This page will discuss what needs to be done in order to maintain the standard screw-type free-coaster.
Usually I would recommend starting by re-greasing the hub after the first ride on it. Then make sure it is all nice. After that, repeat one week later. Then two weeks after that, then one month after that. Try to find how you like the hub to feel and how often you need to service it in order to get it to feel that way. Remember: The best way to know if you should service the hub is by how it feels to you (after all, you should know how your hub should feel since you are riding it. You are riding it, right?)
Here is how most Screw type axles are assembled (from Drive side to non drive side).
- Axle nut
- Cone nut (or washer)
- Driver Bearing
- Driver side hub bearing
- Hub shell
- Resistor (Spring, coil, balls, etc)
- Slack washers (the poverty has a thrust bearing here for reduced friction when back pedaling)
- Bearing washer (to press against the inside bearing race or cone nut). Nankai and other unsealed coasters have another nut here that the spring will often run against.
- Cone nut (or washer)
- Axle nut
The axle runs through the center of the whole system.
What should I grease? Why?
- Bearing seats – This allows the bearings to sit correctly on the axle, driver, and hub shell. If they were off, they could potentially cause premature wearing.
- Threads – This should be the obvious one. You want to reduce the amount of friction in the interface between the driver and clutch (or the driver and anything it touches).
- Threads – This is the same as greasing the driver threads. Reduce the friction.
- Where the resistor touches – The purpose of the grease here is not to reduce friction, but rather, to increase the smoothness of the pedaling.
- Backside of the Clutch – This is to reduce friction when back pedaling.
- Engagement Side – This is done by some (not me) to reduce the “clicking” sound of the fresh driver as it is wearing into the hub shell. I did not do this because I wanted the clutch to break in quickly.
- Inside face – This is again to reduce the friction when back pedaling. This is the reason that the Poverty hub has a thrust washer here.
- Bearing Seats – To allow easy, perfect seating of the bearings.
- Resistor Placement – To make the pedaling smoother.
- Threads – This allows the nuts to be tightened down to a higher torque spec with less risk of stripping, and better efficiency of your energy.
What type of grease?
I have used a variety of greases on my free-coaster.
All Purpose Grease:
- Pedro’s Velo Grease
- Park Tools 1000 Grease
- Phil Wood Water Proof Grease
- Automotive Brake Bearing Grease
- Pro-gold Lithium Grease
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Super Web Grease
- Phil Wood Tenacious Oil
- Pedro’s Syntech
- White Lightening
And here are the rankings of the types of greases:
- All Purpose grease – Has the best combination of consistency, longevity, and smoothness.
- Thick Oils – Doesn’t stick quite as well, but is definitely smooth and has a great feeling.
- Sticky Grease – Tends to feel a bit sluggish, but sticks extremely well, which lends to its longevity.
- Bearing Grease – Feels “heavy”. That is all I can really say. The feeling just wasn’t there.
- Oils/Waxes – Do not use these. They have very little resistance, but will wipe away quickly, and cause you hub to get a lot of heat build up very quickly.