how-to: clean/grease my hub&driver. Thinking i want it loud

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9/17/2014 7:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/17/2014 7:38 PM

i've always done hubs the same way i do headsets and bb's, which is
- alcohol soak/scrub til fully-clean-metal, then
- white lithium grease

I have several things I need to tune-up right now and will need my rear wheel off anyways, so am gonna clean/tune the (cassette)driver and hub while it's all off.
I want to do omit the re-greasing of my hub & driver this time around. I'd dig the noise, and it makes sense that less grease in-between the pawls&hub body, the stronger their contact.
My problem is that i've never tried this before and, when i'd mentioned running cassette hubs dry on this forum, ppl told me it was retarded. On the other hand, i know ppl who've done this (who are very very proficient w/ bike-work and have incredible rides), and i've even seen Profile make similar statements about running your cassette dry (

So yeah, i'd love any input from ppl who've 'done it dry' (lol) I've already got my wheel off but will be dealing w/ my bb first and foremost, so want input about why i should, or should not, just clean my pawls/springs and hub-body w/ alcohol, then reassemble it dry. The only thing i can think of is rust after some time, but as long as I don't soak the shit in alcohol, it'll still have some level of film and i imagine that'd suffice.. or maybe i'll be back asking for recommendations on a new rear wheel in several months lol (i really did wanna swap to LHD tho.... smile )

thnx for any thoughts.

[edit: And i'm not remotely interested in anyone's subjective opinions on noise levels of drivers/hubs. I'm sure this edit won't stop ppl from chiming in but whatever, at least it's clear this is a technical question and not looking for opinions on taste]


9/17/2014 9:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/17/2014 10:01 PM

damn, does nobody work their own bikes here?? If i post something about tricks, or part recommendations, i have a million replies, but something as (seemingly) simple as this and still no reply... my intuition - that most here are more talk than ride - seems more accurate than i thoguht lol

anyways i found a 'grain of sand' or 'small pebble' in my bb which explains the noise there (the impetus for doing tuneups right now), but while it was apart i took rags soaked in iso to my driver and the hub.body. upon reassembly it doesn't seem like it made any difference. I'm about to go for a spin to test him out, but to be fair, there was almost no 'grime' or built-up grease in the driver/hub interface, so the alcohol clean probably did little for it.

was a pita to try and clean those areas w/o getting iso into my bearings lol

IF it's not significantly louder, i almost wanna play around to figure out how to do that, but since i really don't care about volume, am just curious about how to do so, i may hold off. The only thing i can see that would still allow alteration is the strength of the wire around the pawls, which i could loosen and i imagine that'd make them 'bite' harder (ie, louder) but i'm not going to mess w/ the integrity of that spring, so if this isn't louder then i imagine that my cassette is as loud as it's capable of (which is reassuring, i mean this is a 2012 complete that's been ridden veeeery hard the past several months, so surpising (and impressive) if it's still clean :D )

[edit::: the 'pebble' was very small and may not have been the issue, cuz my sprocket wasn't 100% true either... before taking him apart tonight, i'd suspected that, and loosened my chain up a lot which alleviated most of my original probelm, but i'm still unsure if it was un-true sprocket, grit in my bb, or both.. will find out on my ride right now smile
//almost hoping my sprocket is bad enough that i can justify a new one cuz am dying to up my gear ratio, and really want a 'protector' sprocket (sorry cannot remember terminology, i mean things like subrosa's 'magnum' or sunday's "knox" )


9/17/2014 10:31 PM

wow, what a terrible eve of tuning... there was no increase in noise, so guess my cassette was as smooth as it was machined for. but, the main problem (consistent grinding noise when pedal was in certain spot), was only reduced, and that reduction was surely because i put it back together w/ the chain super-loose.
looks like my cassette is as loud as it's capable of, and looks like that noise is entirely to blame on my warped sprocket.. very glad i put a new kmc510 on there like a month ago, it's nice not to bust chains and have knee meet stem!!

//now, the question is: 28, or 30, toothed sprocket? smile


9/21/2014 1:18 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/21/2014 1:19 AM

SOOOoo, as-stated in that mess above^, i cleaned it w/ iso alcohol and left it dry... several days' later, and it's kinda 'biting' (gently seizing up) Fucking Profile website, talking about them being ok to run dry :|

Too late to lube tonight (was this evening when i first heard/felt it, got progressively worse quickly), am hoping it'll be a simple lubing, and that i won't have to be tearing rust outta my pawls.. lesson learned lol

[Oh! I was wondering, is it possible to bend a warped crank back into place? I have a vice, and was thinking that, as much as i'd like to get a new crank, it may be quicker/cheaper to just bend the thing back, i mean it can't be more than a couple mm's warped anyways. If anyone's ever tried to flatten a sprocket plz lemme know how you did so, and how well it went]


9/22/2014 10:13 PM

If I'm doing a "deep cleansing" (every half year or more), I usually spray a bit of WD40 into the ratchet ring, pawls, and pawl pockets. Then I put the driver back in and spin it a little just to degrease it, making sure I didn't spray directly into any bearings. Then I take the whole driver apart, clean everything, then use silicone oil on the o-rings and white lithium grease on the pawls, ratchet ring, and pawl pockets.


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9/22/2014 10:15 PM

But all in simpleness, clean your driver area really well, then use light oil, like Tri-flow or some white lithium spray. What is important is if you have a wrap-around spring or individual ones. My Gsport Ratchet came brand new super quiet, so I barely stretched the springs, put in extra grease, and now it's almost loud as my oiled Shadow Raptor hub.


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9/28/2014 2:24 PM

^can you elaborate on what you mean by you 'barely stretched the springs'?
FWIW, I didn't get to greasing my hub immediately and, after a ride or two, it stopped any 'seizing' / binding at all, now it spins the same as before (and maybe a lil louder, not sure) Interestingly enough, I rode w/ someone (rare for me) right after having de-greased the hub, and when i told them about it they told me they also ran dry (they run an Animal javelin cassette), which was the main reason i waited it out and it's still no problem. I do think that it'd be wise to go back and at least give it a rubbing of wd40 or lithium, even if i wipe it right off, just so there's something on the bare metal, i mean i do live in a humid place!


10/9/2014 11:38 PM

When it comes to this subject everybody has there own opinion but during the 8 months I've been working at a bike shop me and my coworker have always done it the same way.

Take driver off
Remove prawls and springs
Clean all the grease off everything
(driver,prawls,springs, and hubshell)
**For a louder engagement you can bend springs up a little bit** BEWARE It does weekend Spring(s) and if done to much can cause them to snap)
Reinstall the prawls and springs
Add Tri-Flow lub(Wet luburciant) inside shell
Tighten the drive side but on(grease threads)
And that's the whole shebang


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