Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shake Down Ride Shakes Something Out: Part 2

Stuck On You Part 2!
Okay, a week ago I had a great Fall ride on the Fargo Gen 1 when at the end of it all I had something odd happen with my rear wheel. (See the post here) Well. yesterday I got around to sussing that issue out, and here's how it went down.

The Subject: A Hope Pro Evo II hub with a SRAM 9 speed cassette with the individually mounted cogs. Yes......they were stuck on! It wasn't critical to getting to the bottom of my problem, but you'd rather not have to deal with those teeth. At least I didn't. The Hope Pro evo II has removable/swappable end caps for quick release or through axles, so you simply pop off your end cap. Then this allows a tool free removal of the cassette free hub body, which reveals the free hub mechanism. You can see what that looks like on the left here.

Now I could remove a couple of the smaller cogs off the cassette and then bang on the backside of the cassette with a rubber mallet to push off the cassette and get that out of the way.

Cassette removed!
The Diagnosis:  Once the cassette is removed I could handle the free hub body much easier and get to cleaning the old grease away so I could see if I either had a breakdown or just some stuck pawls. I employed some foaming degreaser of the citrus variety from Tri-Flow. I had to do this about three times to begin with. Whatever grease those U.K. blokes put in there is pretty tenacious!

As I worked more and more grease away from the mechanism, I noticed two things. One- The grease coming off was silvery. That's never a good sign! This means the grease is contaminated with metal. Hopefully just worn metal from years of coasting!

Two- The pawls were not "springing back to life", and this was cause for concern. Maybe something really did break. More applications of degreaser and the mystery was solved. I had a complete failure of all four pawl springs!

It's a dead parrot! No! Its pining for the fjords, or simply stunned!
Bummer! Well, as I stated last week, better to find out about it before the Geezer Ride! Had I not done the 32 mile pre-ride shake down cruise, I would have had the failure on the ride, and that would have been disastrous. Or at the very least, it would have provided quite the story! 

The Solution: Well, now its on to the solution. I have a spare Hope Pro Evo II wheel sitting around that I could scavenge the free hub body off of, but I am not desperate to ride the Fargo just now. So, I won't be stealing that free hub body now. My second option, of course, is to just replace the whole shootin' match with a steel free hub body and that would also solve my issues with the cassette digging into the alloy bodied free hub. I'm thinking this sounds like the reasonable choice, given that I typically don't buy XT level cassettes for my gravel/rough stuff bikes. It really doesn't weigh all that much more either. I'd gladly trade off the minimal gain in grams for the ease of servicing the cassette/free hub.

So, I think a steel free hub body will soon be on its way, and this nearly seven year old hub will be back in service again on the good ol' Fargo Gen 1 rig. I won't necessarily be needing the old bike for a bit, so I'll be okay with waiting on that. Heck- it's getting to be fat biking season, and the single speed bikes are all ready to roll in the meantime. Fall is definitely single speed time around here anyway.


blackmountaincycles said...

An easier way to remove cassette cogs that have notched into the aluminum cassette body spline is with a couple of chainwhips to back the cog out of the the notch its dug.

Guitar Ted said...

@blackmountaincycles: Many times- yes. Not the last two times I had this happen though. That trick would move them, but they still wouldn't slip off.

Not even prying on them with a flat bladed tool would remove even a loose cog on one case I have here, which is still stuck on. Thus my rant on this a while back.

Mauricio Babilonia said...

So, has this hub has been through the ringer over those seven years, or is the pawl mechanism less durable than other designs? I presume this is not a cheap hub.

Guitar Ted said...

@Mauricio Babilonia: It's been used a lot as a single speed hub, and was on a full suspension mtb for quite a while. Yeah.....I guess you could say it has had a hard life!

It's never been serviced since new, (bad on me), so there is that as well.

Richard said...

Did you ever get this hub back in use?

Guitar Ted said...

@Richard- Nope. Can't get a hold of a first gen Hope freehub body. The newer ones, (one of which I do have), has a larger ID for the bearings and doesn't fit the old hub body. I haven't given up on it, but I haven't had this on the front burner for a long time.

I've got more pressing needs, but at some point I'll return to this and pursue it further.

Richard said...

Does that mean that you need a Pro 2 body, not a Pro 2 Evo? And you're going for a FH body replacement, not just a set of pawls & springs?

Guitar Ted said...

@Richard: The order info was confusing, (Quality Bicycle Products), and I was going to switch to the steel free hub body to avoid the issues I was having with the aluminum one. The wrong body came in as a result, and the springs are completely different.

So, I would like the steel freehub body for the older hub, but at this point, I may have to compromise and just get a pawl/spring kit. Again- I haven't put a priority on this and I probably won't get around to sorting this out for quite a while, so my information has a lot of missing links concerning what I could do here.

Richard said...

As I understand it, one of the differences between the Pro 2 and the Pro 2 Evo *rear* hubs is that the Evo has a fatter axle. And the Evo has 'Evo' etched on the hub body (might be useful, you never know!). I had a quick look at QBP's catalogue and didn't see a non-Evo Pro 2 FH (apart from a SRAM 11sp version), only the Evo versions. Anyway, here's a couple of links to UK shops selling Hope hub spares. I believe they are both happy to export.

I hope that helps. Incidentally, I'm not associated with Hope, but I use their hubs & brakes. I wish they'd use steel inlays or something on their alloy freehubs - my 9sp SRAM cassette has a loose thin 17t sprocket that's not on a carrier, so I tend to avoid that gear in case it cuts into the FH splines. Time for a steel replacement, perhaps.

Let me know when/if you get around to playing with this - I'd be interested. Might even be able to help.

Guitar Ted said...

@Richard: Thanks! I will definitely let you know here if I move forward on the project. Thank you for the references!