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  1. #1
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    Shimano RX-100 Freehub service

    I have read the threads here on servicing hubs and there doesn't seem to be a definite answer.

    I have an Shimano RX-100 laced to a CXP21 rim. I can get the hub body off. Once I do that what is the best way to flush and lube the mechanism. I do not want to buy the FreeHub Buddy system.

    I will probably use finishline degreaser and inline skate bearing oil for the pawls. I could use another degreaser and oil if a soak method is preferred.

    Thanks.

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    I would leave it since once you flush it you will not be able to get the grease back into the body. Oiling is not enough as this usually allows the bearings to become rusted out from the elements and then this sounds like rocks in a rock tumbler.

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    Well I would but I need the wheel to spin better than it does now. The hub is from around 1997, so it would need to be tended to. I could buy a used 105 hub and strip the freehub body off and replace it or purchase a new freehub body and hope that the 105 will work on a RX-100 hub. I would rather spend my time and not my money trying to grease it. If that means I leave it in a tube of grease for 2 hours and tend to it by rotating the body every few minutes then so be it. That will give me time to wash my bike. The hub shell is good and the rims are still solid. These are my commuter rims so I really do not want to put a lot of money into them unless I absolutely have to.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikeman View Post
    I would leave it since once you flush it you will not be able to get the grease back into the body. Oiling is not enough as this usually allows the bearings to become rusted out from the elements and then this sounds like rocks in a rock tumbler.
    I disagree with all of this. I've lubed freehub bodies with nothing but oil for many years and never had one fail or get noisy. In fact, I currently have a Dura Ace body with well over 50,000 miles that has seen nothing but Tri-Flow and it's still smooth as glass and completely silent. And, yes, it has seen more than it's share of bad weather, and no, it's not unusual.

    Most Shimano freehub bodies have a rubber seal ring on the back side (the side that faces the hub shell). Pull out that ring and flood the gap with light oil. Tri -Flow or something like it works well. Rotate the shell to distribute the oil and replace the seal ring. Let the excess drain out the opposite side and wipe it off. Reassemble the body to the hub, add the bearings and axle assembly, adjust and ride.

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    +1 for HillRider's advice. I will add that if the loose bearings have any rust, you may want to flush out the freehub body before you re-oil it. WD 40 works ok for that. I generally use a heavier oil than Tri-Flow, but HR has more experience with this and maybe he will tell us why a lighter oil is better.....

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    Light weight like 80-140 gear oil or InLine Skate Bearing Oil?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    I generally use a heavier oil than Tri-Flow, but HR has more experience with this and maybe he will tell us why a lighter oil is better.....
    I'm not sure Tri-Flow is "better" but it's what I have around and so I use it and so far, I've seen no reason to change. I'm sure a somewhat heavier body oil, within reason, would work at least as well.

    All I really recommend is to be sure not to use any lube that's so heavy it solidifies in cold weather.

  8. #8
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
    +1 for HillRider's advice. I will add that if the loose bearings have any rust, you may want to flush out the freehub body before you re-oil it. WD 40 works ok for that. I generally use a heavier oil than Tri-Flow, but HR has more experience with this and maybe he will tell us why a lighter oil is better.....
    +2. I've oiled mine for years and years with only one failure- and that hub had been beat to death, left for dead, then revived. For really gummed-up bodies I clean them out with kerosene, let dry, then re-oil with Phil Tenacious Oil. If I had some around I'd try some Gear Oil, but Phil is all I have.
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    So... I degreased the freehub body with WD-40 then Finishline Degreaser Liquid. Used Water to remove any residue and dried with a cold shot hair drier.

    I regreased it with 80-140 Gear oil and the hub felt sluggish. 80-140 gear oil is about the viscosity of slightly warm honey.

    I redegreased the hub and used Finishline Teflon dry lube liquid to relube. The viscosity is water. The hub spins smooth and clean without a sluggish feel. Now lets see how long it lasts in an Oregon March/April with all the rain.

    I think if this works I may keep this up. So then I need to find a waterproof water thin grease.

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    I'm not familair with Finishline "Dry Lube" liquid but if it's a dry lube in a volatile solvent, it won't protect the freehub bearings for long. The reason I use Tri-Flow or other light oil is that it's low enough in viscosity not to drag in cold weather but remains liquid and keeps the bearing covered in oil to prevent rust.

  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
    So then I need to find a waterproof water thin grease.
    That's what I like about Phil Tenacious Oil. It's worked well for me in a bunch of cassette bodies through a series of Portland winters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
    So... I degreased the freehub body with WD-40 then Finishline Degreaser Liquid. Used Water to remove any residue and dried with a cold shot hair drier.

    I regreased it with 80-140 Gear oil and the hub felt sluggish. 80-140 gear oil is about the viscosity of slightly warm honey.

    I redegreased the hub and used Finishline Teflon dry lube liquid to relube. The viscosity is water. The hub spins smooth and clean without a sluggish feel. Now lets see how long it lasts in an Oregon March/April with all the rain.

    I think if this works I may keep this up. So then I need to find a waterproof water thin grease.
    The heavier oil was the best way to go. When they are new the shimano freehubs come with a light grease. Don't worry about "feel", it means nothing. The only time the freehub is working is when you are coasting. It is locked up the rest of the time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    The heavier oil was the best way to go. When they are new the shimano freehubs come with a light grease. Don't worry about "feel", it means nothing. The only time the freehub is working is when you are coasting. It is locked up the rest of the time.
    I disagree with this statement. After running the 80-140 for three months and then changing to the light grease I can already feel a difference in the way the bike rides. It is not sluggish, ie feeling like I am running up a 12% grade in 30/25 while sitting. This was my normal run. The pawls are noisier, but I can live with that if it will be less sluggish.

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    Just an update for those of you looking to do this for your self without the hub buddy.
    Take off the free hub and plug the end with a cork after you take off the seal. (Shimano only, I don't have campy)
    Put in your favorite degreaser while holding the hub over a bucket. Repeat until the degreaser runs "clean".
    Rinse with water in the same fashion. Dry with a low set hair drier or compressed air.
    Add you fav grease and spin the hub to work it in or just let it drip slowly in.
    Wipe and remount.
    Happy trails.
    FWIW - After I remounted the hub/cassette to the bike I needed to adjust the rear d. After the adjustment I took it out for a spin. The bike ran fast and clean in all gears. Friction shifting is awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
    I disagree with this statement. After running the 80-140 for three months and then changing to the light grease I can already feel a difference in the way the bike rides. It is not sluggish, ie feeling like I am running up a 12% grade in 30/25 while sitting. This was my normal run. The pawls are noisier, but I can live with that if it will be less sluggish.
    I don't understand how you can feel anything on a component that is there to freewheel.

  16. #16
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    I don't understand it either, but there it is. I just came in from 10 miles to work up and down various hills. The hub was smoother, rolled better, and in general did not feel like I was ridding through mud.

    I did not lube my chain over the weekend and I had to add some grease to the bearings on the axle but it was the same grease and about the same amount. That being said the hub spun better and freer in my hand that it did with the 80-140. When I put the grease in the hub and rolled the hub in my hand you could feel the hub slowing down. Remember that I started with a clean hub, no grease. I added grease and the hub got slower and slower until the hub was lubed. I recleaned the hub and tried the Finish line. It spun like there was no grease in the thing. Free and clean.

    The other odd thing I noticed is that I can almost track stand my bike. I can actually feel the individual pawls engage whereas before it felt, in retrospect, as if they were missing every other one. Now I can stand and feel the pawls engage. Even when I am at a light I can roll back and get a better engagement of the pawl with this lube that with the gear oil.

    I can't explain it and yes it's subjective, but it works. Not sure why but as long as it works who am I to complain.

    Maybe the hub is just really old and dying. It is a 1997 hub.

    http://www.epc.shell.com/Docs/GPCDOC...164997_8C7.pdf - Shell Spirax 85-140 HD Tech sheet.
    http://www.finishlineusa.com/downloa...Info_Sheet.pdf - Finish line tech sheet
    http://www.tsmoly.com/catalog/produc...products_id=53 Grease for hub bearings.

    I use moly grease on all my bearings and will be using Finish line on all my other parts.

  17. #17
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    What you feel with your fingers is irrelavent as to how the system works.
    I am violating rule #2!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    What you feel with your fingers is irrelavent as to how the system works.
    I agree and disagree. Perhaps an engineer or another bike mech could shed some light on this?

    In the end, I think I would rather have something thin coating my parts than using something like honey. Astroglide or honey? You choose.

  19. #19
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    I dropped my bike off at the LBS for some tension and true and asked the mech about the OP. He said that gear lube works, but that it is too thick and tends to interfere with the pawls and springs engaging. The pawls and springs being so small that the thickness of the gear lube does not allow them to engage properly. He said that the shop uses Finish Line Wet lube, the green stuff. It is not that thick, but it sticks what it is applied to.

  20. #20
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    I prefer 0W20 or 5W30 motor oil. Synthetic is a tad better, but not mandatory. For grease, I use the "green" bearing grease for marine operation. Never had premature failure due to inadequate lubrication, dating back to 1980, when I was working at a bike shop.

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