I bought some new wheels at the end of last year and I was doing some maintenance on the bike a few weeks ago and noticed that the rear wasn't spinning as freely as I'd have expected. I took it off and spun it in my hands and it still wasn't spinning so I decided to take the rear cassette off and see if I could figure out what the problem is.

After releasing the locking nut the first few cassette rings came off the hub without any trouble but then I couldn't get any more off. Whilst I haven't been to the gym recently I didn't think that my strength had abandoned me entirely so I had a good look and realised that the rings had 'bitten' through the splines on the freehub and locked itself in place.

I managed to unlock it with a chain whip and noticed it had managed to cut almost entirely through the spline. I managed to take the rest of the cassette rings off and most of these had also bitten through the hub to a lesser degree.

Once I'd managed to take the cassette off there was nothing obviously hindering the hub's movement but it still won't spin freely and is really stiff.

I sent the wheel back to the guys that built it and their response was that the preload tensioner was set too high.

However they also said that any cassette (with the exception of SRAM Red) will have a tendency to bit through an allow freehub. I've never seen this before and find it hard to believe that I need to spend ~£230 on a rear cassette to stop this problem happening again.

Has anyone else had a similar problem?


Darthshearer [134 posts] 5 years ago

Whats the cassette & free hub?

I know the Hope Pro II freehubs are softer for the MTB's so getting decent wheels and then putting a 'heavy' casette on it is not a good idea as it will bite into like you described.

Sounds like you have a softer freehub (weight saving) and a 'heavy' cassette on it.

Gromski [59 posts] 5 years ago

Cassette is an Ultegra and the freehub's a Carbon Ti

_SiD_ [163 posts] 5 years ago

Yip - recently had new groupset put on bike. Went from 9 to 10 speed. The 10 speed cassette is narrower than the 9 speed and needs a 1mm spacer between cassette and body to make a snug fit when lockring gets tightened. Mechanic didn't insert spacer. There was a bit of lateral play in the cassette.

The cassette cogs then started moving independently rather than as one single unit and completely ate the free hub body. Managed to get it replaced fairly cheap and got a few spacers - problem solved.

Check there's no movement in the cassette (side to side) when lockring is tightened.

dave atkinson [6367 posts] 5 years ago

if you're using an alloy freehub it's really important to make sure that the lockring is *really* tight and there's no play, like SiD says above. if you do the lockring up tight enough you can minimise the notching on the splines.

some alloy freehubs (american classic for example) have steel inserts to prevent the notching.