Why doesn't Shimano use sealed bearings in hubs?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Michael, Apr 10, 2003.

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  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    I've had great experiences with sealed bearing hubs, especially for bikes exposed to excessive rain
    and mud. On my wet weather commuting bike I've used the same sealed bearing for years and at least
    5000 miles and the bearings are still pristine; my last set of wheels, with loose balls, required
    repacking frequently (several times a year) when exposed to hard rain. The Ultegra hubs on my road
    bike require repacking regularly as well (twice a year I'd say).

    2 questions:

    1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and mtb hubs. Why? How do the mtb hubs
    stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend the
    significant extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for
    reliability, uptime and less maintenance. Opinions?
     
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  2. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    [email protected] (Michael) wrote:

    > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and mtb hubs. Why?

    Such hubs are cheaper for them to make, and more difficult for others to copy. More to the point,
    when Shimano hubs' bearings crap out entirely, the whole hub must be replaced-- usually, they wager,
    with another Shimano hub. Plus, if they're lucky, the latest-greatest-newest-bestest cassette,
    derailleur, and shifters too.

    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > bearings.

    It's a no-brainer if you're not planning obsolescence.

    > I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend the significant
    > extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for reliability, uptime
    > and less maintenance. Opinions?

    No need to spend big bucks to get that "reliability, uptime, and performance" plus total bearing
    replaceability. Sunrace and Formula both offer cheap hubs that beat Shimano's best. I have heard
    good reports about Sunrace's "Juju" hubset, which is available in a disc version. I have never been
    let down in the least by a Sunrace sealed bearing hub, and I recommend them as much better value
    *and* better design than Shimano. SRAM hubs are another sealed-bearing option that is
    price-competitive with Shimano and quite a bit cheaper than Phil Wood, Chris King, etc.

    Chalo Colina
     
  3. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Michael Press writes:

    > I've had great experiences with sealed bearing hubs, especially for bikes exposed to excessive
    > rain and mud. On my wet weather commuting bike I've used the same sealed bearing for years and at
    > least 5000 miles and the bearings are still pristine; my last set of wheels, with loose balls,
    > required repacking frequently (several times a year) when exposed to hard rain. The Ultegra hubs
    > on my road bike require repacking regularly as well (twice a year I'd say).

    When did you disassemble your sealed bearings last to ascertain that they were in fact pristine
    inside? Besides, 5000 miles is about six months service for active bicyclists. I don't see why
    you need to repack the cup and cone bearings every 3000 miles. What is it that you think needs so
    much service?

    > 2 questions:

    > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and MTB hubs. Why? How do the MTB
    > hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    Bicycle wheel bearings are not designed to be submerged. If you want that you'll have to get hubs
    specifically designed to do so. Hubs for road use are designed for low drag and good splash
    resistance. Gravity is intended to keep water out of labyrinth shielded bearings and it does that
    excellently.

    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil
    Wood, > Hope, etc.) use sealed bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting > bike and am trying to
    decide whether to spend the significant extra > money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs
    (vs. the stock XT) for > reliability, uptime and less maintenance.

    You may call them "high end", I prefer to call them boutique and high priced. The sealed bearing
    folks use radial bearings in an angular bearing application. If you look at motor vehicles, none of
    them use radial bearings for wheel bearings and for good reason. Besides that, you might read:

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.6.html

    This is not a Shimano conspiracy as iconoclast would have you believe.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  4. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Michael Press writes:

    > I've had great experiences with sealed bearing hubs, especially for bikes exposed to excessive
    > rain and mud. On my wet weather commuting bike I've used the same sealed bearing for years and at
    > least 5000 miles and the bearings are still pristine; my last set of wheels, with loose balls,
    > required repacking frequently (several times a year) when exposed to hard rain. The Ultegra hubs
    > on my road bike require repacking regularly as well (twice a year I'd say).

    When did you disassemble your sealed bearings last to ascertain that they were in fact pristine
    inside? Besides, 5000 miles is about six months service for active bicyclists. I don't see why
    you need to repack the cup and cone bearings every 3000 miles. What is it that you think needs so
    much service?

    > 2 questions:

    > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and MTB hubs. Why? How do the MTB
    > hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    Bicycle wheel bearings are not designed to be submerged. If you want that you'll have to get hubs
    specifically designed to do so. Hubs for road use are designed for low drag and good splash
    resistance. Gravity is intended to keep water out of labyrinth shielded bearings and it does that
    excellently.

    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil
    Wood, > Hope, etc.) use sealed bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting > bike and am trying to
    decide whether to spend the significant extra > money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs
    (vs. the stock XT) for > reliability, uptime and less maintenance.

    You may call them "high end", I prefer to call them boutique and high priced. The sealed bearing
    folks use radial bearings in an angular bearing application. If you look at motor vehicles, none of
    them use radial bearings for wheel bearings and for good reason. Besides that, you might read:

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.6.html

    This is not a Shimano conspiracy as iconoclasts would have you believe.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  5. Billx

    Billx Guest

    I have a set of wheels with Specialized sealed bearings that have more than 50,000 miles on them and
    they are still running smoothly. These wheels were made back in 88 so I'd expect newer sealed hubs
    to be superior.

    [email protected] wrote in message ...
    >Michael Press writes:
    >
    >> I've had great experiences with sealed bearing hubs, especially for bikes exposed to excessive
    >> rain and mud. On my wet weather commuting bike I've used the same sealed bearing for years and at
    >> least 5000 miles and the bearings are still pristine; my last set of wheels, with loose balls,
    >> required repacking frequently (several times a year) when exposed to hard rain. The Ultegra hubs
    >> on my road bike require repacking regularly as well (twice a year I'd say).
    >
    >When did you disassemble your sealed bearings last to ascertain that they were in fact pristine
    >inside? Besides, 5000 miles is about six months service for active bicyclists. I don't see why
    >you need to repack the cup and cone bearings every 3000 miles. What is it that you think needs so
    >much service?
    >
    >> 2 questions:
    >
    >> 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and MTB hubs. Why? How do the MTB
    >> hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?
    >
    >Bicycle wheel bearings are not designed to be submerged. If you want that you'll have to get hubs
    >specifically designed to do so. Hubs for road use are designed for low drag and good splash
    >resistance. Gravity is intended to keep water out of labyrinth shielded bearings and it does that
    >excellently.
    >
    >> 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil
    >Wood, > Hope, etc.) use sealed bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting > bike and am trying
    >to decide whether to spend the significant extra > money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs
    >(vs. the stock XT) for > reliability, uptime and less maintenance.
    >
    >You may call them "high end", I prefer to call them boutique and high priced. The sealed bearing
    >folks use radial bearings in an angular bearing application. If you look at motor vehicles, none of
    >them use radial bearings for wheel bearings and for good reason. Besides that, you might read:
    >
    >http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8f.6.html
    >
    >This is not a Shimano conspiracy as iconoclasts would have you believe.
    >
    >Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  6. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Bill Brunning writes:

    > I have a set of wheels with Specialized sealed bearings that have more than 50,000 miles on them
    > and they are still running smoothly. These wheels were made back in 88 so I'd expect newer sealed
    > hubs to be superior.

    Do you know whether these are angular contact or standard OEM ball bearings. Shimano uses sealed
    angular contact bearings in their head sets and they last a long time as well.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  7. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "BillX" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I have a set of wheels with Specialized sealed bearings that have more
    than
    > 50,000 miles on them and they are still running smoothly. These
    wheels were
    > made back in 88 so I'd expect newer sealed hubs to be superior.

    I think these were made by Sanshin. I had a pair that needed bearing replacement after about a year
    of riding in the rain. My Phil's also had problems with the lubricant washing out in the rain, and
    neither hub sealed as well as the current Ultegra hubs -- which I ride frequently in the rain and
    rarely overhaul. Cartridge bearing hubs such as the new Phil hubs can be lubricated by merely
    lifting the seal and do not require bearing removal and adjustment. This is a big plus, but they are
    no more water resistant than Shimano hubs IMO. BTW, I rebuilt a pair of Shimano 737 pedals a while
    back that had not been opened for maybe three years, and the grease was practically pristine. They
    have amazing seals or else do not get much spray. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  8. On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 06:46:53 +0000, Michael wrote:

    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > bearings.

    Ah, the power of a name. To call cartridge bearings "sealed" suggests that they are impervious to
    water intrusion. This is not the case. They may be better sealed than most road hubs, but probably
    not better sealed than typical cup and cone mountain hubs. Also, once the water gets into your
    "sealed" bearings, you have to pray that replacements are 1) possible, and 2) available. No, thanks.
    It's one thing for a bottom bracket, which you can easily replace for $20. But replacing a hub at
    the minimum means re-building a wheel.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're _`\(,_ | still a rat. --Lilly
    Tomlin (_)/ (_) |
     
  9. Dave Mayer

    Dave Mayer Guest

    Micheal: Shimano's hubs are sealed - extremely well in fact. I think you are asking why Shimano does
    not use cartridge bearings in their hubs. Shimano's better hubs use 'cup and cone' bearings
    protected with double seals.

    The reason why Shimano uses cup and cone bearings is that this design is superior, and because
    they can afford to. Only the largest and most technically capable manufacturers (Shimano and
    Campagnolo) can make this happen. Only they have the economies of scale to justify the tooling
    for the custom hub parts, particularly in the case of forged bearing cones. The small fry and
    boutique manufacturers are restricted to cartridge bearings because this design involves fewer,
    more standardized and cheaper parts. Combine this with cheap CNC alloy shells, and you'll end up
    with a hub that
    is:
    - Weaker, resulting in flange failure and spoke pull-out,
    - are harder to re-lube,
    - are more susceptible to water intrusion due to seal wicking,
    - come with expensive bearings that are a pain to remove,
    - the cartridge bearings become loose and damage their seats in the hub shells,
    - the cartridge bearings often become corroded and welded into the hub shells,
    - the bearings are easily damaged by side loading.

    My STX-RC hubs will outlast any cartridge bearing hubs. My unsealed 1972 Campagnolo Record road hubs
    are on their fourth pair of rims. Original cones.

    "Michael" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I've had great experiences with sealed bearing hubs, especially for bikes exposed to excessive
    > rain and mud. On my wet weather commuting bike I've used the same sealed bearing for years and at
    > least 5000 miles and the bearings are still pristine; my last set of wheels, with loose balls,
    > required repacking frequently (several times a year) when exposed to hard rain. The Ultegra hubs
    > on my road bike require repacking regularly as well (twice a year I'd say).
    >
    > 2 questions:
    >
    > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and mtb hubs. Why? How do the mtb
    > hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?
    >
    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend the
    > significant extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for
    > reliability, uptime and less maintenance. Opinions?
     
  10. I think XT hubs are great and a good value too. I have one pair of the not-disk version. Besides all
    the comments above, the Shimano patented design places the bearing for the right rear axle within
    the cassette shell. So, the unsupported length of this more vulnerable side of the axle is short. It
    won't bend. Also, the flanges are beefy with the right hand flange actually slightly thicker then
    the left so the spokes are well seated.

    The Shimano seals are fine. The front has rubber on both sides. There is slight drag, but the seal
    is as close to waterproof as you can get. The rear has rubber on the left and a labyrinth seal on
    the right. So, you can hose down the bike after a muddy ride without too much worry.

    The only problems I have with Shimano are minor. IMHO, the hubs do not have enough grease from the
    factory and the bearings are adjusted way too tightly. So, I open ‘em up, shoot in some more grease,
    close ‘em and adjust to take the QR forces into account. After adjustment, the bearings are as silky
    smooth as anything I've tried.

    By the way, I don't think there is anything wrong with the lower end Shimano hubs either: DX or
    Alivio. Just the detailing and finish of the XT line is nicer and the bearings feel a bit smoother
    for what it's worth.

    Boutique hubs may be prettier, but I do not think they give value.

    Steve
     
  11. Per LöWdin

    Per LöWdin Guest

    > How do the mtb hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    The XT lose balls gets corroded. Had to change mine after a season of wet riding. The XTR hubs have
    stainless steel lose balls that don´t get corroded. Excellent hubs. Last forever. Use them for
    travelling. Only Chris

    the only really significant difference is in the ratcheting mechanism, they answer more rapidly. If
    you are ratcheting through rock gardens etc it makes a noticeable difference. King also has a
    friendly customer service. I have two sets of wheels with King hubs and when I have had questions or
    needed a spare part King has been great. Somthing that you can´t say about Big S.

    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend the
    > significant extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for
    > reliability, uptime and less maintenance. Opinions?

    King or XTR will last for ages. On the other hand it requires that you can store the bike in a safe
    place or you will get very sorry. For commuting I would probably bet on something cheaper and less
    likely to be stolen if left unguarded.

    Per http://user.tninet.se/~ipg289h/fu99/MTB.html
     
  12. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On Fri, 11 Apr 2003 16:52:43 GMT, "Per Löwdin" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I have had questions or needed a spare part King has been great. Somthing that you can´t say
    >about Big S.

    I can say that about Shimano. They are quite responsive when I call their tech in CA.
     
  13. Per LöWdin

    Per LöWdin Guest

    > I can say that about Shimano. They are quite responsive when I call their tech in CA.

    To be fair I never had any problem with them though in Sweden Shimano is not accessible for end
    users you go through a LBS and so far they have always had spares even axels to 747s delivered the
    next day to the LBS. On the other hand King is exceptionally friendly, just recently they sent me an
    axle end and hub cone across the Atlantic without charging me anything for
    it. You might say they should be service minded with their prices, and have a point.

    My XTR hubs are excellent, only problem is the plastic "cup" on the left side that can get loose, it
    is fixed in a sec when it happens which is really rare. On the other hand I have had some Shimano
    stuff that I have been less then happy with: rusting balls in my XT hubs, rattly construction of the
    XT front deraileur, shifters that can´t be serviced, and a Microsoftish ambition to ensnare you by
    lack of compability with other brands. There is some splendid Shimano stuff, particularly XTR, and I
    am glad that they exist, but some stuff they churn out is of poor quality. Whereas every King part
    is top notch.

    Per http://user.tninet.se/~ipg289h/fu99/MTB.html
     
  14. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Also, once the water gets into your "sealed" bearings, you have to pray that replacements are 1)
    > possible, and 2) available. No, thanks. It's one thing for a bottom bracket, which you can easily
    > replace for $20. But replacing a hub at the minimum means re-building a wheel.

    Which is why buying a hub with non-replaceable bearing races is a fool's game.

    Common metric bearing cartridges used in bicycle hubs (e.g. 6200, 6001, 6902 etc.) will be readily
    available long after Shimano has ceased supporting their latest proprietary junk-- even after
    Shimano has passed into history. They are cheaper and easier to replace than most halfway-decent hub
    cones to boot. And unlike Shimano's junk, they are provided with plenty of grease and proper
    internal clearances from the factory.

    To top it off, in all my years of working and playing with bikes, I have never seen one of the
    oft-referenced cartridge bearing hubs that can't be rebuilt. If such a thing exists, I'm guessing
    that most of the folks who talk about them have never seen one either.

    I won't begrudge anybody their right to buy as inferior a product as they please, though.

    Chalo Colina
     
  15. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    "Dave Mayer" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > The reason why Shimano uses cup and cone bearings is that this design is superior,

    Then why do no other industries, no matter how well-heeled, use such an archaic bearing design?
    Aircraft and spacecraft use sealed cartridge bearings, you know.

    > The small fry and boutique manufacturers are restricted to cartridge bearings because this design
    > involves fewer, more standardized and cheaper parts.

    Sounds like a summary of good engineering design to me, not some "restriction". In case you haven't
    noticed, the cheapest and most horrible hubs are all without exception cup & cone. I guess some
    "small fry" manufacturers *can* afford this esoteric and wondrous technology.

    > Combine this with cheap CNC alloy shells, and you'll end up with a hub that
    > is:
    > - Weaker, resulting in flange failure and spoke pull-out,

    I've had more flange failures on Campy hubs than all others combined.

    > - are harder to re-lube,

    The easiest-to-lube hubs ever made, Suntour/WTB Grease Guard, used industrially standard
    cartridge bearings.

    > - are more susceptible to water intrusion due to seal wicking,

    Usually the cartridge bearing's own seals are more than adequate, but many cartridge bearing hubs
    use additional design-specific seals-- which are the only kind cup & cone hubs ever have.

    > - come with expensive bearings that are a pain to remove,

    You just said they were cheaper, now you call them expensive. Which is it? Actually, try this: Flip
    open your trusty QBP catalog and price a 6001 cartridge bearing (the whole bearing) against a
    Shimano Dura Ace or Ultegra rear cone (just the inner race of a bearing). Which costs *a lot* more?
    Note that the bearing surface finish on these pricey cones is not as fine as even a cheap Korean or
    Singaporean bearing cartridge.

    At their worst, cartridge bearings are no more difficult to remove or install than headset cups--
    which do not seem to intimidate bike mechanics.

    > the cartridge bearings become loose and damage their seats in the hub shells,

    Never seen it in a bicycle hub, motorcycle hub, or any other kind of hub. I'm willing to guess you
    haven't seen it either.

    > - the cartridge bearings often become corroded and welded into the hub shells,

    Hogwash. Press fits don't do this.

    > - the bearings are easily damaged by side loading.

    True. But much more likely to occur with cup & cone hubs, which are easily and quite frequently
    overtightened. The best cartridge bearing hubs have no axial bearing adjustment and so cannot be
    axially preloaded in excess of their specification.

    If you rather mean side loading from riding forces, you are simply wrong.

    > My STX-RC hubs will outlast any cartridge bearing hubs.

    You mean they _might_, with proper maintenance, outlast the _cartridges_ in a set of cartridge
    bearing hubs. After which they'll be toast while the others can just get new cartridges.

    You seem to have imagined all manner of foibles that cartridge bearings in general, and cartridge
    bearing hubs in particular, don't actually have. I wonder where you found such misinformation and
    why you have chosen to propagate it?

    Chalo Colina
     
  16. [email protected] (Bluto) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > Which is why buying a hub with non-replaceable bearing races is a fool's game.

    I have cup and cone bearing hubs over 20 years old with original races that are as smooth as they
    day they were purchased. The cups are technically replaceable but in well maintained hubs they just
    never fail.

    > Common metric bearing cartridges used in bicycle hubs (e.g. 6200, 6001, 6902 etc.) will be readily
    > available long after Shimano has ceased supporting their latest proprietary junk-- even after
    > Shimano has passed into history. They are cheaper and easier to replace than most halfway-decent
    > hub cones to boot. And unlike Shimano's junk, they are provided with plenty of grease and proper
    > internal clearances from the factory.

    Who knows what the future holds. I built up a bunch of freewheels when I worked in bike shops and am
    now just getting down to my last few so I'm now switching to freehubs. All of my old rear hubs have
    already outlived their usefullness. I agree that durable gear is desireable but now that Shimano has
    captured the high end market we are not going to be able to ride parts for decides as was the
    practice when Campagnolo and SunTour were the market leaders.

    > To top it off, in all my years of working and playing with bikes, I have never seen one of the
    > oft-referenced cartridge bearing hubs that can't be rebuilt. If such a thing exists, I'm guessing
    > that most of the folks who talk about them have never seen one either.

    The old Phil Wood hubs were rather difficult to service without an arbor press. Of course in the old
    days Phil didn't charge anyone to service their hubs. Every hub I used to send in for service came
    back with new bearings and an invoice said "no charge" and "have a nice day." I always admired the
    company for doing that but wondered the wisdom of making hubs difficult to service while providing
    the service free of charge. It worked out nice for us but if the hub needed service in the middle of
    a tour sending the hub back to Phil even for free service wouldn't be practical. Ironically it was
    tourists who were most enamored with Phil hubs. The servicibility issue was why I always favored
    Durham Bullseye hubs over Phil. Now I understand Phil makes their hubs user servisible and as far as
    I know Bullseye is out of business.

    > I won't begrudge anybody their right to buy as inferior a product as they please, though.

    Certainly cup and cone bearing hubs work great, cartridge bearing hubs work great. The only
    advantage I see to cartridge bearings are easier (depending on the hub) and less frequent servicing.

    Bruce
    --
    Bruce Jackson - Sr Systems Programmer - DMSP, a M/A/R/C Group company
     
  17. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    > > How do the mtb hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    "Per Löwdin" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > The XT lose balls gets corroded. Had to change mine after a season of wet riding. The XTR hubs
    > have stainless steel lose balls that don´t get corroded.

    -snip-

    If you are experiencing enough water in the hub to rust a ball bearing, you've already turned your
    lubricant into a grease-oil emulsion that isn't a very effective lubricant. I should think that
    using stainless balls, while nice-sounding, doesn't address the actual problem which is degradation
    of lubricant.

    Wouldn't you expect accelerated wear on the bearing surfaces at that point?

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  18. Dave Mayer

    Dave Mayer Guest

    Micheal: here are some of my bad past experiences with cartridge bearing hubs:

    Specialized rear hub made by Sansin. These are fairly well sealed but water must of got into them.
    One of the cartridges was shot, and it had corroded into the hub shell and the retainer that holds
    it onto the axle. I managed to pull the axle free using a hammer, but the cartridge was irreversibly
    stuck in the hub.

    Suntour Superbe Pro. In the 80's Suntour made the best cup and cone hubs ever made. I have 2 sets of
    wheels based on these hubs, which are still running fine. About 1990 they switched over to cartridge
    bearings, presumably because they were in financial trouble, and could no longer pay for custom
    machined parts. One my 1992 hubs took a side blow (glancing off of a curb perhaps) and the cartridge
    bearing ovalized the inside of the shell. This caused play between the hub and the bearing. I
    epoxied the cartridge into place, but I had to throw the wheel away a year later.

    Tioga: easy to replace cartridge bearings? Right. After going through half a dozen shops, I find a
    shop that has and is willing to sell a pair of 6001 cartridges. The attitude I get is that "our shop
    does not stock these because if a bottom bracket or a hub wears out you just throw it away and buy
    something new, right?" The cartridges cost hub manufacturers maybe a buck each, the shop a few
    bucks, and they cost me $25 for the pair. Plus they insist that they install, at an extra cost. Try
    and get cartridges from wholesalers and they may be interested in dealing with you - if you order a
    few dozen.

    Hope and Hugi. I have these too. I'm going to run these until the bearings die, and then try and
    sell them. In contrast to the ease of servicing Shimano's bearing assembly, I cannot figure out how
    to pull the cartridges out of these.

    > 2 questions:
    >
    > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and mtb hubs. Why? How do the mtb
    > hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?
    >
    > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend the
    > significant extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for
    > reliability, uptime and less maintenance. Opinions?
     
  19. Dave Mayer wrote:
    >
    Try and get cartridges
    > from wholesalers and they may be interested in dealing with you - if you order a few dozen.
    >

    Try a bearing retailer or industrial supplier like bocabearing.com, McMasters.com or grainger.com.

    I buy replacement bearings for cup and cone stuff from these guys too.

    >
    > > 2 questions:
    > >
    > > 1) I notice that Shimano uses only loose balls for both road and mtb hubs. Why? How do the mtb
    > > hubs stand up to creek/river crossings and tons of mud?

    In my experience, they stand up well. If the hubs are properly lubed and adjusted when new, they
    reject mud, snow, and water very well. In fact, I rarely touch my XT and Ultegra hubs, simply
    repacking once a year. I find roof racks, with some bicycles moving @ 70 mph in the rain, to be more
    damaging than any actual riding. Even in badly maintained hubs, I've never had to do more than toss
    in new balls, repack, and go.

    > > 2) I also notice that most high-end aftermarket hubs (WTB, Phil Wood, Hope, etc.) use sealed
    > > bearings. I'm building a disc-brake commuting bike and am trying to decide whether to spend
    > > the significant extra money (at least $200 more) on aftermarket hubs (vs. the stock XT) for
    > > reliability, uptime and less maintenance. Opinions?

    Go with the XT and save the cash. "Sealed" bearings aren't airtight. They can and will still fail,
    and can sometimes have side play that cannot be adjusted out. The bearing is completely replaced,
    rather than rebuilt when trouble develops. I have cartridge bearings in my new tubeless Crossmaxes,
    and can't see the real advantage.

    Barry
     
  20. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    >To top it off, in all my years of working and playing with bikes, I have never seen one of the
    >oft-referenced cartridge bearing hubs that can't be rebuilt. If such a thing exists, I'm guessing
    >that most of the folks who talk about them have never seen one either.

    A few years back I bought some Nashbar brand sealed bearing hubs that could not be rebuilt. Not
    common, but they do exist.
    --------------
    Alex
     
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