Sunday, August 21, 2011

Basic Chris King Rear Hub Service

Caution: I'm not a mechanic or any kind of bike expert. I hardly know anything at all. But I will try to share what little I do know. What you read here is just based on my own personal experience and the research I've done. It might not be adequate or even accurate.

So don't blame me if you ruin your bike, get hurt, maimed, or die after following my instructions. If you have any corrections or thoughts please let me know - anything to make these instructions clearer or more accurate for others.

It's a good idea to re-lube your Chris King hubs every now and then. Depending on how much you ride, you should do this every other month (if you ride a lot) or every 3-6 months as suggested by Chris King.

A full service is recommended once a year, but if you ride more you may want to do it twice a year. To do this, you'll need the hub servicing tool. We won't cover that here, just the basic service.

Here's a quick guide to servicing your rear hub.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Two 5mm hex wrenches
  • WD-40
  • Chris King Ring Drive Lube
  • Tri-Flow lubricant (I have substituted this with Finish Line chain lube)*
  • General grease (I use Park Tool Polylube 1000)
  • A toothbrush
  • Some rags
Get this from Aspire Velotech
And if your cassette is still on your hub you'll also need:
First, you may want to familiarize yourself with all the parts. Here's a screen capture I took from the Crhis King manual, below.

Here's what you need to do:
  1. Remove your wheel from the bike
  2. Take the skewer out of the hub
  3. Wrap the chainwhip around a gear, insert the lockring remover, put the crescent wrench on the lockring remover and crank it to the left, unscrewing the lockring
  4. Pull the cassette or cog off the hub
  5. Put a 5mm hex key in each side of the axles, where the skewers used to be, and unscrew the hub assembly a bit
  6. Pull the driveshell assembly (including axle) out of the drive side. 
  7. Driveshell assembly with axle still inside
  8. Now you can pull the driveshell out
  9. Then by hand, unscrew the silver cone and axle from the main axle. Unscrew them from each other.
  10. Next pull the axle out of the driveshell. It may not come out very smoothly, just pull, you won't break anything. Here are the two parts you will now have:
  11. A cleaned axle after removal
    Driveshell. Note wear from cassette and singlespeed cog that was added later.
  12. Now that you've taken it all apart, you can get to the RingDrive, the hub shell bearings, and the driveshell bearings.
  13. Spray some WD-40 into the driveshell assembly (image below), and around the outside, to clean it up. You may have to use a clean rag or toothbrush to get all the junk out. There could be sand and all kinds of trail gnar in there.
  14. Cleaned driveshell assembly.
  15. See those cylindrical bearings? Those are the needle bearings. Clean them up and then put a thin layer of RingDrive Lube around them. Put it aside.
  16. Next, using a knife or other sharp instrument, lift up the silver snap ring around the hubshell assembly. Carefully take out the rubber gasket under it. You will now see the bearings. Make sure you put these two parts back together facing the same way you found them (don't flip either over)
  17. The snap ring here is still dirty - it's the part touching the gold hubshell
    Snap ring and gasket removed. You can see a few bearings too
  18. Squirt some WD-40 around the bearings. Be sure not to get any on your rotor if you're lazy enough to have left it on like I was. Also clean the Drive Rings inside the hubshell assembly with a toothbrush. Let it all dry.
  19. Next, run a 3/4 ring of the Ring Drive Lube around the bearings. Spin the bearings to spread the lube around evenly.
  20. You can see the lube running from about 3 to 12 o'clock
  21. While you have the Ring Drive Lube out, spread some over the Ring Drives inside the hub. Put your finger in the non-drive side of the hub, from below, and jiggle the rings so as to open up a gap to insert the lube.
  22. See a bit of lube on the Ring Drives.  Jiggle them with your finger from the non-drive side.
  23. Clean the snap ring and gasket and put them in facing the same way they were originally (don't flip either over). Make sure the bearings can spin freely. If they don't, the snap ring is likely to be improperly seated. Mess with it until everything spins nicely.
  24. Drip some Finish lines around the splines of the driveshell assembly.
  25. Pop it into the hubshell assembly.
  26. Bead some Tri-Flow along the area of the axle where the needle bearings rest - it should be a slightly fatter section. Slide the axle back in.
  27. Put a little bit of general purpose grease on the threads joining the axle ends and adjusting cones. Screw them together until just a bit of threads can still be seen.
  28. Thread this assembly (axle end and adjusting cone) onto the axle fairly tight, but not so tight that the hub can't spin. Tighten the adjusting cone first, then the axle end. For more details on this process see this post, Adjusting Chris King Hubs.
  29. Tighten it all up again with a 5mm hex key in each side.
You can find the official Chris King instructions here, and a super fast video here, but it would be a lot easier if they had photos.

*I'm not a mechanic and I'm not sure if using Finish Line is a good idea, but I have hear of others doing it and I've had no issues doing it, but I can't promise you that you won't.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton for sharing! Easy instructions and detailed photos make this much more helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Just to add, you can also remove the snap ring and gasket from the nondrive side and lube that. My freehub was dragging so much the top section of chain would flop down to the chainstay while coasting. I did the whole rebuild with the exception of the drive side snap ring and gasket because I was afraid that I would screw it up. Put it back together... you need to do the snap ring and gasket to get good results. Spins like new now! Thanks!

Padhma said...

Thank you for sharing like this information. This is the most easy way of learning. This helps me to get some idea regarding this and helps me to bring a creative thought.
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