enough not to cause freehub problems.

    Also, the better Shimano freehub bodies have a rubber seal ring between the rotating outer shell and stationary core so the probability of grease working its way into the body is minimal.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Fredmertz51's Avatar
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    I remove the outer rubber boots, loosen the cones, shoot in some xtra phil grease, adjust the bearings to the gnat's uss, then replace the boots. The hubs last just about forever. I'm talking about new hubs.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    Also, the better Shimano freehub bodies have a rubber seal ring between the rotating outer shell and stationary core so the probability of grease working its way into the body is minimal.
    Not sure what rubber seal you are referring to but I do know that grease got into my 9 speed Dura Ace freehub pretty easily.
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