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How to fix play in 70’s freehub

5 min read

Asked by: April Morris

Do freehub bodies wear out?

Freehub bodies are highly unlikely to suffer excessive wear. Aluminium bodies are likely to be marked by the pressure of a steel cassette, but such ‘damage’ typically is cosmetic only. Some, higher quality wheelsets have a lightweight steel freehub body.

How do I fix my free hub?

Clean area above cap as well.

  1. Blow dry with compressed air. Use normal precautions when using compressed air. …
  2. Use a liquid lubricant in the back side and front. Spin freehub to work lube inside.
  3. Grease freehub mounting-bolt.
  4. Install freehub and any spacer onto hub body. …
  5. Assemble and adjust hub as with hub overhaul.


Are all freehubs compatible?

All the current (since the year 1990) freewheel hubs are compatible with all the 6 and 7 speed freewheel sprockets. Freewheel rear hub with threads, and freewheel sprockets that are screwed onto it.

How do you know if your freehub is broken?

Check the freehub for wear to see if it needs replacing or just cleaning and relubing. To do this, firmly grab the splined body and give it a wiggle. If it moves more than a couple of millimetres side to side, replace it.

Should I grease my freehub?

The only real reason to apply grease to the freehub is as RustyIron mentioned, if there is creaking between the freehub and cassette interface. Personally I will very lightly grease a steel freehub, just enough to put a little shine on it. An aluminum freehub I’ll leave dry.

What makes a loud freehub?

Loudness in the freehub/freebody is usually due to the very light oil used to lubricate the inner parts. Thicker oil can be used to lessen the noise and even grease in some cases, but it’s high viscosity is pointed at for not being so efficient.

How tight should my freehub be?

You will usually hear clicks as you turn. After 4 or 5 clicks, your cassette lockring should be tight enough.

How do you fix a slipping freewheel?

If the pawls inside the freewheel are sticking that could result in it slipping, so take the freewheel off the hub, soak and agitate it in solvent/degreaser to get any gunk out then re-lube in a heavy oil (like thick engine oil). Don’t use grease – not good for those little springs and teeth inside.

How do you tighten a freewheel hub?

Quote from video: And put the chain on and then push down on the pedal. So it gets nice and tight or you can use chain whip that's one of these things. And basically you just wrap it around the chain.

How do I know what model my freehub is?

Quote from video: The easiest way actually to tell is count the number of teeth on your smallest cog it'll be 11 or 12 feet if you have an HG driver. The less common of the two is the ceramic ski driver. It.

Can I upgrade my freehub?

Yes. You can replace just the hub, but you’ll likely need new spokes, and a decent mechanic will charge $50+ for the job. Unless you have a really nice rim, that’s not worth it. Buying a new wheel makes more sense.

Is ratchet better than Pawls?

Ratchet systems are generally spoken stronger, more reliable and need less maintenance compared to traditional pawl systems. Biggest reason for this is that the power transferred from the drivetrain to the wheel is spread of a larger surface. In general hubs that are “louder” usually have more engagement points.

Should freehub pawls be greased?

Never put grease in a freehub,except perhaps ones without standard pawls, like an American Classic ora Hügi (DT) with a star ratchet.

Should you grease freehub splines?

Greasing the freehub body splines is good when it’s prone to creaking for whatever reason, which is largely a problem specific to aluminum shallow-spline (as opposed to the deep splined FH-7800 and WH-7800) freehubs and their issues with getting notched up. The lubrication can mitigate the noise, but not the damage.

Should I grease freehub before installing cassette?

Greasing a new cassette is not necessary, and it should even be avoided for several reasons. The cogs in your cassette do not need to be greased as greasing will not improve its functions. It will only attract dirt and grime to your cassette which will cause a lot of friction and wear it out faster.

Do freehub pawls wear out?

Freehub bearings



Shimano freehubs can be serviced to an extent, but when they’re worn out, you’ll officially need a whole new freehub as they’re not designed to be disassembled, even if it is technically possible.

Why do Freehubs fail?

The freehub is an intricate combination of pawls, springs, small ball bearings and catches inside the body of the freehub. There are not much protection n the sense of seals and mud. dust and water tends to accumulate over time. This either coagulates the grease or washes the grease out.

How do I know if my bike hub is worn?

Test for this by holding the top of the wheel while it’s in the bicycle and gently pushing and pulling sideways to feel for movement of the wheel. In most properly adjusted hub bearings, there will be no noticeable play. If there is a lot of play, it usually means that the hub bearing adjustment has loosened.

How do I know what freehub body I have?

Quote from video: The easiest way actually to tell is count the number of teeth on your smallest cog it'll be 11 or 12 feet if you have an HG driver. The less common of the two is the ceramic ski driver.

Can you change freehub body?

You can either buy a new freehub body or if you’re lucky your local bike shop or bike recycling project may have a stash! Your replacement freehub body needs to have the same interface as your old one (meaning the same spline pattern) so it can fit onto your old hub.

Are all freehub bodies interchangeable?

Almost always, the answer is no, there is no interchangeability between different brands – and often limited interchangeability within a brand.