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Hi all,

I want to service my freehub and should appreciate some advice on the following three areas:

1) Freehub Removal

I tried to remove my freehub using a wrench and 10mm hex bit. This failed miserably: the hole in the centre of the freehub was wider than the 10mm hex bit. I hope that this was just because the hex bit was not long enough and could not engage far enough down inside the freehub. So if I get a 10mm Allen key from Halfords or Chain Reaction Cycles, will that do the job? I shall not be able to use a torque wrench to tighten the freehub once I have removed it, but life ain't perfect.

2) Solvent to flush out the freehub

Would a biodegradable white spirit intended for eco-friendly brush cleaning be okay for cleaning and flushing out the freehub? Does anyone have a better, standard recommendation (a green option, if possible)?

3) Re-lubricating the freehub

Grease is obviously out, but I have also read that normal bike lube (e.g. for the drivetrain) is too thin. I've read Phil Wood's Tenacious Oil as the recommended product to lubricate a freehub, but this seems as expensive as malt whiskey on a £ per ml basis! Does anyone have a good recommendation for a lube that is sensibly priced but will do the job on the freehub?

Thanks in advance.

roadbikepilgrim

5 comments

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mike the bike [1253 posts] 1 month ago
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Hi there pilgrim,

You're probably right about the Allen key not reaching the bolt, but there have been, over the years, several different methods of attaching the freehub.  Are you confident there's a 10mm bolt down there?

I don't possess a torque wrench (apart from a couple of those single -use jobs that come free with your new bike) and I've never stripped a thread.  And with a freehub you can just wack it up good and tight.

Billy the Bench, who was a wise man, once told me never to use grease around the pawls in a hub, it's sure to gum 'em up, and yet there are videos on YouTube clearly showing such misdeeds.  I stick to Billy's advice and use gearbox oil, left over from servicing my car.  It's thick but not too thick, runny but not too runny and is a beautiful rainbow colour.  Sometimes when I'm rolling along I think of that shiny, slippery, multi-coloured lube doing its stuff and I congratulate myself on my lateral thinking.

Best of luck.

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VeloUSA [298 posts] 1 month ago
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Make/model of freehub? 9/10 or 11 speed? This will help direct you in the right directions as not all freehubs are manufactured in the same way.

I use Shimano Freehub grease aka Dura-Ace grease. Light yellowish in color, very thin and not tacky so it won't gum up your pawls or springs. On the costly side but you don't need much and it last a long time.

 

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roadbikepilgrim [6 posts] 1 month ago
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Thanks, guys, for the feedback. The cassette is 8-speed with no spacer, so I just assume that it is a Shimano-compatible hub that can accept an 8-speed cassette, and I have read that Shimano freehubs are normally removed with a 10mm Allen key. I have asked Decathlon what tool to use, because they supplied the wheel, but the arses are not replying :). Perhaps they do not actually know: their bike mechanics are often less than stellar...

I may as well buy the 10mm Allen key - they are not expensive, and if it does not do the trick, it is still an addition to the tool box.

Thanks for the tips on grease. I shall probably check out the Shimano product, because I do not have a car :).

Best regards,

roadbikepilgrim

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ktache [1994 posts] 1 month ago
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Please be aware thet the newer shimano rear wheels, those with what I call the Fat Pipe spindle, made of ali rather than the traditional steel uses a 14mm hex key to secure the freehub.  Unfortunately, in my experience, this style of freehub is a little more sensitive than the older ones secured with the 10mm ones.

I tend to replace mine when they die, but when I used to rejuvenate stuck ones, I would use Finish Lines cross country lube as a thinnish lubricant.

Oh and 14mm hex keys are not too cheap, shame.

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ktache [1994 posts] 1 month ago
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Oh and weirdly a replacement hub can be cheaper than just the freehub.

And that means you can replace the bearings and cones too, for even less than free.