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repack hubs: how frequently?

Mar 12, 2009
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So, the other day I noticed a noise coming from the Shimano freehub body on my commuter. This is the bike I rode all rainy season here in San Francisco.

In addition to the ratcheting of the pawls, there was a crunchy/clicky sound on about 30% of the wheel rotation.

I loosened up the cones and axle and shoved some grease in there, and eventually the grease migrated to the freehub and the noise went away, but, should I do this monthly or weekly during the rainy season? Also, does anybody ever replace ball bearings or races?

I really like this hub because it has 126mm spacing with a 7-speed freehub. They don't make 'em like that anymore.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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centurionomega said:
So, the other day I noticed a noise coming from the Shimano freehub body on my commuter. This is the bike I rode all rainy season here in San Francisco.

In addition to the ratcheting of the pawls, there was a crunchy/clicky sound on about 30% of the wheel rotation.

I loosened up the cones and axle and shoved some grease in there, and eventually the grease migrated to the freehub and the noise went away, but, should I do this monthly or weekly during the rainy season? Also, does anybody ever replace ball bearings or races?

I really like this hub because it has 126mm spacing with a 7-speed freehub. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

Riding in the rain a lot, twice per year OVH. Remove axle, inspect cones(replaceable) and cups(not replaceable on this hub). Clean, new grease and ball bearings(1/4 inch, 9 on each side). Remove freehub body(10mm allen in the end, remove big bolt that holds it on). Pry the rubber seal off the back, flush with WD-40..let dry, OIL(NOT grease), I use Mobil One auto oil.

Freehub back on, grease, new bearing balls, reassemble, adjust well.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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You should repack the bearings every year under normal conditions, but since you ride in the rain a lot I would repack the much more often. You need to completely clean out the old grease and check the bearings, cups and cones for wear and replace if needed. Also you need to make sure you don't over tighten the cones or this will cause them to wear out much sooner. Go here: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105

You can still get 126mm spaced freehubs new. http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi?c=Hub&sc=Complete Rear Hubs&id=481191710863
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Cool, it looks like it is time for a new tool (10mm hex wrench).

I didn't even think about replacing bearings, or cleaning out what was making the freehub crunchy. You gotta respect your commuter cause that's what gets the bills paid.

Thanks for the help and suggestions fellow cyclists. :)
 

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