Trying to take the freehub body off my bike. The bike is a fairly low end Raleigh Shimano Tourney set up. I got a 12mm hex, inserted it into the hex groove on the freehub side and tried to turn it anti-clockwise. It will not come off. Gone so far as to use fit an adjustable wrench on the hex shaft for more leverage and use a deadblow hammer on the end of it. (Shorter end of the hex not quite long enough to use it in the other orientation that would supply better leverage). Are freehubs meant to be on this tight or am I doing something wrong?

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  • Can you provide a photo and a model number ? It could be unreplaceable (unlikely) or at least unserviceable. Tourney is the lowest groupset in the Shimano lineup.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 3:03
  • 1
    Images added. Not sure how to find the model number of the hub. Theres nothing written on it, though the freehub body has the letters 'L and J' inscribed on it. Bike is a 2013 Raleigh Airlite 100 SE. The rims are 'Ryde Nova', if that gives any clue'. Only want to remove it as I believe there is grit between it and the hub causing friction.
    – user34810
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 21:45
  • 1
    Looks like a hex tool is required - 10mm or 12mm would be normal. You need a longer one too, not just a multitool. I have a 10mm hex tool that is 40cm long and made short work of the one freehub I tried it on. Note your freehub looks like a low-spec one - not designed to be serviced. If squirting lube through the cracks doesn't work the grit out, then it could call for replacement.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 0:08

2 Answers 2


On a lot of the 12mm ones, the part that has the 12mm wrench flats is essentially a nut threaded on to a protruding thread off the freehub body. In that case you're wanting to turn the wrench clockwise when viewed from the drive side or counter/anti-clockwise from the non-drive side.

They're one of the higher torque things on bikes and sometimes threadlocker is applied at the factory as well, so taking a lot of force to break free isn't necessarily a red flag as long as you're being sensitive that it doesn't just feel like you're turning the wrong direction.

  • I've borrowed from this advice to try and answer a similar question. bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/77069/38558 could you check my answer and see if I'm understanding things properly? Basically it seems to me that normally its a right hand thread but sometimes, like in the 12 mm case, it's turned the other way to normal?
    – Swifty
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 17:39
  • @Swifty Sounds about right. Commented May 28, 2021 at 22:09

You should most likely turn clockwise, viewed from the freehub side.

If your allen (hex) key does not sufficiently fit (the small end should go in the freehub to provide enough leverage), your best bet is to get a better allen key.

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