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Old 01-19-08, 06:47 PM   #1
sknhgy 
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Freehub maintenance

(I checked the Sheldon Brown site but didn't find anything.)

Today, it was 9 degrees F out and I went for a ride on my year old Raleigh Passage 4.5. I had a problem with my freehub. Seems that the freehub would intermittently engage. If I pedaled then coasted, the crank would not engage when I tried to resume pedaling. The crank would just spin and I would slow down to a stop. I would have to spin the crank by hand several revs as fast as I could before it would catch again. Then I could re-mount and ride until I let off pedaling. As soon as I coasted the crank would lose its purchase on whatever it grabs onto and I would have to stop and repeat the crank spin technique until it caught again.

I think the lube in the freehub, combined with grit, froze and hardened and kept the freehub from operating properly. I ride this bike in dusty conditions.

How do I go about cleaning/lubing it, if that is indeed it's problem?
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Old 01-19-08, 08:25 PM   #2
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there are several threads on maintenance and lubrication, and another rider who experienced this while commuting in winter temps. Do a search on these keywords, and they should pop up readily. Lot's of info if I recall.
Bottom line is that you'll need to clean out the freehub body thoroughly and relube with synthetic motor oil.
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Old 01-19-08, 08:49 PM   #3
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Do you know how to overhaul a rear hub and remove the freehub body? If not, check out the Park Tool web site for instructions.

Once you have the freehub body off the hub shell, most have a rubber seal ring in the back that faces the hub. Remove the seal ring and flush the now visible bearings with a lot of solvent such as mineral spirits or kerosene to remove the dirt and dirty oil/grease. Even use WD-40 to displace any water in the bearings and pawls. Rinse several times with the solvent if the freehub is really dirty as yours apparently is. Shake it dry and drip in a light lube such as Tri-Flow or low viscosity Mobile 1. Spin the freehub to distribute the lube, replace the seal ring and reassemble the freehub body to the hub.

The cleaning and relubing should solve your problem.
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Old 01-20-08, 08:15 AM   #4
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Thanks. I'll try that. I do have the splined tool that I'll need. Just never did it before, but that's never stopped me.
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Old 01-20-08, 09:32 AM   #5
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Or try this, lay the wheel down on the bench with the cass facing up. Drizzle about a teaspoon of oil into the end of the freehub, where the splines are, and spin the freewheel to free it up. This is the only periodic maintenance I do on my freehub and it has worked perfectly for thousands of miles.
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