Monday, September 26, 2011

Cross season is here, what have you neglected to service on the bike?

This entry is about one of the most neglected parts on a bike if you ride Mavic wheels; the freehub.

My Ksyrium SL wheelset has seen pavement since springtime of this year; riding and racing. The freehub needs service at least two times a year so I figured it was due before my first cross race of the season.


This one has been cleaned out and is ready for lubrication. Removal if pretty straight forward if you have any technical abilities. Get a 10mm and 5mm hex wrench and Phil's Tenacious Oil, for starters.

Use caution when pulling the freehub body from the hub. The engagement paws will want to spring open and potentially fling their micro size springs across your workshop. Habitually, I'll remove this part with the wheel on the floor, slowly. That way if they do pop, the fall is a few inches instead of a few feet off the workbench and then bouncing to who knows where.

Clean the f/h paws, sealing gasket at the base of the hub, thrust washer (as seen on the 3 way wrench in the photo above) and the inside of the freehub body with a mild degreaser. Then follow with a skim coat of Phils Tenacious Oil on the white collar of the freehub and all the parts you've cleaned. Just a skim coat, don't soak it! You're better off using your finger to spread the oil on the parts when in doubt of how much coverage is necessary.

Assemble all removed parts, don't over torque the hardware. Ride the wheel and then go back and do a slight adjustment of there's lateral play at the wheel. The sound of the freehub will be noticably quiter due to the new lubricant. When the oil breaks down a bit, the wheel will become louder. In this case, quiet can be good so you can sneak up on that wheezing guy in front of you on the next climb.

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