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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a new wheelset with XT hubs (M756). The hubs are not turning very smoothly, in fact they're kind of rough. Is this to be expected with new hubs? I would think they would come almost perfect from the factory. I'm inclined to not ride them as they are since it seems it could damage the races. I'm thinking of taking them all apart and packing with some phil wood. I hate cup/cone adjustments and now wishing I got something sealed. I think XT hubs (bearing adjustments aside) don't measure up to quality of other XT components (crank, brakes etc).
 

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They come adjusted too tight from the factory if I recall correctly. Only XTR is adjusted right from the factory.

I would open them up and replace the bearings with the appropriate size grade 25 (or better if they have better now) bearings and also wipe out the old lube and put some phil wood lube in its place.


Don't lube the freehub.

You have to adjust them so that the axle wobbles a little when outside the frame but when in the frame and with the QR tightened properly there should be no wobble as the QR tightens things up. The nuts should be tightened very well against each other.


Take a look at the park tool site for more info.
 

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XT hubs are the best bang for the buck in the whole Mountain bike world! They are very inexpensive, reasonably light, (when adjusted right) roll great. The free hub is not bomb proof, but better than it used to be. You have to spend 2 to 3 times as much money to beat their quality! Their front hubs are the BEST deal out there. Cup and cone is fine when it is adjust right. If you have the right cone wrenches it is easy to do. They are pretty well sealed too.
New bearings and Phil grease never hurt either...
 

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I just got a new wheelset with XT hubs (M756). The hubs are not turning very smoothly, in fact they're kind of rough. Is this to be expected with new hubs? I would think they would come almost perfect from the factory. I'm inclined to not ride them as they are since it seems it could damage the races. I'm thinking of taking them all apart and packing with some phil wood. I hate cup/cone adjustments and now wishing I got something sealed. I think XT hubs (bearing adjustments aside) don't measure up to quality of other XT components (crank, brakes etc).
The M756, while being still labeled XT, is an old (but solid) design...so no compared to current XT it's a bit lagging.

However they are quite durable if maintained properly. I would recommend you open them up and lubricate the bearings with a waterproof grease like Phils and then adjust them properly so they have a minute amount of play out of the bike. When you clamp down the quick release, it will remove the remaining play. You will need 13mm (front), 15mm (rear), and 17mm (both) cone wrenches. The bearings are solid, no need to upgrade to a higher grade. Regular maintenance and these hubs will reward you with long life...as long as the freehub body (which is replaceable) holds up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They come adjusted too tight from the factory if I recall correctly. Only XTR is adjusted right from the factory.

I would open them up and replace the bearings with the appropriate size grade 25 (or better if they have better now) bearings and also wipe out the old lube and put some phil wood lube in its place.


Don't lube the freehub.

You have to adjust them so that the axle wobbles a little when outside the frame but when in the frame and with the QR tightened properly there should be no wobble as the QR tightens things up. The nuts should be tightened very well against each other.


Take a look at the park tool site for more info.
When you say not to lube the freehub do you mean no grease on the outside that contacts the cassette body? If so, why? I've always put a smear of grease there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm curious what's the proper method to loosen the cones? e.g. should I use two 17mm on either side and force until one side breaks free, or two wrenches on one side? I don't have an axle vice. I've understand that you only want to loosen one side.
 

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I just got a new wheelset with XT hubs (M756). The hubs are not turning very smoothly, in fact they're kind of rough. Is this to be expected with new hubs? I would think they would come almost perfect from the factory. I'm inclined to not ride them as they are since it seems it could damage the races. I'm thinking of taking them all apart and packing with some phil wood. I hate cup/cone adjustments and now wishing I got something sealed. I think XT hubs (bearing adjustments aside) don't measure up to quality of other XT components (crank, brakes etc).
No loose ball hub is properly adjusted from the factory. No way to be sure it is right without being laced into a wheel. Can be tight or loose. Readjust before first use and the hubs should be good for a long time.
 

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The M756, while being still labeled XT, is an old (but solid) design...so no compared to current XT it's a bit lagging.

However they are quite durable if maintained properly. I would recommend you open them up and lubricate the bearings with a waterproof grease like Phils and then adjust them properly so they have a minute amount of play out of the bike. When you clamp down the quick release, it will remove the remaining play. You will need 13mm (front), 15mm (rear), and 17mm (both) cone wrenches. The bearings are solid, no need to upgrade to a higher grade. Regular maintenance and these hubs will reward you with long life...as long as the freehub body (which is replaceable) holds up.
I think I forgot to mention earlier that the QR lever is supposed to start generating a fair amount of resistance just as it's in line (sticking straight out away from the bike) with the QR axle. From there it shouldn't be hard to close but not super easy either.

Aren't the freehubs like $20 each?
 

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I'm curious what's the proper method to loosen the cones? e.g. should I use two 17mm on either side and force until one side breaks free, or two wrenches on one side? I don't have an axle vice. I've understand that you only want to loosen one side.
You really should go to the park tool site as they have pictures and everything. There's a nut that goes against the cone and you have to loosen that nut.

Please go to the park tool site as it has everything you need to learn how to do this. Otherwise you might strip something. The instructions are free.
 

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When you say not to lube the freehub do you mean no grease on the outside that contacts the cassette body? If so, why? I've always put a smear of grease there.
I don't think it really matters if you grease the outside or not. It may keep rust away if you have a light coat on there.

I was referring to the inside. The inside of the freehub needs a special thin lubricant as thick ones can keep the pawls from engaging properly especially when it's cold out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, I'll check out Park. I have the cone wrenches and have done it before but would like to know the best techniques because I can never seem to get them perfect -- just the slightest amount of play. The issue I had before was tightening the axel nut while holding the cone would sometimes turn the axle instead, compressing the cone and loosening the other side. I think I'll get the park axle vise.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This weekend I took out the bearings front and rear and put in phil wood. The factory grease is a clear-ish and there's not much in there. I removed the factory grease and packed it with phil wood grease.

Now, I know several have mentioned to leave a tiny amount of play and the QR will compress it. I tried this several times with the slightest amount of play, but when I tightened the QR (XT with tension start at 90), it did not address the play -- wheel still had movement. So I gave up on that approach, tightened the hub so that it had zero play and still turned smoothly. Took about 3 or 4 attempts.

I put a small amount of grease on the rubber seal where it touches the hub. Not sure if this is a good idea since shimano doesn't instructions but the seal is in constant contact with the hub as it turns so seems there would be some friction there.

Something else that was odd, I had to put grease on the 13mm cone wrench or I couldn't get it in between the nut and cone on the front. Rear had plenty of room.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone
 

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I have had the same experience with all my shimano hubs. The QR doesnt remove any play or really impact the adjustment at all. A tiny bit of play when loose has always resulted in a tiny bit of play when tightened down with the qr.
 

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Same for me. No play and turns smooth. But I had a few other Taiwanese hubs that had to be set with some play to get it right once clamped in.
 
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