The importance of reading manuals

Yeah so this happened...

Despite being someone who is constantly working on bikes, I often make mistakes.  One of these mistakes happened because I didn't read the damn manual.  I'm quite familiar with traditional style bicycle hubs where the axle is threaded and cones, nuts and spacers all go onto this.  However I'm not so familiar with more modern style hubs that have cartridge bearings and alloy axles.  This encounter came when I was converting my Campagnolo drivetrain to accept a wide range cassette in my previous post.

Perhaps I was slightly overconfident and a bit ham fisted but I thought that the large bolt on the end needed to be undone to release the freehub like on Shimano hubs.  I had a 10mm allen key on each end and twisted them against each other, it wouldn't budge so I turned it harder... So then the socket just snapped off, being alloy this isn't particularly hard to do.  Turns out it was the axle itself, and I was turning it against itself, no wonder it broke.  The way this hub works is that the axle has threaded on end caps which go into the dropouts.  The freehub is removed by removing the non-drive end cap and using a mallet to punch out the axle and freehub.  The 10mm allen key sockets in the ends of the axles are only used to hold the axle in place, so if you imagine wrenching them against each other something will give...

Anyway I got straight onto Bdop cycling where I bought my hub from to order a spare axle.  They seem to be the only place on the internet where I can find more or less a full catalog of Novatec hubs and parts.  The last two times I ordered from them the shipping was super quick.  My spare axle arrived in a few days.

Reinstalling the axle is very simple, after sliding the axle in, the non-drive side bearing needs to be pressed in over.  Luckily the now spare Campagnolo freehub body is a near-perfect fit for the bearing and I used it to tap in the bearings.

Fully seated, the end cap threads onto the axle end and we're done.

The Shimano freehub goes back on and it's a goer.  Next time I'll read the manual if I'm not sure before I start destroying things.


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