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Not sure if this has been covered before, but here goes...

Besides the obvious different color cups. Is there any physical difference between bearings used in the cups on the XTR, XT, SLX, or Saint HollowTech II BBs?
 

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They should be....

the same for the most part. However there are some cross compatability issues that may crop up. You can go here and check it out though, http://techdocs.shimano.com/techdocs/index.jsp . The exploded parts drawings have a chart at the right that will give cross compatability. Or you can check part numbers. Usually it's just a difference in color or finish. Just make sure that you are looking at the same models that you are considering. As far as the actual bearings they are the same.

Good Dirt
 

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The XTR version has not only a different color but is also technically better. It is smoother and wears not as fast as the XT/LX-version does. In a recent test in O2 bikers (best magazine from Belgium) the XTR got 5 out of 5, the XT/LX 3 out of 5. This matches mine experience. When you need new BB bearings consider ceramic ones, Hope or Token.
 

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No MudBike, it's cristal clear. The bearings are of different quality. They have different spare-parts numbers. The XTR left hand cup and bearing has nr Y-1H5 98130 and the XY/SLX series are Y-1J1 98080 (these are the numbers in Europe). They look the same and the bearings seem to be from the same factory, as they both have the same :madman: plastic cover. When you want to check the bearings and clean and grease them, you have to remove a very breakable plastic cover. None of the other factorys make this cover so cheap. Shimano wants you to buy a new set once ore twice a year it seems. In Dutch and Belgium muddy conditions they hold for max 2000km.
Somethimes the bearings are OK but the plastic ring between the bearing and the axle breaks. Again I say try the ones from Hope, the steel bearings are of the same or better quality as XTR, but they can be maintenanced as the plastic cover-ring is removable without breaking ánd most of all the bearings have no plastic filler, it is metal on metal, direct on the axle. :thumbsup:
 
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