Phil Wood Rear Hub Internal Bearing

As part of replacing the entire drivetrain on my Tour Easy, I finally got around to replacing the bearings in the Phil Wood rear hub. The rear axle supports four bearings, with the innermost one captured between the end of the freehub and the aluminum retainer:

Phil Wood hub - internal bearing
Phil Wood hub – internal bearing

The three small screws secure the retaining ring (sitting off to the right) against the bearing. If you don’t know what’s inside, you’d think they hold the freehub in place. Removing them doesn’t do anything useful unless you’re replacing the bearings and, if the retainer rotates even slightly inside the hub, you’re faced with taking the whole damn thing apart.

That bearing is lightly loaded, well-protected on all sides, and felt just fine, so I slathered more grease around it and left it in place. The other three bearings hit the trash can with a resounding clang…