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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a 2011 Specialized Camber Elite 29er a few months ago, which I believe is equipped with either a Formula or Joy-Tech rear hub branded as a Specialized proprietary "laser etched" disc hub with sealed bearings. About three weekends ago I heard a faint oscillating scrapping sound coming from the rear of the bike. I thought the sound was coming from a miss aligned rear Avid Elixir 3 rear caliper or a warped rotor. I realigned the caliper before my next weekend ride but quickly discover that the scrapping noise was worse. It seemed like the sound level of the of the metal to metal scraping quieted down a little bit after about ten minutes. Anyway it turned-out that I rolled over a thorn, which punctured my rear inner tube. When I got the bike home and mounted it in a repair stand, I could clearly hear the scrapping sound coming from the rear hub when the wheel was freely tuning or when tuning the cranks. I pulled off the caliper and heard the same oscillating scrapping sound. Next I removed the cassette and turned the free hub by hand and felt and herd a rough metal to metal grinding. I added a few drops on 30 wt oil to the back of the free-hub and work it in the back but that did not help. Then I removed the axle and sealed bearings so that I could remove the free-hub but discovered I needed either a 11mm or 7/16 Allen wrench, which I do not have, so I dripped oil in from the front without success. The odd design feature that this hub has is that the free-hub has a cup built into the front of the mechanism, which part of the sealed bearing presses into. Also the axle is not threaded, so the stop/drop-out nuts lock onto the axle with set-screws, which makes it really hard to remove free-play. The non-drive-side sealed bearing easily presses into its matting bore; however the drive-side free-hub sealed bearing is a bear to install because it will bind if pressed slightly in the cup or create too much free-play if it is not pressed enough into the first part of the cup (before it starts to taper down).

1. Does anybody know how to properly adjust out the free-play in this type of hub?
2. I assume that the free-hub is dry-not bent or improperly machine, so if I can get my hands on an 11mm Allen hex head socket and remove the free-hub and drop a few drips of oil in the back of the mechanism it should cure the grinding sound. Has anybody done this successfully oiled a Formula or Joy-Tech free-hub? I have performed this task many times when rebuilding/regreasing Shimano hubs.
3. Or the best option would be to have my LBS warranty-out the rear wheel or wheel set. Does Specialized have an a more durable 29er wheel set I should ask for? Ideally, I want a wheel set with deep wide rims that will carry my 200 weight and have serviceable hubs that have readily available parts. Note; the front hub has OS28 end caps.
 

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Ben-Jammin
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678 Posts
Warranty it.

I had the exact same issue with that hub on my Epic Comp Carbon 29er.

They replaced the free hub and within a week the noise and grinding started up again.

They're now replacing the hub with an SRAM x9 12x142.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The Specialized/Formula hub is very finicky. For half of my ride it functions properly and during the second half it starts to make a loud chirping noise when I pedal and or sway back and forth in a zigzag pattern. Either 1) the hub develops side play during the second half of the ride, which causes the rotor rub or 2) the axle is bent or 3) the freehub’s bearing race is out of alignment or 3) the quick release is slipping or 4) the sealed bearings are worn-out after 200 miles of riding. Either way I want the replace the hub with a heavy duty model that is reliable and has readily available parts. I weigh 200 pounds so the hub needs to be heavy duty—any recommendations for a HD 6-bolt disc rear hub that won’t break the bank.
 
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