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Recently I found that the freehub on my Hope XC rear hub won't rotate, but only when the wheel is in the bike and the quick release is tightened.

I've removed the freehub (which slides off easily), and serviced the pawls and springs.

I thought perhaps tightening the QR pushes the freehub against the lip seal, preventing it from rotating.

I spoke to Hope, who suggested that it might be that the internal spacer has worn. However, when I insert a small washer behind the spacer and install the wheel again the freehub still locks, despite there now being a visible (though small) gap between the freehub body and the lip seal.

Here's a link to the exploded diagram:

The spacer I'm referring to is item number 5. The seal is item 11 - the 11 nearest the right (there are two).

The behaviour is the same with the cassette removed.

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My guess is that something is assembled incorrectly -- a spacer in the wrong place, eg. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 27 '13 at 21:59
The problem started independently of any maintenance or known incident. Prior to this starting, it had not been disassembled, and has been working fine for years. – Andy Triggs Aug 28 '13 at 14:10
Then I would guess that something has disassembled itself. Retainer clip popped out or some such. Could be a cartridge bearing gone bad. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 28 '13 at 14:55
Thanks - I'll fully disassemble it and check the bearings. So far I've only had the freehub off. – Andy Triggs Aug 29 '13 at 8:16
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The cartridge bearings in the freehub body were worn. Actually, only the one nearest the hub body was jammed. I've obtained replacements and all is well again. It was a relatively simple (though noisy) job to bash them out with an old screwdriver (remember to remove circlips first - a circlip tool came in handy).

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Mark this as the answer – Mark W Feb 7 '14 at 13:08

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