I want to replace a defective freehub body and I am confused on how I should unscrew it from the hub. This earlier question (Cannot remove freehub body) explains which direction to go between CW and CCW but it is very confusing due to talking about drive side or not, as well as if turning the tool or the wheel.

Therefore here is my setup (see picture): I have a 11mm HEX socket on a 2' breaker bar and I will hold the wheel and pull the bar. My understanding is that I should pull the bar CCW but I applied quite a lot of pressure already without any success.

Could anyone confirm which direction I should turn the breaker bar in order to loosen the freehub body. I don't know if it helps but the bike is a 2017 Norco Indie 3 and the specs show that the rear cassette is the "Shimano CS-HG200 12-32T 8spd".

enter image description here

  • FWIW neither the LBS or me could get the freehub body off of my wheel, I even put a twist in the large allen key I was using. Not sure what was going on there but concluded sometimes they aren't removable.
    – Jim W
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


It turns out that my freehub part was a type 49N Quick Release for which I have a hard time finding documentation. However, what I can tell is that I had to insert a 12mm hex key from the other side of the wheel. This 12mm HEX key was used to unscrew a bolt located inside the hub with the thread on the outside of the bolt holding the freehub in place.

Amongst the 5-6 tutorials I watched online, not even one mentioned the existence of that system. I found a replacement in a local bike shop so almost ready to go. Thanks.

  • Glad it's off, for clarity, which way did you turn the tool? The different variations might explain why even the Park Tool guide doesn't mention which way the tool turns, when they are normally very thorough
    – Swifty
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:46
  • If you've got a photo of the disassembled parts you could edit it in to illustrate for the next person struggling
    – Swifty
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:50
  • 1
    This is a bit awkward but, having upvoted (now locked in), I notice you didn't technically answer your own question of which way to turn the breaker bar?
    – Swifty
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:49
  • @Swifty I guess you are correct. So here it is: every source I read about freehub with the normal thread were saying CCW. So that would be an answer to my question, however, not for the type of freehub that I had on my bike.
    – jmbouffard
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 20:02
  • When you approach a Shimano freehub fixing bolt from the non-drive side, you turn the wrench clockwise. This has been my experience. I believe the bolt is right hand threaded but because you engage it from the "back" NDS, you must turn the wrench clockwise for removal. This is similar to when you loosen or tighten a spoke via the nipple flats. From a perspective above the wheel, the spoke wrench will turn right to loosen the spoke, left to tighten it
    – Jeff
    Commented May 29, 2021 at 17:59

Consulting a Shimano dealer's manual, chosen at random, we see that the freehub body is often threaded in from the drive side and it has a clockwise thread. So with your tool in the photographed position, you would turn anti-clockwise to loosen. It can be very tight and I often recruit a stronger friend to do this.

However, this is not the only design in use, see an answer to related question which indicates why and when it can sometimes be a different construction, requiring you to turn the tool the other way for some designs.

See how the diagram gives you the direction to turn for disassembly and for assembly, depending on how you have the tool in a lever or in a vise:

enter image description here

Note also that the tightening torque is 150 Nm, with a 15 mm tool. Yours will not be so tight with an 11 mm tool! The 10 mm Shimano is 35-50 Nm. That's still quite tight to disassemble.

If in doubt, see if you can identify the hub and find a service manual for your specific model.

Further illustration:

This coarse thread attachment on random (Cannondale) image from search shows how it is a clockwise thread that holds on a freehub body when it is a male thread:

enter image description here

I think I'm right in saying that if this threads directly into the hub, the tool will be turned anti-clockwise. If the tool fits a nut which mates with the pictured thread, it would be turned clockwise in order to detach the freehub (12 mm tool).

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