There’s nothing like a constant cycle of getting your bike filthy and then cleaning it in a hurried fashion to show up any component deficiencies. And during the winter months several bits of bike are likely to give up the ghost. One of the most common fatalities is the humble freehub body. And without that working, you’re going nowhere.

There are two main failure modes. Either the freehub will stick so that it doesn’t freewheel, leading to the chain tangling up every time you stop pedalling, or it’ll stick so that it freewheels both ways with the obvious detriment to power transmission. What you do about it varies according to your hub. Hope and some other high-end hubs have freehubs that can be dismantled, cleaned out, relubed and rebuilt. Regular Shimano freehubs can, in theory, be stripped down like this but in practice it’s a lot easier just to replace them. You only have to replace the actual freehub mechanism, not the whole hub, and it’s a pretty straightforward job.

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