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M756 hubs

Old 06-04-20, 07:52 PM
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M756 hubs

How are the XT M756 for touring? Its currently my rando bike setup but like to do some long weekend trips in the near future. Time on my hand and considering relacing to either XTR, LX or X9 hubs I have laying around. I have another wheelset with the same hubs on a gravel bike which often needs the cones retightened a few times a year. To be honest, it's sometimes on single track mtb trails so gets a beating compared to the touring bike.
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Old 06-04-20, 08:42 PM
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I think any of the XT hubs that have a steel axle and quarter inch ball bearings are great hubs for touring. I used a M752 XT rear hub for some touring, I built that wheel in 2004, that wheel is now on my rando bike. Used an M760 rear hub for another touring bike that i built up in 2010, most recently used for a 2018 two week tour in Everglades and Florida Keys. And in 2017 I built up another touring bike and used a new M756A rear hub for that.

On the 2004 wheel, I have had to adjust the cones a couple times. Each time I add a bit more Phil grease while I am at it.

The 2017 M756A hub on my Lynskey Backroad in the photo, but it is not a great photo, sorry.



More on the hub here:
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-FH-M756-A-3295.pdf

You did not specify front or rear, all my touring now is with a front dynohub, so only use the XT hubs in the rear now. But I have used XT steel axle front hubs in the past for touring and had no troubles.
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Old 06-05-20, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I think any of the XT hubs that have a steel axle and quarter inch ball bearings are great hubs for touring. I used a M752 XT rear hub for some touring, I built that wheel in 2004, that wheel is now on my rando bike. Used an M760 rear hub for another touring bike that i built up in 2010, most recently used for a 2018 two week tour in Everglades and Florida Keys. And in 2017 I built up another touring bike and used a new M756A rear hub for that.

On the 2004 wheel, I have had to adjust the cones a couple times. Each time I add a bit more Phil grease while I am at it.

The 2017 M756A hub on my Lynskey Backroad in the photo, but it is not a great photo, sorry.



More on the hub here:
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-FH-M756-A-3295.pdf

You did not specify front or rear, all my touring now is with a front dynohub, so only use the XT hubs in the rear now. But I have used XT steel axle front hubs in the past for touring and had no troubles.
My inquiry is on both, front and rear.
The Bruce Gordon RnR currently has two wheel sets. (rim brake)
1) DT TK540 with Alfine dyno front and XT M756A rear
2) Alex Adventurer2 with XTR M950 front and LX M570 rear
The MountainCycle Stumptown also has three wheelsets. (disc brake)
1) Velocity Blunt with XT M756A front and rear
2) Velocity Major Tom with SRAM X9 front and rear
3) Stans Arch with Alfine dyno front and Novatec single speed rear

I'm probably over thinking this, but have time to kill so working on a wheel building carousel.
Have a few spare sets of hubs which I'm wondering if it will make much of a difference.
- XTR 965 front and rear
- SRAM 340 front and rear

The plan is to move the Velocity Blunt rims to another bike and retire the Novatec SS hub. And I'm done with tubular tires so will also have the X9 hubs freed up.
So I'll have a choice of 3 hubs to build Arches for the Stumptown (M756, M965 and 340), but before I do that I'd like to explore whether I should replace the any of the non-dyno hubs for the RnR (M756 rear, M960 front, M570 rear)
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Old 06-05-20, 07:40 AM
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Here's the RnR with the XTR M950
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Old 06-05-20, 07:41 AM
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And the Stumptown with Blunts
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Old 06-05-20, 07:44 AM
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I also have a Joey Tourist in MSN , it's gone through so many transformations. I'm switching out the Jones bars which I don't like with the cockpit setup.
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Old 06-05-20, 11:24 AM
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I am not going to research the other hubs that you cited. So, no opinion on them. And even if I had researched them, since I have not used them any opinion I had would be of little use.

Front hubs, I found the XT to be trouble free when I did use them. But a front hub often has half or maybe a bit more than half as much weight on it as the rear, so front wheels usually hold up well.

Shimano has made a number of newer hubs that have Aluminum axles. Sometimes you hear of bearing failures in those hubs, the Aluminum axle is much larger than the steel axle so they used smaller bearings in those hubs. My only comment would be that you might want to avoid rear Shimano hubs with bearings that are smaller than the quarter inch ball bearings that the M756A has and for that reason also avoid the Aluminum axles. That was why I cited steel axles in my previous post.

The other hubs you cited, if they had smaller bearings, that might be a consideration.

***

Very nice looking Airnimal. Looks newer than mine, but old enough to be rim brake. From the photo I can't tell if those are 507 or 520 wheels, I have 507. Interesting how you have an upside down frame bag on top of the top tube. Photo of mine is at:
https://www.bikeforums.net/20336169-post735.html

As I looked for teh link above to post here, I see that you had already found it and "liked" it. But instead of erasing the text I just wrote above, I left it in case others might be interested in this topic.

Looks like yours is a 1X setup. I have the three speed Sram Dual Drive rear hub on my Airnimal to give me a wider gear range. Thus I have a slightly smaller chainring since the third gear on the Dual Drive is an overdrive.

On my Airnimal, I have a XT front hub, I think it is an M770, it is one of the Aluminum axle hubs. I am not nervous about that hub having the smaller bearings because it is a front hub. It is my only Aluminum axle hub that is not a dyno hub. I heard somewhere that the axles on SP hubs are also Aluminum, so in that regard I do tour on Aluminum axles up front. But overal I am not too concerned about SP hubs, their bearing failures are pretty rare.
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Old 06-05-20, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I am not going to research the other hubs that you cited. So, no opinion on them. And even if I had researched them, since I have not used them any opinion I had would be of little use.

Front hubs, I found the XT to be trouble free when I did use them. But a front hub often has half or maybe a bit more than half as much weight on it as the rear, so front wheels usually hold up well.

Shimano has made a number of newer hubs that have Aluminum axles. Sometimes you hear of bearing failures in those hubs, the Aluminum axle is much larger than the steel axle so they used smaller bearings in those hubs. My only comment would be that you might want to avoid rear Shimano hubs with bearings that are smaller than the quarter inch ball bearings that the M756A has and for that reason also avoid the Aluminum axles. That was why I cited steel axles in my previous post.

The other hubs you cited, if they had smaller bearings, that might be a consideration.

***

Very nice looking Airnimal. Looks newer than mine, but old enough to be rim brake. From the photo I can't tell if those are 507 or 520 wheels, I have 507. Interesting how you have an upside down frame bag on top of the top tube. Photo of mine is at:
https://www.bikeforums.net/20336169-post735.html

As I looked for teh link above to post here, I see that you had already found it and "liked" it. But instead of erasing the text I just wrote above, I left it in case others might be interested in this topic.

Looks like yours is a 1X setup. I have the three speed Sram Dual Drive rear hub on my Airnimal to give me a wider gear range. Thus I have a slightly smaller chainring since the third gear on the Dual Drive is an overdrive.

On my Airnimal, I have a XT front hub, I think it is an M770, it is one of the Aluminum axle hubs. I am not nervous about that hub having the smaller bearings because it is a front hub. It is my only Aluminum axle hub that is not a dyno hub. I heard somewhere that the axles on SP hubs are also Aluminum, so in that regard I do tour on Aluminum axles up front. But overal I am not too concerned about SP hubs, their bearing failures are pretty rare.
Thanks, I'll research the bearing sizes
The Joey has the hard to find 520 tire size. The set in the pics are Deore hubs/Sun rims with Intense tires. My "racing" set, are Velocities with a mix of Stelvio and Pasela rubbers. I'm been lookin for something other than Panaracers, but not much luck with the 520 size. Were yours always 507 and are you able to find a good range of tire choices?
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Old 06-05-20, 12:13 PM
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also the pic was from a recon ride to test out bags. Not many choices and if I were to go that route, would likely need to resew the straps
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Old 06-05-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
Thanks, I'll research the bearing sizes
The Joey has the hard to find 520 tire size. The set in the pics are Deore hubs/Sun rims with Intense tires. My "racing" set, are Velocities with a mix of Stelvio and Pasela rubbers. I'm been lookin for something other than Panaracers, but not much luck with the 520 size. Were yours always 507 and are you able to find a good range of tire choices?
Mine was always 507. I bought the frame and fork, built it up myself. Initially I bought a set of wheels on clearance somewhere, maybe Nashbar, but that was over a decade ago and do not recall. When I decided to get wider gear ratios with the Dual Drive, I decided to build up completely new wheels, used Ryno Lite rims.

When I built up mine, I was not in the bicycle business, I had no clue what tire sizes were common and what was not. But Airnimal marketing information touted that the 507 was a very common size tire for kids bikes so if you were concerned about ability to buy tires in the future, get 507. I learned the hard way that I was being misled. My frame at the chainstays is very narrow. I can only fit the 24X1.5 tires. In the photo, you see a pair of Schwalbe tires. But when I bought the frame Schwalbe made plain Marathon tires that were 40mm wide. They no longer make them that narrow. Once i bought a 1.75 width tire, and it rubbed on the chainstays. So, I am limited to 1.5 which is very rare, 1.75 is much more common.

Intense made some narrow tires, I bought some of these a couple years ago to make sure that I would have more tires later. Have not tried them, they are in storage. I bought them mostly to make sure I had them, not knowing if I would find them again in the future.
https://www.amazon.com/Intense-Foldi...dp/B004C94SYO/

I recall reading years ago that Airnimal changed their frame to allow wider tires to fit. Maybe you got lucky and have a wider frame. When I looked at your photo, it looked like the frame had a disc mount besides the rim brake posts. If so, your frame is several years newer than mine. In that case, you might have much better tire availability than I do.

My frame can't fit a front derailleur, can you on yours? If so, you might have a new enough frame that you have wider chainstay clearance.

I average less than 100 miles a year on my Airnimal, so I my tire wear is really quite limited. I think so far this year I have ridden it less than 30 miles.
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Old 06-05-20, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
How are the XT M756 for touring? Its currently my rando bike setup but like to do some long weekend trips in the near future. Time on my hand and considering relacing to either XTR, LX or X9 hubs I have laying around. I have another wheelset with the same hubs on a gravel bike which often needs the cones retightened a few times a year. To be honest, it's sometimes on single track mtb trails so gets a beating compared to the touring bike.
I used to ride 1,000's of miles on very bumpy streets & only rarely needed to tighten cones other than when cleaning/re-lubing. IME hubs are one of the least critical components...M756 look like good hubs for touring.
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Old 06-07-20, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
How are the XT M756 for touring? Its currently my rando bike setup but like to do some long weekend trips in the near future. Time on my hand and considering relacing to either XTR, LX or X9 hubs I have laying around. I have another wheelset with the same hubs on a gravel bike which often needs the cones retightened a few times a year. To be honest, it's sometimes on single track mtb trails so gets a beating compared to the touring bike.
XT level 756 or 756a hubs are an excellent value choice for disc-braked touring bike wheel builds. I have use them in 3 bike builds with no problems whatsoever. There is also a Deore level 525 hub which I have also used, it seems like it's 95% of the 756 hub at 50% (or less) of the price.

I wouldn't put much work into swapping XT for XTR or LX etc, as they are too similar to be worth the trouble to me. I would swap only if the hub is worn out - a deep erosion track in the cup (from lots of use and/or over-tightening cone), and pitted balls (corrosion resulting from water trapped in hub as a result of hose cleaning or hub immersion via water crossing). Even with this wear, the hub usually can still be used for a long time. This is the point where a Hope or DT or similar hub with replaceable cartridge bearings would be nice to have, since this obviates the need to rebuild wheel(s).

Last edited by seeker333; 06-09-20 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-08-20, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

Front hubs, I found the XT to be trouble free when I did use them. But a front hub often has half or maybe a bit more than half as much weight on it as the rear, so front wheels usually hold up well.

Shimano has made a number of newer hubs that have Aluminum axles. Sometimes you hear of bearing failures in those hubs, the Aluminum axle is much larger than the steel axle so they used smaller bearings in those hubs. My only comment would be that you might want to avoid rear Shimano hubs with bearings that are smaller than the quarter inch ball bearings that the M756A has and for that reason also avoid the Aluminum axles. That was why I cited steel axles in my previous post.
.
This is part of the reason I switched back to some old Suntour sealed cartridge bearing hubs. I was using some XT M739 hubs, and never had any problems with them, but they were “only” 32-spoke hubs, plus they were probably one of the earlier versions to use aluminum axles. They were oversized, and seemed pretty strong, but something in the back of my mind didn’t like the idea of aluminum axles. 🤔😉
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Old 06-08-20, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
This is part of the reason I switched back to some old Suntour sealed cartridge bearing hubs. I was using some XT M739 hubs, and never had any problems with them, but they were “only” 32-spoke hubs, plus they were probably one of the earlier versions to use aluminum axles. They were oversized, and seemed pretty strong, but something in the back of my mind didn’t like the idea of aluminum axles. 🤔😉
M739 is an older hub than I am not familiar with, but I think that only the ones sold in less than the past 15 or so years were Aluminum. I could be wrong, but I think the ones with the problems had a number M770 or higher.

Here is an M737, uses quarter inch ball bearings. Looks like a steel axle.
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-FH-M737-A-1507A.pdf
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Old 06-08-20, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
M739 is an older hub than I am not familiar with, but I think that only the ones sold in less than the past 15 or so years were Aluminum. I could be wrong, but I think the ones with the problems had a number M770 or higher.

Here is an M737, uses quarter inch ball bearings. Looks like a steel axle.
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/ev/EV-FH-M737-A-1507A.pdf
It probably wasn’t one of the “ problematic” axles then, but I definitely remember reading about it (M739) being aluminum. And I’m pretty sure it was among the early suspension-ready hubs, way bigger around than earlier ones.

I’m definitely not an expert, lol, it’s just that whatever I read about it, it wasn’t all that long ago, no more than a year. 😉
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Old 06-09-20, 12:21 PM
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The larger diameter Al axle change was intended to reduce the likelihood of bent axles on older frames which could not accommodate newer thru-axle hubs. This happened around the same time MTBs transitioned from 135mm QR to 142/xxx mm thru axle.

Probably no one has ever objected to the larger diameter Al axle. Shimano fit a larger diameter axle into a hub shell that's the same size (otherwise they have to redesign and remarket their freehub, cassette and rotor mount), which forced the use of smaller diameter ball bearings. Smaller ball diameter means a smaller contact patch between bearings and races, or force applied over smaller area on these parts (higher pressure), which increases bearing friction and likely results in faster wear of parts and shorter hub life (which is wheel life in the case of Shimano hubs which lack a replaceable cartridge bearing).

Because bicycle tourists choose long term equipment reliability over a capability to make jumps while bombing down a dirt mountain track, some view the Al-axled rear hubs (small balls) as inferior to Shimano's steel axle/larger ball predecessors.

Edit: FH-M756/756a/525 all use the venerable 10mm steel axle and 1/4" balls.

Last edited by seeker333; 06-11-20 at 12:44 PM.
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