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I actually think the shimano hub spec is a win. In the last 5 years of working at a shop, we have been plagued by broken hub axles, failing freehub bodies and loose press-fit interfaces on pretty much all of the basic cartridge bearing hubs that come on bikes even up to $6000 Canadian. These unbranded/rebranded/low cost brands often don't have Canadian distributors, and when they do, they rarely have parts for those hubs. Warranty is also challenging with the lack of distribution and lack of replacement parts, often forcing our shop to eat the labour cost of relacing the wheel with a new hub, when we can even manage to get one on . The basic Shimano hubs may not have a perfect reliability record, but at least they have a distributor in Canada, who has a decent warranty system, and has most parts available for the last 7 years of hubs. Also, if home mechanics want to get into it, they just need some cone wrenches, rags, grease, time and cheap ball bearings to freshen up their hubs.
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