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I have an old MTB with Deore M530 rear hub. I found out its axle has a slight bend thanks to the help of the members here. There is also wear on one of the cones. I am going to order an axle set (axle and two nuts) which seems to be compatible (It is actually for Deore LX rear hubs but axle has the same spare part code. I hope the cones are also compatible). On the other hand there is a Tourney FH-TX500 rear hub as a complete unit with slightly better price. It makes me doubt my decision. Which one would you choose?

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  • Your money, your decision. I for once I would rationally take the risk of buying just the parts. But the "seems compatible" thinking never worked for me in the past years. It is a bet, can you afford it? I can because I have 3 bicycle in my cellar.
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 16 at 12:24
  • I'll probably go for Tourney but I actually want to know what is the difference between the two? Something like Tourney has a steel outer case while Deore has an aluminium maybe.
    – Ender
    Apr 16 at 12:32
  • How much do you value the work saved if you just replace the axle, compared to rebuilding the whole wheel? Or are you betting that the Tourney axle and cones fit too and that the modern cheapest possible alloy that goes to Tourney is better than what went to older LX models?
    – ojs
    Apr 16 at 12:38
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    After more research I found and ordered a Deore FH-T610 rear hub which was only about 5-6 dollars more expensive than Tourney. Still wondering what could be better on a Deore hub comparing to Tourney.
    – Ender
    Apr 16 at 14:21

1 Answer 1

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Better usually refers to personal preferences, so it's hard to answer "objectively", at least without knowing the priorities. Some will consider the Tourney better because it does the same job for a lower price, while others will prefer the Deore because this range is usually built using higher standards than Tourney, which translates into more durability under heavy use or lesser maintenance requirements. Other will consider that none is better than the other, because they miss some features that they consider important (straight pull spokes, cartridge bearings, replacable end-caps,...). Note also that Deore is a product range, and not all products are equal (for example, through-axles Deore hubs use cartridge bearings, while quick release have cups and cones).

That being said, a classical answer is "lower manufacturing tolerances, better materials", and it applies to rear hubs as well. Harder bearing races for instance will last longer, which is in the case of a hub is critical, as bearing races are almost impossible to replace independently from the hub. Only problem is that it's not an information that is published so it's only possible to assume that the Deore is the technically better one.

Looking at the exploded view of the two references you mention (Tourney TX500 vs Deore M530), there is an obvious difference in the freehub body mechanism, and, more importantly, no seals are present on the Tourney one. The absence of seals is sufficient for me to disqualify it (even when comparing old Deore vs new Tourney), especially if the bike is ridden somewhere dusty - for what it's worth, the wheels of one of my bikes was sold with an unsealed cups & cone hub, the cones were worn because of dust ingress after 2 years, and because I couldn't find the cones, I had to replace the whole hub.

But as pointed out in @ojs's comment, keep in mind that some failures in the hub implies rebuilding the wheel, which is very expensive compared to the price of the hub (or even more the price difference between a cheap and mid-range hub). If the flanges of the new hub are for example different, all spokes will need to be replaced. In MTB ranges, Deore is to my opinion the best ratio quality/durability/price, and is still reasonably priced, and that's where I'd go for the replacement of a worn part from a lower range.

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    Thank you for this great answer. Really helpful. Appreciated.
    – Ender
    Apr 16 at 17:13
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    +1 for the opinion on Deore, which I share with you. Shimano Deore level products continue to be an excellent value (durability, looks, price point with some prestige thrown in). My opinion is Deore bests several ranges of the competion's--not just their "equivalent" level offerings.
    – Jeff
    Apr 17 at 3:23
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    "Looking at the exploded view of the two references you mention" thanks for taking the time to point to this small but big difference!
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 17 at 6:57
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    I agree that seals are crucial, and being well-sealed is often the main difference between cheap and no-so-cheap (and between "simply works for many years" vs. "needs frequent attention"). Apr 17 at 8:56
  • Another factor to consider is existing wear on parts not due for replacement.
    – Criggie
    Apr 17 at 11:04

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