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Free-Hub Removal and Service Question

iLukeKendalliLukeKendall Posts: 160
edited December 2013 in MTB workshop & tech
Bottom Line: Is it possible for a free-hub to be permanently fixed to the hub (ie. not removable?)

Last week, I noticed my rear wheel was making a rattling sound when rotating. It was fairly random, although ocurred on each wheel spin. I assumed it must be something to do with the rear hub, perhaps the bearings needed re-packing with grease, and so this afternoon I completely disassembled my rear hub and drivetrain, cleaned everything, and then re-greased and reassembled everything.

Whilst I don't think it sounds as bad before, there is still an irregular rattle happening, and I can only put it down to the free-hub. Whilst I had the hub apart, when spinning the free-hub it did sound like it could do with some more grease/oil to help it run more smoothly.

In order to do this, I'd need to remove the free-hub, however after watching several videos on YouTube about how to remove them, it appears the majority require a 10mm allen key. I've thoroughly inspected mine however, and there doesn't appear to be anything holding the free-hub in which I can remove using tools.

I have attached images below for reference. Is there any way I can remove the free-hub, or is it possible to have hubs which have the free-hub fixed to them? Any suggestions on how I can eliminate the rattling would be great!

IMG_1369.jpg
IMG_1372.jpg
Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile

Posts

  • I'd take the spoke protector off. That would probably solve it.

    Allen key in to remove the free hub.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    And the hub is a?

    Yes some use a 10mm Allen key but many use other sizes.

    And the bolt is 12 sided not 6.

    Put 5 and a 6 mm flat to flat to see if it is 11mm if it is go buy a 7/16" Allen key and a Vice to hold it bolt vice to a bench.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • I'd take the spoke protector off. That would probably solve it.

    Allen key in to remove the free hub.

    I was thinking about removing that, but I read it can prevent damage to the spokes in the event of the chain slipping off the largest sprocket? Regarding the allen key, I don't think the photos do it justice - there doesn't appear to be anything in there to take an allen key, unless it's a huge (25mm+) one?
    nicklouse wrote:
    And the hub is a?

    Yes some use a 10mm Allen key but many use other sizes.

    And the bolt is 12 sided not 6.

    Put 5 and a 6 mm flat to flat to see if it is 11mm if it is go buy a 7/16" Allen key and a Vice to hold it bolt vice to a bench.

    It's a Formula DC22 LW alloy rear hub. It really doesn't look like there's anything to attach an allen key to though - there's at least 20-25mm of space right through the hub.
    Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    I can see the bolt.

    And it might unscrew from the inside.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    The 12 indents are quite clear in the top photo, you just need to find something that fits, and 20mm nah, leave such exaggeration for when you talk lengths to your partner......
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Allen key fits the ridges within the freehub - like this:
    IMG_1369_zpsaa62dbf0.jpg
  • oxocube1oxocube1 Posts: 651
    I removed one just like this from a wheel last week. It ended up being an 11mm allen key. I put it in via the driveside and turned anti-clockwise with the aid of a very big extension bar. It's either that or a 12mm allen key in from the non-driveside and turn clockwise.

    If you are really struggling to get hold of an 11mm, go into a Halfords store and ask them to order any freehub body from DC. They all come supplied with an 11mm allen key bit that fits onto a 3/8" inch socket drive. Im sure they'd let you buy the bit for a few quid, I know I would in my store :). I've now got 3 or 4 of them as I've had to order a few over the past couple of months, they are very rare an come in handy for this very reason!
  • Yes, but not even sure there's anything wrong with it!
  • Thanks for all the replies guys.

    I've just gone to re-lube the chain this evening, and the noise still seems rather bad. I've recorded the wheel spinning which can be seen linked below. It sounds almost like there's stones rattling around inside the hub, except there's definitely nothing in there because I've had the hub completely apart, cleaned and re-packed it with grease. It does seem to only make the noise when it's freewheeling.

    Would you suggest this noise is the freehub, and if so, is there anything I'm able to do to service it (once removed) or is it likely a sealed unit? It's a Formula DC22 LW alloy rear hub. Thanks for any further advice!

    http://youtu.be/7znDrroQ9zM

    PS. Sorry about the awkward camera angles - I was trying to get the microphone closer to the hub!
    Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    I reckon you're right about the freehub - probably one of the pawls broken or something. Whether or not it's servicable will depend on the exact type used, but from what I can see, most of the lower-end formula freehub bodies look to be sealled units like shimano ones, that you just replace when they break:
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... revolution

    Might be hard to find the right one, and if it turns out to be non-servicable, and as long as it functions ok on the remaining pawls, I'd be tempted to ride it until it dies completely.
  • Thanks Jimothy. The hub came standard on the bike which was ~£700, so it's unlikely to be serviceable. I'll probably nip down to the LBS and see whether they can order the correct one - it seems difficult to find the correct one online.

    I'm guessing I'd need the specific part for my hub (ie. another branded one won't fit correctly?).

    Also, if I ride with it in it's current state, despite the irritating noise, is it likely to break mid-ride and leave me without a working bike! I'd rather not get stuck 20+ miles away from home!
    Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Thanks Jimothy. The hub came standard on the bike which was ~£700, so it's unlikely to be serviceable. I'll probably nip down to the LBS and see whether they can order the correct one - it seems difficult to find the correct one online.
    Yes, formula spares seem a bit thin on the ground.
    I'm guessing I'd need the specific part for my hub (ie. another branded one won't fit correctly?).
    Correct, although it's unlikely that Formula make a freehub body specific to every different hub they produce. Chances are that if you can remove the one from your hub and compare it to another Formula one, if it looks like a match, it's probably compatible.
    Also, if I ride with it in it's current state, despite the irritating noise, is it likely to break mid-ride and leave me without a working bike! I'd rather not get stuck 20+ miles away from home!
    Yes, it's possible, although if you've only lost one pawl, then the other 2 or 3 will probably hold out for a fair while as long as you're not too hard on it. Worst case scenario is you end up pushing the bike up the hills and coasting down. :wink: I only really suggested this in case it looks like it's going to be really tricky or expensive to replace the freehub body, in which case I'd suggest keeping it going for as long as you can, whilst you keep your eyes open for a cheap-but-decent secondhand wheel instead. If you're lucky you can pick up something worthwhile for £20 or so, so you've got to ask yourself how much it's worth spending to keep your old wheel running.
  • rockmonkeyscrockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Looks like the same freehub as fitted to my Boardman road bike.
    It does take an 11mm allan key to remove it, the socket for the allen key is right inside the freehub so its hard to see.
    It's also making the same noise my freehub was making when it died. One of the pawls had snapped.
    It's a very basic hub but I got around 4500 miles out of mine with no maintenance at all.
    It cost £17.99 for a replacement freehub body from Halfords
  • Thanks a lot for the advice guys.

    I think I'm going to email my LBS where I bought the bike from and see if they are able to source a compatible part, and how much they can sell it to me for. I'm assuming I can expect to pay around £20-£25 for a replacement free hub.

    Failing that, I may just fork out for a pair of these: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mavic-crossone-mtb-wheelset-2014/rp-prod111099. I'm assuming a Mavic freehub (& rims) should be more reliable than the Formula and Bontrager wheelset I have at the moment. I've done less than 1500 miles and only had the bike for about 11 months, so I'd rather spend more money and have a more reliable wheelset than for this to happen in another years time.

    Do these Mavic Crossone's look any good, or can anyone recommend a better wheelset? I'd be looking to spend around £150-£200, and they'd need to be 29er, ideally QR front and rear. Thanks!
    Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,802
    Looks like the same freehub as fitted to my Boardman road bike.
    The majority of Boardmans use Formula's as do most Voodoos and most Carreras......
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • Update time!

    So I took my bike back to the LBS and asked them to take a look at it. They ended up replacing the freehub body free of charge. Turns out that Bontrager seem to use a mix-match of components on their wheels, and it was a standard Shimano freehub body. But hey, I'm back up and running again at last!
    Whyte 29-CS • Canyon Ultimate • #CCWMTB • Strava Profile
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