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Old 08-31-12, 09:58 AM   #1
PeFSQ
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Freehub body damage - normal?

I recently decided to change our cassette since it started to show signs of wear (bad shifting, chainslip when climbing...). When removing the old cassette (Shimano Ultegra) I discovered that some cogs got incrusted up to 3mm into the aluminum freehub body splines (Co-motion A10 Hubs on a Co-mo Primera), see attached pictures. I took the wheel to my LBS, who said this kind of wear was normal and people continue to use the same freehub body, but he said it usually does not get as bad as what we have and would recommend replacement. I wonder whether this will affect shifting performance as the shifting ramps of the cassette get misaligned due to some cogs slowly eating up the splines on the freehub body and slipping away. Apparently this is less current problem with Campy-type hubs as the splines have much higher profile. Another option would be to get the SRAM Red one-piece cassette, but at 280$ that is kind of pricey. Did anybody here have the same problems? Do you continue to use the same freehub body even if the cogs get incrusted in the splines or you just change the freehub every couple of years?

I got a replacement freehub body directly from Co-motion. However, I am not able to take the freehub of the wheel, it seems kind of stuck. Is this a symptom of other problems (bent axle??)?
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Old 08-31-12, 10:37 AM   #2
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I purchased A10 wheels as a low cost set of spare wheels and had the same problem. Emailing CoMotion Dwan told me that while the free hub was not aluminum it was steel and "never seen that problem before." He did replace the free hub for free so CoMotion stood behind the product.

I purchased some cassette clips made to mitigate this issue but it still happens to a lessor extent. Our team is 290 lbs or so so I don't expect a steel free hub do be so fragile. We have never had that problem with Shimano, DT Swiss or Hadley hubs. The price for the A10 wheels was pretty low when I bought them so I chalk it up as a lesson learned. A good warranty is no substitute for a good proven product.

I have some wheels from the 1990's without this issue. If you want wheels that really last don't buy aluminum free hubs or axles. Of course added weight is the price you pay for steel free hubs and axles.

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Old 08-31-12, 11:10 AM   #3
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I purchased A10 wheels as a low cost set of spare wheels and had the same problem. Emailing CoMotion Dwan told me that while the free hub was not aluminum it was steel and "never seen that problem before." He did replace the free hub for free so CoMotion stood behind the product.

I purchased some cassette clips made to mitigate this issue but it still happens to a lessor extent. Our team is 290 lbs or so so I don't expect a steel free hub do be so fragile. We have never had that problem with Shimano, DT Swiss or Hadley hubs. The price for the A10 wheels was pretty low when I bought them so I chalk it up as a lesson learned. A good warranty is no substitute for a good proven product.
Funny, when did you contact Co-motion? I e-mailed them recently and explicitly asked if they have replacement freehubs made of steel. They responded that aluminum is the only option for the A-10 wheels. They also did zero comments on the problem, only that replacement is available and it costs 60$... ...maybe the problem is by now not so unusual and it got under the "normal wear" category...
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Old 08-31-12, 11:55 AM   #4
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Funny, when did you contact Co-motion? I e-mailed them recently and explicitly asked if they have replacement freehubs made of steel. They responded that aluminum is the only option for the A-10 wheels. They also did zero comments on the problem, only that replacement is available and it costs 60$... ...maybe the problem is by now not so unusual and it got under the "normal wear" category...
I purchased my wheels in November 2009. Not sure when I had the problem. My emails from that time period have been lost. I would guess it was some time before September 2010.

This is a known issue with all aluminum free hubs. I knew about this and would not have purchased the wheels had they been advertised as having aluminum free hubs and when I emailed Comotion about the issue Dwan assured me the they were not aluminum. Possibly after having issues with soft steel they decided to just go with weight saving aluminum as an "upgrade".

Unfortunately market pressure encourage builders to use products that have not yet been proven in long term use. Our Speedster purchased in Dec 2006 came with a new 11-34 IRD cassette which the Comotion dealer could not get to shift properly in the work stand. The dealer pulled a new Shimano 12-27 cassette from his inventory and substituted it at no cost so he could give a bike that actually worked. Later I found out that IRD was having a lot of issues with the cassette. I guess that I was lucky to one of the early adopters in spite of my lack of desire to do so.

This is not to dump on Comotion because I believe this is a common issue with all production bikes. Many customers want the latest greatest thing and if it is not on the bike then they loose sales. Comotion did try to stand behind the product in a reasonable way.
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Old 08-31-12, 05:03 PM   #5
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...This is not to dump on Comotion because I believe this is a common issue with all production bikes. Many customers want the latest greatest thing and if it is not on the bike then they loose sales.
We were looking to replace our twenty-three year old tandem this past year. I found a lot of folks like Co-Motion who were all too willing to market the latest, greatest new innovations. I was thrilled to find a maker in Seattle (R+E) who shared my longer view. Oh, they'll make you anything you want, but they don't try to force the newest, most expensive (and most expensive to maintain) components on their customers.
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Old 08-31-12, 05:53 PM   #6
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If it's an Ultegra 10sp hub you could buy the American Classic clips for $15.00.
Even my single bikes all have hub damage, Including my expensive Dura Ace Wheels.

http://bdweb9821m.bluedomino.com/store/page13.html

http://www.amclassic.com/documents/help/web10_SpeedUltegra.pdf
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Old 08-31-12, 09:32 PM   #7
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Funny, when did you contact Co-motion? I e-mailed them recently and explicitly asked if they have replacement freehubs made of steel. They responded that aluminum is the only option for the A-10 wheels.
Got a magnet?

No need to email anyone.
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Old 08-31-12, 10:02 PM   #8
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If it's an Ultegra 10sp hub you could buy the American Classic clips for $15.00.
Even my single bikes all have hub damage, Including my expensive Dura Ace Wheels.

http://bdweb9821m.bluedomino.com/store/page13.html

http://www.amclassic.com/documents/help/web10_SpeedUltegra.pdf
According to AC the clips are not compatible with Ultegra 6700...
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Old 08-31-12, 10:08 PM   #9
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Got a magnet?

No need to email anyone.
Yeh, but I wanted to know before ordering the replacement piece...

So I just got home from my LBS, who was supposed to replace the freehub. The replacement body that I got from Co-motion does not fit... ...it seems it has different width of the interior & the spacers that came with it are too large. I need to check with them if they changed the design after we purchased our tandem (may 2009).
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Old 09-01-12, 05:28 AM   #10
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According to AC the clips are not compatible with Ultegra 6700...
Some very careful grinding can make them fit.
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Old 09-01-12, 10:27 AM   #11
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Got a magnet?

No need to email anyone.
Some steel alloys have are not very magnetic including some stainless steels.

http://www.bssa.org.uk/faq.php?id=24

and from the source of all knowledge (some of it correct) Wikipedia:

"Similarly to steel, stainless steel is not a very good conductor of electricity, with about a few percent of the electrical conductivity of copper.[13] Ferritic and martensitic stainless steels are magnetic. Austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stainless_steel
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