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2017 Transition Smuggler XL
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I have front wheel with DT Swiss 350 Centerlock front hub that I want to convert to Boost spacing with minimal cost. Cheapest option would be Boostinator end cap. DT Swiss and Shimano Boost front hubs would also allow to reuse old spokes, because the P.C.D. is same or almost same as on the current hub. Difference in spoke lengths is only 0.5-0.8mm.

The thing is, I don't like the 350 front hub anymore, so Boostinator and 350 Boost hubs are out. 240 front hub is too expensive to be used as a replacement hub, which leaves me with Shimano front hubs.

I looked at all of them: XTR, XT, SLX and Deore. They are all very similar. I tried to figure out what are the differences and put all the data I found into worksheet - it contains also links to pictures of parts and shops that sell them.

Couple of things: no more loose balls - Shimano uses now plastic retainers, that should make the maintenance much easier. All hubs (including XTR) use same balls and seals. This contradicts the Shimano spec sheet that states that only XTR has stainless steel balls. Tech sheet also states that all hubs have cones that are made using CBN tool.

Moving parts in Deore, SLX and Boost XT are very similar to each other - only difference being that XT locknut is from aluminium. XT and SLX hubs have even same weight. Standard XT and Boost XT hubs have different construction - Standard XT has same construction as XTR hubs, but Boost XT has same construction as SLX.

What are or might be different are the cups. Specification sheet states that XTR and Boost XT hubs use cups with "grinding" and nothing about other hubs. I did not find more information about it.

XT Boost hub is 100 euro cheaper than XTR Boost hub, but when the technical information is correct should be as good, so this is probably the one I'm getting.
 

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