I had excessive play between my cassette cogs, taking the cassette off revealed that the splines are quite chattered up and I believe this is the source of the play.

I've ordered a new freehub from the Trek dealer (W431450), but for the life of me I can't seem to get the old one off. If I understand correctly, there's "cap" that should come off first (that the thru axle goes through) and then the freehub should pull off easily.

I can't get the cap off and I can't pull the freehub off.

I've tried tapping lightly on the outside of the cap to try and provide a little percussion to break it free, and I've also tried that on the freehub, but no luck. I also (maybe stupidly) tried to use some pliers with a bit of rubber tubing to keep the pliers from scoring the cap, but that also didn't work.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!


Side rant: Why is it so hard to figure out these part numbers? I can't find a comprehensive part listing for my bike (2019 model). The part number on the hub takes me to random cookie-cutter webpages from different bike stores that look like they're all using the same Trek backend? To figure out this freehub part number, I had to call the Trek store and have them look at some system they have. If I look up the wheels, the wheel info page doesn't have any information on the freehub either. Very frustrating.


2 Answers 2


It's hard to know exactly why that cap is so well stuck on, but you are right, it should pop of with a good firm tug. I believe there is a rubber O-ring that keeps it on. I have a DT-Swiss wheel that uses a similar cap, and when mine was stuck on like this, soapy water helped me. I diluted some dish soap and poured a tad all around the cap and it popped right off. If you have an axle vise or a large drill chuck that might help you grab onto that thing to give it a good pull.

  • This is the correct answer! I couldn't get it myself -- had to take it to a Trek dealer, they have some sort of special fancy puller I think :)
    – Matt Egan
    May 10, 2021 at 7:54

I don't know this freehub, but something's wrong with

"cap" that should come off first and then the freehub should pull off easily.

At some point there has to be a positive retainer, like a thread. Else it would be possible for the wheel to drop its entire freehub when not in the frame.

I suggest you try various sizes of hex tool in from both sides and see if they mate up with a matching surface inside the hub somewhere.

Sorry for being vague, but power transmission shouldn't just click together - there has to be something more.

  • 1
    Not always, see youtube.com/watch?v=LeQYfb9PvqU about 35 seconds in for the most accessible example I could think of. But worth considering threading of course
    – Swifty
    Apr 12, 2020 at 7:43

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