Singlespeed & Fixed Gear - Flip-flop hub maintenance
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07-30-08, 04:10 PM
Can anyone recommend some good online tutorials for repairing/maintaining a flip-flop hub? I just got a bike on craigslist (Raliegh One-way) and it's starting to make a rattling or knocking type of noise while pedaling, regardless of how lightly I pedal. The noise seems to be coming from the freewheel, but may be the hub. I'm not experienced with this type of maintenance, but I'd like to learn.
I tried to take a look last night, but got stuck. After getting the outer nuts off, I saw it was a 4-notch freewheel, which I don't have a removal tool for. I'm assuming that once I get that, I can just use the removal tool and chain whip to get the freewheel off. What then? Is there a way to service the freewheel, or is that something I'll need to replace?
Also, if the problem is the hub, can that be serviced, or does it need to be replaced? I'm not sure if I have a cartridge-type of hub or not. Once I get the freewheel off, is removing the axle and inspecting easy to do?
07-30-08, 05:52 PM
The only thing you can do with the freewheel is soak it in some solvent (carb cleaner, kerosene or something like that) and see if it gets better. They are cheap and not worth putting much time into. The hub should be easy to overhaul. You'll need a set of loose bearings from you LBS(maybe $3), a set of cone wrenches($10), some brake cleaner, and grease. Follow the instructions on Park Tools or Sheldon Brown's website.
1. sheldon brown
2. check if it's the freewheel by using the other side with a cog? Alternatively, does the bike make this sound when not on the road? (it could be a number of different things not directly related to the freewheel)
3. you may be able to fix the freewheel just by dripping in oil, depends on what is wrong with it (if anything)
It could be the chain skipping which could be fixed by replacing the chain, but if the teeth are worn, then you would have to replace the entire freewheel in which case you might as well do it destructively and save the cost of the tool.
4. the hub can be serviced, just a matter of how much time/effort/money you want to put into it. cartridges can be replaced, cup and cone can be serviced with new bearings and grease.
5. depends on your definition of easy... the right wrenches, a clear surface, and a bunch of time is enough, but it really helps if you like to tinker/ don't mind research.
**I have no experience with the One-Way, so this is all general knowledge type information, there is a tut on replacing the cartridges on an iro hub on this forum if you search for it.**
I'm sure I haven't been terribly helpful, but look up anything you're wondering on sheldpbrown.com and feel free to come back here ot to the mechanics forum with further questions (after doing a search of course.)
good luck, and have fun.
07-30-08, 05:57 PM
The hub itself gets serviced just like any other hub. If the wheel has play, bearings should be addressed. Often, you can inspect the axle and bearings without having to remove the freewheel. (There are many hub tutorials available via sheldonbrown and others). If the freewheel is the source of the rattles, I would just get a new one from my LBS and have them put it on- they do it for free if I buy the part from them. If you'd rather install it yourself, you just need the proper FW tool and a BIG wrench to remove the old freewheel- no chainwhip required. The new freewheel just screws on after lubing the threads and self tightens as you ride. Hope this helps..
07-30-08, 06:17 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll take it to my lbs and see what they say... hopefully they can point me in the right direction. I'll follow up with how it goes.
07-31-08, 10:50 AM
So I took the freewheel to my lbs and it wasn't totally bad. They cleaned it out like cm_shooter recommended and it's holding up pretty well.
Regardless, I think I'm going to take this opportunity to replace the chain (since I don't know how old it is) and freewheel and upgrade the chainring to 42T (from 38T, which is what the prev. owner had). I'm looking to buy chainrings on the standard sites, and I found a 42T 130BCD that I like, but it's listed as a 9-speed. Others I've seen are listed as a 7,8,9-speed compatible. Is this a problem on a single-speed bike? I'm just not sure what repercussions there are putting a "9 speed chainring" on my singlespeed bike.
07-31-08, 10:57 AM
just a few extra ramps and pins, and it's a little narrower. it'll work fine.
07-31-08, 01:20 PM
Ok, last question... so ideally I would just want any 42T chainring (130mm) with no ramps or pins? If so, there's a sugino that's pretty cheap - link (http://www.ebikestop.com/sugino_42t_130mm_inner_chainring-CR1542.php).
07-31-08, 01:22 PM
well, the pins aren't hurting anything. and presuming your chainline is reasonably straight the ramps arent hurting anything either.
the sugino looks fine, more than likely the 9 speed would be fine as well.
The only thing you can do with the freewheel is soak it in some solvent (carb cleaner, kerosene or something like that) and see if it gets better. They are cheap and not worth putting much time into.
As for freewheels, I just take 'em apart, dump the bearings out and clean/check prawls/repack. Usually takes 10 minutes max.
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