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  1. #1
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    Frustrataed - removing Shimano gear-set from rear wheel

    With the milder weather I've got enthusiastic about cycling again during the last weeks, and 1 job that I thought I'd do was overhaul my girlfriend's bike as it had been un-used for several years. It's a catalogue jobby (A Falcon or something) and the rear wheel was in dire need of re-lubing as the existing grease had dried and crumbled away and the cones and bearings were shot too. so...

    Went to Halfords and bought a new axle set and the necessary tools (chain whip, freewheel remover bolt, cone spanner and a rather large adjustable spanner and got home full of enthusiasm, then I actually tried to get the bloody thing off (following the instructions in Haynes' The Bike Book) with little success.

    The axle and cones came out fine, but the freewheel simply wouldn't budge. I had no more strength to use and resorted to tapping (aka whacking) the spanner with a hammer. It's making progress but very slowly. My question is... is this normal, or is there a knack to it?
    Last edited by essexminicity; 04-03-06 at 06:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by essexminicity
    With the milder weather I've got enthusiastic about cycling again during the last weeks, and 1 job that I thought I'd do was overhaul my girlfriend's bike as it had been un-used for several years. It's a catalogue jobby (A Falcon or something) and the rear wheel was in dire need of re-lubing as the existing grease had dried and crumbled away and the cones and bearings were shot too. so...

    Went to Halfords and bought a new axle set and the necessary tools (chain whip, freewheel remover bolt, cone spanner and a rather large adjustable spanner and got home full of enthusiasm, then I actually tried to get the bloody thing off (following the instructions in Haynes' The Bike Book) with little success.

    The hub and cones came out fine, but the freewheel simply wouldn't budge. I had no more strength to use and resorted to tapping (aka whacking) the spanner with a hammer. It's making progress but very slowly. My question is... is this normal, or is there a knack to it?
    To overhaul hub you do not have to take off freewheel. If it is spinning around quite happily leave it alone.
    Have you a freewheel or a cassette with freehub. If you have a freewheel then you need the tool to take that off. If you have a cassette and freehub you are into the chainwhip and freewheel remover. If this is proving very stiff then take it to your local LBS to loosen it. Occasionally these are tightened with a tool which is held in a vice and if that is the case you will not open it by hand, you will need to get it done in LBS.
    Hope this is of some use

  3. #3
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    I'm 99.9% sure it's not a 'freewheel' as it's an old cheap mountain bike from the early '90s. My '97 Ridgeback has a freewheel setup with QR skewers and I can spot the difference despite I've not having taken it apart (yet). The cassette on the other bike is rock solid so if you think I should just let an experienced mechanic handle it then perhaps I'm trying something out of my depth.

  4. #4
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    Once in a while the lock ring on a cassette will "freeze" to the point that nothing will make it move. My son's older Trek had the rim crack and we wanted to transfer the cassette to a new wheel. Nothing doing. He broke a decent chain whip and I stressed a Park chainwhip almost to breaking AND wacked it with a hammer numerous times. No help. I suppose heat, a dremel tool or an impact wrench on the lockring tool might do the job but a new cassette was an easier solution.
    Last edited by HillRider; 04-03-06 at 05:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    Wd-40?

    Have you tried spraying it with some WD-40 and waiting a few minutes before trying again?

  6. #6
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    Maybe before dousing it with WD-40 he should determine if he has a freewheel or a freehub. There seems to be some confusion.
    I know i have better success at something when I know what it is I'm attempting to do. What I don't do is buy or be sold a bunch of tools I don't need and have no idea how to use.

  7. #7
    Dave TRUMPHENT's Avatar
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    I have a 2005 Pacific Bicycle Schwinn mtb. It has a freewheel. Freewheels are still being built into bicycles today. Granted, they are on the lower priced lines.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by essexminicity
    I'm 99.9% sure it's not a 'freewheel' as it's an old cheap mountain bike from the early '90s. My '97 Ridgeback has a freewheel setup with QR skewers and I can spot the difference despite I've not having taken it apart (yet). The cassette on the other bike is rock solid so if you think I should just let an experienced mechanic handle it then perhaps I'm trying something out of my depth.
    to determine what you have, spin the gears backwards (make it click). if the splines rotate with the gears you have a freehub/cassette. if the splines rotate with the hub, its a freewheel.

  9. #9
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown's website has a useful page on distinguishing between freewheels and freehubs.
    To re-pack the drive side of a cassette hub, you'll need to at least remove the cassette lockring.
    It's possible to re-pack the drive side bearings of a freewheel hub without removing the freewheel, but it's really a pain to do this.
    So either way, you've gotta get something to budge.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the links etc. Based on Sheldon's photo of the two types of frewheel side-by-side (and the comment about the rotation of the splines) I can safely say that the wheel in question is just a thread-on freewheel which I'll have another go at shifting at the weekend. Thanks again!

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