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Worn freehub body question..

Old 05-06-21, 07:18 AM
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Ev0lutionz
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Worn freehub body question..

If the freehub body starts to wear out, what are the symptoms? Does it sound as if metal is "stretching" whenever you put load into your pedal strokes?
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Old 05-06-21, 08:29 AM
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Freehub will wobble...have play in the bearing surfaces
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Old 05-06-21, 08:32 AM
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"Stretching" is something I've never come across to describe problems with a freehub. Usually the pawls will start slipping when you pedal if they need lube or are worn out/broken. Inner bearing wear will be noisy and result in some wobble type play in the freehub body. Try taking the wheel off and wiggling the cassette and spinning it backwards checking for noises or dragging and let us know what you find.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:35 AM
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May be best to remove the freehub, then reach inside with your fingers to feel for the bearing conditions. Generally there are 2 sealed bearings, one inboard, one outboard.

Not sure if you also meant wear of the splines when you spoke of "stretching", but yes, if the carrier is alloy and individual cogs are being used, it is possible for the splines to eventually be damaged.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Ev0lutionz View Post
If the freehub body starts to wear out, what are the symptoms? Does it sound as if metal is "stretching" whenever you put load into your pedal strokes?
I can't imagine the body of a freehub wearing out. It may fail, especially if the spokes are overtensioned or the bike is run over. But the innards of the freehub are much more likely to wear out.

You hear metallic creaking under load? I'd check the chainstays, seatstays, and dropouts for cracks.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
May be best to remove the freehub, then reach inside with your fingers to feel for the bearing conditions. Generally there are 2 sealed bearings, one inboard, one outboard.

Not sure if you also meant wear of the splines when you spoke of "stretching", but yes, if the carrier is alloy and individual cogs are being used, it is possible for the splines to eventually be damaged.
I see! I'm isolating the issue with another wheelset. If the noise doesnt happen on another wheelset, then i can safely say its the problem with my current wheelset, we shall see.
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Old 05-06-21, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I can't imagine the body of a freehub wearing out. It may fail, especially if the spokes are overtensioned or the bike is run over. But the innards of the freehub are much more likely to wear out.

You hear metallic creaking under load? I'd check the chainstays, seatstays, and dropouts for cracks.
Can you explain how 'over tensioning' spokes would cause a freehub to fail?
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Old 05-06-21, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Can you explain how 'over tensioning' spokes would cause a freehub to fail?
You're right, I mis-spoke. (bad-da-boom!) It wouldn't be the freehub body that would fail, but the hubs themselves. As I recall, Shimano made a bad batch of LX hubs 10-15 years back where the hub bodies weren't tempered correctly. Either over-tensioned spokes, or a sharp jolt to the wheel (like a pothole) were supposedly enough for the hub to crack and a spoke or two would pull out. I've got a spare freehub because of that flaw. :/
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Old 05-06-21, 08:29 PM
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Dry and/or worn bearings/ball tracks can have a couple of different sounds. When coasting a "heavy, cyclic, whir or groan" can happen. With the bike in a stand and placing your fingers on the cassette while the wheel is spinning and moving the cassette about can change the sound but more the loudness or tone but not the general type. When pedaling the same wear/lack of lube can have more "click/clack/tick" type sounds that are also cyclic, sometimes with the pedal strokes and sometimes with the number of pawls engaging per wheel rotation (the pawls act as hinges of sort). Mavic hubs of the long used but now gone bushinged freehub can squeal when coasting if the lube is dry or the wrong lube is used.

This is independent of any wobble or slop between the hub and the body. Most loose balled bodies (many Shimano's and low cost house labeled ones) need some wobble or slop, just like freewheels do. Of course as the balls and tracks wear the slop increases, rarely enough to upset the indexing but that does happen in extreme cases. The bodies that use cartridge bearings tend to have less angular rocking but axial slop can happen with bad axle end cap securement (I just did a service on Specialized road bike that had nearly 1/4" of axial sliding slop dur to the RH end cap being quite un threaded, not the usual but also not unique).

Generally spokes have little or no effect on FH bodies as they are rather different parts separated from each other by moving boundaries. Andy
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