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Thread: Need Hub advise

  1. #1
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    Need Hub advise

    Ok have a Trek 29er hardtail (Marlin). Having major issue with it, on the second rear wheel/hub and freehub is howling again.

    I know the issue in the hub and such but being cheap stock hub, cant be fixed (cheap crap they dont even put all the ball bearings in the freehub body, 1 short inner and outer)

    Other problem, baby on the way, work has been a bit slow, so $200 hub is almost outta the question. But will spend what absolutely has too be spent to make sure this bike stays going. Rims hold me fine, launched off tall curbs etc plenty riding pavement and couple times I have hit trails (once in snow) did some decent 10-12" drops, etc and wheels are still true. So they work for me, heavy and stout, needed for me.

    But I need a freehub setup that is actually built properly, can get grease into it (I can repack the formula freehub so not serviceable means crap to me, only sealed bearing stop me ) as I use a grease that is designed for automotive use that allowed my walmart bike to be in perfect working order after all least season.

    So after details, basic question. Rear hub 6 bolt that has decent quality long life freehub (with plenty of maint of course) and freehub body is fairly easy to get replacement if/when needed. MY CONCERN IN THE FREEHUB and no FULL SEALED BEARINGS AT ALL! Want to be able to change grease out.

    Hubs ive looked at as possibles (though think some have sealed bearings...) SHimano m529 as seems built specifically for 12-36t 29er set up. Xt and Sram x7 hubs so far for affordable hubs.

    Thnx (and a thanks to whoever decided this sub-forum was needed, lots of love from me right now cause Im 278lbs atm)

    edit: oops forgot to mention 32h wheels, so need 32h hub.
    Last edited by tigris99; 04-28-2013 at 12:04 AM.
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  2. #2
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    What do you mean 'howling'? I don't know how often you think a rear hub should be serviced, but it certainly isn't very often. I had an old Shimano XT hub that got serviced 3 times in 10 years and was fine for it. Sealed bearing units are even easier for the majority of the time.

  3. #3
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    Basically the freehub body bearings are bad, growling feeling when turned by hand so howl loudly at higher speeds. Plus freehub body is way too loose, too much play in it now screws with my shifting
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    Need Hub advise

    Well you are on the right track, shimano hubs are still darn near industritable.

    Alot of bike shops have suppliers with prebuilt wheels in them. I can look tommrrow and tell ya what one would run ya.

    Bill

  5. #5
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    SLX hub.

    Also, no hubs really use sealed bearings. It just means the bearings have seals on them. They can easily be popped off and cleaned/regreased.

    I personally like loose ball hubs and think they're a good idea for heavy riders. The huge ball bearings can take more load and they do hold a bit more grease. I also have a lot of sealed bearing hubs (which I service regularly) and they do hold up well. All in all, I wouldnt let bearing choice steer you. For your price point, I think SLX hubs are going to hold up the best. The 529 should too.

  6. #6
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    OP,
    Since $$ is tight, you may wish to try this.
    My OEM (Bonty) hubs made by Formula took much abuse before the freehub started to catch & "growl".
    Went to a local Trek dealer, and ordered a new freehub ($20), got the correct hex wrench, and before installing soaked the bearings in Phil's Tenacious oil. The new freehub is silent, and works fine, and when it gets louder I can now easily remove, flush, and re-lube.
    ^ this will solve the issue without spending much, much more $$$ on a reliable & durable, Clyde-worthy rear hub.
    The best is the one you want to ride most often..

  7. #7
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    Shimano is very destructible but the SLX hub is gonna be the strongest they make. Shimano is gonna be the best cheap fix but durability may be questionable. I have a skewed opinion becuase I've broken about 5 shimano freehubs, only one was a 529 though and I've never tried the SLX. Info on shimano hubs are at the link below.
    Shimano high engagement freewheel strength -- Shimano XT FH-M775 & SLX FH-M629

    Hope is one of the best budget freindly (considering a top end hub is $400+) strong hubs for clydes. Its gonna run you $200 plus though. You have to run a nicer casette with a spider also or it may ruin the freehub body.
    Hope Pro 2 Evo Rear Hub - QR | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    I've been running a Sun Ringle Jumping Flea on one of my bikes for a couple months now and is holding up ok. Might look into Sun Ringle hubs, I think they redesigned their freehubs recently.

  8. #8
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    270 lbs and I have done the hub thing. Destroyed my original shimano hub. Went with the hope pro 2 evo rear hub. I found out that their warranty dept is good. The reason I know is I went through 3 axles before I finally went with a Chris King. No problem since. My $.02
    I may not be very good, but I'm slow.

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    I looked at slx but that means adapter for rotor etc too. Everything I have read says slx is as tough as shimano makes. My issue isn't hub breaking just lack of all the bearings in the freehub body cause formula is cheap. I currently came up with a way to force automotive bearing grease into the freehub body which has seemingly stopped continued damage for the moment. Have lbs working on locating some options for hub/wheel combos.
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  10. #10
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    The adapters are 10 bucks or so... not a big deal really.

  11. #11
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    I put hopes on my newer bike but my old Cannondale which is now 20 years old has the original shimano hub and still going strong. The front is an American Classic with cartridge bearings its 18 years old and still going strong, changed the bearings three times over the 18 years. I can't knock Shimano hubs for longevity. I beat that poor bike to death and my son is doing the same thing, but I am afraid it's time to retire the beast. I am going to rebuild it this winter and just use it as a road bike. The headshock still works 20 years later.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
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  12. #12
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    Need Hub advise

    First I've never had an issue with shimano hubs, but then again I'm only 210, so weight has alot to do with it.

    To OP , I checked one of my favorite distributors, and they have shimano deore hubs laced to (darn I forget the name) rims, regular retail on these is about 175-200 depending on some different rim choices.

    Aside from rebuilding bearings you can also get a free hub luber. My original one is called the free hub buddy. It allows you to get lube all up into your free hubs really small bearings.

    Bill

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    Need Hub advise

    Price update. Sorry got confused. Deore hub m525 laced to mavic tn119 rim is about 130.00

    An xt hub laced to a mavic tn319 rim is about 199.00

    Hope this helps
    Bill

  14. #14
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    Re: Need Hub advise

    Well being the slx talk I dug further and found the m529 is 6 bolt slx just couple years old design. Maybe that version slx is one that was being referred to and I missed it till now.

    That being said I dug around and found ok wheelset using them. Readily available Alex dp20 wheelset. Not great but figure based on what u guys wrote and other things I have read hubs are what i need and wheels will hold up long enough for me to save up for something better.

    Any opinions on those???

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    The nice thing about cup and cone hubs is that if they are properly maintained, they can last darn near forever.

    Plus shimano freehubs are easy to install with the right tools.

    Sounds like a good choice.

    Bill

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    I'm starting to really feel like the older components were designed to last a lot longer compared to modern parts. This probably pretty obvious though…hahah.

    You always see more then handful of guys running hubs that are close to a decade old and still going strong even in sketchy terrain and abandon ship riding style.
    Pedaling Gorilla

  17. #17
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    I have the 665 SLX hub and the freewheel failed going up a very steep climb. The failure mode was unusual in that the hub locked up completely in both directions, so I took off the chain and coasted downhill to the trailhead.

    Shimano warranty is a joke, and the part was impossible to source locally. I ordered it online. The local dealers only had freehubs for Deore and XT hubs.

    I am currently on my second freehub (near the cost of the hub itself) and it occasionally makes a loud noise after transitioning from coasting to pedaling. Sounds like its a pawl slapping into position loudly. My last freehub did this too. That one lasted roughly 3000 miles.

    All in all, I doubt I will be going with Shimano freehubs much longer.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylemurboy View Post
    That one lasted roughly 3000 miles.
    Not bad for a cheap hub in my book. All the XT's I blew only lasted a few hundred miles.

  19. #19
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    Re: Need Hub advise

    Well wheelset with the hubs will be here tomorrow. Alex dp20 with m529 hubs. I'm finding its not the hubs so much as poor lube put in for assembly. At least that's what I ran into on these hubs. 3000 miles on a freehub will last me a while especially being I plan to get good grease packed in. It's annoying how companies make things specifically to fail.

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    Re: Need Hub advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch1413 View Post
    Not bad for a cheap hub in my book. All the XT's I blew only lasted a few hundred miles.
    True. For most riders it probably song be an issue but I use this bike to commute, tour, and MTB. most of the miles were fairly easy commutes. It failed when I needed it most. That and this represented about 6 months of use, I ride about 6000 miles per year. I will continue to use it as I have a 3rd free hub now... One day I will upgrade to something robust.

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