Shimano Release New Generation of Cross-Compatible Hubs

Feb 27, 2023 at 17:16
by Henry Quinney  
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Whilst the new CUES system may well steal the limelight today, Shimano has also quietly released some new hubs.

In something of a departure from what you might expect, some of these hubs use sealed cartridge bearings, axles that are interchangeable between a quick-release and bolt-through, and freehub bodies that you can swap out, meaning it will suit either Shimano standard.

While this isn't the first time Shimano has made sealed hubs, they're normally better known for their cup and cone systems. The modular design of the two higher hubs in this range aims for ease of service, as well as giving the option to take wheels between different frames, and the cartridge bearings should arguably improve sealing.

There will be four tiers: the TC600, TC500/QC500, QC400, and QC300. The top two tiers use the modular axle, and the QC300 is a notable exception because it uses a cup and cone system. The engagement angle of the hubs is 10 and 15 degrees respectively, with the lower two models having 22.5 degrees.

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Interchangable freehubs, but Shimano is sticking to its guns with Centerlock.

This means that if a rider has a bike with these entry-level hubs, potentially even with CUES, it will mean that upgrading to a 12-speed system will require one less brand new component, and you could just swap the freehub body.

The TC600 uses twin double-row bearings on the drive side to hopefully increase longevity further and will hope to keep up with Linkglide's bold claims on longevity. Along with the TC500/QC500, the hub will use a labyrinth seal as well as the contact seal of the bearing itself to try and keep grit and grime out.

No pricing was given for these hubs but I would expect them to be a common option as an original-equipment part.

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Member since Jun 3, 2014
310 articles

69 Comments
  • 24 2
 For the purpose of learnings, why do people not like centerlock? What's so bad?
  • 16 0
 Because, hypothetically, you can pull the disc off with a basic multitool. In reality, I have never needed to. One of my MTB's is CL, the other 6 bolt. Potato Potatoe.
  • 15 4
 People are still salty about losing 20mm front axels so Shimano could implement centrelock
  • 22 4
 @JSTootell: Fair point, I guess. At the risk of incurring the wrath of the maintenance gods, though, field serviceability of brake rotors is pretty low on my list of concerns. I far more frequently remove rotors in my shop, where centerlock makes rotor removal and replacement a 15 second job instead of a 5 minute one.
  • 11 2
 @cellojane: I agree with you on all counts except for "5 minute". Put a T25 bit in a power drill and save a lot of time.
  • 3 0
 @Linc: The first generation of Saint (2004) had oversized centerlock which would work with a 20mm axle. But the current Saint front hub works just fine with regular centerlock, doesn't it?
  • 3 3
 I read somewhere once that centerlock allows for even wider flanges on hubs thus a stiffer build when compared to standard 6 bolt in addition to weight savings supposedly.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: why the hurry? More time to hide in the shed.
  • 3 1
 @playah: That's not what I gather from browsing through the specs (checking the 10sp Deore hubs here). IS 6 bolt hubs have a much wider flange spacing. They also require taller flanges as the 6 bolt interface would otherwise get in the way. Even though that might make the hubs heavier (the Deore XT variation has these flanges hollowed out), the taller flanges do make the wheels stiffer as when you'd extend the spokes along their direction, they'd intersect the axle even further apart. Which hubs were you comparing?
  • 4 0
 @Linc: Shimano made many a hub with 20x110 axles and centrelock (and not the proprietary 1st generation oversized Saint centrelock
  • 1 2
 @WinoBot: Now they do, but not initially. Centrelock + 15mm axels was the original sell.
  • 10 6
 @handynzl Early iterations of the centerlock interface used to work themselves loose. I once paid to rent a high-end demo bike in Europe, and both POS CL discs worked themselves loose every single ride, forcing me to scrap the week-long trans-Alp route that had been the entire point of my trip. I never forgave Shimano for that, not to mention for adding another "standard" no one asked for. Beyond that, I've always had multiple bikes, often with multiple wheelsets per bike, and they've always been 6-Bolt. Switching to CL would have put an end to my ability to swap rotors as needed between wheels & bikes. More headaches + rewarding manufs for proliferating standards? No thanks.
  • 8 12
flag rifrafi (Mar 1, 2023 at 1:48) (Below Threshold)
 they come loose all the time, yes i use a torqure wrench and im using DT240s hubs but a day of hard riding and its about to fall off. utter garbage fit for road bikes and gravel only. the fact that the only hubs and rotors available in 2021 where centerlock should tell you everything you need to know.
  • 6 5
 @powturn: but you know that you can mount any 6-bolt rotor on a centerlock hub, right?
  • 17 9
 CL is awesome. Wish 6 bolt would go away.
  • 8 0
 @lkubica: Why pick one standard when you can have both simultaneously?
  • 11 0
 @rifrafi: If your disc rotor come loose its user error.
  • 5 0
 @lkubica: Not if you want identical rotor alignment for swapping wheels without respacing rotors or realigning calipers. I build all my wheels with the exact same DT hubs for precisely this reason.
  • 1 0
 @Linc: that is why i have shimano 20mm hub with centerlock on my DJ.
Interesting...
  • 2 0
 @Kptzbik: Do you run a front brake on your DJ?
  • 4 0
 @Linc: Centerlock came out 5 years before 15mm axles became a thing. 15mm axles were a collaboration with Fox with the last generation of 9 speed XTR.
  • 2 0
 @rifrafi: loctite is cheap.
  • 1 0
 @Linc: damn right. 20mm was where we should have stayed for decades. It literally ruined my life.
  • 1 0
 @danlovesbikes: Now that 20x110 boost exists, I don't understand why we had regular 20x110. And yeah, I still have two forks for regular 20x110 and one for 15x100. And everything works just fine for me. I wouldn't be too surprised if we ever see a resurgence of 25mm (Specialized) or 30mm (Curnutt) axles with the argument that the larger diameter indeed makes things stiffer.
  • 16 1
 36 hole? I need a hub for a wheel build and its really hard to find a 36 hole, boost, centerlock, 11sp hg, hub that isn't super expensive. I’ve been using some mid-range shimano hubs that were really affordable and have had great reliability. I want that again for my next wheel build.
  • 13 2
 Just run Hope. They still make 36 hole hubs and you should be able to get them in 11spd hg (steel or alloy body), boost, centerlock, and your choice of color.
  • 4 1
 Try Fastace? Why the centerlock? I would steer away from Novatec, but there are plenty of oem hubs that turn out to be very very reliable that ultimately are rebranded by others that will find their way on a pretty fancy bike.
  • 6 0
 A pair of DT 350 hybrid. In terms of free hub compatibility DT hubs are second to none. The Hybrid line is bombproof and they still have a 36H option. I've laced a pair last week around some Halo T2 rims for a customer of mine, an absolute 300lb destroyer. I've weighted the wheelset at 6.6lb lmao : Sapim strong j-bend, 4 cross lacing, 350 Hybrid IS, Halo T2.
  • 1 0
 @Euskafreez: that’s what I’m thinking of using but I could get the shimano SLX hub for like $35 and it’s bombproof and rebuildable.
  • 1 0
 Also really difficult to find 36 hole rims that are bigger than 20"?
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: it’s for a commuter that I also go camping with, so I just get a Sun Rhyno Lite which you can get in up to 40 hole.
  • 6 1
 @V7V: centerlock is the superior interface and backwards compatible to 6-bolt. On a commuter/travel bike having access to both standards is key since there’s a chance you could hit a small shop someplace that only has one of the two. My one bike has all the standards covered, since it has rims with brake tracks, canti mounts, discs with centerlock and IS mounts instead of post. It gives the most versatility.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Ehhh ok.. that was a surprise answer. Do you have extra rubber on your shoesoles if you run out of all the listed above? Smile I've seen people mount some discs on the frame/lugguage as extra reflectors and spares.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Forks with IS disc brake mounts are getting rare these days. Which are you using?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: on this bike I actually added a Paragon Machine Works tab onto an old Trek fork.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Alright, that's one way. It may not even be needed really. If a fork has 6" PM tabs, you can get an adaptor to fit an IS front brake caliper (short lower arm) and run a 180mm brake rotor. People probably don't want to run smaller front rotors than that anymore anyway.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I'm on 160s since this frame is an old Trek 730 I converted to use disc brakes. I'm concerned about 180s being a bit much, plus I already had to cut the inner fork for clearance, I didn't really want to cut more than I needed. Turns out, in the early 90s, no one was thinking about discs on a hybrid, and the fork wouldn't clear a rotor. I thought about going to a 180 on the rear since when it's loaded most of the braking occurs back there, but for now I'm sticking to 160s and having not the most powerful braking.
  • 11 0
 "The top two tears use the modular axle"

They shouldn't be sad, the get the more useful axle!
  • 13 9
 I cry a little whenever I see Centerlock
  • 16 0
 @DizzyNinja: Yeah, it brakes me.
  • 9 0
 Did they improve the freehub engagement mechanism? The plastic part that degrades is pretty lousy.
  • 4 0
 They did, actually. The lower-level hubs now have the XTR-level spacer, as of last year and they’ve removed whatever mechanism it was that caused them to spin silently at speed.
  • 1 0
 yes, hubs now use a different plastic spacer/tooth thing that does not wear like before. I put 900km and 30k meters of descending on my XT hubs last year and they are still brand new internally. I just pulled them apart to regrease (also super easy to service).
  • 1 0
 Good to know, thanks!
  • 4 0
 Of all the parts discussed on Pinkbike, this is one that the most folks will actually end up riding. Normally sealed bearings meant poor parts support for the rear hub. That Shimano is offering a hub with improved seals that you can actually repair is a huge win for riders spending less than 4K on a bike.
  • 4 0
 This is big news! Maybe owners of OE shimano parts will have a reason to keep using them! Thanks Henry!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Henry
  • 3 0
 Without reading this, I would've assumed Shimano branded hubs with sealed bearings to be fakes from Alibaba
  • 10 0
 They quietly came out with a cartridge bearing hub a year or two ago, but I'm drawing a blank for the model number. Anyone?

Edit: I figured it out: HB-MT410 (front) and FH-MT410 (rear). Dealer manual is dated January, 2020--how time flies!
  • 3 0
 Mt400 was literally the worst front hub ever because their bearings guality. Curious to see those.
  • 1 0
 Shimano doing another great job making their cheap parts serviceable and bombproof, whilst still producing atrocious expensive components
  • 3 0
 Interesting
  • 3 0
 Need a 6 bolt option
  • 2 4
 @barp: that is the problem
  • 1 0
 At last, replaceable bearings!
  • 4 1
 nah, fuck those. Cup and cone for life And I'm not sarcastic lol
  • 2 3
 The idea of modular hubs is great. It's real hard to find good wheelsets that come in 110x15 and 135x10qr.
  • 1 3
 Love the compatibility and upgradeability. But the Shimano nomenclature… stolen from any number of contemporary SUVs or crossovers.
  • 2 0
 My favorite is when the 2 piston and 4 piston brakes have the same name and number.
  • 1 0
 @fruitsd79: Do they.
  • 2 4
 I'm I missing something - I don't see SuperBoost...
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