Strengths: Cheap, strong, and durable. It is both steel cassette and single speed sprocket friendly, in so far as the latter will not chew up the free-hub splines as is often the case with aluminum versions. The hub is easily serviceable by competent riders who know how to wield a set of cone spanners and understand balancing cup/cone bearings. You can't just tighten up the nuts.........
Weaknesses: They can benefit from re-greasing and re-setting even when new, and then require it at regular intervals (depending on conditions). Spare parts are available but not always easy to find. The hub is not suitable for riders with a fit and forget approach.
I've used various cup/cone hub bearings for 40 years, cycle toured on them, stripped and rebuilt them and can honestly say that I have never (yet) been let down by a cup/cone hub whilst touring or riding.
I have seen other riders have problems with all sorts of hubs, including the exotic and expensive sealed bearing variety.
There is (IMO) no fail-safe method that replaces regular and competent servicing of all bearings on a mountain bike.
These Shimano hubs are not, in my opinion, in the same league as the mythical Campagnolo Record hubs of the seventies and eighties but they are still extremely good value and perform well.
I have 3 XT M756 rear hubs on different bikes/wheel-sets and have yet to destroy one, or need to replace bearings and/or cones. All I do is re-grease and reset once a year... thousands of miles in all conditions.
They DO benefit from re-greasing and re-setting when new. I wonder whether Shimano saved labor time here in order to reduce retail price. They definitely deserve to be setup properly given the superior quality of the ball bearings and cup/cone surfaces.
I also have Hope hubs, which I like, but I have had to change bearings on one and put a steel free-hub body on every rear hub..... not cheap, nor are the tools that are required to properly service these kinds of hubs.
Also, in order to achieve the same rigidity and piece of mind I that I get from the steel axle on the Shimano hub (for big drops etc.), I use Saint type rear Hope hubs with a steel through axle. In other words, by the time I've got the Hope up to scratch I could have purchased four or five Shimano hubs.
However, I do prefer Hope's after sales service and spare part availability (even for discontinued models) and this is why I support the company and the extra cost that this incurs.
So if you want to save money on your bike that you can then use in other ways, these Shimano hubs are well worth considering.... but only if you are prepared to put in the maintenance.
I have used two XT rear hubs and both broke within 25 miles. I thought the first one was a fluke, so I just kept my eye on the second one. Sure enough, I go to tune up my drivetrain and my cassette is wobbling.
These hubs are probably great for hybrid bikes or very light riders, but they are by no means clyde-worthy. They serve their purpose...cheap hub that will work fine if you are light or not riding off-road trails. If you are looking for quality or reliability, go DT Swiss, Chris King, Hadley, etc. These XT hubs are junk.
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2012
Strengths: Low cost and serviceability
Weaknesses: Materials and engineering
I am a 230lb rider on a SurlyLHT. The XT hubs are/were original equipment. The front hub developed a gouge in the cone, replaced the cone and the bearings. The rear hub has failed twice. Original hub suffered flange failure, the replacement has developed a "catch and slip" character to its operation. Plan on a total rebuild for spring 2013, I will not be using shimano hubs!
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2012
Strengths: Cheap and looking good. Running smoth. XT 756
Weaknesses: Rear hub can be a b..... You need to service it your self.
Ive been running shimano hubs since 1980. They are simple and easy to maintain. The M756 has been updated to run 10 speed, its called M-756a. The M-756 is old tec. but look at the price tag - does it hurt? These hubs have only one weakness, you have to maintain them every year.
a Weekend Warrior
from Berthoud, CO
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2011
Strengths: Cheap, bomber
Weaknesses: Not the lightest
Have used XT hubs (rim and 6 bolt disc) on several bikes over the years riding in varying conditions. Zero problems. I personally think these are the best value for the money - easy to maintain and solid.
a Cross Country Rider
from Stockholm, Sweden
Date Reviewed: October 12, 2011
Strengths: Inexpensive, good quality, serviceability.
Weaknesses: None yet.
Just if anyone wondered I put the hubs on the scale before I built a set of new wheels. This is the 2012 Shimano XT HB-M785 and FH-M785 hubs for CenterLock disk, 32-holes, traditional 100/135mm quick-release versions.
Front hub w/o QR at 165g
Rear hub w/o QR at 332g
Front quick release 59g
Rear quick release 66g
Rubber cups covering the center-lock rotor mount, if using hubs for rim-brake wheels coming in at 5g per hub.
Bike Setup: Pimped my old aluminium full-XTR hardtail with some new wheels and other goodies, then donated it to my wife.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2011
Strengths: Front hub is a dream--I'd say set and forget, only you never have to set it.
Weaknesses: The rear hub is a different story. Every XT rear hub I have had (I've had countless ones over the years) has developed slop. Sometimes this happens after months, sometimes after days on new bikes. The cones get loose, and tightening the nuts only leads to major drag (from overtightening) or play returning. I've tried everything, but it is practically impossible to keep the rear hubs tightened correctly. The slop that develops leads to poor handling and has even destroyed a few wheels. (The wheel shifts during cornering, the derailleur gets caught in the spokes, and derailleur and spokes are both toast.)
Also, replacing the cones when they get worn is impossible, as the nuts no matter what fuse to the axle. The entire hub has to be replaced.
Fine for cross-country, but if you your riding gets you high Gs in many directions, get a different *rear* hub.
Similar Products Used: None yet--looking at cartridge hubs
Bike Setup: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2011
Strengths: None - Shimano XT M775 Rear Hubs are crap.
Weaknesses: Pawls within freehub body fail within 1 year.
Bought a pair of Shimano xt M775 factory wheels. Rear hub failed within a year. Pawls within freehub body failed to engage / locked up. Replaced freehub body with new one bought at Jenson USA. It failed within 8 months. Same exact problem.
a Cross Country Rider
from Troy, MI
Date Reviewed: February 26, 2010
Strengths: Nuke-Proof / Easy to Service
I'm rather shocked by all the negative reviews below. I've ridden various iterations of XT hubs for over 15 years and have never experienced problem one. I weigh about 225 lbs and ride hard.
As a matter of routine, I disassemble hubs and adjust cones/bearings before riding the first time. I have found cases where the drive side cones seemed loose against the jam nut. When it comes to service, I haven't found many bike shops I trust. Learn to do it yourself, you'll be much happier and dollars ahead.
Weaknesses: the threads are too weak. Broke twice during 2 year period
Bought it for 50 GBP in UK
the hub failed twice. First time after 18 months, not sure which part failed as the hub just seized and I sent it back under warranty. 6 months later the cassette became loose and I've checked that the bolt which connects cassette body to
the hub was loose - the thread inside the hub was filed down.
In other words - 50 pounds for two years of riding, about 8-10k miles covered, mainly commuting in all weather + long weekend rides.
The good part is the sealing. Upon disassembling the drive part was a bit dirty, but nothing too serious, and the opposite part still had original green lube.
a Weekend Warrior
from staten island ny
Date Reviewed: November 6, 2009
Strengths: Very sturdy, no nonsese cone and cup bearing set up,easy to maintain.
Weaknesses: These hubs can be finicky,
This is for the 756 disc hub. Depending on you riding style some riders are hard on particular parts such as rims, drivetrains or headsets. I'm hard on rear hubs for some reason. This hub is a no nonsense strong hub that can be easily broken down by the home mechanic with the right tools.If you can breakdown this hub and regrease on your own the hub is a dream. If it gets loose and you get pissed don't giveup on it. Get yourself together and take it apart correctly ,regrease and reassemble. I myself made the mistake for years of not making the driveside cone and nut under torque. The beuty of this hub is that you just need some cone wrenches,grease and a little mechanical ability. I have had nightmares with these aftermarket boutique rear hubs and found this hub to be pretty damn good. I'm not a Chris King basher either. I have a front hub and headset thats Chris King. For a rear hub I choose xt. I learned early that a hub is as good as its mechanic. If you don't maintain your own bike and Rely on a shop, don't get this hub.Its not the prettiest or lightest hub but if your looking for a strong sturdy no B.S hub this maybe for you.
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Cont ... Read More »