Shimano freehub, service or replace

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  • Shimano freehub, service or replace
  • jonb


    My freehub was playing up tonight it wasn’t spinning freely and was slow to engage. If i took my feet off the pedals while moving the pedals started to turn quickly.

    Is it possible to service the freehub or is there anything I can do to prolong the life. It’s over 2 years old and I this is the third winter so it is probably just worn.

    AS shimano stuff is now gone through the roof in price is it possible to fit a lower end (deore) freewheel onto an XT (FH-756) hub. Failing that anywhere do them cheap? It seems that £35 buys me a new hub so I can swap over all the bearings, QR and seals (keeping a spare hub body) yet £25 buys just the freehub.


    Hi- I would go with buying the new hub and using the f-hub/axle/cones+bearings as 9times out of 10 the drive side cone will be pitted(and again difficult to source in a hurry)and you’ll get your hub like new again and be left with a handy pen holder…

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    Ask around the bike shops to see if they have any old stock. I got a complete Deore hub for £15 or so and have used it for parts regularly. Much cheaper than buying individual cups, cones, freehub etc

    Premier Icon simon1975

    I took my dead Shimano freehub apart last night as I’m intending to make a fixie by gumming it up inside somehow… I wouldn’t fancy trying to re-build it, but this would be possible with enough time and patience – this would of course be the sustainable solution and might be worth a try before you spend your money?


    simon – internals are likely to be fubarred, and good luck rebuilding yours, conventional freewheel type freehubs/freewheels are notoriously difficult to rebuild.

    OP – you can get a tool called a freehub buddy that purges the internals with grease. Your lbs might have one. There used to be deliberate differences between freehubs so you coldn’t use cheaper ones on XT and xtr.

    Premier Icon simon1975

    I’m intending to “glue” the balls and everything back in with araldite or solder 😉

    Yes I’ve read about soaking in parrafin and then heavy oil to resolve the OP’s issues. But it’s already 2 years old.

    r.e. the answers suggesting buying a hub to use for spares – ok in theory but it is very difficult to get a freehub off a hub that isn’t built into a wheel (usually involves partly crushing it in a vice!).


    myfather – I think you are getting a freehub and a freewheel confused.

    Freehubs are normally held in place by an allen key. As mentioned above there are some differences between the models so be careful when replacing. I speak from experience on this one ! They may look the same but have some subtle differences.

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Hey Simon – glad to hear the freehub stripdown technique worked. Hope the fixed conversion is equally good!…..

    I’ve rebuilt singlespeed freewheels loads of times – it really isn’t that hard (just needs a steady hand and patience). I have only once had to scrap one where the internals were damaged (pawls chipped). Generally “dead” freewheels are just gunked up and a strip, clean and rebuild with new balls and NO GREASE ON THE PAWLS works wonders.

    Biffer – the hollow allen key bolt that holds the freehub on is pretty tight, hence it is sometimes difficult to hold a hub (with no wheel rim) tight enough to unscrew it (but admittedly not like a freewheel that gets constantly tightened as you pedal). Guess if there is a 6 bolt disc spider then something could be improvised to hold the hub.


    replacing a freehub body is a quick and easy job.
    your best source is to buy a complete hub off ebay.
    i suspect 9-speeed shimano freehubs are interchangeable between other 9-speed hubs but check first.

    the best way of securing the hub from movement is actually by keeping the cassette on and using a chainwhip to hold it in place. this works for hubs that are not built onto a wheel as well.

    when you’ve exposed the freehub securing nut which is a rather large allen key – can’t remember the exact size but i believe it to be the same size as those used on crank nuts – you can use opposing force of the chainwhip against the allen key to remove it.

    the whole process is an unbolt / bolt-on job. No real complexity at all.

    Premier Icon simon1975

    It’s a 10mm allen key you’ll be needing – same as for radiator adaptors 😉

    Yes your method working Mick-r – I just tapped with a hammer and screwdriver once popping the freehub back on the wheel! Gonna try plumbers’ solder to “fix” it hopefully. Now I just need my spacers and cog back off my friend who used them for Strathpuffer last month…

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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