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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My LBS mech tells me he almost never service them unless he feels something is wrong, as he says he never gets them going as well as when they were new. It seems to contradicts my first instinct, which would be to clean and relube the bearings every few thousand miles.

For those with shimano or any other cup and cone hubs, how often do you service them? And would it be a good idea to do it out of the box?
 

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When new, I check for the sweet spot between loose & when I feel some tightness, also grease check. On the bike, the quick release will tighten a very little, but I make sure at that time there is no looseness. Tiagra & higher have good seals, so once a year I feel is good for a re grease, assuming the hub was not run in the rain/and or mud. Cheap & older hubs have frequently have poor seals.
 

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I'd think riding conditions (rain) would change the answer.
Also big swings in temperature (ride at cold temps - park bike in warm room) could cause condensation in hub.
That said, I've run Shimano cup/cone hubs for several years in dry conditions. Wasn't a big chore to repack the grease when I got around to it.
 

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It depends on the use and exposure to weather. I lube the hubs on my commuter every 6 months. The hubs on my other bikes every year and before a major event.
 

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My LBS mech tells me he almost never service them unless he feels something is wrong, as he says he never gets them going as well as when they were new. It seems to contradicts my first instinct, which would be to clean and relube the bearings every few thousand miles.

For those with shimano or any other cup and cone hubs, how often do you service them? And would it be a good idea to do it out of the box?
Your lbs mechanic sounds like he's either clueless, or very young/inexperienced. Or both. They're not hard to adjust, it just takes some practice and a little 'talent'. Not much of either.
To answer your question, you service them when they need it. With the wheel off the bike spin the axle by hand...you can easily feel what's going on w/ the bearings. There should be some drag from the grease, but the axle should spin very smoothly. If you feel a little grittiness then it's time to take them apart, clean, replace balls, and regrease/adjust. If the axle spins w/ little or no resistance that means the grease is pretty much gone and that's bad. If you hear noise that's worse. The cups pressed into the hub shell rarely wear, it's almost always the balls and the cones that need replacing. For most hubs and riders once a year is probably good, but you'll get to know how often they need work after a while. No one here can tell you any more than that. As Kerry is fond of saying 'how long is a piece of string?'
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's some good advice, thanks.
Out of the box, my rear wheel has almost no resistance and I hear a little click. The front wheel is the opposite. I get a lot of resistance and most of it seems to come from the plastic cap rubbing pretty hard against the hub. I think both will need to be looked after.
 

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I generally do annually or as needed, whichever is sooner. Annual is simply because that's when I remember to do it and winter months can be slow in Michigan with shorter rides and less to do in general outside of work.

I'm far from good at adjusting the cup and cone bearings since most of the hubs I've used in my short riding life have used sealed bearings. I keep coming back to shimano as I just love the smooth feel and the silence.

About the front hub, sounds like it's too tight which I believe isn't all that uncommon. I've had 105 hubs that were a touch too tight from the factory. I was told to check the hubs out straight out of the box just to make sure. I think lack grease was something that has occasionally been iffy as well.
 

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So far, just shy of never. I did force a mechanic to 'service' one despite being totally smooth once because I figured at 20K miles I needed to do that. I was wrong. The inside looked like it just came out of the factory.
I do ride in the rain but probably 10% or less so not much.
 

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For most hubs and riders once a year is probably good, but you'll get to know how often they need work after a while. No one here can tell you any more than that.

Yup. Once a year for some folks is 1500 miles, and for others it is 10,000 miles. Local conditions have a big influence, and front hubs stay a LOT cleaner than rear hubs. Equipment maintenance schedules are developed from experience, so start by doing it "too often" and then back off as experience teaches. It takes literally one minute to determine whether a hub needs work using the technique described.
 

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Just repacked my 105 hubs on my wet weather bike (I live in PNW), and I was surprised how clean the grease was after 3500 miles. I just cleaned thing up and repacked. I was impressed how well sealed the hubs were.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The cleaning / repacking seems pretty straightforward to do. It's the adjustment afterward I'm not really sure I would be any good at. I know myself well enough to know that I would be worrying for a few rides if I have them right or not.
 

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The cleaning / repacking seems pretty straightforward to do. It's the adjustment afterward I'm not really sure I would be any good at. I know myself well enough to know that I would be worrying for a few rides if I have them right or not.
The spanner wrench adjustment has gone away with the Ultegra 6800 and DA 9000 series. These hubs use a very simple digital indexing that eliminates the trial and error of adjusting the spanners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The spanner wrench adjustment has gone away with the Ultegra 6800 and DA 9000 series. These hubs use a very simple digital indexing that eliminates the trial and error of adjusting the spanners.
I guess that includes Rs81 as well?
Any good tutorial to suggest that explains how to do this digital indexing? All I find is geared towards the old way of doing it.
And any need of special tools besides a pair of hex keys?
 

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I guess that includes Rs81 as well?
Any good tutorial to suggest that explains how to do this digital indexing? All I find is geared towards the old way of doing it.
And any need of special tools besides a pair of hex keys?
Youtube has a bunch of tutorials.
This one from Art's who just had a sale on the 6800 rear for $50 (just bought one) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Z5QcngH6A
 

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Youtube has a bunch of tutorials.
This one from Art's who just had a sale on the 6800 rear for $50 (just bought one) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Z5QcngH6A

Ahhhh yes. This will be helpful. I figure it's about time to service my 6800 hubs since they now have over 3,000 miles and 9 months on them. While I don't ride in the rain by choice, I have been caught in a couple of torrential downpours. I also had the bike on the car while traveling in a few rainstorms.

Sounds like a good winter project. :)
 

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Ahhhh yes. This will be helpful. I figure it's about time to service my 6800 hubs since they now have over 3,000 miles and 9 months on them. While I don't ride in the rain by choice, I have been caught in a couple of torrential downpours. I also had the bike on the car while traveling in a few rainstorms.

Sounds like a good winter project. :)
That will take 10 minutes. What are you going to do with the remaining 129,590 minutes?😉
 

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That will take 10 minutes. What are you going to do with the remaining 129,590 minutes?
OK, I should have worded this better and said this will be put on my winter project LIST. That will also include building another wheel set - maybe two and possibly a couple of home projects. There is also xc skiing when snow conditions warrant.
 

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Just yanking your chain! 

If you feel particularly adventurous you could also replace the Ultegra grade bearing balls with Dura-ace grade balls. Same size, higher grade. Wheels Manufacturing has them generic - not Shimano branded.
 
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