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  1. #1
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    Grease outside of freehub body?

    I recently got a new bike (Tallboy), and when I removed the cassette I found that the freehub body was coated with grease. Is it common to grease the freehub body before installing the cassette? I've been using cassette hubs for a couple of decades now and have never greased the outside of the freehub body.

    It seems like greasing it could have a couple of disadvantages:
    - Likely to attract dirt
    - Grease might come out and get on brake

    Possible advantages:
    - Might make removal easier (but has never been a problem for me)
    - Could provide some wear protection for the freehub body
    - Might provide some sound dampening

    I'm just curious because I've never seen this done before.

  2. #2
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    Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've never read/heard that you should grease the body before installing the cassette. I also think it sounds like it might cause your cassette to move around on the body more, potentially causing it to eat into the body where the cogs sit, though I doubt it would in practice as long as your lock-ring is tight enough. I actually tend to clean my bodies off well before installing the cassette. Everything seems great so far...

    I did have a freehub that was greasy as hell on a freebie bike I got once, but the chain, cassette, chainrings, and generally anything anywhere close to them were also greasy as hell. Someone obviously went a little crazy with the lube...

  3. #3
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    Reputation: boomn's Avatar
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    Same here: I've never heard of anyone ever recommending that. Who assembled the bike?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomn View Post
    Same here: I've never heard of anyone ever recommending that. Who assembled the bike?
    This was the way it came in the box from Santa Cruz. The cassette is already installed when it ships to the bike shop.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: frdfandc's Avatar
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    I never grease a cassette body. And don't see any benefit of doing so.

  6. #6
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    my only guess is it's a storage thing to protect the metal? I would not grease it.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: RustyIron's Avatar
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    The boundary between the freehub and the cassette is often a source of creaking when under extreme loads. Grease can eliminate the noise.

  8. #8
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    Greasing the freehub body is a common practice among many manufacturers. Especially in the case of steel freehubs and steel cassettes. Once a bike package is put together and boxed and shipped it spends time in shipping containers, and ultimately a warehouse. The conditions in either may or may not be ideal. It's primarily a way to prevent corrosion and/or corrosion bonding of the cassette and freehub body during long term storage.

    There has been some minor debate over whether or not to lube the freehub body when installing the cassette to the hub over the years. What it boils down to in the real world is, there is no noticeable benefit, nor is there any noticeable harm. It doesn't prevent a cassette from gouging into an aluminum freehub, and it doesn't make assembly or disassembly any easier. It can help prevent corrosion on a steel freehub body if you ride in a very wet environment. However if you do regular maintenance you're likely removing the cassette at least once a season for a good cleaning anyway. 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. I work in a shop, and you never know how a customer is going to treat or maintain the bike. So a little grease on a steel freehub certainly can't hurt when it comes to corrosion protection.

    Bottom line, not a big deal. If you do regular maintenance and pull the cassette now and then in the process, leaving the freehub body dry shouldn't hurt a thing.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  9. #9
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    Interesting. For whatever reason I have always greased mine and does not seem to have hurt a thing. I do think however that it makes removing the cassette easier due to less friction.

  10. #10
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    I never had a problem removing the cassette, removing the lockring now that's another story

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