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Choosing a Hub

Old 03-23-21, 09:30 PM
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SquireBlack 
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Choosing a Hub

I'm slowly working on building up a frame for touring. I'm planning on a front load front panniers and a handlebar bag. I have put rack mounts on the rear, but don't plan to put a lot of wight on the rear.

I have found that most "touring" frames are far beefier than I need. I weight 120 lbs (55ks), and camp with around 5 kg in each front pannier, and another 4 or 5 kg in the handlebar bag. I don't need massively oversized frame tubes, or 48 spoke wheels. The rear (and the fork, once I've built it) will be set up for direct-mount centerpull brakes. I'm hoping that I can also get a 26" wheelset with wider tires to fit, for those time when I want to tackle rough gravel or trails.

I have 32-hole 650b rims Velocity A23s and a wide flange SON generator hub on order for the front. I'm having trouble locating a suitable rear hub. What I'm looking for is
  1. Silver colored, 'cause that's what I've chosen for the rimes and the front hub.
  2. 32 hole, 'cause I have the rims. (I guess that I could put one back into "stock" and go up to a 36 hole hub and rim if I had to.)
  3. Rim brake (i.e., no centerlock mount)
  4. Shimano 9-speed compatible. I think that 9-speed is the sweet spot for gear range and durability.
  5. Preferably Shimano, because I like loose-bearing hubs for their maintainability, and Shimano has been making them well for a long time now
  6. 135mm over lock-nuts, because that's how I built the frame. Of course, I could use a 130mm hub and simply add 5mm of spacers to the NDS.
I have a few hubs on my bench that I've been considering:



At the top is a nice 105 road hub, but its 130mm over the fancy axle ends, and because of those ends it does not adapt itself well to 135mm spacing.

Next is a Shimano 600 "tricolor" hub, that I was keeping as a source of spare parts for another wheelset. I could adapt that to 135mm spacing. It's a nice hub, but if I use it for this build, then I'll have two wheels using 600 hubs, and no spares!

Third is a Shimano 105, old style (mid 1990s, IIRC). Maybe I should adapt this to 135mm spacing? It's dull silver rather than shiny, but beggars can't be choosers. :-(

At the bottom is a newer CNC'd hub that's from a lower groupset: FH-MC38. It is the right width, though!

I could also buy a new(er) hub, and started looking for Deore XT or similar. I can't find anything that meets my requirements. I could also look at other brands, but I'm not sure where to start.

I'm open to suggestions from the Forum!
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Old 03-23-21, 10:39 PM
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I would use the 4th one. I have the an XT version of the parallax hub both front (HB-M737) and rear (FH-M737) (36 hole in my case) on my touring bike and don't think there are many hubs with a better polish/look. You might want to disassemble the hub first just to check that the races and cones are in good shape. But I suspect their is almost no quality difference with my XT version and yours.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Eggman84 View Post
I would use the 4th one. I have the an XT version of the parallax hub both front (HB-M737) and rear (FH-M737) (36 hole in my case) on my touring bike and don't think there are many hubs with a better polish/look. You might want to disassemble the hub first just to check that the races and cones are in good shape. But I suspect their is almost no quality difference with my XT version and yours.
If I had the XT version, I would use it too! I've been searching for a FH-M737 on fleaBay. I actually have two of the FH-MC38; the one pictured looks sound inside (I re-packed it and replaced the balls); the other one has pitted cones.

Maybe, as you say, I should stop obsessing over the perceived quality difference, and go with what I have.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:58 PM
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The FH-MC38 is STX level. That isn't far off the XT version, is it? Cones for most shimano hubs are available from Wheels Mfg. Harder part to source these days is a spare freehub. But sounds like you have a spare, even if it is used. I admit I got lucky 6 years ago when I picked up my hubs on fleabay. Do somtimes think about the simplicity of sealed bearing hubs though.
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Old 03-23-21, 11:42 PM
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It's a hub...what's it matter if it has disc brake capability? Center or 6 bolt- either is fine. The hub doesn't care that it's laced to a rim with a brake track.
I've used Deore rims with 6 bolt for a Cdale touring bike and an older MTB in our family has Deore hubs that are designed for disc brakes, but laced to rim brake rims.

Anyways, just get a Deore hub and call it done. If you are determined to jam that square peg into a round hole, then use the tricolor since that stuff is just so damn cool. Still my favorite Shimano road group.
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-T610-...SQNFCSP9C11A7N
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Old 03-24-21, 03:49 AM
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Any of the pictured hubs will do the job. Most 130 spaced hubs can be converted to 135, and in doing so will help quite a bit with evening out spoke tension between the drive and non-drive sides. Of the hubs pictured my choice is the last one as I like the looks of it.
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Old 03-24-21, 05:08 AM
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For a rear wheel on a touring bike, I like the steel axle and quarter inch ball bearings on the older style XT hubs. Deore level hubs still built that way, and you can still buy new M756A XT hubs built that way. But now I do not think you can find any new ones that are rim brake version and silver.

I have a older M760 XT hub on a touring bike I built up 11 years ago, silver (matte finish, not shiny) and rim brake, but I am not willing to part with it. I only mention it because I know they used to make them. I think that was one of the last ones before they went to aluminum axles.

If your criteria for silver and rim brake is that important, you might need to look at some of the cartridge bearing hubs out there. For example:
https://velo-orange.com/collections/...31842009022601

I am not familiar with that hub, but it sure looks nice. Looks like they are out of stock at the moment.
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Old 03-24-21, 07:18 AM
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Non hub related, but I can say that re 32 spokes on 26in wheels, I've had very good experience with this combo.
I realize rim choice and wheel build, spoke tensions come into play, but myself at 135lbs, wider tires 50mm at not high pressures, two rear panniers+rack pack (not overly heavily loaded though) my wheels have been pretty good.

given you are lighter and no rear load, sounds very promising.
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Old 03-24-21, 04:36 PM
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I found a used Deore XT on fleabay (being sold by a community bike shop). If I win that auction, and it turns out to have decent internals, it's my hub. Otherwise, I'll use the STX parallax. I like the fact that the XT is forged, whereas the STX seems to be CNC machined.

I too was lusting after the Velo Orange Touring Hub, but it's been out of stock for a long time. I like the idea of being able to remove the cassette without tools. It does have flanges that are quite close together, though — probably because the same hub body is doing double-duty as a 130mm and a 135mm
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