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Lost pawls from freehub - any suggestions ?

Dear All,
I recently removed the rear wheel from my bike (gravel -style road bike, Verenti Substance II) to fix a puncture, whereupon the cassette, still attached to the freehub, slid off, and above the crash it made as it hit the ground there was a faint tinkling sound. It turned out all 3 of the pawls (the little hooks in the freehub that engage when you are pedalling and disengage when you're not) had fallen out of the freehub on its impact with the road. (Some freehubs aren't secured in anyway and can just be pulled off -I found out the hard way my hub was one of those). I managed to find 2 pawls, but search as I might, I couldn't find the other one. I contacted Wiggle (who sold me the bike) but they said they don't hold spares and couldn't do anything. The freehub has HFH-002, 2017.04.11 written on it, which, after much googling, I found out means that they were made by a company called Formula Hubs. Unfortunately they have not responded to any of my attempts to contact them (despite also trying in Chinese!). Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do ? If I had a pawl I could get the bike back on the road in 5 mins, but it looks like it may be difficult/ impossible to get such a spare. The bike is pretty new (barely a year old) and I haven't put in big miles on it, so all the components are still close to their new state . I would be happy to buy a new freehub if necessary, but can't even see that for sale anywhere.
Grateful for any suggestions!
Dan.

Posts

  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,420
    Might be a left-field solution but if you're really struggling there is a company based in Andorra that offers a wide rang of replacement freehub bodies including several different Formula hub designs

    https://www.commencal-store.co.uk/PBSCCatalog.asp?ActionID=67174912&PBCATID=3021073

    If you scroll down you will see that there are 4 or 5 Formula freehub bodies that use pawls and to my untrained eye each seems to use exactly the same design of pawl. It would be a risk, I know, but you could, as a last resort, order the cheapest freehub body available with the pawl fitting (FH-501B at ~£30) and cannibalise it for the missing pawl.

    You could also ring round several LBS's and ask if they have any pawls in their spares box. You might get lucky.

    Final drastic option - new rear wheel!!!!!
  • I am thinking whether it might work with 2 pawls only. The engagement might be a bit odd and lag on the 240 degree angle part of the freehub where the pawl is missing, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. Engagement speed is over rated
  • Any chance of a picture of the pawls and freehub?

    A lot of pawls can be generic and you might be able to sort something out.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • Any black Friday offers on similar looking formula hubs?
  • Many thanks for all your comments thus far. I will post some some photos of the freehub / pawls tomorrow (I left the bike and all the components at my workplace as I was on the way to work at the time the incident happened). Many thanks to arlowood for the Andorran company link, it sounds quite interesting and I will be checking it out. You're right the last resort is to buy a new rear wheel, but needless to say it would seem to be quite a waste of the current wheel. I am suddenly aware of how important a part the pawls are - of course most parts of a bicycle are vital, but most are also reasonably easily replaced.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,026
    sayosale said:

    Many thanks for all your comments thus far. I will post some some photos of the freehub / pawls tomorrow (I left the bike and all the components at my workplace as I was on the way to work at the time the incident happened). Many thanks to arlowood for the Andorran company link, it sounds quite interesting and I will be checking it out. You're right the last resort is to buy a new rear wheel, but needless to say it would seem to be quite a waste of the current wheel. I am suddenly aware of how important a part the pawls are - of course most parts of a bicycle are vital, but most are also reasonably easily replaced.

    I've got a few loose pawls in a bag in my garage that might do the trick as they do seem to be quite generic in size and shape. (These will be from Novatec hubs). I can post them to you tomorrow if you PM me your address. Worth a shot anyway. Do you still have the circular spring retainer?
  • Here are a few images of the freehub and also the pawls (the two remaining ones)
    If you need anymore taken / different angles etc. let me know - that at least is easy to do.
    bobones, I will be in touch soon !
    .



  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,026
    That's quite a different design to a Novatec freehub, which uses a single circular spring around the pawls to hold them in place, so I think the spare pawls I have will be less likely to fit this. Your freehub looks similar to a Chosen hub so I'll see if the spare ones I have would work in that, which will give us some idea of the likelihood of their suitability.
  • You've probably tried this but I've just trawled through some searches to try and find anything that is a close match:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=spare+pawls&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB857GB857&tbm=shop&sxsrf=ACYBGNQlU4iXuIVX-lsL9ih4AcF9Yiuq_w:1575304816894&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUkZjgs5fmAhURlhQKHbJQABMQ_AUIDigB&biw=1920&bih=888&dpr=1

    Maybe try your LBS as they might have something in a spares box?
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 332
    edited December 2019
    I think the lbs is ot going to be able to help.

    People need to ask before buying a bike are freehub/wheel spares available. If not look at another bike. That would have the desired effect because this problem keeps on cropping up.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,003

    I think the lbs is ot going to be able to help.

    People need to ask before buying a bike are freehub/wheel spares available. If not look at another bike. That would have the desired effect because this problem keeps on cropping up.

    Exactly this ^^^^^^^

    I got some new DT Swiss wheels from my lbs with my criteria being that they had completely serviceable freehub and bearings as they were for my commuter/winter bike used in all conditions. Got fed up with cheap wheels with unidentifiable freehubs failing meaning a new wheel/wheelset
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,026
    bobones said:

    That's quite a different design to a Novatec freehub, which uses a single circular spring around the pawls to hold them in place, so I think the spare pawls I have will be less likely to fit this. Your freehub looks similar to a Chosen hub so I'll see if the spare ones I have would work in that, which will give us some idea of the likelihood of their suitability.

    Unfortunately the spare pawls I have are too large for this type of hub


  • Have you tried running it with two pawls only? Mavic freehubs (among others) have run with two paws for ages
  • lincolndavelincolndave Posts: 7,977
    edited December 2019
    Another option , do you know anyone who works in a machine shop/ tool room , they might be able to make some for you
  • sayosale said:

    Here are a few images of the freehub and also the pawls (the two remaining ones)
    If you need anymore taken / different angles etc. let me know - that at least is easy to do.
    bobones, I will be in touch soon !
    .



    Just to update you with a few extra shots and measurements.
    The pawls are approximately of size 10mm x 6.5mm x 3 mm( widest in this dimension),
    these are a few more pictures:





  • Have you tried running it with two pawls only? Mavic freehubs (among others) have run with two paws for ages

    Thanks for the suggestion. This is one of my "may as well try if there is no other solution since there is nothing to lose" options - actually it is the only such option! I think eventually something would break as the torque would not be applied evenly around the hub . 2 pawls set at 180 degrees apart would be an even application and would be good enough, but in my case I would be using 2 pawls set 120 (or 240) degrees apart, which will be a bit lopsided. I would then expect one of the pawls to eventually shear off under the extra stress, but if I was going to write the wheel off anyway ....
    Hopefully it won't come to that but it may well do so.
  • Another option , do you know anyone who works in a machine shop/ tool room , they might be able to make some for you

    This is another good suggestion. Some time ago a friend was able to get a new headset part by being friendly with someone in a machine shop. Unfortunately I don't know directly anyone at present in such a role, I will have a think though ..
  • I think the lbs is ot going to be able to help.

    People need to ask before buying a bike are freehub/wheel spares available. If not look at another bike. That would have the desired effect because this problem keeps on cropping up.

    Exactly this ^^^^^^^

    I got some new DT Swiss wheels from my lbs with my criteria being that they had completely serviceable freehub and bearings as they were for my commuter/winter bike used in all conditions. Got fed up with cheap wheels with unidentifiable freehubs failing meaning a new wheel/wheelset
    When the present episode is over, however it finishes, I am planning to come back on this thread and add some final conclusions from this experience, so that it may help other people hopefully falling in the same trap to begin with / maybe getting out of the trap.
    This is going to be one of my points.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,523
    This sort of happened to me when I was rebuilding a Mavic hub although it was in the confines of my garage, I lost one of the tiny springs. After hunting all over the floor including crawling around with my eyes at floor level I gave up.

    Then I remembered I had a strong magnet on an extendable stick. I slowly swept the area where it was all dropped and it piked up the spring.

    Try going back with a strong magnet. Worth checking that the pawl is ferrous first though.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Only one pawl engages at any one time, so apart from some engagement lag occasionally it will work fine on 2 while you sort yourself out.
  • monkimarkmonkimark Posts: 737
    edited December 2019
    I'm pretty sure that all of the pawls on my various wheels engage at the same time - you can see it when you put them back together (otherwise you'd have to push some of the pawls in to drop the freehub back in). Some mountain bike hubs have 4 or 6 pawls where only 2 or 3 engage at a time but I'm not aware of any that work on a single pawl (not that i'm claiming an encyclopedic knowledge of freehub bodies).

    On that basis, you wouldn't get any lag but you may put a bit of extra stress on the bit of freehub behind the pawls. I wouldn't think that's a very highly stressed bit of metal but i guess it depends on how much of a concern that is to you -I'd probably just fit 2 pawls and forget about it.
  • 2 pawls will work for a while then it wont due to the missing third pawl. Pawls are hardened steel. The steel if one is made will need to be 4130 steel case hardened then tempered or it wear down pretty quickly.

  • navrig2 said:

    This sort of happened to me when I was rebuilding a Mavic hub although it was in the confines of my garage, I lost one of the tiny springs. After hunting all over the floor including crawling around with my eyes at floor level I gave up.

    Then I remembered I had a strong magnet on an extendable stick. I slowly swept the area where it was all dropped and it piked up the spring.

    Try going back with a strong magnet. Worth checking that the pawl is ferrous first though.

    Many thanks for this idea; I have acquired a very strong magnet and will try and sweep the area. If it is somewhere on the pavement I should be in with a good chance, although I did find one of the pawls in a flower bed next to the pavement which will be a bit trickier to sweep. However I will be giving this a go.
  • 2 pawls will work for a while then it wont due to the missing third pawl. Pawls are hardened steel. The steel if one is made will need to be 4130 steel case hardened then tempered or it wear down pretty quickly.

    This was my guess - i.e. it will work but the 2 remaining pawls will be under an enhanced stress force that is applied at a slightly different direction to that for which they are designed, in which case unless I am lucky it won't become a long term solution. That said,
    if the choice comes down to doing this or writing the wheel off I may as well do this as there is not much to lose.
  • Just to post a slight update (I have been busy at work in the last few days so I didn't have much time to spend on the pawl problem). I wrote the manufacturer of the freehub, Formula Hubs asking if I could purchase / receive some pawls. They have previously ignored my online contact, so this time I sent a (paper, snailmail) letter by registered post,
    which I am hoping will at least elicit some response. I am sure they must have a big box of pawls somewhere in their factory, would it be too much trouble just to post a couple off (they only weigh a few grams each).
  • I find repairing things that others would trash to be a curious source of satisfaction. Good luck!
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