Mavic Ksyrium ES (Helium Anniversary Edition) Hub Overhaul and Other News

I thought it would be a good article to review a hub overhaul on a nice set of Mavic wheels before your spring riding season heats up (at least on the East coast).  Mavic wheels are quite popular today and the first important thing to remember is that with only minor variation, most Mavic hubs are built similarly and can use the same freehub body on any of their wheels (Occasionally an older freehub will need a sleeve included with new freehub bodies today, but otherwise is the same).  These wheels have a simple yet elegant design that holds up under a variety of riding conditions, is tubeless and 11 speed compatible, and resists corrosion and wear exceptionally well.  The Ksyrium (pronounced “Seerium”) is Mavic’s most prominent wheel and is competitive in both weight and ride quality to most other major wheel manufacturers.

However, despite all of these great points, the hubs still need servicing to remain in top shape and performance and doing so will greatly extend the life of the wheel.  A lack of maintenance can lead to a slower wheel, and when coasting, a high pitched squeal.  This is indication that the inside of the freehub body is dry as well as the rubber seal the freehub sits on.  Dirt and water can still invade the bearings even though they are “sealed” and the dirt can cause wear on an otherwise forever-lasting freehub body.  Most of the wheels that need the freehub body actually replaced are due to a lack of scheduled maintenance rather than it simply wear out due to riding alone.  Let’s dig in!

The front hub is really easy.  it requires the Mavic tire lever and a 5mm hex key.  On the end of the tire lever is a U-shaped curve with two pins on each side.  These pins fit exactly into the holes on the non-drive side of the front hub.  the 5mm hex key is inserted into the opposite side of the hub through the axle.  Loosen the axle with the 5mm hex key (CCW) while holding the tire lever in the preload cap with the pins.  When reassembling, we will discuss its purpose.  Once the preload cap is off of the hub the axle can be pulled out through the side with the hex key.  Inspect the bearings on each side as seen below.

Front Ksyrium hub with axle removedPreload cap for front hubYou’ll likely notice a bit of grease and dirt on the bearing seals. With a bit of isopropyl alcohol, clean the hub area around the bearings and then rotate the bearings to check for gritty spots or rough turning.  You should feel continuously smooth rolling with no drag points if the bearings are in good shape.  If they do need replacement, they can be ordered from your local shop and easily installed with a small bearing puller and bearing press.  This article doesn’t cover the actual replacement of the bearings, but a video is being planned to detail appropriate bearing removal and installation.

Continuing on, if the bearings are in good shape, use isopropyl alcohol to wipe down and clean the preload cap and the axle.  be sure to pop the end of the axle off that are fitted by compression using o-rings.  It is a great idea to apply a small amount of light grease to these so that they will not creak or be difficult to remove for cleaning.  Inspect the o-rings for cuts or abrasions and replace as necessary.

Axle and preload cap and end caps and quick release for front hubThis is the axle and corresponding cap and end cap for each side.  Note that the large circular caps have one with the preload pin holes and one does not.  The one that does not just slides onto the axle until it hits the lip on the right side of the axle in the photo above.  The preload cap with the pin holes threads onto the axle after inserting it through the hub.  be sure to grease the axle before so it installs easily. Using a 5mm hex key and the preload end of the Mavic tire lever, thread the cap on the axle until it starts to tighten up.  Then, back the preload cap off bit by bit will wiggling the axle to detect any play.  As soon as the play is gone, stop.  The hub now will spin as freely as possible without having bearing play.

Now, onto the rear hub!  The rear is a little more complex, but works on the same principles as the front for most of the axle assembly.  The rear hub also has the 5mm hex key opening on the drive side of the axle.  On the non-drive side the end cap can be pulled off with your hand.  It is fitted onto the axle with a compression o-ring, much like the smaller end caps on the front hub.  This is where greasing the o-ring will help greatly.  If the o-ring is dry, it may be difficult to pull off.  In that case I take a cone wrench slightly bigger than the cap and use it to pry the cap off.  Also, an axle vise works great in this case.  Drip a couple drops of Triflow on the cap so that the o-ring is lubricated.  Once removed, look at the inside of the hub.  You’ll see flats for a 12mm hex key.  Insert a 12mm hex key into the non-drive side and a 5mm hex key into the drive side and turn each CCW.  Reference the photo below.

Removing the axle for a Mavic Ksyrium rear hub. The non-drive side end capAbove is the removal of the axle and the non-drive side end cap removed from the axle.  The non-drive side of the axle will stay installed in the hub for the moment and you’ll notice the drive side of the axle threading itself out of the axle.  Once unthreaded, pull the drive side axle out and set to the side.  Then, carefully pull the freehub body off of the hub.  It usually does not take much pressure.  However, two pawls and springs that cause the ratcheting mechanism of the freehub body to work are right under the freehub on the hub shell itself and can spring right off into space if you aren’t careful.  If the springs somehow are lost, don’t even both searching for them unless you don’t have new spare ones.  You will literally never find them until your next shop winter cleaning.  Maybe not even then.  I have searched and searched for these things and generally come up empty-handed.  I mention this in such importance because it is easy to lose these springs.  For that reason, if you are a shop, buy spare parts for these wheels.  They can be used in all Mavic hubs and are cheaper than the time you’ll waste looking for the old ones.  If you are a home mechanic, buy some too, but put the springs upon removal from the hub directly into a magnetic parts bowl.  They will stay put and can even be cleaned easily in the bowl.  This is what the removal of the freehub body looks like.

Pawls and springs and hub shell Inside of the freehub body and drive side axle end.The top photo is of the hub shell under the freehub body and the bottom photo is of the freehub body inside and the drive side axle end.  Notice the dirt, grime, and dirty grease present on the white/tan bushing on the inside of the freehub body.  This bushing is identically machined to each Mavic wheel hub shell when they are made, which creates an amazingly amooth and wear free part.  The killer to the eternal lifespan though is allowing this bushing, the inside of the freehub body, and the pawls and springs to get dry and/or dirty.  Using isopropyl alcohol, clean each part thoroughly and inspect the bearing in the freehub body from wear.  This bearing is a #608 and another is on the outside of the drive side hub shell as seen in the top photo.  The non-drive bearing is a #6903.  Here is a photo of the pawls and springs removed for inspection and cleaning.

Pawls and springsThe left pawl is showing the outside edge.  Once cleaned, inspect this edge.  If there is a shiny wear mark , it is time to replace them.  If the coloring of the pawl is even almost out to the edge, they should be okay.

Freehub body sealOnce you have removed the pawls and springs, use needle nose pliers and gently pull the freehub body seal off of the hub shell.  When this is not properly lubricated, that is what causes the high-pitched squeal when coasting down hills.  It also keeps the mineral oil we will use for the freehub body to stay inside the freehub — allowing better lifespan and performance.  Clean the hub shell as well.

Using the 12mm hex key and the Mavic tire lever, insert the 12mm into the non-drive side of the axle and insert the preload adjustment into the preload cap.  Unthread the preload cap and pull the axle out of the hub shell.

Rear non-drive side hub shell and axleInspect this bearing as well and clean the axle and preload cap with isopropyl alcohol.  Be sure to add grease to the preload cap threads when reinstalling for smooth adjustment.

Rear non-drive side axle and freehub bodyOnce everything is cleaned and inspected, it’s time to reassemble the hub.  Insert the axle with a small amount of grease through the non-drive side of the hub shell and thread the preload cap on just a couple turns.  We will come back later to adjust it.  Tightening it down now will cause the bearings to bind when the drive side of the axle is installed and tightened.

Freehub body with fresh mineral oil from MavicMavic freehub mineral oil (15wt)Drip about five drops of mineral oil (15wt) from Mavic into the freehub body and set on its side so it doesn’t drain out.  Then, apply a bit of mineral oil to the washer between the freehub body and hub shell, seen at the bottom of the above photo and also again slightly set to the side in the photo below.

Freehub body washerIf this washer is not installed, the axle and bearings will bind terribly.  It spaces the freehub away from the hub shell properly so the compression of the freehub seal is not too tight.

Pawls and springs reinstalledNext, install the rubber freehub seal and the pawls and springs.  The springs fit over a pin on each pawls and then into a corresponding hole on the hub shell where they sit.  I usually drip a drop of mineral oil on these two and press them a few times to make sure they spring back open properly and smoothly.  Once these pieces are installed, slide the freehub body onto the hub shell.  When it hits the open pawls, use two fingers to depress the pawls and continue sliding the freehub body on.  Once fully seated, insert the drive side axle with a bit of grease or light loctite and thread into the non-drive side axle until tight (about 8-10Nm).  Turn the freehub body and listen for the correct and constant ratcheting of the pawls.

Installing the rear drive side axleFlip the wheel to the non-drive side and using a 12mm hex key and preload adjustment lever, tighten the cap down as mentioned in the front hub overhaul procedure and back it off until any play in the axle is gone.  That’s pretty much it.  Other than cleaning the rest of the wheel and truing it, the hub overhaul is complete and your wheels will be ready for another season of riding.  I am convinced that if you do this with your wheels before and after winter, you’ll keep your Mavics running for years and years without trouble.  As always, feel free to comment or send questions.

In the next few weeks, I am attempting to film some short repair videos and have had a request for one for the Dura-Ace 9000 front derailleur setup.  This will be the first one with clips on the variations in setup for the Ultegra and 105 level components.

– SNC

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SRAM Road Hydro Disc Install & Review (New) & Pinarello Dogma F8 Frameset Unveiled

I thought I would write a review of how to install and adjust / bleed the newest road hydraulic disc components from SRAM (the SB700 series).  They just arrived at the shop a few days ago and I was anxious to see what the differences were and how they would perform once installed.  As normal, there were some easier parts and more difficult ones and I am sure I will encounter new challenges with it for each new frame it’s installed on.

This review is based off of a popular frame — the Specialized SWORKS Crux.  It’s cable routing was designed to use road hydraulic brakes (or mechanical) and was the first one in the shop to be updated.  Here goes.

This is the group right out of the package.  This is the SB700 series and it also came with Zipp Service Course SL tape (black), new rotors/pads, and caliper bleed blocks.

The Shipment New SRAM Hydro  The S Series CaliperThe S700 hydraulic road lever

The front and rear setups were in separate boxes and packaged well.  The only thing that I would have liked to have seen would be a printed copy of the bleed procedure.  However, I did find it easily online here

This bike stayed in the shop from the initial recall and so removal of the recalled hydraulic brakes was fairly quick and easy.  I cut the lines for the rear brake because of the internal routing and pulled the line through after installing this little connector and hose plug to avoid DOT fluid dripping through the frame.

The first thing I did was to clean all of the surfaces the components would be installed to with isopropyl alcohol.  This leaves no residue and provides the cleanest contact surface.  Before this, I also disconnected and removed the old derailleur cables.  Installation of the brake/shift lever is next and was mounted using a small amount of grip paste behind the handlebar mounting bracket to ensure stable placement and zero movement while riding.  Photos below.

Installed rear lever Old lever marking for replacmentInstalled rear lever

 

Once the lever was installed, I checked out the caliper to notice any differences.  These next photos are of the caliper installed and on the bench.  I figure it is more useful to know as many things as possible before the install and some of these things were discovered throughout the installation.

The caliper beside the diagram of parts The removable hose / barb/ olive for trimming 92 Caliper brake pads Bleed block

 

In the above photos, you will notice that the caliper looks about like any other hydraulic caliper out there with a few minor differences.  First, the hose can be cut and sized for the frame at the banjo.  Where older style brakes seemed to always have the crimped metal cap on the hose where it meets the banjo on the caliper, there is a standard 8mm fitting bolt that compresses an olive and barb into the body of the banjo.  Secondly, the pads are uniquely shaped compared to other SRAM/Avid brakes.  Lastly, the safety retainer clip for the bolt that hold the brake pads in the caliper is clipped on the inside of the body, where the edge of the pick is pointing in the second photo.  As a side note, I just realized the potential to use the bleed block as a tool to hold the hose while installing a barb by squeezing the end of the bleed block that is slotted.

Next, the front caliper was installed and appropriate measuring for the hose was fitted for the frame.  I used the smaller cylindrical caliper mounting spacers and found it to look sleek and minimal while providing a stable “post” for the caliper to mount to.

Brand new rotors Installing the front caliper  Installed caliper and rotor on front wheelEasy hose cutting and sizing

 

Cutting and sizing the hose for the front brake was relatively easy and required about the same time as it does for a mountain hydraulic brake.  With no internal routing for the front brake, it simply passes in a nice arc in front of the head tube and follows by a retainer clip on the fork down to the caliper.  Pivot washers and new mounting hardware were all included (a 12mm top spacer and a 7.5mm bottom spacer for a 140mm rotor)(A standard adaptor was also included for a larger rotor).

Now, I’ll cover the installation for the rear brake and then go over the bleed procedure last.  The rear brake hose, as mentioned earlier, is routed through the frame, below the bottom bracket to the non-drive side of the bottom bracket cable guides for the derailleur cables, and out of the rear non-drive chain stay to the caliper.  The caliper mounts directly to the frame mounts along with pivot washers.

One of the important factors in internal routing for hydraulic hoses (and full-length housing) is being able to wrap cushioning around it to prevent rattling in the frame every time the bike hits a bump.  Specialized had provided a spiral foam insulator that was wrapped on the excess of the hose and pushed into the frame where it passed below the bottom bracket (shown below)

The bottom of the photo is where the insulator is pushed into the down tube.  It is incredibly helpful to use some sort of snaking light to illuminate the inside of the frame so the derailleur cables can be checked for crossing when installed (also internally routed).  It’s an easy thing to miss with all of the other focus points of the install and will definitely lead to terrible shifting.  I left the hose for the install as long as possible (cutting it about two inches from the banjo on the brake caliper) so there would be plenty to use for correctly sizing to the frame.  I would note that gloves are definitely useful and necessary while routing the cable so no DOT fluid contacts the skin.

Cable liners routed for derailleur cables Hose plug and tool for routing through the frame Installing new barb and olive onto the cut and sized hose The installed caliper before attaching the hose Rear rotor (and still works for racks on bikes)

The routing through the frame wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be since the hose was fairly rigid and could be easily seen with the light shown into the frame. Using the little red plug also marginally helped to prevent lots of air from entering the system while installing, which made bleeding the brake quicker and more effective afterward.

The pads lined up to the rotors well for the front and rear.  The pad spacers were held in place well and resisted falling out (great for packing and transporting).  Before bleeding both brakes, I went ahead and installed the derailleur cables back onto the components and adjusted as necessary.

Once the rotors, levers, shifter cables, hydraulic hoses, and calipers were all installed, it was definitely evident and expected that one or two bleeds would be required to get the correct actuation of the lever.  Initial pulls on the lever yielded solid piston movement in the caliper — even with air in the system.

The bleed procedure is quite normal and easy.  The bleed port on the lever is located at the topmost section of the grip, underneath the rubber.  A standard T10 fitting right in the center connected to a 1/4th filled bleed syringe with DOT 5.1 fluid and a hose clamp.  The inner part of the caliper body bolt is the second fitting (also T10) for the 1/2 filled syringe of DOT 5.1 fluid with a hose clamp.  Past this, the bleed procedure is described in depth, step by step at the link mentioned at the start of the article.

Lever bleed port T10 Caliper bleed port T10 Remember this clip! Bleed manual off of website for Road Hydraulic

 

A few things to remember — clean the entire caliper with isopropyl alcohol after bleeding the brake and before reinstalling the brake pads.  Use the included bleed block.  Do not forget the clip for the retainer bolt on the caliper that holds the pads in place.  While not critical for the brake to function, it is a safety clip so the pads do not vibrate out and cause the pistons to contact the rotor in the event of a failure.  Lastly, always go through the bleed procedure step by step.  As noted in the manual, it may be necessary to bleed the brake more than once for the initial install.  I bled the rear brake twice and the front brake once (due to less air exposure than the rear and great results after the first bleed).

I checked the position of the brake pads in relation to the rotor and centered them on either side by loosening and tightening the mounting bolts and placing a white sheet of paper below the caliper (which makes it incredibly easy to see the space between each brake pad and its respective side of the disc rotor).  Once fine-tuned, I test rode it around the area outside our shop and was noticeably impressed.

The shifting performance felt better than the original hydraulic version and slightly better than the mechanical 22 groups.  The brake pads were burnished to the rotors with about 40-50 hard stops and responded quickly to fast braking and slower modulation.  The reach can also be adjusted for quicker pad contact and shorter distance to the handlebars.

All in all, I thought the install took an appropriate amount of time and was well prepared for by SRAM.  The bleed procedure is quite like their mountain brakes, which is easy and was convenient to perform with a brand new bleed kit included with each set of brakes.  The braking power was solid and adequate.  I’ll be awaiting real ride feedback from riders picking them up as I finish installing the others.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding this article or in your own install as I am always looking to expand the knowledge base to provide accurate instructions and review.  Thanks for the support!

– S.N.C.

As a final note, we also just got a shipment of the new Pinarello Dogma F8 — an incredibly light frame with post hardware rolling in at about 980g!  Below are photos of the frame before the build and I’ll have build photos in the next week as five are already getting ready to head out to the road for takeoff!

 

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Wheel Truing and Specialized Turbo Long Term Review

I will be posting a short article tomorrow evening on wheel truing and will also post Part 1 of all the info and tuning/adjustments I have been through and discovered with the Specialized Turbo S Pedelec bike. I look forward to your thoughts!  Stay tuned for for great info and photos.

P.S.  I also edited the Dura-Ace 9000 front derailleur setup article after reviewing a few comments from readers and my own experiences with the setup.

 

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– SNC