Bicycle Mechanics - Freehub issue on bontrager x lite?
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07-12-09, 10:43 AM
I have a couple questions regarding my rear hub on my Bontrager X-lite (Hugi 240). I've just begun noticing while coasting the pawls are beginning to change pitch in sound going from high to low with each wheel revolution. Also, when I turn the cranks backwards, my wheel will slowly start to turn with them. Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks.
It might be time to field strip the freehub, and examine for signs of internal rust, and also check the lubrication. Properly lubed freehubs need grease or highly viscous oil in the ball bearings and oil or a very light grease in the ratchet area. Often the lubes migrate, or there's an excess of overly viscous lubricant throughout which can transmit torque (or motion).
By the way, since there's barely any resistance, the unloaded rear wheel spinning as you backpedal on a repair stand is not a good indicator of a problem. Try holding it while you backpedal, for a sense of how much torque is transmitted. A truer indicator of a sticky freehub is the pedals turning when you walk the bike, indicating that the freehub transmits enough torque to overcome the drag of the chain, RD pulleys and BB bearings combined.
NOTE- Lubricate the ratchet area only with oil or the lightest of greases. Heavy grease can build up on the ramps, keeping the pawls - which are driven only by a light spring - from engaging fully, and causing the hub to slip under load.
07-12-09, 11:22 AM
Thanks, so far no issues with the freehub sticking and causing any forward rotation of the pedals when moving the bike forward. I was just curious about the backward motion and sound change because they have just started recently.
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