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Hubs are available, like bottom brackets, in two types -- open-bearing or cartridge. The open-bearing hubs require much more maintenance than the cartridge type, since their bearings need regular inspection, cleaning, and re-greasing. As a result, the ability to strip down and service an open-bearing hub is a skill that can be used repeatedly.
The following steps will help you to remove an axle and a freehub, as well as re-grease and retighten the bearings. They can be applied to a Shimano front or rear hub and a Campagnolo front hub. However, leave servicing a Campagnolo rear hub to the experts at a bike shop because it requires special tools.Before tackling the steps in this sequence, the cassette or block should be removed.
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Right: Components of an open bearing
Step-by-step guide to Overhauling an open-bearing hub
1. Remove the locknut on the drive side with a wrench while holding the non-drive side cone with a cone wrench. Some locknuts can be removed with an ordinary wrench, others with an Allen key.
2. Pull the axle out from the non-drive side. Be careful not to dislodge any of the ball bearings as you do so.
3. Insert an Allen key into the 8mm or 10mm Allen bolt located in the center of the freehub. This bolt holds the freehub body on to the axle.
4. Take out all the ball bearings from each side and clean them with degreaser.
5. Fit the new hub body or the cleaned old one by reversing Step 3 .
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