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Old 08-12-17, 03:05 PM   #1
xavier88
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Rear wheel/hub advice

So I have a 2014 Specialized Hard Rock Sport 29er, and I have determined that the freehub is officially failing.

I had no luck removing the freehub myself, so I took it to my LBS and they couldn't get it off either even when using special tools and a cheater bar. While I was there they noticed that I have a few bent spokes, and a few others that are slightly chewed up.

It looks like the freehub is unusually difficult to remove on this particular bike, so I'm either looking into replacing the entire hub and spokes or purchasing a new rear wheel. I looked into some new hubs, though the amount of options available was overwhelming. Similarly, I started researching new rear wheels though I got confused as to which ones would be compatible with my current components.

I was wondering what my best course of action would be at this point.

Anybody willing to share some experience here would be appreciated!!

2014 Specialized Hard Rock Sport 29er
tire: 29x2"
rim: 29" double wall; pin joint; 25mm (width?); 36h
Rear hub: QR 36h (this is all the info I could find); 6 bolt disc
Cassette: 8 gear

Last edited by xavier88; 08-12-17 at 03:10 PM. Reason: More detail
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Old 08-12-17, 03:18 PM   #2
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IME - it rarely makes sense to rebuild a rim onto a new hub. The cost will likely be higher than a new wheel, and you'll have a used rim in the bargain.

So, shop wheels, keeping in mind that what matters is the right axle width and number of speeds and cassette compatibility, ie. any 10s Shimano (type) rear with a 135mm axle can be replaced with any other.

You may opt to match the rim for cosmetic reasons, but it's not necessary, though you'll want to stay close on width. All other things being equal, stainless DB spokes are preferable and worth the cost differential.

However, before you cross the new wheel bridge, take the old one to another shop. It's not rare that one shop will succeed where another failed.
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Old 08-12-17, 08:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IME - it rarely makes sense to rebuild a rim onto a new hub. The cost will likely be higher than a new wheel, and you'll have a used rim in the bargain.

So, shop wheels, keeping in mind that what matters is the right axle width and number of speeds and cassette compatibility, ie. any 10s Shimano (type) rear with a 135mm axle can be replaced with any other.

You may opt to match the rim for cosmetic reasons, but it's not necessary, though you'll want to stay close on width. All other things being equal, stainless DB spokes are preferable and worth the cost differential.

However, before you cross the new wheel bridge, take the old one to another shop. It's not rare that one shop will succeed where another failed.
Do you have any recommendations regarding what kind of wheel to get assuming I decide to go that route? I obviously don't want a cheapy, though I don't want one that costs more than the bike!

Thank you for the reply!
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Old 08-12-17, 08:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xavier88 View Post
Do you have any recommendations regarding what kind of wheel to get assuming I decide to go that route? I obviously don't want a cheapy, though I don't want one that costs more than the bike!

Thank you for the reply!
I don't like to get into specific product recommendations. However the place to start is your original wheel. Shop for a wheel with the same or similar hub, and a similar rim and comparable spokes. That will give you a range of prices, then you can decide if you can afford to trade up, or need to trade down a bit (or shop harder).
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Old 08-12-17, 09:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I don't like to get into specific product recommendations. However the place to start is your original wheel. Shop for a wheel with the same or similar hub, and a similar rim and comparable spokes. That will give you a range of prices, then you can decide if you can afford to trade up, or need to trade down a bit (or shop harder).
I understand. Thank you!
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Old 08-12-17, 09:49 PM   #6
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Alternatives to replacing the wheel.

First of all, give removing the freehub a fresh chance. You might buy a socket head type tool like this one, being sure it's long enough to reach the nut.



Then bring the tool and your wheel to your auto mechanic and let him try using his impact wrench. Make sure he's turning it in the right direction.

or

Depending on why you think the freehub is dead, odds are it still has plenty of life left. These freehubs tend to die when they're gunked up with dried grease, dirt or rust. But they respond very well to a thorough flushing with solvent, followed with a relube.

There's plenty of info about flushing freehubs if you search, but you can ask here if you need more help.
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Old 08-13-17, 06:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Depending on why you think the freehub is dead, odds are it still has plenty of life left. These freehubs tend to die when they're gunked up with dried grease, dirt or rust. But they respond very well to a thorough flushing with solvent, followed with a relube.
This ^^
The bearings in the freehub only function when the bike is coasting, so they rarely wear out. Try cleaning it first... unless you know sumpin' you didn't mention.
Steve

EDIT: Same advice about removing the freehub. A "breaker bar" might work; miles and miles of riding can really get the threads tight, so you need a lot of torque. As noted, make sure the mechanic turns the fastener counter-clock-wise... unless your bike has the drivetrain on the right side. Hahaha.

Last edited by sweeks; 08-13-17 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 08-13-17, 09:01 AM   #8
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they may have used a cheaper hub than buying Shimano, , with its 10mm sleeve bolt hex connecting the hub & freehub..
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Old 08-13-17, 09:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xavier88 View Post
So I have a 2014 Specialized Hard Rock Sport 29er, and I have determined that the freehub is officially failing.

I had no luck removing the freehub myself, so I took it to my LBS and they couldn't get it off either even when using special tools and a cheater bar. While I was there they noticed that I have a few bent spokes, and a few others that are slightly chewed up.
Bent and chewed-up spokes in a rear wheel (on the drive side, presumably) point to the likelihood that either the derailleur or the dropout mounting tab is bent inward. Any decent bike shop should have the tools to check and straighten the mounting tab. You should get it checked soon.
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Old 08-13-17, 09:17 AM   #10
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Bent and chewed-up spokes in a rear wheel (on the drive side, presumably) point to the likelihood that either the derailleur or the dropout mounting tab is bent inward. Any decent bike shop should have the tools to check and straighten the mounting tab. You should get it checked soon.
Yeah, I don't know how I could have bent the spokes as I don't remember the chain slipping off the cog, though evidently it did. I've done some adjusting with the barrel nut and limit screws, and it hasn't slipped off lately though I must admit I'm still learning how to adjust it properly thanks to YouTube!
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Old 08-13-17, 11:27 AM   #11
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& points out the mechanical value of a 'dork disc/ spoke protector, name depending on aesthetic or pragmatic peer pressures.
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Old 08-14-17, 10:20 AM   #12
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Ok, you guys talked me into trying to remove the freehub again followed with a cleaning and rel-lube.

It looks like the freehub is fitted with a 12mm allen from the non-drive side of the hub. I'm having difficulty finding a 12mm anywhere, let alone a socket style allen with the bit long enough to reach it from the non-drive side. I've tried Home Depot and Miner's. Looks like I'll probably have to order one.

FYI, the issues I'm having with the freehub is that it is "skipping" when I'm going up a steep hill and it's under extreme load. Seems like the pawls aren't engaging properly.

Thanks for all the replies! I'll keep you posted!!
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Old 08-14-17, 11:50 AM   #13
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I decided to add a few pics of the drive side looking into the freehub, and non-drive side with the hopes that it may help. I'm now thinking that I may need a special splined tool to remove the freehub? As I mentioned, my LBS tried to remove it from the drive (freehub) side with a cheater bar and 2 people and it wouldn't budge. You can clearly see the splines in the freehub in the pic from the drive-side. It was hard to capture the hex bolt from the non-drive side as it's way in there, though you can barely see it in the pic (I added 2 pics from the non-drive side).
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