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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just shattered the paws in my stock wheel and I want to build a new set of wheels. My go to hubs were always XT I like that I can easily service them and parts are really easy to get. So if I don't want to run a better cassette then my NX one is there any reason not to buy new XT hubs for a wheel build if I am using an NX 1x12 cassette?
 

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Shimano has a long and glorious history of making shitty hubs. You have a shorter but no less glorious history of shattering paws. Why not go with a hub that hasn't earned a terrible reputation? If your preference for shimano hubs has survived to this decade intact you don't need anything fancy.


Or just plop another shimano freehub on there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shimano has a long and glorious history of making shitty hubs. You have a shorter but no less glorious history of shattering paws. Why not go with a hub that hasn't earned a terrible reputation? If your preference for shimano hubs has survived to this decade intact you don't need anything fancy.

Or just plop another shimano freehub on there.
What's shitty about Shimano hubs? I used XT hubs for decades without any issues. They were always simple and easy to adjust. And vary easy to service. So I have no idea what your talking about.
 

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What's shitty about Shimano hubs? I used XT hubs for decades without any issues. They were always simple and easy to adjust. And vary easy to service. So I have no idea what your talking about.
The freehubs like to kill themselves. My personal theory is it's the mess of tiny bearings between the inner and outer freehub shells, but i haven't explored it very thoroughly because the freehubs are cheap.

It's true that they're easy to service, but the freehub is the problem and it's non-serviceable, and cartridge bearings need minimal service and really aren't much trouble to replace. Shimano got it backwards.

Some people are easy on hubs and can ride anything, but even then shimano hubs don't really have much going for them aside from being super smooth. Worth consideration on the road, but a useless feature on an mtb.

Not trying to argue, if you're happy you should keep using them. IMO XT hubs are a tough sell.
 

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If you're so happy with them why ask if there's a reason not to use them and then get defensive when people tell you they are ****? Because they are.
 

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I just got a Light Bicycle carbon wheelset with XT hubs. I already had an XT rear hub, so just had to pick up an XT front. The issues that people have from the freehubs seem to be mostly from heavier riders (I'm 160 in my birthday suit), and haven't had a problem with Shimano hubs. They are also going on my XC hardtail that is not boost, so I didn't want to build up a premium wheelset. If the wheelset was going on my boost dually I would opt for something more boujee.

That being said...the wheelset is dope! The hubs roll fast, and will be easily serviceable. Engagement isn't on the level of premium hubs... but I would have spent a lot of dollars to get those extra degrees that aren't necessary. The budget carbon wheels radically changed my bike for the better, and the hubs haven't been holding them back.
 

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If you broke a pawl hub, you'll break shimanos too. They're fairly fragile, the XT's being the most fragile. The SLX hubs are stronger, as are the XTRs. Weirdly, the XT's are the shitty hub in the lineup.

The old XT's were very strong. The new ones are completely different. The engagement doubled, and the freehub shell thinned out. This has been terrible for reliability with many many many people blowing up the freehub body in sometimes weeks.

They're not easy to service. They're nearly impossible to service actually. You can force clean grease through the freehub body, but its questionably effective and I dont think its all that useful.

Im on XTR and I love the XTR! But its not for everyone. If I'm wrong on this one, ill lace in another hub. I build wheels for fun, so if it blows up I already have a hope wheel ready to go. The bearings really are amazing on shimano, but not at the cost of reliability for most reasonable people.

In general, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who cant build their own wheels and certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone trying to save some cash. You're just going to end up buying hubs twice.
 

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Shimano stuffs the pawls inside the freehub - a very small space! If you do a simple force calculation you'll see that they endure at least double the stress compared to the pawls that go inside the hub shell, so it's not a wonder they crack under heavy use. When their new design makes its way to the $50 hubs they will be a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you broke a pawl hub, you'll break shimanos too. They're fairly fragile, the XT's being the most fragile. The SLX hubs are stronger, as are the XTRs. Weirdly, the XT's are the shitty hub in the lineup.

The old XT's were very strong. The new ones are completely different. The engagement doubled, and the freehub shell thinned out. This has been terrible for reliability with many many many people blowing up the freehub body in sometimes weeks.

They're not easy to service. They're nearly impossible to service actually. You can force clean grease through the freehub body, but its questionably effective and I dont think its all that useful.

Im on XTR and I love the XTR! But its not for everyone. If I'm wrong on this one, ill lace in another hub. I build wheels for fun, so if it blows up I already have a hope wheel ready to go. The bearings really are amazing on shimano, but not at the cost of reliability for most reasonable people.

In general, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who cant build their own wheels and certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone trying to save some cash. You're just going to end up buying hubs twice.
That's the kind of info I was looking for thanks.
 

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If you broke a pawl hub, you'll break shimanos too. They're fairly fragile, the XT's being the most fragile. The SLX hubs are stronger, as are the XTRs. Weirdly, the XT's are the shitty hub in the lineup.

The old XT's were very strong. The new ones are completely different. The engagement doubled, and the freehub shell thinned out. This has been terrible for reliability with many many many people blowing up the freehub body in sometimes weeks.

They're not easy to service. They're nearly impossible to service actually. You can force clean grease through the freehub body, but its questionably effective and I dont think its all that useful.

Im on XTR and I love the XTR! But its not for everyone. If I'm wrong on this one, ill lace in another hub. I build wheels for fun, so if it blows up I already have a hope wheel ready to go. The bearings really are amazing on shimano, but not at the cost of reliability for most reasonable people.

In general, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who cant build their own wheels and certainly wouldn't recommend them to anyone trying to save some cash. You're just going to end up buying hubs twice.
What generation was strong? I've owned all of them over the last 15 years, along with their ultegra counterparts, and they've all been similarly reliable. Only road freehubs that have been a problem.
 

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The 756(?) old 135qr hubs with the 18pt ratchet were durable enough for most people.

It by no means was "strong" but it was sufficient for most. For a while when the 36pt xt's first came out, they were nearly a guaranteed failure for almost anyone. They fixed the freehub cracking in half, but the strength never seemed the same as the old 18pt pieces.

All in all, most people would be well served passing on XT's.
 

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The 756(?) old 135qr hubs with the 18pt ratchet were durable enough for most people.

It by no means was "strong" but it was sufficient for most. For a while when the 36pt xt's first came out, they were nearly a guaranteed failure for almost anyone. They fixed the freehub cracking in half, but the strength never seemed the same as the old 18pt pieces.

All in all, most people would be well served passing on XT's.
Interesting! Thanks for the reply. (no need to derail the thread to rehash bla bla bla)
 

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OP, if you're happy with Shimano's, then as everyone else said, go with them. But like everyone else said, the freehub bodies are a weak point, more so in the newer ones and while cheapish to replace compared to other brands, I'd rather not be having to mess with that. Personally I'll spend a little more upfront and buy Hope's, they are so easy to service and versatile, you can just pop on whatever end caps you need to run and swap wheels from one frame to the next.

Some heavier riders had had trouble with some Hope's in the past, but I think that even there, it's a small minority of those who mash big gears and like to stamp on those big gears. I only weigh max 195lbs fully geared to ride, so on the lighter side I guess.

Oh and if by chance you decide you'd like to upgrade to a lighter, fancier cassette, with the Shimano, you're S.O.L, with the Hope or other hub that uses end caps, you can just buy an XD driver.
 

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Personally, if you have blown up a pawl based hub you are likely to do the same again. Mind that not all hubs are made equal but I would question whether or not they are worth it at the price range you are looking at, especially with Shimano. Hell you could get a DT Swiss 370 hub (3-pawl design) for the time being and lace it to the wheel. When/if you blow the pawls up you could then easily convert to the star ratchet system (which I just did) and then have stronger hub all together.

I have been on the DT Swiss star system for a few years now and riding a pawl system feels "different" and weird to me now. At close to 200lbs kitted up and an aggressive rider, I have never had an issue with the star ratchet system. And you want to talk about "easy" serviceability, there is none simpler or easier than the star system.
 

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Is there any reason to think the current Deore (16 PoE) or SLX (32 PoE) would be more durable than the XT (36 PoE)?

I always was under the impression that for that type of cup/cone hub (with the screw on free hub) the Shimano are the best hubs. At least much better than the quando et al. they normally are specced on road/hybrid type bikes.

It sounds like for heavy MTB duty (or heavy rider) they are not strong enough due to smaller bearings/pawls? I'm just wondering because i recently replaced a Giant wheel with freehub problems with one with a Deore hub, which seems fine so far.
 

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I believe the current thinking is that Shimano QR hubs such as the M529 or M756 work fine. They are a little heavy but amazingly inexpensive and durable for most riders.

But for thru-axle hubs it is generally best to avoid Shimano. DT350's and Hope Pro4's are good mid-level options. If price is no object then consider DT240's, I9, Onyx, Chris King. etc.
 

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I believe the current thinking is that Shimano QR hubs such as the M529 or M756 work fine. They are a little heavy but amazingly inexpensive and durable for most riders.

But for thru-axle hubs it is generally best to avoid Shimano. DT350's and Hope Pro4's are good mid-level options. If price is no object then consider DT240's, I9, Onyx, Chris King. etc.
Thanks, that's reassuring. I need a new set of QR wheels and for the amount of riding I do on that bike, can't justify buying a set of spendier wheels.
 

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I believe the current thinking is that Shimano QR hubs such as the M529 or M756 work fine. They are a little heavy but amazingly inexpensive and durable for most riders.

But for thru-axle hubs it is generally best to avoid Shimano. DT350's and Hope Pro4's are good mid-level options. If price is no object then consider DT240's, I9, Onyx, Chris King. etc.
Agreed... I have a QR set of m529s on my commuter/hardtail that I had built in 2009 and they are still going strong. I don't but near the amount of miles on that bike as my trail bikes, which both now have DT Swiss Star Ratchet hubs, but have not had issues in the past. The shimanos are a ***** to service though so I think I have only done that once in the 10yrs I have had them and really do not look forward to it.
 

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Theres a trick to adjusting shimanos. Lock the freehub cone and locknut TIGHT. Put red locktite on it if you want, it needs to never come loose ever again. Then do all your adjustments from the other side. Makes a pain in the ass task very simple and straight forward. Tighten the other side until its finger tight against the bearings, and run the locknut in snug. Not tight, just snug. Now hold the other side, and back out the cone just a tad, this both loosens preload and locks the cone and lock nut. Done and perfect.

The newer TA shimano hubs are actually designed this way from the factory, one side is locked. It makes adjustments so much easier.
 
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