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My son has had an Early Rider Belter for around 14 months. Recently, I've noticed the free-wheel sounds "gritty", and there is quite a bit of friction if you move the cranks backwards while the rear wheel is spinning, exactly as shown in this YouTube video (posted by someone else... clearly the hub has issues).

I've removed the rear wheel and taken a look at the sprocket. It's not like Shimano hubs I'm familiar with.

Can this hub be serviced? If so, how does it come apart, and what tools will I need?

It appears to have "KENGMIN fastace" printed on it, but a google for this term doesn't provide anything useful.

Here are two pictures of it:

three-quarter view

looking straight ahead

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  • The rear hub is pretty dirty - does this bike live outside in the rain or something? Could contribute to grit in the wrong places.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:35
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    He'd ridden it on a pretty wet ride the day before. It doesn't live in the rain, no! The freehub looks to be unsealed, and therefore very susceptible to water and grit ingress.
    – Paul Suart
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 6:29
  • Any update on that? experiencing the same issue...
    – user69445
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 7:28

3 Answers 3

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Fastace is a maker of bicycle components. That looks like a freewheel with one belt drive sprocket instead of 5 or more chain drive sprockets.

See the Terminology Index for a description of the difference between freewheel and freehub/cassette systems.

The belt drive freewheel should be removable with a four tooth removal tool (see the Park Tool video below for tool selection guidance). You'll then need to get inside the freehub to clean and re-lube the bearings and racheting mechanism. I believe that's done using a pin spanner to unscrew the rings with 'KENGMIN fastace' written on it. See the RJ the Bike Guy video below for a idea how the might be accomplished - your freewheel might be a bit different, but it gives you and idea of what to expect.

As an aside, that's an interesting kids bike. Not sure I like the radial lacing of the rear wheel though.

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  • Thanks for this. I'll report back in the next few days with a progress report! It's a great kids' bike - very light and smooth. You're right about the radial spokes - weird how I'd not noticed until you pointed it out.
    – Paul Suart
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:29
  • Exactly my thoughts about radial spoking. I guess the wheel diameter and intended riders' weight, acceleration and shredding capabilities justify such lacing pattern to be sturdy enough. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:52
  • @GrigoryRechistov I guess they did it for weight savings (or looks). Questionable decision IMHO as even low torque from kids legs is going to rotate the hub relative to the rim to some extent. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 20:56
  • @ArgentiApparatus - On a small-diameter wheel with a relatively large hub, non-radial spokes will tend to approach the rim at too shallow of an angle, resulting in premature spoke failure at the nipples. The wheel can be drilled at an angle to combat this, but it's a lot of extra work. Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 21:30
  • @DanielRHicks Good point Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:16
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Currently, I do have the same issue with my son's bike. Here's a nice tutorial

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    Welcome to bikes.se! We tend to disprefer link-only and video-only answers as the links can die and videos can be removed. Can you include a textual summary of the video?
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 18:19
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    Thanks. This will be handy for when I finally manage to get hold of the right 4-tooth tool...
    – Paul Suart
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 9:53
  • @PaulSuart did you find a suitable driver? When I needed an odd two tooth one, I used an old socket of suitable diameter, then a hacksaw to cut the sides of the teeth as needed, and finally a grinder to remove the waste. It looks ugly, but worked well enough for the one-time I needed it.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 7:39
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For a first approximation, I'd start by removing the tyre/tube/rim strip, and flushing the whole freehub area with solvent. Do it outside, over a large tray and you'll catch most of it to run through again. Flip the wheel over and also flush from the back side. A squirty-bottle might help, as would a "meat syringe" Wear gloves and old clothes.

The idea here is to wash out all the lube, grit and dust. Manipulate the mechanism while flushing, and really get the solvent in there. Diesel can be a good choice, while petrol/gasoline is a little too volatile. You might have access to other solvents too.

The mechanical action should become less-gritty as you flush. Once it ceases improving, you're done. Deal with the catch-tray while the rim air dries. You might use plain compressed air to help that process, or an hour in the sun can do it.

Finally, you need to re-lube the mechanism internally. I would shove some wheel grease in whereever there's access, and possibly use a lighter oil like CRC556 or WD40 to wash the grease around. This is potentially quite messy. Another option is to use spray-on lubes. I suspect any chain lube would work well enough in this freehub too.

Let the wheel stand for a night with a cloth under to catch any drippings. If it feels good next day, reassemble and try it out.

If it feels rubbish still, you haven't damaged anything and can proceed with disassembly.


If the crunchiness is due to bearing balls being in the wrong place, this probably won't fix anything. Also if the balls have munched themselves into other shapes, this also won't help.

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