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Bitex MTR rear hub vs Shimano XT

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Bitex MTR rear hub vs Shimano XT

Old 05-04-21, 07:26 AM
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travbikeman
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Bitex MTR rear hub vs Shimano XT

Having a new set of wheels built for my mtn bike. The current Alex rim, 29 inch by 20mm internal is far too flexy for my taste. Driving me crazy to hear the spokes popping. Then later in the day no spokes are loose since the wheel flexed backed properly.

But I'm back and forth on which hubs to get. I'm budgeting the wheel set to be under $500, so I'm not looking at too expensive of hubs.

I like the idea of a quiet hub and think the Shimano XT's would be a good choice, but are cup and cone bearings. I know how to repack the bearings though so it isn't too much of a big deal.

Link for Shimano XT at ProWheelBuilder

BUT, would spending a bit more for these be a better hub that lasts longer?

Link for Bitex MTR at ProWheelBuilder

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-04-21, 08:52 AM
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You want to avoid cup and cone bearings on mountain bike, or any bike for that matter in my opinion.

I had a set a of bitex road hubs on a recent road bike that I just sold with thousands of miles on them. Also have a Bitex hub on my 27.5+ wheelset for my mountain bike. No problems at all. Bitex has been around for a long time and they make quality hubs.

BITEX

https://www.speedgearbike.com/439084750

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Old 05-04-21, 08:55 AM
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Thanks! I'm getting the Bitex hubs. The more research I've done on them, the better they sound and worth the extra money.

Heh, my Sub Cross prior wheels, also original Alex wheels that I replaced, I was about list them on Facebook Market place. The Tourney hubs, feel bone dry. I'm amazed at that, since the set of wheels only has 500 miles on it.

Which means I need to repack those bearings before trying to sell that wheel set. Not pleased at all to see that Shimano hubs are either not greased enough or don't have good enough seals to keep the grease in.

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Old 05-04-21, 08:59 AM
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https://www.speedgearbike.com/439084750
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Old 05-04-21, 12:51 PM
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to offer a counterpoint (but your decision might already be made) higher grade Shimano component hubs are bulletproof --- LX, XT and XTR level hubs are very quiet and will go thousands of miles without a problem unless you are riding underwater all the time

Geoff KAbush (current MTB and gravel pro - former Olympian ) rides XTR component hubs with DT rims on his race bikes - He runs XTR on everything else and could very easilly run the DT hubset if he so chose. A lot of the aftermarket freehubs are noisy as hell and very irritating to ride

One would be correct in saying that a guy like Kabush doesnt have to work on his own bikes , true , but i personally dont care if i have to throw some maintenance at something in 2 or 3 years -- i want the best now and its tough to go wrong with the Shimanos

Current new bike for me does NOT have shimano hubs, -- i purchased a pre built wheelset with Industry 9 hubs and they are ok , but prior to scoring the deal on those, i was shopping hard for XTR or XT hubs to lace to some Light Bicycle carbon rims and long term probably wouldve been happier with those

(i got "bling happy" and scored a set of Enve's with I-9's on sale at a great price , -- but the damn things are so stiff i will be going back to aluminum for everyday riding --- they will rattle your teeth out
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Old 05-04-21, 01:39 PM
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The real difference being discussed here is cup and cone bearing hub vs. cartridge bearing hub. The cartridge bearing hub is superior to the cup and cone bearings all day long. Cup and cone bearings on bikes are now old technology and only found on cheap bikes.

When a cartridge bearing has worn out, just throw it away and replace. If cup and cone system is worn out...just hope you caught it in time...water and grit turn into a nice grinding paste which is likely to damage the internal surface of the hub shell...and then there goes the nice smooth rolling surface.

Last edited by prj71; 05-04-21 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-04-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
to offer a counterpoint (but your decision might already be made) higher grade Shimano component hubs are bulletproof --- LX, XT and XTR level hubs are very quiet and will go thousands of miles without a problem unless you are riding underwater all the time

Geoff KAbush (current MTB and gravel pro - former Olympian ) rides XTR component hubs with DT rims on his race bikes - He runs XTR on everything else and could very easilly run the DT hubset if he so chose. A lot of the aftermarket freehubs are noisy as hell and very irritating to ride

One would be correct in saying that a guy like Kabush doesnt have to work on his own bikes , true , but i personally dont care if i have to throw some maintenance at something in 2 or 3 years -- i want the best now and its tough to go wrong with the Shimanos

Current new bike for me does NOT have shimano hubs, -- i purchased a pre built wheelset with Industry 9 hubs and they are ok , but prior to scoring the deal on those, i was shopping hard for XTR or XT hubs to lace to some Light Bicycle carbon rims and long term probably wouldve been happier with those

(i got "bling happy" and scored a set of Enve's with I-9's on sale at a great price , -- but the damn things are so stiff i will be going back to aluminum for everyday riding --- they will rattle your teeth out
I haven't bought the wheels yet. Still playing around with the different items on Pro Wheelbuilders site to make decisions on what I want.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with a 10x135 rear hub, since I really wanted this bike for how it fits me nicely. But, I am not going to be riding it as rough as a number of you may do on your mountain bikes. I will not be doing jumps (well not big jumps... ) or Black rated trails. I didn't start feeling the sponginess of my current wheels until I graduated myself to blue trails. Well, the current wheels were not good on the rock gardens and now the spokes even start pinging on the green trails.

So on one hand, I'm not against having to do the maintenance. But on the other hand, the SHIMANO XT FH M756 are what, 15 year old hubs now? Wouldn't mind something more modern, even though they are the old 10x135's.

decisions...decisions .... decisions.....
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Old 05-04-21, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
I haven't bought the wheels yet. Still playing around with the different items on Pro Wheelbuilders site to make decisions on what I want.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with a 10x135 rear hub, since I really wanted this bike for how it fits me nicely. But, I am not going to be riding it as rough as a number of you may do on your mountain bikes. I will not be doing jumps (well not big jumps... ) or Black rated trails. I didn't start feeling the sponginess of my current wheels until I graduated myself to blue trails. Well, the current wheels were not good on the rock gardens and now the spokes even start pinging on the green trails.

So on one hand, I'm not against having to do the maintenance. But on the other hand, the SHIMANO XT FH M756 are what, 15 year old hubs now? Wouldn't mind something more modern, even though they are the old 10x135's.

decisions...decisions .... decisions.....

Regarding a 15 year old hub design i will steal a line of dialogue from the movie Roadhouse

"
BAr owner : "I want to hire the best :"

Dalton : "Then you want Wade Garrett" (while he chain smokes angrilly)

BAr Owner : "Wade Garrett's gettin' old "

Dalton: "He's still the best"



(But seriously, i havent tried the Bitex hubs myself so i cant call either one of them best or worst )

But i feel your pain if you are using the wheels on downhilly stuff -- when i first got my 29'er years ago , i took it down some bermed out blue trails in Winter PArk and they flexed so much i thought i would pop a tire off . When i inquired at the bikeshop, they just said - "Get carbon rims " and i was thinking -- great, 5k for a new bike and now i have to spend 2k more? No thanks

But now that i have some stiff carbon rims, im contemplating going backwards and lacing up a set of aluminum rims for better ride compliance on non bike park days - LOL

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Old 05-04-21, 06:59 PM
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Thanks all for help! I've placed the order, here's what the rear wheel will be:

Rear Rim: WTB KOM TOUGH TCS I 30 29IN BLACK RIM Price $88.00 Drillings 32 Size 700c/29er Tubeless Tape and Valve for 1 wheel Installed (Not available as Rim Only) + 13.00
Rear Hub: BITEX MTR REAR ISO 6 BOLT DISC HUB Price $152.00 Drillings 32 Axle Width QR Rear 10x135mm Shimano Steal HG/SRAM ANTI BITE 8,9,10 or (ROAD 11spd) + $25.00 *No Bearing Upgrade Black
Rear Spoke: SAPIM LEADER J BEND SILVER 14G OR 2.0MM SPOKES Price $0.57 Rear Lacing Pattern: Lacing: Three Cross Rear
Nipple: SAPIM POLYAX 14MM 14 GAUGE SILVER BRASS NIPPLE Price $0.09
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Old 05-04-21, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The real difference being discussed here is cup and cone bearing hub vs. cartridge bearing hub. The cartridge bearing hub is superior to the cup and cone bearings all day long. Cup and cone bearings on bikes are now old technology and only found on cheap bikes.

When a cartridge bearing has worn out, just throw it away and replace. If cup and cone system is worn out...just hope you caught it in time...water and grit turn into a nice grinding paste which is likely to damage the internal surface of the hub shell...and then there goes the nice smooth rolling surface.
It's being superior isn't 100% true, sure you can toss the cartridges but how precise the hub is machined along with the axle and caps all help to determine how good the hub really is or even how long the bearings last. While I think the average cartridge bearing hub is easier to maintain from my own experience I wouldn't take the average cartridge hub over a new set or XT or XTR. I do prefer my Kings and WI, but I have a very smooth, fast and reliable set of 8000 series XT hubs on my adventure bike which spends as much time on the gravel as it does in the mountains and I fail to see where most cartridge hubs are actually superior. I9, Hope, Phil, King and WI are all better in so many ways but are also 2-4x the price for that better. Too blanket of a statement leaves out a lot.

OP: enjoys the new wheels, sounds like a solid build.
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Old 05-04-21, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
The real difference being discussed here is cup and cone bearing hub vs. cartridge bearing hub. The cartridge bearing hub is superior to the cup and cone bearings all day long. Cup and cone bearings on bikes are now old technology and only found on cheap bikes.

When a cartridge bearing has worn out, just throw it away and replace. If cup and cone system is worn out...just hope you caught it in time...water and grit turn into a nice grinding paste which is likely to damage the internal surface of the hub shell...and then there goes the nice smooth rolling surface.
Only found on cheap bikes, yet Shimano makes XTR, XT, Alfine, Dura-Ace and Ultegra hubs in cup and cone bearings and I know Campagnolo still is doing cup and cone. If you are calling their stuff cheap you are need to smoke just a little less. Sure yes a properly machined hub with good quality cartridge bearings can be of lower maintenance and potentially be better for an off road situation but I don't think Shimano would make cup and cone bearings especially not in their XTR lineup which is used in the highest levels of competition if they didn't see worth in it.

Now me personally I do prefer cartridge bearing hubs ideally made in the good ole' USA but have had Deore hubs on my beater hybrid parts bike for many years and haven't touched them once and they roll quite nicely and my old XT hubs on my Surly Disc Trucker rolled great as well and are still rolling under a different rider (who last I spoke with was in South America touring).
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Old 05-05-21, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post

Only found on cheap bikes,

If you are calling their stuff cheap you are need to smoke just a little less.).

LOL -- I like PRJ's input at times -- other times he has a

"Ready ! Fire ! Aim ! " approach -- LOL

The advantage of cartridge bearings used to be mostly be just ease of maintenance - not rolling resistance, as it is still a caged bearing system , which has a hard time being as fast or efficient as a loose ball non caged system, which, as mentioned - DOES need more maintenance

Chris King and Phil Wood make beautiful stuff and come closest to bridging the gap i would suspect .

Im a trackie - there is a mix of old and new technology there -- tubulars and toe straps are still widely used . Not because we're dumb -- but because in the real world, a 23c tubular with a cotton casing is still faster than a 28c clincher or tubeless tire despite popular opinion about "wider tires being faster " - and since most of us ride road too, we are well aware of those new fangled clipless pedals Look made famous in 1985, but truth be told , there still isnt a cost effective one out there that is safe to use for a 200 pound sprinter who is unleashing a 1300 watt sprint. And years ago it was still common knowledge that cup/cone cageless bearing hubs without dust seals were faster than Phil Wood hubs -- but this is also for special purpose racing bicylces that were used once a week

I love Shimano XT and XTR component stuff myself , but can see the advantage of cartridge stuff for a guy with a trail bike who wants to buy it and forget it essentially too . They are not better, but are less a PIA (kinda like tubulars vs clinchers )
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Old 05-05-21, 08:58 AM
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Ready? Aim! Fire!!

Unfortunately Cup and cone will not last indefinitely if you want a smooth play free bearing, But if you will accept less than perfect bearings they will. Cartridge bearings are either perfect or shot and easily replaced once they are shot. Plus their lifespan is longer.

Once a cup and cone bearing system has been botched it will never be perfect again. And trying to keep it perfect always requires preventative maintenance which IMO makes it inferior to cartridge bearings. IMO cup and cone have no place on a modern mid to high end bike.
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Old 05-05-21, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Only found on cheap bikes, yet Shimano makes XTR, XT, Alfine, Dura-Ace and Ultegra hubs in cup and cone bearings and I know Campagnolo still is doing cup and cone.
Go look at the big players bike offerings. Only the entry level (cheaper) bikes with QR hubs will have cup and cone. The rest of their line up (higher end more expensive bikes) will be thru axle with cartridge bearings.
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Old 05-05-21, 09:10 AM
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Old 05-05-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post

Wait a second, thought the cartridge bearings are easy to remove and to push them back in? I will need to buy or fashion a press fit tool for this?

OK, going to YouTube to check more videos.......
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Old 05-05-21, 10:32 AM
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Alright, DIY home mechanic style seems good to me:

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Old 05-05-21, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Go look at the big players bike offerings. Only the entry level (cheaper) bikes with QR hubs will have cup and cone. The rest of their line up (higher end more expensive bikes) will be thru axle with cartridge bearings.
XTR hubs are still cup and cone as far as I can tell so not sure what your whole point is sure there might not be a ton of MTBs that are OEM spec'd with Shimano wheel sets or hubs or Campy stuff but it isn't not being made in quantity and not being used.
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Old 05-05-21, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Unfortunately Cup and cone will not last indefinitely if you want a smooth play free bearing, But if you will accept less than perfect bearings they will. Cartridge bearings are either perfect or shot and easily replaced once they are shot. Plus their lifespan is longer.
As long as the manufacture is still making the cartridge bearing you need to replace.
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Old 05-05-21, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
As long as the manufacture is still making the cartridge bearing you need to replace.
Outside of King the other brands all use off the shelf parts. Learn to read the bearing and you can always upgrade the ABEC rating of the cartridge, switch to ceramic, get different seals; the bearings aren't cycling specific. King is an exception as they make their bearings in house and I believe that includes the cartridges/cages. It is a part of what makes a cartridge bearing hub nice in theory, never met someone who actually upgraded the bearings. The real quality of any hub has more to do with overall design including integration of the freehub body and precision used. A well machined and properly designed cup and cone hub will still be running perfectly smoothly 40 years later and doesn't require dramatic levels of maintenance contrary to the opinions of some. Same with a cartridge hub and I don't have a preference either way.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
XTR hubs are still cup and cone as far as I can tell so not sure what your whole point is sure there might not be a ton of MTBs that are OEM spec'd with Shimano wheel sets or hubs or Campy stuff but it isn't not being made in quantity and not being used.
My point is that when buying bikes you are only going to find cup and cone hub bearings on the cheaper entry level bikes. The higher price point bikes will be cartridge bearings.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
As long as the manufacture is still making the cartridge bearing you need to replace.
That isn't an issue at all.
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Old 05-07-21, 12:13 AM
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It is true that cartridge bearings will always be better if you tend to neglect maintenance and just have a shop replace them. If you actually wrench, cup cone doesn’t get botched up... ever.

John
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Old 05-07-21, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
It is true that cartridge bearings will always be better if you tend to neglect maintenance and just have a shop replace them. If you actually wrench, cup cone doesn’t get botched up... ever.

John
If you service them BEFORE they need it. Lots of people don’t think to service their bikes until it’s too late.

That's the beauty of cartridge bearings. Set and forget. This spring I checked on the cartridge bearings on my 2016 hard tail (~3000 miles) and my 2018 Fatbike (~1500 miles). Still good. No rough spots or grinding. Still rolling smooth.
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Old 05-07-21, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
If you service them BEFORE they need it. Lots of people don’t think to service their bikes until it’s too late.

That's the beauty of cartridge bearings. Set and forget. This spring I checked on the cartridge bearings on my 2016 hard tail (~3000 miles) and my 2018 Fatbike (~1500 miles). Still good. No rough spots or grinding. Still rolling smooth.
Agree with the before. I'll also state that being retired does give me more than ample time to keep my bikes maintained. If I were younger and juggling work and family, I'd be jumping on the cartridge side on things; at least for mountain bikes.

John
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