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Any hope for my hub?

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Any hope for my hub?

Old 11-05-17, 06:52 PM
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sknhgy 
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Any hope for my hub?

Trying to repair this wheelset. The cone on this wheel was pitted but I got a new one. Then I noticed the race was discolored. I tried cleaning it with solvent and a felt wheel on a Dremel tool. That didn't work well.
I thought that if I could disassemble it I might be able to clean and polish the race but I can't get it apart. The video I found said to unscrew it with a 10mm allen wrench but that was a loose fit and it didn't grab on anything.
1. Think I can disassemble this and successfully polish out the race?
2. If not, could I remove and replace the freehub and the built-in race?
This wheel came on a 2011, 26" 8 speed Specialized Rockhopper.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-05-17, 11:12 PM
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First ther bearing surface in the outer end of your freehub body is usually called a cup, not a cone. A cone is a male, the cup is a female and the cone goes inside of the cup.


Cup damage is generally considered to be non repairable. Sure, some have set up grinders with specifically shaped stones on a lathe and re dressed the cone or cup's surfaces but these are the attempts of people with too much ability and time, not what most have.


Usually when significate cup surface damage is had the cone (remember that male thing on the axle?) also has damage. Cones can be replaced but it's not uncommon to find one's assumed choice to not be right. There are very small dimensional differences that are vital to the balls tracking properly on the surfaces. Andy
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Old 11-05-17, 11:21 PM
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So its discolored, but is that just polished discolored or is it pitted discolored? Yes you should be able to replace the freehub. But if the cup on the freehub is worn, then what is the cup on the hub (the other side from the freehub) like. Its not removable. It may just be cheaper to replace the wheel. And you don't need to spend lots of dollars for a rear wheel.
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Old 11-05-17, 11:30 PM
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Option 3: Just keep repacking it with fresh grease on occasion and quit worrying about it.
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Old 11-05-17, 11:46 PM
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have you tried REMOVING THE SEAL yet? they do pop out, you know...

use some 400 grit, then 600 grit emery paper on the cup if it is actually pitted... i'm thinking it's just a worn coating...

or... just grease it and run it, like thermionicscott suggests.... i've had dozens of similar appearing hubs on my bench... no pits, no problem!

Last edited by maddog34; 11-05-17 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 11-06-17, 06:02 AM
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if it's just the freehub and its significantly worse than the other cup on the hub, it might be worth replacing.

sometimes you need to go through the other side of the hub to grab the freehub bolt, and sometimes it's an 11mm or even 12mm i think. i remember going to several different bike shops that didn't have an 11mm though. sheesh. dropped the 10$ on amazon for one.
keep in mind if you do have to do something weird to pull it, it might be a weird freehub and harder to find a replacement.

i agree however that if it's not pitted or gouged out at all you should just repack and run it.

Last edited by bike_galpal; 11-06-17 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 11-06-17, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_galpal View Post
if it's just the freehub and its significantly worse than the other cup on the hub, it might be worth replacing.

sometimes you need to go through the other side of the hub to grab the freehub bolt, and sometimes it's an 11mm or even 12mm i think. i remember going to several different bike shops that didn't have an 11mm though. sheesh. dropped the 10$ on amazon for one.
keep in mind if you do have to do something weird to pull it, it might be a weird freehub and harder to find a replacement.

i agree however that if it's not pitted or gouged out at all you should just repack and run it.
The cup on the other side of the hub is fine. I do not think there is any pitting or gouging on the cup in the picture. I wish I could pop out that seal but it is metal and it doesn't seem to simply pop out like a rubber seal.
I could get a larger allen wrench and remove to freehub.

I think the problem would be to find a replacement freehub just like it. If I could find a replacement freehub the problem would be solved.

If nothing else, I'm going to clean it the best I can and repack it and run it and keep it greased.
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Old 11-06-17, 11:30 AM
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Seriously... put it back together with the new cone and see if you can get it to run smoothly. You will not know until you try. Otherwise looking back at your pictures there is an obvious track in the discolouration where the balls have been running before which looks reasonably smooth.
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Old 11-06-17, 12:37 PM
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It is really hard to tell the condition of the cup. Can you provide some worse pictures?


Grease it and run it. Yeah, that's what she said!
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Old 11-07-17, 09:50 AM
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Your bike is worthy of new wheels.

The pictures a fuzzy but the ball track looks extremely damaged.

For ball tracks with minor damage, get a cone with a slightly different angle than the original, this allows the ball to ride above or below the original track.
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Old 11-07-17, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chorlton View Post
Seriously... put it back together with the new cone and see if you can get it to run smoothly. You will not know until you try. Otherwise looking back at your pictures there is an obvious track in the discolouration where the balls have been running before which looks reasonably smooth.
If nothing else I will polish that surface as well as possible and run it.
Originally Posted by kevindsingleton View Post
It is really hard to tell the condition of the cup. Can you provide some worse pictures?


Grease it and run it. Yeah, that's what she said!
I can't get my camera to focus on the bearing surface.
Originally Posted by zebede View Post
Your bike is worthy of new wheels.
My bike has new, sealed-bearing wheels. This is the cheapo set that came on the bike. I'm trying to salvage them and mount my winter, studded tires on them so I can just do a wheel set swap out instead of having to change tires on rims.

Can I swap the freehub?
If so, how do I get the correct one?
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Old 11-07-17, 10:57 AM
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Despite how pitted the cup or cone may be, is the actual part the bearings are touching actually pitted? That is a shiny arc along the cup and cone less than a 1/32 of an inch wide.

Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
This is the cheapo set that came on the bike.
So don't worry about the races. Just put the old balls in and forget it. Or, buy new balls and cones and still use the old race.
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Old 11-07-17, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Despite how pitted the cup or cone may be, is the actual part the bearings are touching actually pitted? That is a shiny arc along the cup and cone less than a 1/32 of an inch wide.

So don't worry about the races. Just put the old balls in and forget it. Or, buy new balls and cones and still use the old race.
I thin that's what I'll do.
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Old 11-17-17, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_galpal View Post
sometimes you need to go through the other side of the hub to grab the freehub bolt, and sometimes it's an 11mm or even 12mm i think. i remember going to several different bike shops that didn't have an 11mm though. sheesh. dropped the 10$ on amazon for one.
I got it off with a 3/8" socket drive extension. Fit like a glove.
Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
have you tried REMOVING THE SEAL yet? they do pop out, you know...

use some 400 grit, then 600 grit emery paper on the cup if it is actually pitted... i'm thinking it's just a worn coating...

or... just grease it and run it, like thermionicscott suggests.... i've had dozens of similar appearing hubs on my bench... no pits, no problem!
The seal popped right out. I used a paint can opener. The hook let me get in to the backside of the seal.

Then I polished it with some fine grit emery paper.
Here it is, ready to assemble. It did have some noticeable pitting, and I got most of it out, but I'm wondering - What caused it in the first place? Did it get some contamination in there?
I will be mounting my studded tires on this wheelset. Next spring when they come off the bike I'll re-grease the hub and see how things look. If there's still a problem, then I'll look into getting a new freehub from these folks: Search
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Old 11-17-17, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
I got it off with a 3/8" socket drive extension. Fit like a glove.


The seal popped right out. I used a paint can opener. The hook let me get in to the backside of the seal.

Then I polished it with some fine grit emery paper.
Here it is, ready to assemble. It did have some noticeable pitting, and I got most of it out, but I'm wondering - What caused it in the first place? Did it get some contamination in there?
I will be mounting my studded tires on this wheelset. Next spring when they come off the bike I'll re-grease the hub and see how things look. If there's still a problem, then I'll look into getting a new freehub from these folks: Search
WATER... the stuff gets into everything, including just about every rock on this planet... it is a slow acting solvent and oxidizer.

ever pressure washed your bike? ever shot a normal garden hose at that hub? ever ridden in the rain?

you have new cone(s?)... you have polished the cup... put new steel balls in too... high chrome G25 balls.... the stainless steel balls are softer, so don't get them, ok?

Last edited by maddog34; 11-17-17 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 11-17-17, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
WATER... the stuff gets into everything, including just about every rock on this planet... it is a slow acting solvent and oxidizer.

ever pressure washed your bike? ever shot a normal garden hose at that hub? ever ridden in the rain?

you have new cone(s?)... you have polished the cup... put new steel balls in too... high chrome G25 balls.... the stainless steel balls are softer, so don't get them, ok?
Just ordered new balls.

Yes. Water could have got in there.
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Old 11-17-17, 03:37 PM
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Looks fine now. How did you keep polishing compound and grit from getting into the freehub? Are you going to flush it out from the other side?
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Old 11-17-17, 05:50 PM
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I flushed it with wd-40 while holding it cup side down so the solvent would flow out. I'm hoping nothing go into the freehub bearings. The solvent came out clean when I was done. Guess I could still tear it apart. Let me sleep on that.
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Looks fine now. How did you keep polishing compound and grit from getting into the freehub? Are you going to flush it out from the other side?
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Old 11-17-17, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
I flushed it with wd-40 while holding it cup side down so the solvent would flow out. I'm hoping nothing go into the freehub bearings. The solvent came out clean when I was done. Guess I could still tear it apart. Let me sleep on that.
Cool. Should be good now.
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