Service A Freewheel Hub

Introduction

An old style rear freewheel hub has bearings like a front wheel and the freewheel screws onto the hub shell. You need to remove the freewheel to service the hub bearing.

Step 1

<h3>Step 1</h3><p>Take the wheel off the bike and remove the freewheel from the hub. Hold the cone on the left side still with a cone-spanner and loosen the lock-nut. Unscrew and take off the lock-nut, washer and cone. Catch any balls if they fall out. Count them.
</p>
</div>

Dismantle The Left Side

Take the wheel off the bike and remove the freewheel from the hub. Hold the cone on the left side still with a cone-spanner and loosen the lock-nut. Unscrew and take off the lock-nut, washer and cone. Catch any balls if they fall out. Count them.

Step 2

<h3>Step 2</h3><p>Separate the axle from the freewheel hub shell and shake and catch any loose balls.
</p>
</div>

Separate the freewheel hub from the axle

Separate the axle from the freewheel hub shell and shake and catch any loose balls.

Step 3

<h3>Step 3</h3><p>Clean all the loose parts and the cups inside the freewheel hub. The freewheel hub may have removable push-fit dust-covers that will come out to make cleaning inside easier.
</p>
</div>

Clean

Clean all the loose parts and the cups inside the freewheel hub. The freewheel hub may have removable push-fit dust-covers that will come out to make cleaning inside easier.

Step 4

<h3>Step 4</h3><p>Check the surfaces – on the cones and inside the freewheel hub-shell – where the balls run, for roughness or uneven wear. Worn cones can be replaced but if a freewheel hub is worn it may need to be scrapped.
</p>
</div>

Inspect The Bearing Surfaces

Check the surfaces – on the cones and inside the freewheel hub-shell – where the balls run, for roughness or uneven wear. Worn cones can be replaced but if a freewheel hub is worn it may need to be scrapped.

Pro Tip

Check the axle is straight by rolling it on a flat surface. If it’s bent it must be replaced.

Step 5

<h3>Step 5</h3><p>If you need to replace the cones, measure the position of the one still on the axle, and make sure they go back in the same place so the axle is centred in the freewheel hub. The drive side may have more spacers between the lock-nut and cone. If you’re replacing the cones you may need different sized spacers if the new cones are shorter or longer than the old ones. It may be easier to replace the whole axle if you can’t find cones that match the thread on the old axle.
</p>
</div>

New Cones

If you need to replace the cones, measure the position of the one still on the axle, and make sure they go back in the same place so the axle is centred in the freewheel hub. The drive side may have more spacers between the lock-nut and cone. If you’re replacing the cones you may need different sized spacers if the new cones are shorter or longer than the old ones. It may be easier to replace the whole axle if you can’t find cones that match the thread on the old axle.

Step 6

<h3>Step 6</h3><p>Pack the races in the freewheel hub with new grease and press the same number of new balls – of exactly the same size – into the grease. Changing the balls prolongs the life of the other parts. If you’re not sure how many balls came out, or if you suspect that the freewheel hub was packed with the wrong number of balls, fill a race with balls and then take one out. The balls need room to roll around.
</p>
</div>

Repack With New Balls

Pack the races in the freewheel hub with new grease and press the same number of new balls – of exactly the same size – into the grease. Changing the balls prolongs the life of the other parts. If you’re not sure how many balls came out, or if you suspect that the freewheel hub was packed with the wrong number of balls, fill a race with balls and then take one out. The balls need room to roll around.

Step 7

<h3>Step 7</h3><p>Check the lock-nut and cone assembly on the right side of the axle are locked tight. They won’t be accessible once the freewheel is back on.
</p>
</div>

Rebuild

Check the lock-nut and cone assembly on the right side of the axle are locked tight. They won’t be accessible once the freewheel is back on.

Step 8

<h3>Step 8</h3><p>Feed the axle into the freewheel hub taking care not to disturb the balls.
</p>
</div>

Feed the axle into the freewheel hub taking care not to disturb the balls.

Step 9

<h3>Step 9</h3><p>Assemble the other side and adjust the freewheel hub. Remount the freewheel and put the wheel back in the bike.
</p>
</div>

Assemble the other side and adjust the freewheel hub. Remount the freewheel and put the wheel back in the bike.