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mad aussie
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1,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a pair of Mavic X-max XL disc wheels. I have had a problem with the freewheel "buzzing" very loudly on the descents above a certain speed. I seems to be worse on singletrack descents when it is bumpy. The problem gets worse after riding for a while. It goes away when I pedal. The LBS serviced the freehub, which helped a little. I was wondering if the two pawls were sticking and above a certain speed were unable to properly disengage causing the noise. Would using a thin lubricant like prolink chain lube be suitable for the inside of the freehub?
I have downloaded the tech manuals from Mavic's site to remove the freehub and axle.
Any suggestions if anyone else has had this problem?
 

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uofabill
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213 Posts
Yep, I've been there.

I've got two sets of those wheels and both sets started "screeching" at some point. It's not the pawls, it's the bearings. I'll tell you a couple of things I have learned about those free hubs. The pawls need to be lubed with mineral oil and not grease or other oil. Mavic makes their own proprietary mineral oil but you don't need that, just get some at the grocery or drug store. It only takes a few drops.
If your bearings aren't too worn you can grease them yourself.
Another thing I can't emphasize enough is caution when you disassemble the free hub and handling the pawls and the tiny springs. The things are truly miniscule and are so easy to lose it's not funny. When disassembling the free hub lay the entire wheel flat on a white towel or some type of fabric so if a pawl falls out, and one most likely will, it will fall on the towel and you can see it and find it. If one of them gets away from you and hits the floor most likely you won't be able to find it.
To grease the bearings, carefully pick the rubber seal out with the point of an Exacto knife or other very sharp pointed object. When you get that removed you can inject grease into and work it into the bearings. I used Rock n Roll grease but Phil Wood or another quality grease will do just fine.
On one of my free hubs the bearings were too far gone and I had to have my LBS order a set of replacement bearing. You might find the same bearings at a bearing supply house.
If your bearings are not in bad shape the greasing should cure your problem.
If you need info about disassembling the freehub let me know, it is not difficult.
Good luck.
 

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mad aussie
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1,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, I will try the bearings. I had the free hub off and it seemed fine. Will try the bearings next. I seems odd that the problem would go away when you pedalled, but maybe that changed the bearing load.
 

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Flying Wombat said:
............I seems odd that the problem would go away when you pedalled, ..........
That pretty much tells me the freehub is dry. Mavic does recommend mineral oil, i have never tried it. I am currently using Synthetic motor oil, it works ok, just wished it would last longer than 4-6 months. Light grease does not last long and will cause a lot of ghost pedalling.
Flying Wombat said:
............I had the free hub off and it seemed fine. .....
Mavic recommends 20 drops of mineral oil in there so everything should look very wet.
 

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uofabill
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213 Posts
You're Right!

Flying Wombat said:
thanks, I will try the bearings. I had the free hub off and it seemed fine. Will try the bearings next. I seems odd that the problem would go away when you pedalled, but maybe that changed the bearing load.
Both of my wheels did the exact thing. It would start screeching on long fast downhills coasting, then when I would re-engaged the pawls,(start rotating the pedals again) the noise stops. My guess is that the screeching starts when the bearings are in a certain position or possibly there is some kind of harmonic resonance thing going on at certain speeds.
I'm pretty sure that it is not the pawls because I did a lot of trial and error stuff, lubing the freehub/pawls before greasing the bearings which stopped the noise.
Having said that, since you will have the whole thing disassembled you should go ahead and wash and relube the pawls. I used WD 40 to clean up the inside of the freehub before lubing it with the mineral oil and it worked well, just be sure to dry it all out well before lubing and reassembly.
Seems like it's always something!
Bill
 

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138 Posts
damn i had the same problem with my crossmax.. i had the rear hub rebuilt which worked for 3 months them the screech returned. i try the mineral oil thing.....
 

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uofabill
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213 Posts
I strongly urge you...

SDtrailblazer said:
damn i had the same problem with my crossmax.. i had the rear hub rebuilt which worked for 3 months them the screech returned. i try the mineral oil thing.....
if you are going to do the job yourself, as long as you have the hub apart to go ahead and grease the bearings while you're at it. That part of the job is the easiest anyway.
I am about 80% convinced that the screeching we have all experienced comes from the bearings and not the pawls. At any rate, lubing the bearings can't hurt anything.
MY $.02.
Bill
 

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uofabill has got it down.

CrossMax wheels need to be serviced once or twice a year. I've been using King RingDrive Lube instead of mineral oil. It seems to hang on the surfaces a little longer.
 

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mad aussie
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1,129 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found the problem

A few months ago I had the freehub service at a LBS due to excessive freehub drag and noise. They replaced one of the springs under the pawls and is had come out. I cleaned the freehub very carefully and found a small piece of spring still in the mechanism. I guess occasionally it would get between the pawl and the freehub and make that buzzing sound. It wasnt a screeching, it sounded like an extremely loud King freewheel. I removed and cleaned it out without touching the bearings as I wanted to see if that was the problem. The noise went away completely and now the hub runs as smooth as butter.
I will regrease the bearings prophylactically. I notice that their are two bearings, one on the right side of the hub and one inside the freewheel. The hub bearing seems easy to service, but what about the freewheel bearing?
 

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It is the bearings, but be careful...

I had the same issue, but if you need to replace the bearings in the rear send the wheel to Mavic. I bought mine used from a shop and the bearings had been replaced with standard bearings prior to my purchase. After having several shops look at the problem, I send the wheel back to Mavic. I was then informed that Mavic uses proprietary bearings(what the hey does that mean?), and the wrong size bearings had been reinstalled. This ruined the hub body, and I got a new hub out of the deal.

I haven't had a problem in the last 4 months.

... and try the lube thing
 
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