I'd like to re-apply grease in the ratchet mechanism of a Mavic freehub (the design is similar to DT Swiss and possibly other brands).

The mechanism is very simple to unmount, most of the parts that can be removed can easily be cleaned outside the hub. However there are two faces in that are next to sealed bearings (one with the drive side bearing that is press-fitted inside the hub, and there's another bearing in the freehub body). The tutorials I've seen focus on the removable parts, but do not address the hub & freehub body.

What is the best way to proceed for cleaning those faces? I imagine that using any degreaser would potentially go into the bearing itself (even if sealed) so should be avoided, but is the case? Or maybe it's not necessary?

For reference, here's an exploded view of the ratchet mechanism.

rear hub exploded view Source

1 Answer 1


Don't use free liquid degreaser or solvents for this. Realistically there's nothing you can do to keep it all from wicking past the bearing seals and working on the grease inside.

If you absolutely need to deep-clean a ratchet ring next to sealed bearings, use cotton swabs with just a little solvent, and scrub at each face of the ratchet ring.

For the most part just wiping it with a clean, absorbent rag should be fine unless it's particularly crusted up. You can also put a little solvent on the rag. Microfiber rags are good at this kind of thing.

Pawl and drive ring mechanisms don't live their lives in perfectly sealed conditions. Of course cleaning them periodically is good, but taking pains to get it 100% clean is unnecessary if you can hit 95% easily.

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