Shimano M475 hubs long term revised review

Issues with fast freehub wear:

 

Fast wearing freehubs:

this causes shifting issues, and noise while coign trough the cassette, it only takes few days for me with light xc/commuting/pavement riding to wear it to the point of play so the cassette is dancing. TThis is hub I had Rebuilt new balls, new cones, new axle, everything was of course done correctly, it was only used few days, but I had already gone through one wobbly freehub after just a few days of riding, so I replaced it with this one, the same issue major wobble after just a few rides. I have also noticed Shimano has changed the design, there was a rubber seal visible, on this one there is not. after few short asphalt rides, the axle bent on the drive side, the cones were loose, the rotor was rubbing, and the cassette was dancing horribly, due to play in the freehub, which reduced the shifting performance significantly. I am done with these freehubs, I will get a new wheel. These hubs just can’t take me using them, I got heavier and heavier, I am an adult now and destroy all cheapness. ‘ The lack of points of engagement is also unbearable and awkward. The bent axle was not caused by jumping or loose QR or anything wrongdoing on my part, this is a flawed outdated hub.

The freehub has about 1 mm play when it’s new.

I had these hubs on several bikes since I was a teen boy, I have been using these freehubs until failure, and the freehubs lastest about 1 season before they failed, so I couldn’t pedal, but now as I am an adult, I wear them in few days so the play will be significant, which reduces shifting performance, and I can move the freehub in all direction with knocking sound, I Won’t would not take the chance of being many tens of kilometers away from my home, and needing to call a taxi, So I had to swap the freehub,

any play in the freehub will cause wear in the cassette and chain, I think I should upgrade the hubs.

With proper hubs with proper freehubs you will get zero play no with a lot of use and abuse and crashing, for example, Hope pro 4, It has been problem free, and has not shown any signs of wear after a whole year of use.

 

Frequent Service interval king:

No proper seals, causing contaminants like water, cat hair, and to come inside the hub, so if riding in the winter you would have to service them every week to 2 weeks intervals.

This is now the hub will look like after a winter ride, the grease comes out and will attract dirt, cat hair.

The deore h bs have rubber seals, instead of steel covers, buttjey are compatible with the m475 hubs Shimano Bl-M525 L.H.Lid Unit – Y8S49801

http://forums.mtbr.com/shimano/worst-shimano-hubs-ever-shimano-hb-m475-viam-http://forums.mtbr.com/shimano/worst-shimano-hubs-ever-shimano-hb-m475-viam-370908.html

To service these freehand, you need a special tool, which is difficult to get, or you have to make one your self, This is not acceptable.

RJ The Bike Guy made a great video showing you how to service Shimano hubs:

Annoying low engagement:

The freehub has a horrible engagement, so you have a big dead zone before you actuate freehub, making technical climbs harder.

 

Verdict:

because of the outdated design, and reliability issues and the extreme service intervals, even if you swap to the seals for deore, as the freehubs wear out so fast, that it’s pointless to fix it.  I can’t recommend these hubs, these hubs are a nightmare.
There are far better options out there, I recommend getting Hubs with sealed cartridge bearings, and more bearings, and an easier more modern design, Hope and Industry nine, Chris king, are a perfect example of this, are more on that list of course.

 

 

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2 season Review: Bontrager Duster 29 wheelset

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8501/29661608046_beca702a88_o.jpg

This wheelset is a perfect example of why you should know or read long term reviews.

The Bontrager hubs using in this wheelset are manufactured by Formula Hubs.

the type of riding I have done is the most normal trail/enduro/singletrack

The highest I ever jumped with these wheels was 1 meter.

This is the stock wheelset on my 2014 trek fuel ex 29ers.

The front wheel wheels were fine, but the primary bike had a noisy front wheel, its most likely the spokes, or the rings in the rim, on the rear rims many of them were loose.

Brushed & black

Maxis high roller 2 are quite hard to take on and off on this rim, a good tyre lever is needed.

Tiny tent in the left sidewall, I think this if from hitting a stair step edge, I have punctured quite many times and lost air too much air when I was riding down stairs, but this dent can probably by fixed.

The wheels get out of true way too fast.
I managed to make it true sideways but not radially.
after few km on my spare bike, the rear tyre was hitting the inner tube wrapped on the chainstay, I took off the tyre and tried to true the wheel, it was impossible to radially true it.
even at max tension & loosening the and loosening the other spokes above to make it true)the spokes could not pull the rim inwards.
the primary bike had a flat spot, but it also was untrue very fast, and the tyre hit the frame on it too, but it was fixed with truing.
but the flat spot was impossible to fix, I managed to get it better but still was about half cm out of true radially.
this was after few months

the rim had drilling residue after spoke holes.The other had something black inside it, probably drilling residue with black paint-job.

Formula DC-51- The front hub use 3/16 inch bearing

The spoke nipples:

It’s Am not brutal or using the wrong tool for the job, I have never seen so soft spoke nipples, but some worked fine. so this might be faulty nipples, something wrong with the alloy on these spokes.

many of them were inaccurate so the spoke wrench did not fit properly unless forced,
almost half of the spoke nipples got rounded off,t he metal was like chocolate that began to melt, some nipples even cracked,t o take them off I need pliers, some nipples even snapped/cracked.
I used the correct size of a wrench, I will rebuild the wheels with new rims, spokes, and spoke nipples.

I have been puncturing a lot, even I go beefy tyres: Maxxis High roller 2 2.3, and I have been riding down stairs and rough terrain, and lost air pressure, and ridden down stairs until I hear a loud bang, But I did not get any big dents.
So upgrading to tubeless might be a good upgrade.

28 spokes are too few on a 29er trail/xc/enduro bike.these are the Moist flexible wheels I ever rode.

Bigger the wheel is more spokes it needs.

more spokes easier it is to true it, and longer they stay true.

The original rim tape, eventually will twist and bend, when you get punctures.

the freehub on the spare bike had no grease in the freehub bearings.
I had ridden the bike only 60km, at the time, but this resulted in play, and loud noises, I had to repack it with grease.
the front is almost idiot proof.
It’s so easy to service as long as you got the right tools for the job.

rear hub:

the rear bearings did not need any repacking, they have good, blue grease in them.

to take off the freehub you need an 11mm Allen/Umbraco key & an adjustable wrench, and use the long side of the Allen key.

because of the Park tool 11mm, Free-hub retrench is too short for this particular hub.

Verdict:

Horrible wheelset.

Way too flexy get untrue too fast, the only good thing is the easy to service hubs

It’s best to read a lot of reviews, and see what your friends or the rest of the community are riding and what they think is good, before you order a wheelset. that what I am gonna do.