How to repair a rear hub on a bicycle

Written by martin adamovic
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How to repair a rear hub on a bicycle
It is possible to repair the rear hub on a bicycle. (bicycle image by apeschi from

Wear and tear and a variety of other factors can contribute to the breakdown of the rear hub on a bicycle. Among the most common problems that affect rear hubs on bicycles are worn-out bearings and bent axles. The good news is that you can often avoid replacing the entire hub and repair it by fixing these issues instead. When you learn a few key steps you will be able to repair the hub quite quickly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Crescent wrench
  • Cone wrench
  • Pliers
  • Rag
  • Ball bearings

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  1. 1

    Remove the rear hub. Using pliers, remove the cogs. Loosen the axle nuts completely with a crescent wrench and remove.

  2. 2

    Remove the locknut. Secure the cone with a cone wrench and then loosen the locknut by turning it counterclockwise, then remove the cone by turning it counterclockwise.

  3. 3

    Elevate the wheel gradually. As you lift the wheel catch the bearings that fall out of the hub.

  4. 4

    Pull the rest of the bearings out of the hub with a magnet. Replace any ball bearings that appear to be dull instead of shiny.

  5. 5

    Clean all of the pieces by wiping them with a damp rag.

  6. 6

    Remove and test the axle. Pull the axle out of the hub assembly and roll it across a flat surface. Pay attention to the axle as it rolls, watching closely to see if any space appears between the axle and the surface. If you see space, the axle is bent and must be replaced. Buy a new axle at a bicycle shop if it is bent.

  7. 7

    Reassemble the hub and put it back onto the bicycle. Next tighten the axle nuts and make sure all pieces are tightly secured.

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