Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

Frozen freehub stops commute

crakercraker Posts: 2,060
edited February 2015 in Commuting general
Second 3 mile walk in two days :evil:

-3 when I set off, 6 miles in I lost drive. I was right next to a village shop and I got a mug of hot water, trickled it best I could over the hub and hey presto, it starts working again. I cycle another couple of miles before having to freewheel. No drive again. I couldn't figure out how to get it to engage this time.

It's sat in the bike shed, I'm hoping it will thaw out (though I may bring the back wheel into the office at lunchtime).

The wheel's a Shimano R501. Plenty of people of cheap looking bikes riding past me on my walk this morning. :oops:


  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Traditional fix is to pee on the freewheel to get it going again........
  • Marcus got there ahead of me!
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • marcusjb wrote:
    Traditional fix is to pee on the freewheel to get it going again........

    do you need to practice as its not too easy to be accurate in bibs :D
    Cube Cross 2016
    Willier GTR 2014
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Regardless, you need to strip it down and regrease or it will happen again.....and you may well have added more moisture!
  • This is what led to me riding fixed for the first time.

    I had a singlespeed with flip-flop hub - my freewheel stopped engaging so I flipped the flop and went over to the fixed side. I had tried it before and it was a terrifying experience but somehow the second time round I just loved it!

    That said, I did have 'a moment' and forget that I couldn't freewheel coming up the flyover on the A4 before the junction with Warwick Road. Nearly threw myself over the handlebars - that was sketchy!!

    Not that this is particularly relevant as I appreciate it wouldn't have been possible for you to do :-)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    So I stripped the back wheel down, took the freehub off and put it on the radiator for a day or so. In addition to driving all the moisture out it's got rid of all the lube from the mechanism. It's now completely knackered though I have found a replacement in my parts box.

    There's a lesson there somewhere.
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    If you dunk the freehub in a jar of warm oil and rattle it around for a bit then I will bet it will magically come back to life.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Which freehub? What makes you think it is knackered? Of course it may have been knackered anyway and you just thought the temperature was to blame!

    I've removed and cleaned out and relubed and fitted a few with no issues!
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    The Rookie wrote:
    Which freehub?

    9/10 speed Shimano one (R501 so cheaper end of the range).

    It's now very stiff to spin backwards - can't hear any pawls trying to engage. There's no way I can see of dismantling it - Google suggested buying a tool but the price of these things is such that's it's not economical. I might try Des's warm oil soaking suggestion but seeing as I've found a replacement I may not bother...
Sign In or Register to comment.