So I was trying to replace my rear bearings and got stuck, (see question below):

how to reassemble mountain bike rear wheel hub and bearings

After this I felt confident to go ahead. Was putting it back together with my son and we had it most of it back together (no cassette on it yet). We put the quick release through the axle and span it, all seemed nice. I held the freewheel hub bit and he span the wheel (slowly) and it made the normal clicking noise as it rotated.

So we tighted the bits and went to put the cassette back on. After tightening the cassette locking nut we noticed that it was not rotating. Tried loosing the cone hubs, nothing, tried taking everything off but still nothing.

I am not sure if I have somehow killed the wheel or there is something I need to do to get it rotating again.

Any and all advice on how to get this working / rotating correctly again would be greatfully received.


  • 1
    So, your question is "what's the next step to get this working?" Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 19:06
  • 2
    Congratulations on your new fixed-gear mountain bike! :) Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 19:11
  • lol... I did think that, don't much like that idea though :p
    – Jon
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 19:35
  • You know the seal that I said I hadn't seen before? Try leaving that out. I wonder if it's getting compressed and filling the gap between the freewheel and axle.
    – Мסž
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 1:27
  • I have taken all of the bits including the axle off and the freewheel hub still doesn't turn
    – Jon
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 6:53

2 Answers 2


Personally I think you have somehow managed to tighten the outer bearing cup that is part of the freehub body. It has two notches on either side, take the cassette off and see if you can knock the notches back to let the freehub spin.

If you have a Shimano hub you might want to also consider putting a new freehub body on there. These are LBS stocked parts albeit not an everyday request.

The bearings in the freehub can survive a bit of abuse, so long as you don't get too much dirt in there so consider DiY and, if that fails, pop a new freehub body on.

  • found the two notches but couldn't budge them... a friend of mine took me to a car mechanic who built a metal tool (bar) the right size to get a good grip on it and open it up. Regreased it and all seems well. (just got to put it back together now!).. Thanks again.. if your ever in Sussex I owe you a drink or 2.
    – Jon
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 21:12

If you have a cassette and not a freewheel you might have tightened down the lock ring to much and that could be why it is not spinning. What you want to achieve, if you don't have a torque wrench, is getting the cassette snug and having it spin freely. You will know when it can't.

It is either that or your cone is too tight on the bearings.

  • even after taking the cassette and lock nut / ring off it still doesn't spin... sounds like Mathew might be onto something, will look when I get home. Thanks
    – Jon
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 14:22

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