Mavic Freehub Switch

Perhaps a bit random, but it’s something I needed to work out for myself due to probably having to use a ‘loan’ (Wendy’s) set of wheels when I initially switch to Campag (when I eventually find a second bike that fits) so I thought I’d check it out, photograph it and share it here.

Besides, there’s not many wheelsets out there as common as Mavic so it might be useful. And if I was doing anything DT Swiss it’s be too simple: “pull this one off, put this one on” (yes, it really is that easy on most DT hubs!).

So, wheel out of frame, quick release skewer out and cassette removed, this is what you’re faced with:

If you look into the axle end you’ll notice the notches – those are for a 5mm allen key, and the other end has the same. Insert an allen key in each end and start unscrewing…

In truth, and on the assumption that most Mavic wheelsets are the same (which I believe them to be) it doesn’t seem to matter which end comes undone – ultimately all you’re doing here is splitting the axle so that you can gain access to remove the freehub (or bearings, should that be your need).

When the axle is undone, the drive side end comes away like this:

Be careful at this point as the other end of the axle is now free to drop out. Guess how I know that?!…

What you’ll also see at this point is this:

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll need to undo this nut. You don’t. The freehub is now free to come away.

Be careful for this next bit – what you’re trying to do is to turn the freehub to disengage the pawls whilst also gently pulling the freehub towards you. When the pawls are disengaged (i.e. as if you were freewheeling) they tuck into the hub allowing you to remove the freehub body:

Granted, it’s very difficult to see here – the thing to watch is that if you’re not careful here you will find the pawl and spring flying across the room, making themselves *really* difficult to find in the process. Guess how I found that out too?!…

Washer. This will be waiting for you once you’ve slid the freehub body off – be careful not to lose it:

You should have one in the pack with your new freehub body too – it’s critical so make sure it’s there.

Old freehub body off, all that leaves to do is to put the new freehub body back on. Start by putting the washer in place, then slip the freehub body over the hub. It’ll stop up against the pawls:

Difficult to see here (even after tweaking the pic!), but the spring under the circled pawl is holding it proud, and there’s a second one on the other side doing the same. You need to hold those down whilst gently pushing the new freehub body onto the hub.

From here it’s just a reverse of the steps above – make sure the axle portion on the other side is in place and slot in your 5mm allen keys to do the axle back up. Don’t overtighten it, but don’t be too gentle either. Once that’s done, check for any bearing play and check that the freehub seems to be functioning as it should. Any stiffness or sticking and you’ll need to retrace your steps (and perhaps check that washer is in place!). The springs on the pawls have little holes to engage into so that’s a point to check if all is not right.

Simple. You’ve now either replaced a worn freehub body or switched your spangly Mavics over to run ‘the other’ groupset from what you were originally on…