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Thread: Fixing freehubs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Fixing freehubs

    I just bid on and won this item on Ebay. I really only wanted a nice rim and this looked like a good way to get one, but it occurred to me after I'd won that if I could fix that hub, it's a pretty cool looking one, and I need a freehub for this bike anyway...

    So, is there an exploded view of one of these hubs around somewhere? My guess is, the pawl axles are sheared off so maybe I could replace them easily enough, or possibly I'm super lucky and there's just a lot of crud in there keeping things from moving (given that it was used for cyclocross) and a washing and regreasing would fix everything fine.

    In lieu of an exploded view, are there any sage words on what these things are like inside? I don't have any around to experiment with that aren't doing serious day-to-day riding duty, and I don't think it wise to monkey around in there until I know how it works.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

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    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    How about just replacing the freehub body?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Freehubs are pretty much alike; spring-loaded pawls engage a ratchet and bearing support the whole thing. It ain't rocket science.

    I would definitely pull it apart before I start cutting spokes, especially if the wheel is reasonable round & true. You might get lucky and all it will need is minor repair.

    You also might want to contact FELT to see who supplies (supplied?) their hubs, especially if you will be needing replacement parts.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Trying to get in there has resulted in swearing unusual both in volume and profanity.

    As I was writing this, I decided to take another crack at it. Apparently, I hadn't tried just pulling the body. It made an almost sexual sound and slid apart. Sure enough, there are two broken pawls, a broken spring, and little bits of pawl shrapnel all over in there. Honestly, I don't understand how that spring works; it looks like it should hold the pawls in rather than out. But that doesn't matter because this:

    How about just replacing the freehub body?
    ... is probably a good idea. It looks identical (except in greasiness) to the Bontrager example on the Park Tools repair site, though obviously I can't measure the one on that site.

    Freehubs are pretty much alike; spring-loaded pawls engage a ratchet and bearing support the whole thing. It ain't rocket science.
    ... sez the rocket scientist.

    The wheel's surprisingly straight and true. But Felt's website has equally surprisingly little info on their components. I've just resorted to emailing their trash basket. If it is, in fact, identical to the Bontrager example, where would I go about getting such a part? Am I correct that I'd have to order it locally?
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  5. #5
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    (... and with that post, I've suddenly become a "Senior Member". That's a pretty low standard. Should I start reminiscing about those heady days, two months ago, when the days seemed so much longer and we'd bike over to the waterfall and jump in on hot days? It seemed like *all* the days were beautiful, sunny, and hot back then...)
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
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  6. #6
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
    (... and with that post, I've suddenly become a "Senior Member". That's a pretty low standard. Should I start reminiscing about those heady days, two months ago, when the days seemed so much longer and we'd bike over to the waterfall and jump in on hot days? It seemed like *all* the days were beautiful, sunny, and hot back then...)
    That's very funny! Is that how the "Senior Member" thing works? I never knew; I figured someone read the posts and decided, "This guy seems like an old..."

    Anyhow, I'm no rocket scientist (actually, rockets aren't science, they're physics ); I'm just a guy who like to pull things apart & sometimes gets lucky enough to get them back together.

    If you have a decent LBS you might take the wheel in (don't forget the broken parts) and see if they have something lying around. Most shops have half-disassembled compunents lying around for parts and they might be able to help you out.

    FWIW, I frequently mention in this forum that a great way to maintain the good will of your LBS is to stop by with a six-pack of something interesting, especially on warm afternoons. Mine lets me paw through their junk bins when I need small or unusual parts, they let me use their tools and ther rarely charge me for the small stuff.
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    I've got a very good thing going with a couple of the six (soon to be seven!) LBSes in the area. I got a nice DT Swiss rim the other day fer the askin', an old Dura Ace crank for $10, stuff like that. I think my clever secret is not being a dick, working on interesting and slightly odd projects, and being willing to accept junk because it's interesting junk. Oh, and being willing to pay money for used parts, cuz I don't want them going out of business for being nice guys.

    It so happens, also, that I just picked up a hub for $5 on Ebay that just may be a Bontrager hub (It's unmarked, but it looks like the one on my Trek). So I may have spare parts in the mail *right now*. We'll see!

    ... and rocket science is engineering that uses physics. HA!
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  8. #8
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua A.C. New View Post
    I've got a very good thing going with a couple of the six (soon to be seven!) LBSes in the area. I got a nice DT Swiss rim the other day fer the askin', an old Dura Ace crank for $10, stuff like that. I think my clever secret is not being a dick, working on interesting and slightly odd projects, and being willing to accept junk because it's interesting junk. Oh, and being willing to pay money for used parts, cuz I don't want them going out of business for being nice guys.

    It so happens, also, that I just picked up a hub for $5 on Ebay that just may be a Bontrager hub (It's unmarked, but it looks like the one on my Trek). So I may have spare parts in the mail *right now*. We'll see!

    ... and rocket science is engineering that uses physics. HA!
    Well said, all of it.

    Good luck with the hub!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

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