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Shimano XTR 9100 Hubs - Cup and Cone FTW?

What sort of hub bearings do you prefer?


Put my balls in a cartridge
59.1%
I like my balls loose
18.2%
I'll take my balls either way
22.7%
Total votes: 22
Feb. 7, 2020, 3:41 p.m.
Posts: 8597
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

I just did a rebuild with Jeff at Bikeroom on a set of XTR 9100 hubs and before I publish my article I wanted to hear some opinions from the big brains in here. And the small ones actually. 

Do cup and cone hubs scare you? Do you love cartridge bearings? Do you run Chris King to get the best of both worlds? 

Personally I'm a bit of a traditionalist so I appreciate them from that perspective and I like the user serviceability without special tools, aside from 22mm cone wrenches. I also like never worrying about my hubs getting destroyed because of a lack of maintenance which tilts me toward cartridge bearings. 

I'll add a poll question.

Feb. 7, 2020, 3:48 p.m.
Posts: 1225
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

I have several sets of CK hubs, and they are all at least 10 years old and on their original bearings and still smooth. They've been overhauled maybe twice in that time frame.  I think that answers the question for me.  Cup and cone don't scare me, but you definitely have to stay on top of the maintenance more.

Feb. 8, 2020, 2:17 p.m.
Posts: 16
Joined: Feb. 9, 2019

I started out riding on low-end cup'n'cone units, maintaining those was a pain, so in a mountain bike application, I am very much sold on the benefits of cartridge bearings, even considering the comparatively more painful replacement process (which I never had to do on my Hopes so far -- knock on wood). I haven't had the chance to ride decently high-end cup'n'cone hubs, but don't feel the need either. On my townie I don't mind the old shimano hubs and their abysmal sealing, but that bike doesn't see as much nasty muck as my mountainbikes do. Maybe I'm missing out by being this set in my ways, but I don't miss spilling bearings everywhere, and trying to clean the insides of a hub off forest muck and grease as much.

Feb. 8, 2020, 3:19 p.m.
Posts: 281
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

It used to be that cup and cone required lots of maintenance but the last XTR hubs I had were well sealed. The front in particular never seemed to have dirty grease. Every time I opened the front up the grease was still that insipid green. Rear was nearly as sealed. Even the rear freewheel side which used to be terribly sealed.  I wouldn’t choose a hub these days based on whether or not it had loose balls or not. I base hub decisions on general quality and how the freewheel mechanism works.

Feb. 8, 2020, 5:55 p.m.
Posts: 97
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Cartridge bearings any day of the week for my mountain bike.

Feb. 9, 2020, 11:18 a.m.
Posts: 733
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: skooks

Cartridge bearings any day of the week for my mountain bike.

hear hear.  but only the double row angular contact variety. made by NTN in Japan. natch.

Feb. 9, 2020, 6:15 p.m.
Posts: 94
Joined: April 26, 2004

I'll vote in favour of XT / XTR cup and cone

Feb. 17, 2020, 5:10 a.m.
Posts: 60
Joined: May 1, 2018

Anything serviceable, well built and without proprietary bearings. 

Are the new XT the same engagement and mechanism? They look like a steal if so...

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