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105 vs Deore XT hubs

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105 vs Deore XT hubs

Old 02-23-14, 07:59 AM
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Myosmith
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105 vs Deore XT hubs

I've got a Motobecane Gran Premio which is a steel frame, CF fork, relaxed geometry road bike. The bike has a 105 derailleurs and brifters, but an FSA crank and Tektro brakes. I want to build a set of wheels to replace the entry level wheels that came with the bike. What I'm shooting for is a bombproof wheelset for non-competitive centuries and B group rides. I've got 36-hole Mavic A719 rims and I'm deciding which hubs to mate these to. I can get either 105 hubs or Deore XT for about the same price. The 105 matches the majority of the groupset but I've been told the XT are more bombproof and make excellent endurance hubs.

Since the groupo on the bike is a mixed bag anyway (if everything else was 105 I'd be more inclined toward the 105 hubs) is there any reason to pick the 105 hubs over the XT? It's an $800 BD bike, so I'm not out to impress anyone. My only real concerns are performance and durability.

I'm assuming that either rear hub can be spaced to 130mm. If that is not the case with the Deore XT, can it be spaced to 132.5mm which would make it compatible with either of my bikes.
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Old 02-23-14, 08:16 AM
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The 105 will be 130mm as made. The Deore can be re-spaced from 135 mm to 132.5 or 130 mm but will require more work since you will have to cut the axle shorter by 2.5 mm or 5 mm so it doesn't stick out beyond the dropout faces. For that matter you could re-space the 105 to 132.5 mm by adding a 2.5 mm spacer to the non-drive side and re-centering the existing axle.

As to durability and longevity I expect there will be absolutely no difference for road use. My experience with 105 hubs is that with even half decent maintenance they last nearly forever. The Deore may be slightly better sealed for off-road use but for road use there is no practical benefit.
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Old 02-23-14, 08:21 AM
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I would look for a pair of Ultegra hubs and leave it at that. If you do go the XT route make sure they are rim brake types. They mostly come as disc brake hubs these days but rim brake ones are also available. I think the number is T780 for rim brake. The M780 are disc. There are also older models as well.

But for non-competitive centuries and B group rides the 105 hubs would also be fine. I do those and there are tons of people on lesser bikes than that.

When you talk about endurance, you need to distinguish between human endurance (Century+ type rides) and hub endurance (rough trails, rocks, etc...). For your use you don't really need hub endurance. Besides, all of the modern Shimano stuff is pretty well made.
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Old 02-23-14, 08:31 AM
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I've beaten the slop out of 105 hubs since 1990, and with fresh grease and bearings from time to time, they're fine. If you want to spend more, you could shave a few grams and get the admittedly prettier Ultegra or Dura Ace at 130 mm spacing. If you want a project, go for Deore and keep fiddling for a few mm.
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Old 02-23-14, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I would look for a pair of Ultegra hubs and leave it at that.
The OP want to use 36H rims and I don't think Ultegra hubs come in anything more than 32H drilling.
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Old 02-23-14, 10:34 AM
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Seems to me 105 is sharing the same cones and bearings as Ultegra. I'd do them IIWM.
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Old 02-23-14, 10:48 AM
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OP, you need to determine whether you mean literally "bombproof" or just figuratively "bombproof". I know many folks have a durability thing going on and want their bike goods to last out into the distant millennia, but what could you possibly do to a 105 hub to damage it that an XT hub would survive.? And that you and the bike would survive?

Let's consider. Ten years into the future you will have maybe 25,000 miles on these wheels or more. You will probably have to rebuild them with new rims because the brake tracks will be worn through. Maybe more than once. But never mind that. Supposing the hubs give out one way or another. Are you really going to be kicking yourself because you didn't get the supposedly more durable XTs? Won't it be time for new hubs anyway? Just for the fun of it?

Seriously, isn't enough enough?
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Old 02-23-14, 11:36 AM
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Shimano hubs, both road and mountain are extremely durable as long as you are not riding singletrack on them it seems. I have seen countless Shimano road hubs with well over 20k miles and still turning smooth, even the lower end models hold up extremely well. Since your frame is 130mm and the road hubs are already 130mm I see no reason to go to the hassle of trying to re-space a MTB hub and I doubt you would gain anything from it either way.
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Old 02-23-14, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The OP want to use 36H rims and I don't think Ultegra hubs come in anything more than 32H drilling.
According to the Shimano website they come in both 32 and 36 for the latest ones. I'd have been surprised if they no longer had 36 hole drilling, it's been so standard over the years. Whether you can find them or not is a different story. I recently had trouble finding Shimano gear that was supposedly being made, in particular the T780 XT hub I mention above. They make them, but no online shop seems to carry them. Rim brake wheels are basically obsolete at that level.

And it does seem otherwise pretty unanimous that the OP should go with 105 and not bother with the XT.
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Old 02-23-14, 03:12 PM
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Myosmith, My last distance bike covered close to 15K miles with 32H 105 hubs and CXP12 rims. Distance riding is pretty easy on a wheel set. Isn't the minimum recommended tire size for a A719 28 mm?

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Old 02-23-14, 04:51 PM
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Either will be just fine. You could get Deore/Sora/Tiagra or any of the other lower-mid level Shimano hubs and they would be just fine too. The fact is any of these hubs will last nearly forever properly maintained. The key is "properly maintained": re-greased as needed and set to the proper preload.

The XT hubs (and Shimano's other mountain hubs) aren't any more durable than the road hubs, the difference is the extra rubber seals on each side. At first I thought these were just marketing non-sense but after opening my hubs up after a winter of Wisconsin commuting I was convinced. The seals really do keep nearly everything out. So they're not more durable, they just have better seals. These seals do have more drag, so that's probably why they don't end up on the road hubs. Not that it's likely to make any difference.
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Old 02-23-14, 05:29 PM
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you need a road hub to fit your 130mm frame so xt is out unless you want to respace the axle. you would need to find an older xt hub with a steel axle. the new xt stuff is an aluminum axle. i would just get 105 or ultegra
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Old 02-23-14, 05:56 PM
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Unless you're carrying a touring-style load and/or are heavier than average, 36-spoke wheels are overkill. I weigh 195#, and ride on wheels built around fewer spokes and lighter rims. Since they were built properly, I haven't had to true/tension any of them. I regularly commute on 28/32 wheels with 28mm tires, and they're plenty light for weekend riding.

If your frame is spaced for 130mm hubs, get road-style hubs (with 130mm OLD).

Last edited by MileHighMark; 02-23-14 at 06:02 PM.
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