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I periodically tune in to the P321 thread on MTBR. It's a parade of "it worked but now it doesn't, but they're sending out parts, except they're moving so they're busy, but really it'll be good this time." The most recent successes seem contingent on the use of that (or some other) specific and expensive lubricant.
While I'm sure there's selection bias at work in the forums, this has been going on for years; it's clear they're beta-testing on well-heeled customers. Can't say that about Shimano. I expect this hub to be just as bulletproof as the vast majority of their other products.
> or still insisting on cup-and-cone which makes them a no-sale for a lot of riders.
Cups and cones deal with lateral loads a lot better than cartridges. Easy to maintain, easier to seal, no bearing interface to creak. All desirable on a mountain bike. How much of that 'no-sale' is marketing perception?
> there is no way they’re going to give up a huge volume of cassette sales to sell a few hubs.
I wouldn't venture to guess how product decisions work at that company. This stuff looks brilliant, but it's been what, five years since XX1? There's a combination of lethargy and paternalism at work here that may not have been banished from their ranks. Opening the standard is what a scrappy company would do. Shimano reminds me more of IBM circa-1990.
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