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I think my front hub is shot and i'm not sure about the rear. I have the Shimano 525 hubs on front and back. (My bike is a 2008 canondale rush sl 5z). I have never had the bike serviced and I decided to learn how to do it myself now.

The front axle was a little lose so I hand tightened it up so that the axle has no play but the axle rotates really rough now. If I loosen it any more, there will be lateral play in the wheel.

I'm wondering what my best options are.

Do I buy a new hub and rebuild the wheel?
Build a new wheel set? (is it worth it?)

If I have to buy a new hub, I'll probably try finding something on craigslist or amazon. I don't really have much of a budget for this- it needs to be on the cheap but at the same time I don't want to put junk on my bike.

Please let me now if you have any resources that you use to determine the quality of bike components. (I want to be able to know why one hub is better than the other and if its worth the extra money).


Thanks,
 

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turtles make me hot
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Are you able to lace a new hub to your existing rims and spokes? Those hubs are pretty entry level.
Cheapest way out of this I can think of is to get a pair of Shimano M529 hubs. They should be identical to yours as far as spoke flange and width and all. Way better internals.
Yours aren't 36 spoke, are they? The 529 only comes in 32.
 

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Shimano's hubs, in my experience, are very difficult to completely toast. An adjustment of as little as a 16th of a turn is enough to go from binding to spinning freely.

Ideally, you'll want a small amount of axial play with the wheel off, which disappears when the QR is clamped tight.
 

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First things first...6 years is a long time to not service a Shimano hub. You need to pull those things apart and see what's going on.
Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Hub Overhaul and Adjustment

Check those cups and cones. The bearings and cones can be replaced, the cups cannot. If everything looks good I'd still replace the bearings. They're cheap, go Grade 25, 3/16" (20) front and 1/4" (18) rear. Pack some new grease (marine style for best water resistance).
 
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