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Freehub diagnosis

jamesesjameses Posts: 640
edited February 2014 in Workshop
I've never really played around with hubs before, so was hoping someone here could diagnose a problem for me. Over the last month or so, the freehub on my rear bad weather wheel has started to seize up. It carries on rotating with the wheel when I try to freewheel (as if my bike was a fixie). With the aid of a chain whip I can loosen it off so that it freewheels again, but it doesn't run smoothly. It will be ridable when I'm out, but by the next ride it will have seized again.

My first thought is the bearings probably need regreasing or replacing (they haven't been serviced in the 3 years I've had the bike, and it's been out in all weathers). Or is it more likely to be a problem with the freehub itself?

Thanks for any help.


  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,405
    Sounds more like the pawls are not disengaging when you stop pedaling so you get that "fixie" effect. Might be the springs are shot or just a build up of crud preventing them from moving. Could also be that the bearings need attention.

    Would definitely recommend you strip the rear hub down and give it a good clean and regrease everything.

    What wheels are you running as different freehubs need slightly different approaches to servicing?
  • jamesesjameses Posts: 640
    The wheels are just the basic ones that came with the bike (Specialized Secteur 2011), so are going to be at the lower end of the spectrum - unbranded hubs (forged alloy, double-sealed, 32h according to Specialized's spec sheet) laced to Mavic cxp22 rims.

    What tools would I need for the strip/clean/regrease? Cone spanner, 10mm hex key, hub grease and possiby new bearings - anything else?

    If that doesn't fix the problem, is replacing the freehub the next option?
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,405
    A quick google search suggests that it may be the freehub that has failed. There seem to be several posts on various forums about 2010 Specialized models having similar problems to yours - suggestive of the pawls sticking "in" leading to the freehub not engaging at all. Or the pawls sticking "out" leading to the freehub being permanently engaged as you have experienced.

    See this thread as an example:- viewtopic.php?f=40004&t=12765167

    Main advice is that you need to replace the freehub and they seem still to be available here:- ... S092100007

    Still not yet found definitive advice on stripping down the rear hub but if you can post a pic of the drive and non drive side we may be able to suggest how to go about it. If the hub has sealed bearings then you may not need the cone spanners but I will continue the search.
  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,405
    As a further update this thread suggests that you will need an 11mm allen key to tackle the fixing that secures the freehub in place ... ub.120505/

    Although some posters seem to have had real problems due to the freehub being "threadlocked" on,
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You'll need some decent leverage to remove the freehub retainer - a steel pipe would be needed with a regular allen key to give sufficient leverage or hold the allen key in a bench vice and twist the wheel.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • jamesesjameses Posts: 640
    Thanks for all the help, will update when I have the time to do a bit of maintenance.
  • CPeacheyCPeachey Posts: 1,057
    My Shimano freehub would'nt engage on Friday. I was 25miles from home. After boouncing the bike up & down a few times it re-engaged. Stripped the hub (Shimano 105) brown watery stuff where grease should be so scrapped the freehub. They are quite easy to replace with a 10mm allen key. Recent wet weather is playing havok with the bike, top jockey wheel seized also despite regular oiling.
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