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I have the following rear bike wheel:
WTB STX i23 TCS tubeless 29” rims, 32H, alloy disc hubs, 14G black electroplated spokes

Today it seems that the freehub broke down and it makes a bad sound.

How can I find the compatible freehubs that work with the Shimano HG5100, 11-speed, 11-51T cassete?

Is there a difference between freehubs when the wheel axle is different? (through axle vs quick release)

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Yes. There is a difference between freehubs that take a through axle versus 10mm QR axle. Some through axle hubs can be converted to QR by means of different end caps, however the internals are still the same as a through axle set up. One cannot convert a 10mm QR hub to use a through axle, however.

I Googled your rim model and a couple popular bike parts sale sites had this rim paired with a SRAM 406 hub. See the links below. This is an 8-9-10 speed, HG freehub. An 11 speed Shimano MTB cassette (like your M5100, 11-51t, cassette) will fit on these. It's possible you have a different brand of HG freehub. As someone mentioned, you have to match the freehub body to the rear hub. Basically what differs between free hub bodies of different manufacturers are how the body is secured to the hub and the position of the pawls.

It's best to remove the problem freehub body and see what you have and then match it with available bodies online. Or take it to your LBS. Freehub bodies can be tough to remove. It will take a 10, 12 or 15mm hex head (aka Allen key) depending on manufacturer. In addition, (again, depending on hub manufacturer) the appropriate size hex wrench may enter the hub on approach to the freehub body's lock nut sometimes from the left, non drive side, sometimes from the right, drive side. Either way it is a normal, right hand thread you're dealing with but the direction of approach will require the wrench to be turned the correct way to loosen. There's lots of gotcha's with these things.

Worldwide Cyclery

Universal Cycles

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  • Unfortunately, there are no marks on the hub specifying the model. I have ordered a Shimano 11 speed freehub and hopefully it will match. I wonder if the 8-9-10 speed freehub would have matched as they were considerable cheaper.
    – GIONII
    Dec 9, 2022 at 10:11
  • In that situation, it's hard to know unless you get the problematic freehub body off and determine the characteristics of how it is fixed into the hub and the interface of the pawls. Here's another thing: Shimano 11 speed HG freehub bodies are wider than 8-9-10 speed bodies. This is due to ROAD 11 speed cassettes being wider. MTB 11s cassettes remain the same. Essentially, to fit your M5100 cassette on the 11s HG freehub body, you will require a 1.85mm spacer to be placed on the body prior to mounting the cassette. See next comment for link discussing this.
    – Jeff
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:50
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The manufacturer of your rear hub, not the rim is what you need to be searching against.

Either the hub manufacturer uses a proprietary freehub in which case they are the only people who can supply a new one or they use a generic Shimano HG hub which attach with a 10mm hex bolt.

Figure out who makes the hub by looking at any logos and part numbers and working from there. If it’s a WTB hub you might find the specs on this page

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