Friday, February 18, 2011


As I recently mentioned, the freewheel of my trusty commuting vehicle had lately been getting stuck, due to the outrageous coldness of the weather, thus making the freewheeling functionality of the drivetrain bidirectional. Which, in the long term, is an unwanted quality in a bicycle. As amusing as it may from the perspective of the onlookers, it really tends to drastically reduce the transportational capabilities of the bicycle.

Therefore, drastic actions were required. After one day of heating the rear hub with a hot air gun and then commuting to and from work fixie-style, i.e. pedaling all the way through, even while braking, I had to get my hands dirty.

After consulting the best bicycling information source known to (a Finnish) man, and then this one too, I set out to dismantle my bike. This is what resulted:

The consultation of the instructions also resulted to the expansion my knowledge about modern bicycle components. Therefore I now know that the part doing the freewheeling in my bicycle is actually called a Shimano® freehub.

Both of the guides I consulted had omitted the part about the rear hub ball bearings falling out, and that they should be chased from underneath the stove (I did the servicing in my kitchen), because they need to be put back again, but luckily I was able to figure out this myself.

Here's a blurry shot of the offending, rusted by road salt and whatnot, freehub:

After a lot of messing about in the kitchen with solvents, oils, brushes, this is what the parts looked like:

And not too soon after, the bicycle was re-built again. Yeah, the cassette is worn out and rusty, and needs to be replaced come spring.

Also, the kitchen was ruined and the wife had totally freaked out. But I was totally exhilarated of my newfound D-I-Y capabilities (also possibly because of sniffing so much solvent).

Before, I had a backup employment plan for after the inevitable nuclear war and the ensuing obsolescence of computer programmers because of all the EMP: carpentry. But now I think I'll go for bicycle repairing.

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