1. Remove the wheel from the bike. Remove the quick release skewer from the axle. Using a chain whip to stop the cassette turning, undo the cassette lockring with a suitable lockring tool and spanner. Remove the cassette from the freehub.

2. Prise off the rubber dust cover from the non-drive side of the hub. Using 15 and 17mm cone spanners remove the lock nut from the non-drive side. Remove any spacers and washers and remove the cone.

  • Remember what order the spacers are in!
  • Support the axle from the drive side so it and the bearings inside the hub do not fall out!
3. Remove the axle. Be careful not to loose any bearings. Remove the bearings from each side. A pencil magnet or small screwdriver is handy to get them out. There should be 9 bearings each side.

4. Using a 10mm allen key undo the internal bolt inside the freehub. Remove the freehub and the spacer behind it.

5. Note: Shimano freehubs can be serviced but you can no longer buy spares or tools and it is usually impossible to remove the dust cover without wrecking it. If you wish to prolong the life of your freehub the best technique is:

  • remove the rubber seal from the rear of the freehub
  • place the freehub rear side up on a rag
  • pour a liquid oil e.g. Teflon chain oil into the rear bearings and allow it to percolate through the freehub
  • grease the rear bearings and replace the rubber seal
If your freehub doesn't run smooth after this you'll have to replace it.


6. Clean everything up.

7. You should have these bits ready to reassemble.

8. Apply a smear of grease to the rear of the freehub and to the bolt that holds it on. Attach it to the hub. Don't forget the spacer behind it!

9. Put plenty of grease into the bearing cups on both sides of the hub. Insert the 9 bearings each side.

10. Smear grease on the cone that is still on the axle. Insert the axle from the drive side. Loosely screw on the non drive side cone.

11. Replace the spacers and washers in the correct order.

12. Loosely screw on the lock nut. Now for the tricky bit! Using the cone spanners tighten the cone and the lock nut to hold it in place. The cones should have a very small amount of play when you have finished. Insert the quick release skewer and try the hub in the bike. The compression of the skewer usually takes up the play in the cones. Spin and rock the wheel in the bike to test for play and smoothness of rotation. You may have to re-adjust the cone and lock nut until it is just right. There is no quick fix for this - it's just a matter of trial and error until you get a feel for it!

13. Replace the cassette and tighten using the lock ring tool and spanner. You don't need the chain whip for this.