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  • Freehub strip* how often
  • dumbbot
    Member

    Curious as to how often you lot strip/clean/regrease your freehub?, i’m aware that is going to vary wildly with brand, riding conditions, cleaning routing etc but after hearing the dreaded creak the other day i opened up my freehub to some nice brown paste…and this is the third time i’ve done this in less than a year.

    They are cheap ass el guapo/Planet X shite, so not unexpected that the sealing is none existant, they are easy to work on however.

    What would be some recommended hubs for proper weather sealing?

    JonEdwards
    Member

    Hope – once a year or so. DT (star ratchet type). Maybe once a decade?

    Premier Icon rone
    Subscriber

    When it creaks.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Subscriber

    when it sounds dry.

    daern
    Member

    When it needs it, tbh. Hope stuff I tend to do annually – cassette off, freehub off, clean and regrease the pawl pivots, clean and re-oil the ratchet and, assuming the bearings are OK, stick it back together. Only a 10 min job really. On the bike that was used at least weekly through the very worst of the winter, I was impressed with the condition when it was broken open. Interestingly, while the main hub bearings were on their way out (lasted two years), the freehub bearings felt as good as new and are now into their third year – really impressed with this.

    Other makes seem to need a bit more effort. My road bike freehub was a trashed mess of bearings and gunge after this winter and needed a complete rebuild to get it ready for the summer and my son’s bike (which has a cartridge freehub) was also suffering. That one was a straightforward replacement (Bontrager fit) for £15 – not worth attempting to strip for that little money.

    FWIW, my none Hope stuff tends to get at least an inspection twice a year (spring and autumn) or when the cassette starts to visibly move under load 🙂

    stevextc
    Member

    Even the same hub seems to differ wildly with different end-caps.

    Both myself and Jnr have some cheap-ass superstar fuel hubs.

    He has 9mm and I’ve got 12mm through…

    His free hub + cassette falls off at the drop of a hat when not in the dropouts… as does a friend with the same hubs. Its held in by the QR springs…

    We recently got to 417 and his free hub had fallen off in the car.  The pawls were in a right mess after a few months riding.  Rust etc. despite having PM600 on the seal parts.

    I just checked mine yesterday … the end caps need a good pull to get off… and the pawls were perfect even though much older and ridden in the same places.  My axle is higher (hence further from water)… since he’s running 24″ but I really think the main problem is the seals.

    As I was in the mood and all greasy anyway I also pulled his Novatec D771/772’s hubs off his other bike and his 9mm thru Superstar rebranded “Switch Ultralight” from the same bike.  These were dry as a bone inside.

    My own DT Swiss seem fine though I need to get the right stuff to take them apart and never seem to get around to it.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I’m firmly of the opinion that unless it’s broken, then leave it alone, and TBH so far that’s pretty much served me in good stead. My Crossmax are just about to get a new set of bearings this week, as the rear has some play, so may as well get both ends done, a true up and re-tension, after 2 years of battering on the grit stone round here I reckon that’s OK.

    Premier Icon dannyh
    Subscriber

    Hope – when the clicking goes quiet – usually a sign that the pawl springs have corroded and fragmented.

    Did this at the weekend at the inside looked like an archaeological dig – mostly greasy mud with a few bits of rusty metal floating about. This is inside six months, but the bike gets ridden around 35 miles off road week-in, week-out and has been fully submerged at least once this winter – so not really surprising.

    The pawl springs in Hope hubs are a very weak link in an otherwise excellent product, but the Ziptie bodge is actually an upgrade in my experience and whoever thought of it should run for PM.

    scruff
    Member

    What’s The zip tie bodge?

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    It takes about 2mins on the hubs we have (Bontrager, Hope, Superstar and un-branded Marin) to whip off, clean a fair bit, slap on some grease and whack back on…so I do it about every six months or so.

    In fact the superstar hubs just fall apart without asking – crap end caps, and then all the pawls are so loose they also scatter over the trail when fixing a puncture…

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Hope – never

    Mavic – when it makes the wail of death

    stevextc
    Member

    In fact the superstar hubs just fall apart without asking – crap end caps, and then all the pawls are so loose they also scatter over the trail when fixing a puncture…

    Depends on the hubs …. The Switch hubs are rebranded Novatec and the Fuel are rebranded French co.

    See my post above…. I’ve got 2x Fuel .. my kids with QR…. spits out the free hub if you sneeze and mine have 12mm…. they take a good ole whack to remove.  They are otherwise identical apart from end-caps (there are even 2 gens  with different pawls and they are the same there as well….

    Either way, as you say takes minutes… unless they already leaked then it takes longer to clean than to grease anyway.  Either way you at least get a better idea when to check.

    daern
    Member

    What’s The zip tie bodge?

    At a push, you can use the ends of zip ties as a replacement for the pawls in a free hub. It’s very much a “get you home” bodge, but it does really work!

    There was a photo on here (which I can’t find just now), but IIRC you cut some small zip ties down so only the block bit and about 10mm of zip bit are left. You then wedge the block into the pivot point where the pawl would normally go and the plastic’s natural spring replaces the normal pawl spring. Repeat for the other pawls and then put it back together. It’ll be shit, but it’s much better than walking home!

    Edit: found a picture. The bodge actually replaced the springs only, but I guess at a push you could do the pawls too if they were lost and you really needed to ride home:

    dumbbot
    Member

    Mmm, interesting…would seem that three times in one year is not as wildly unusual as I thought, even for cheap hubs.

    The bearings are fine, its just the hubshell that seems to take on water, pawls and springs rusty as ****. i’ll just plod along and be mindful of my maintenance routine until i can afford some nice DT Swiss ones.

    Thanks chaps.

    stevextc
    Member

    The bearings are fine, its just the hubshell that seems to take on water, pawls and springs rusty as ****. i’ll just plod along and be mindful of my maintenance routine until i can afford some nice DT Swiss ones.

    Or just check them more often ….

    I’ve found every hub has some sort of trick… (trick may be the wrong word but searching for a 3mm grub-screw etc. on a dirty free hub when you don’t know its there etc.)

    The fuel hubs I have need the pawls depressing using a bit of gear cable to get back in… but once you get the feeling it’s 2 mins of a job.  Taking out the pawls and using some emery to clean off rust takes a bit longer ….

    Yup the sealing on them Superstar Fuel hubs is piss poor. They let water in like no other hub I’ve ever used and need babying, never again!

    Edit: Oh yeah the springs are weak and slip under power as well, yeah dog shit.

    stevextc
    Member

    Yup the sealing on them Superstar Fuel hubs is piss poor. They let water in like no other hub I’ve ever used and need babying, never again!

    Edit: Oh yeah the springs are weak and slip under power as well, yeah dog shit.

    I’m curious… what axle do you have?

    Both my kid and a friends have the QR end cap version and both fall off.

    My own 12mm seems not only firm but watertight…. I’d assumed perhaps incorrectly it was a design thing on the QR end-caps… but I might just be incredibly lucky on my wheels… To be fair I only paid £100 for the set and they have been pretty good as a “extra set”…

    Same 12mm thru axle end caps which are firm fitting. It’s the o-ring seal around the freehub, it seems to let water in judging by the rust on the pawls and springs. It didn’t take long either!

    Cassette sprockets cut the made of tin hub body up like butter as well. You have to file the deep burrs off to get cassettes off.

    BTW I have 2 freehubs! Absolute shite all round IMO.

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