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  1. #1
    occasional cyclist
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    Mechanics - mixed feelings about XT wheel hubs?

    I've read quite a few disappointed reviews of various Shimano XT hubs - and there are lots of them. Is it they're not up to harsh offroad abuse, or in maybe even regular service they need lots of adjusting? Is it a material/ machining/ finishing issue, or maybe the design falls short in the radial load department (3/16 bearings) and flexes (NG for heavier riders)? Are there adjustment tricks that make some owners successful and others less so? Is there a stronger version with a larger than 10x1 axle size - or must one move up to the Saint for that?

    Or have you come across some that have toured 10-20k miles and are just starting to wear? There were also some pleased owners who thought they're a good value for the money...

  2. #2
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    which ones? 756 or the newer ones? xt hubs are pretty reliable for the most part. there are so many of them out there you are bound to hear the bad. they are not fancy and botique so you dont hear much rave reviews about them. shimano hubs will last a long time if properly adjusted and maintained

  3. #3
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Pass on the XT's and jump to the Shimano XTR's.
    Who is John Galt?

  4. #4
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    i have an xt rear on one of my bikes. Has been very good to me so far. I have a m775, with the centerlock disc, although i'm running it with rim brakes. It's a fine hub. That being said, i've had many lx hubs over the years, and they've treated me well, too. The issue, if there is one, is that these hubs require some attention at times (adjustment, lubrication) and many non-adjustable sealed-bearing hubs need less. I guess if you're really busy writing reviews of hubs, you don't have time for maintenance. hoho.

    To be fair, i can understand how relics like shimano hubs may look bad when compared to more modern hubs. I also don't do any extremely stressful riding. I weigh 240+lbs, ride trails, commute, etc. I'm not easy on any components. But, I don't do any serious drops, either, so...

    I guess, for the price, you can't do a whole lot better than XT if you use them for their intended purposes. I really want some Whites, though.
    -rob

  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Certainly not my experience. I've used a lot of the LX and XT hubs over the years covering a couple or three model changes. They have all been highly reliable, perform excellently and when given the once a year cleaning and relube forge on for many reliable years of service. And I'm no lightweight at around 200lbs.

    They really are about as basic as you can find but that may be their failing. One of their chief advantages is that they are cup and cone. For those of us that know how to maintain and adjust them this is a solid asset that ensures they will work well for many years. But if the owner lacks the skill and knowledge to properly set the preload then the hubs will quickly destroy themselves. So I would suggest that reports of failures need to be considered as more a failure of the person working on them.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Well-said, BCRider. To clarify, i do need to adjust and lube my hubs periodically, but this is usually one or 2 times a year, depending on how much i ride, the conditions, etc. Sometimes, I buy a new hub and swap out the bearings, axle, cones. But, i've only *had* to do that once. I've done it as sort of a preventive measure a couple times since that first rebuild.

    Shimano hubs have no "wow" factor, but i like em.
    -rob

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xizangstan View Post
    Pass on the XT's and jump to the Shimano XTR's.
    If you are trying to shave a few grams from a place it barely matters, sure.

    If you want to get the best value for your dollar, XT and LX are the way to roll.

  8. #8
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    S G, If parts aren't serviced, in particular a mountain or cross bike, they're going to fail. I've a set of STX-RC hubs that I thought for sure I'd have to had to replace by now (12 years), but they're still working.

    Brad

  9. #9
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    XT hubs kick arse.

    I read one review on mtbr.com (emptybeer dot com) who complained that he only got 20000 miles out of his XT hubs using them for commuting. People who complain about things like that should not be allowed to use computers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If you are trying to shave a few grams from a place it barely matters, sure.

    If you want to get the best value for your dollar, XT and LX are the way to roll.
    I have to agree.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If you are trying to shave a few grams from a place it barely matters, sure.

    If you want to get the best value for your dollar, XT and LX are the way to roll.
    +1 An XTR hub is at least twice the cost of an XT.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    XTR is short for xtra expensive and even though I can buy at cost I am still a frugal Scotsman who sees the XT and LX as delivering better bang for the buck.

    I buy these for customers who want wheels built with specific components and want to run cassette drives but for myself I prefer to shop locally and will pay a little more to get a better hub that I know will last me a lifetime and many of my customers also feel this way.


    Arvon 48 spoke disc hubs

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Arvon 48 spoke disc hubs
    48 spokes huh? If you build it up with bladed spokes I bet it could pass for a disk wheel from a distance. See if the local tri or time trial riders are interested.

  14. #14
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I've a 14 year-old LX rear that has served me well. that bike came with a Formula front hub which isn't as nice, one cone got chewed up a couple of years ago, hub's working fine after replacement of cone.

    I also have a 2001 LX hubbed wheelset which I find very nice.

    The only XT thing I've bought new was an 8-speed cogset that was on sale at PricePoint for $20. I like it lots!
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    48 spokes huh? If you build it up with bladed spokes I bet it could pass for a disk wheel from a distance. See if the local tri or time trial riders are interested.
    That would be fun... I do have some lower spoke count road / racing hubs I might use for that.

  16. #16
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    "I do have some lower spoke count road / racing hubs I might use for that." --Sixty Fiver

    Yeah, a forty spoke wheel would let them gram down from a 48! Seriously the pictured stuff looks like it'd make an excellant tandem/triplet wheelset.

    Brad

  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've got a 15-year old MTB with XT hubs. Still going strong. I've clean & adjust them about once a year.

    As reptilezs, you have to quantify your analysis based upon the volume of hubs out there. A couple complaints amongst millions of users is quite a good reliability rate. Heck for many boutique hubs, you can find hundreds of complains between just thousands of users.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    "I do have some lower spoke count road / racing hubs I might use for that." --Sixty Fiver

    Yeah, a forty spoke wheel would let them gram down from a 48! Seriously the pictured stuff looks like it'd make an excellant tandem/triplet wheelset.

    Brad
    This is what these wheels are normally for... being that they are also 26 inch they are obscenely strong and would normally be used under expedition / touring tandems or for extreme utility use.

    Can't see the point in building 40 spoke wheels when 8 more spokes adds little in the way of weight and adds a lot in the way of strength... 700c versions of this wheel are always 48 as they need that extra strength.

    These are for a single rider bike... it's owner is more than two of me and wanted the best wheels possible under his to be built custom but will use these on his existing mtb until that is built.

  19. #19
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    I agree with other posts - nothing wrong with XT's, much good about them. You have no way of knowing how the reviewers rode or maintained their hubs, and complainers are more likely to post than those who are satisfied, especially with something as relatively pedestrian as hubs. Buy them, adjust properly from the outset and maintain/overhaul conscientiously and you'll be fine.

  20. #20
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    BCRider, I used 40 spoke Hadley hubs and Mavic T217 rims on my tandem. Then my dog wagged his tail 3-4 times against the spokes and broke the flange on the rear hub, I was highly PO'd!

    Brad

  21. #21
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    shimano for the most part makes the best hubs on the market. If they are not properly maintained and adjusted then problems occur.
    If you are going to spend a lot of time in the mud and water then they need maintaince more often. The seals in shimano and all hubs are dust deals and not meant to keep water out.
    The newer versions have the oversized aluminum axle are are adjusted with a small amount of preload before installation on the bike. The heavier axle does not compress. The smaller steel axle needs a small amount of play in the bearing adjustment that goes away when the axle is compress when the QR is closed.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    The newer versions have the oversized aluminum axle are are adjusted with a small amount of preload before installation on the bike. The heavier axle does not compress. The smaller steel axle needs a small amount of play in the bearing adjustment that goes away when the axle is compress when the QR is closed.
    Which models are using this axle these days?

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    shimano for the most part makes the best hubs on the market. If they are not properly maintained and adjusted then problems occur.
    If you are going to spend a lot of time in the mud and water then they need maintaince more often. The seals in shimano and all hubs are dust deals and not meant to keep water out.
    The newer versions have the oversized aluminum axle are are adjusted with a small amount of preload before installation on the bike. The heavier axle does not compress. The smaller steel axle needs a small amount of play in the bearing adjustment that goes away when the axle is compress when the QR is closed.
    If you factor in performance and price Shimano makes the best hubs as most are relatively inexpensive... would limit "best hubs" to White Industries, Phil Wood, and Arvon as these are a step above ordinary.

  24. #24
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    Slightly off topic; Has any one else experienced total seize ups with the newer XT hubs, as in the ones with oversized axles and 3/16" bearings?

    We've had a few that totally locked up on customers after only a few miles. The bolt that holds the cassette body has not been torqued to spec or something, because all these hubs had the head of the bolt which presses on the body totally ruined by the bearing balls; it looked like a ball race rather than a straight head.

    We've had 4 or 5 now which makes me think someone ****ed up at the factory.
    You fixed my flat tire and now my light doesn't work, so...

  25. #25
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    I've had good luck with LX,XT and XTR hubs-don't really see any reliability difference.
    I also have s set of Hugi 240 hubs/wheels- they seem ok also-pricy, but actual wheel weight within grams of the XTRs of 8 years ago.

    The only disadvantage is they aren't integral type bearings(built in races). What we call sealed bearing are idiot proof- the loose ball bearings are tricky to adjust.They should have lower rolling resistance and be very slightly lighter. It is possible to destroy a sealed bearing while installing it-yes, I have done that on a motorcycle!
    Charlie

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