Shimano Deore XT HB-M785 retainer vs loose bearings


New Member
Dec 25, 2013
;-) I know someone from New Zealand. Does that count?

My question has to do with the way loose bearings look in an HB-M785 hub. That's the 2012* Deore XT front hub with the plastic bearing retainer (w/11 bearings) and a 14mm** hallow axle. The lock nuts are a nut/adapter (reducer) combo with a 5mm socket head.

I can almost fit 13 - 3/16 bearings in there, but they bind. If I put 12 in there (all new by the way), without the seal, and manually turn the axle, I can sometimes see a gap of almost one bearing diameter (minus the difference caused by the compound angle) in group***.

Is that ok, or, should I put the retainer back in?

The reason I ask is because the reducer part of the lock nuts no NOT seem centered.

Am I just being paranoid?

*I think it's 2012.
**I read somewhere that it's 14mm.
***I'm pretty sure I have the cones properly adjusted - a little drag with no rattling.