I ride a MTB with Shimano components and increasingly when I pedal there is a slippage (no noise or resistance) occurring. Might I Need to replace the freewheel mechanism or is this just the sprocket/cassette that I am planning on changing soon anyway. Just trying to take the wheel off ONCE rather than find out after the sprocket change that the problem is still there.... Thanks!

  • What is the question -- identifying a freewheel vs cassette? If so, you don't have nearly enough information.
    – Batman
    Nov 30, 2016 at 9:47
  • Yes, Freewheel vs Cassette. Let me know what else I can contribute. Freewheel is probably 8 years old, cassette and chain are 1 year old. Bike is used daily. Shifting is smooth and everything is well oiled with a fancy lube ("105").
    – Mike
    Nov 30, 2016 at 10:59
  • "something is slipping when I pedal" Whenever I've had problems like this, its not been silent. You need to figure out if it happens in all gears or just one/two. The usual suspect would be chain wear, and rear sprocket wear. If its when changing gear, then your jockey wheels and deraileur need an inspection.
    – Criggie
    Nov 30, 2016 at 11:11
  • @Mike - for identification, take the wheel out and take a picture of the cogs. As for the rest of it, measure chain wear (using a chain wear tool) is a good place to start.
    – Batman
    Nov 30, 2016 at 11:37
  • 2
    If the crank silently turns half a rotation (and you don't have some sort of weird geared crank or some such) then the problem is almost certainly the freewheel/freehub. If the chain were skipping on the cogs there would be a sort of rattling noise, and you'd generally feel something through your feet. Nov 30, 2016 at 13:10

1 Answer 1


You may need to clean up your terminology to make the question more clear. There are two common setups a freewheel OR a freehub and cassette. The answer will vary greatly depending on which setup you have. If you have a freewheel both items (gears and free mechanism) are one item and essentially you should just replace the freewheel and you would be done.

If you have a freehub (free mechanism is built into the hub which is more common/modern) you will need to determine if the issue is the hub or cassette and replace accordingly.

If you do have a freehub|cassette setup, I would lean (based on your description) to having a damaged freehub which you have likely damaged more by continuing to ride (based on your increasingly description). Depending on the price of your wheel, you may choose to replace the whole wheel, rebuild the wheel with a new hub, or find a way to fix the freehub (possible if the hub body itself is not damaged AND it is an expensive hub).

  • Hello, yes, you're right. I have a freeHUB.
    – Mike
    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:55

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