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Hadn't seen one of these in a long while. My FG rear wheels are all "suicide hubs" built on old thread-on freewheel hubs. The bike I usually commute on had for a week or two occasionally been making a little noise in back - a creak or crunch - when I stood up or cranked hard, but it was only occasional and things still seemed to be working alright, so I figured I'd look close sometime soon.

Yesterday I was lubing the chain, and noticed the dust cover on the right side had popped off, and the bearing grease looked nasty. This is an old cup-and-cone hub -- Campy, from a 60's-vintage city bike I rescued from a dumpster.

I went to work to overhaul the hub, and the first odd thing was that the skewer wouldn't come out -- it seemed to be bent. I tried to straighten it, but it still wouldn't move far, and closer inspection revealed the axle was bent. Forcefully removing the skewer revealed, of course, that the axle was broken.

This used to be pretty common back in the freewheel days, but I hadn't seen it for years.. Fortunately I had a similar old hub around that I could raid for a replacement axle, and I had it back together pretty quickly. One remarkable thing was how well the QR held the thing together. It really was not riding weirdly at all.

One more note about the "suicide hub." I hear a lot of cautions against those, but I've never had a problem. I have a front brake and use it for hard stops, so I don't put skid-stop type forces on the hub, but I've never had it move a bit. I use blue loctite. When I was doing this repair I noticed my cog was looking pretty worn, and I had been expecting it to need replacement soon, so I had a new one in the toolbox. When I tried to remove the old one, I put on the chain whip, stood the wheel on the floor, and leaned hard on the tool. No go.

I finally clamped the chainwhip handle in the bench vise with the wheel horizontal, grabbed both sides of the wheel, and put all the force I could into it. It took a LOT to break it loose, and not insignificant force to turn it the rest of the way. Cleaned up the threads, slathered on the loctite, and threaded on the new cog. I'm not too worried about it unthreading while I'm riding.
 
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