Lashing rain these 2 evenings meant no chance of going out for a ride. Might as well pull apart and inspect the minor problem of some lateral play in the free-body of my rear Hope Pro 2 Evo hub.
Was checking just a couple nights back when that "cassette shake" was detected. Thought it was a loose lock ring or maybe needing a thin sliver of spacer as sometimes either a hub's free-body can be a tad longer or cassette height is a bit shorter. No biggie (if anyone ever need to do that-- hope you have those thin bb spacers that come with some cranks/chain guide components handy)
Apparently not.. the free-body was somehow able to push 1-2mm into the hub body.
Tried to tighten the bolt axle inwards-- seems to solve the problem..... for all of 2 minutes before putting the cassette back on. With the cassette in place, another couple of tugs and the same lateral play came right back!
Took out and do the tighten axle nut thing again. Oh F^#k me! This time the NDS bolt won't come out.. it just turn with the axle. Tried the press down other end with another hex key hoping to generate enough twist-- nah. doesn't work, unlike the CK fun-bolts.
Job for a strap wrench.. Only problem- that is another tool that got borrowed and was never returned to me.
Desperation .... stupidity starts to set in like trying to use a pair of pliers and hold the other end of axle tight...
Oh wait-- that's gonna score the bloody axle and screw things up. Thankfully before applying wrong tool and elbow grease for further FUBAR, just stopped in time to...
"Breathe... think.. think..."
Since its all out-- might as well just do some normal hub maintenance
The pesky component causing the play is right on the lower left of the box in the above pic. The drive side seal (part no. 3 in the exploded diagram from Hope).
It sits on a groove just behind the area housing the pawls and leaf springs. Once popped in, there's lots of wiggle room and its nothing more than a wobbly plasticky-rubbery type seal. No brass rigid plates or other parts to keep things stiff.
Popped in place... the seal's OD will fit into the outer periphery of the hub shell (as indicated above)... Pressing against it again -- I saw where the problem lies.. The whole shebang as the free-body is pressed inwards makes the seal movement akin to that of a toilet plunger!
Where the ID sits into the groove, its not a flush fit and with the flexy nature of the seal -- nothing is ever gonna sit nice and tight. So that's where all the lateral play came from.
Sit the seal in properly pressed it as tight as possible all around and the problem seem somewhat alleviated.Took a blunt punch and gently tap the middle of the seal as far in as possible while keeping pressure on the freebody making everything as play-free as possible.
Reinstall cassette and assemble wheel back on bike.... Almost zero play after a bit of moderate tugging. Will see after cranking the bike hard this weekend if the play comes back again...
At least the saving grace with this hub is all 4 bearings can be accessed without pressing them out to regrease.
Just want to add on as I know half the world is probably using Hope hubs and not to cause a pandemonium should somebody happen to read this... its not a major issue so far.
Though its a relatively new hub in terms of mileage and probably has this going on since day one but I have been torquing it the hardest compared to my other bikes as this was on the Lite-EG meant for speed, cranking at higher gears than normal when riding it. My rear short cage Saint has probably been doing a good job keeping the shiftings smooth even with all these going on. Don't have too much shifting related issues so far.
Not gonna bother too much apart from periodic checking from now on but certainly won't be building with Hope hubs anytime soon (had other issues with Hope front 20mm TA and also the older Hope rears).
Pretty convinced now that hubs are one of those components where it pays to pay a little more.