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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Shimano XTR Freehub question!

    Yesterday after a gear change, I forget at this stage if it was up or down, I ended up with the chain snagging up on the chain rings. At the time I thought that it was just a bad shift. I immediately back pedalled and everything was back to normal. I usually ease off on the power when changing and it occured when I re-applied pressure on the cranks.

    Later on while cleaning up the bike, I noticed that the freehub "ticking" sound while spinning the wheel was softer/quieter than I remember it being. When I hold the wheel and turn the crank, the pawls seem to engage properly but I'm wondering If these are signs of a worn out freehub and I need to replace it. I'll ride it again today and see how it behaves. This is one job I have not had to do before and I'm not sure if my analasis is correct. It is just over a year old and has not been ridden particularly hard. I'd like to ask guys in the know what you think.

    Ronnie.

  2. #2
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    I had an XT freehub go bad on my after less then 9 months. The initial sypmtoms were that it was much quieter while free wheeling. Like yours, engagement didn't seem to be a problem. What got me to replace it was this: I noticed that, if I spun up the wheel really fast with the back tire in the air, the cranks would very slowly turn by themselves. I could never feel the cranks trying to turn themselves when I was coasting, but it was kinda disconcerting seeing that, so I replaced it.

  3. #3
    the catalan connection
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    freehubs can be serviced

    I would never replace a freehub without having a look inside first...and specially an xtr one !
    Pawls are sensible to diferent grase thicknesses. If you pack a freehub with a too thick grease pawls will not engage well, the clicking sound will get almost silent (and will make the cranks spin forward). Make sure to use the correct grease viscosity.
    But it might be there is no grease inside too, so the pawls can not rotate out to grasp for power.
    Have a look!
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warthog
    I had an XT freehub go bad on my after less then 9 months. The initial sypmtoms were that it was much quieter while free wheeling. Like yours, engagement didn't seem to be a problem. What got me to replace it was this: I noticed that, if I spun up the wheel really fast with the back tire in the air, the cranks would very slowly turn by themselves. I could never feel the cranks trying to turn themselves when I was coasting, but it was kinda disconcerting seeing that, so I replaced it.
    This happens a lot with hubs. Its really not a problem. Crossmax freehubs are very notorious for this because the seal between the hub and freewheel drags hard enough to spin the cranks when the wheel is spinning freely. Chris King hubs also tend to do this. Dirt or swollen seals bettween the hub body.freewheel interface are usually to blame for this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie
    Yesterday after a gear change, I forget at this stage if it was up or down, I ended up with the chain snagging up on the chain rings. At the time I thought that it was just a bad shift. I immediately back pedalled and everything was back to normal. I usually ease off on the power when changing and it occured when I re-applied pressure on the cranks.

    Later on while cleaning up the bike, I noticed that the freehub "ticking" sound while spinning the wheel was softer/quieter than I remember it being. When I hold the wheel and turn the crank, the pawls seem to engage properly but I'm wondering If these are signs of a worn out freehub and I need to replace it. I'll ride it again today and see how it behaves. This is one job I have not had to do before and I'm not sure if my analasis is correct. It is just over a year old and has not been ridden particularly hard. I'd like to ask guys in the know what you think.

    Ronnie.
    Having the pawls tick louder means the inside of the freewheel needs lubrication. This is not necessarily a bad thing. New hubs typically have a lot of grease packed in there and the grease dampens down the clicking noise. Over the months of use the grease gets displaced and the pawls start making more direct metal to metal contact and sound like they normally should with an audible click click click. You can tell when the are really dry because the ticking becomes more of a really loud dry clanking noise.
    Remember in the end your hub has a 3 year warranty, although it seems like the hub is just breaking in normally.
    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont.../warranty.html

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the for the input guys. I guess I've got to get in there and see what is going on, clean it out and re-lube it. It looks like the bearings have to come out to remove the freehub, so basically a complete hub service. I'm a bit nerveous about it as I've never taken a hub apart before. I'm also a bit confused as to what oil and grease to use.

    I've taken a look at the Park Tool maintenance info and this is a quote:

    "The freehub pawls and bearings operate only while the bike is coasting. There is very little load or stress on the freehub during this time. When the bike is pedaled, the pawls lock onto the ratcheting teeth, and the freehub bearings take very little stress. Because of this, bicycle grease is typically not required inside a freehub. Most manufacturers recommend liquid lubricant for the inside of the freehub. With enough use, the freehub will simply wear out. The pawls may begin to slip and the bearings may become rough. If cleaning and lubricating the freehub does not resolve issue of slipping, sticking or noise, replace the freehub unit with a new one."

    What is "liquid lubricant"? Oil, what oil? Is the freehub sealed off enough to keep oil in? Also what grease do I use for the main bearings? I've got some Finishline teflon grease. Will that do or must I get bearing grease? Thanks for any help.

    Ronnie.

  7. #7
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    I don't know what the finish line grease is like but any quality thick grease should do. Get a tube of Park poly lube or Pedro's Syn grease at a bike shop and they will work great. The pawls/freehub itself needs to be lubed with a very light grease or lubricant. Using thick grease will not allow the pawls to engage properly. Its a very simple process to open them up. Just do it over a pan so the ball don't fall off and get lost. I still think your hub sounds like its fine. It should tick normally.

  8. #8
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    Hi Hecubus,
    Its just that the ticking getting suddenly and noticeably quieter led me to think that perhaps some of the pawls were sticking and not engaging and were not all running over the ratchet. One LBS mechanic I spoke to suggested that it may be that they are sticking due to being dirty. He has not seen the bike yet though. I'll take it past and see what he has to say. It is behaving properly though, so I'll wait a while and see what happens.
    Thanks,

    Ronnie.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie
    Yesterday after a gear change, I forget at this stage if it was up or down, I ended up with the chain snagging up on the chain rings. At the time I thought that it was just a bad shift. I immediately back pedalled and everything was back to normal. I usually ease off on the power when changing and it occured when I re-applied pressure on the cranks.

    Later on while cleaning up the bike, I noticed that the freehub "ticking" sound while spinning the wheel was softer/quieter than I remember it being. When I hold the wheel and turn the crank, the pawls seem to engage properly but I'm wondering If these are signs of a worn out freehub and I need to replace it. I'll ride it again today and see how it behaves. This is one job I have not had to do before and I'm not sure if my analasis is correct. It is just over a year old and has not been ridden particularly hard. I'd like to ask guys in the know what you think.

    Ronnie.


    actually the XTR freehub does run quiet. It's nota noisy clicky thing like other hubs. both of mine are the same, quiet. It's when it gets noisy that you should start to worry

  10. #10
    the catalan connection
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    click here,

    this link takes you to a step by step freehub servicing...actually an xtr one!

    Note youīll need a special tool for opening it...

    http://icebike.org/Equipment/freehub.htm

    Good luck !
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  11. #11
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    Thanks for that link!!

    Now i can win that arguement with my LBS who insist that I need a new FH since mine is getting a bit rough.

  12. #12
    the catalan connection
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    Thatīs the good part of home mechanics....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    Thanks for that link!!

    Now i can win that arguement with my LBS who insist that I need a new FH since mine is getting a bit rough.

    Some shops will replace parts before servicing them. Might be that they simply have no clue how to service a freehub (in that case you should look for another shop), but might be that if they do, repair time will maybe cost you as much as a new replacement (which is ok, as long as they give you the "old" freehub back).

    Learn how to do it yourself and will save time and money.Itīs been a loong time since my bike doesnīt spend a night at a foreign workshop..
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

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