Fulcrum freehub in the wet

Just wondering if anyone could shed any light on this:

I’ve been told by a bike mechanic that the freehub on the Fulcrum Racing 900 wheel could easily wind up creaking constantly (and permanently) after just one ride out in the rain. He also said that if mudguards were fitted to the bike the possibility of this happening would be even greater, as water would be dripping from the mudguard directly onto the freehub. Something to do with water being able to get into them easily. But surely that’s an exaggeration on his part. Or is that all entirely plausible?


I never had a problem with racing quattros or racing 500 in the wet or with mudguards (both of which have been my winter wheels. Sounds an implausible exaggeration to me.

Edit, the cynic in me says he was trying to sell you dearer wheels :wink:

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I dont know that I’d expect ANYTHING to creak after getting wet once. Sounds like nonsense.

I’ve used quattro carbons in the wet a few times and never experienced any creaks.

Also…creaking is a strange thing for a freehub to do in my experience…

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Cheers! I was thinking the same about it being an exaggeration.

The issue is that I took my bike to a mechanic for a general tidy & tighten up going into the winter and he told me that the rear freehub could do with replacing as it was creaking/rattling. I had actually noticed that creaking for ages but thought it was the gears - now I know why my adjustments weren’t going anywhere. Anyway, I told the guy that the freehub was only replaced a few months earlier. So he took the thing apart and said he knows, 100%, that it’s not a new freehub (and why etc…).

I called the shop mechanic who did the initial work, telling him that the creaking sound had been there right from the first ride after I picked up the bike from him (thinking it was the gears). He immediately asked, “Did you have the bike out in the rain?” and when I replied that I had, but only twice, he started hitting me with the ‘one day in the rain’ theory, and reasons why those wheels are supposedly crap, and then asked if I had put mudguards on. I told him I did (but in hindsight almost immediately after saying it, I remembered that I had taken them out but not put them on). I didn’t get the time to correct myself, though, as he then let me have the ‘water off the guard and into the freehub’ theory. He never actually directly answered my question of ‘Surely a wheel manufacturer wouldn’t put out a wheel that shit that if it’s out in the rain one day it’s needing replaced/repaired?’ apart from saying the wheels are crap, how many he’s had to fix in the last year, and the two rain theories a couple of times.

The bike was initially left in as when freewheeling the pedals were turning as well. The mech who did that work told me that the freehub had siezed and I would need a replacement. Then… as above.

What y’all think?

Can’t see mudguards making it worse.

Regarding the “one rainy day” theory - I’ve had bits on my bike seize up after one extremely wet ride. It depends if the water gets in, whether it can get out, and how well protected by grease the parts are. Generally, the smoother running and the less friction there is in a hub, the more likely it is to be affected by water, because to prevent water ingress, you need better seals on the bearings, and better seals create friction…

Also I think creaking and rattling is generally not cause by the freehub itself, but by the bearings in it. Depending on the freehub, these can be replaced more or less easily. Maybe the first mechanic just regreased the bearings instead of replacing them.


Thanks for the tech explanation. Makes a lot of sense. The two days I was out in rain, though, it wasn’t relentless/heavy rain. Drizzle one day for about 45 minutes and light showers on an otherwise sunny day the second time. Seems to be just ridiculous that taking a bike out in the wet a couple of times could result in that :astonished: