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I have searched through Stack Exchange and found another question about a stuck freehub, but I am confused about which direction to turn the 12mm hex wrench to loosen the freehub. It is an 8-speed SRAM freehub on a 2016 kid's bike (Islabikes Beinn 24).

There is a sleeve in the freehub that prevents access to the 12mm flats from the drive side. I cannot tell if the sleeve is removable. I have a long enough 12mm hex key to used from the non-drive side, and I have placed the box end of a 12mm wrench around the hex key. With the torque I can apply by hand with a standard 12mm wrench I could not get the freehub to budge.

Before I start increasing the torque, I want to make sure that these are right-hand threads threading into the hub body, so from the non-drive side I should be turning clockwise.

A comment on the above-referenced thread about the 12mm flats being a nut gave me pause -- I've never seen that configuration.

I live a plane flight away from any bike shop so local expertise is not available.

Thanks!

  • You could just ask islabikes, their tech support email address is info@islabikes.co.uk – Jackson Sep 15 at 20:26
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The typical thread orientation requires turning the wrench counter clockwise from the non-drive side. The hardware can be very tight and often has thread locker installed. I have several methods. Clamp the short end of the allen wrench in a vise. Place the wheel on the wrench and turn the wheel. The 12mm wrench is a start but still does not increase the leverage by much. Use a 12 inch piece of 1/2" black iron pipe( available at most hardware stores). Slide the pipe over the short end of the allen wrench for more leverage. The third method is to use the box (closed) end of a larger wrench like a 3/4" or 18mm. Hook the box end over the short end of the allen for increased leverage.

  • Yes, I have plenty of methods to increase torque, I just want confirmation that I'm doing it in the right direction before I break something. I will try counter-clockwise from the non-drive side. – Kevin Frederick Sep 16 at 5:39
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When pedalling the bike the torque is,applied clockwise on the drive side of the hub, therefore to undo it from the non-drive side you were correct originally, you'll need to turn it clockwise

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I consulted with Islabikes, and they advised me to put the 12mm hex key in a vice, then put the wheel on the wrench. In this configuration, the freehub is pointing up. Then, they confirmed that I should turn the wheel counter-clockwise.

I did this, and it still didn't come off, so I emailed them again for confirmation. Islabikes insisted that counter-clockwise is correct.

So I got a friend to help. The freehub still did not loosen. Instead, two spokes pulled through the rim, destroying it. Islabikes said they had never seen this happen.

My conclusions: Either the freehub attachement bolt was affixed with a non-removable threadlocker, or otherwise corroded to the point of permanence. The bike has been well-service and is only 3 years old so the latter seems unlikely. OR, Islabikes is incorrect and I turned the wrong direction based on their advice.

When I have a chance, I may destroy the hub in order to satisfy my curiosity.

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