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  1. #1
    . TheFool's Avatar
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    How to remove this freewheel? Older Shimano 333

    Anyone know how to remove this freewheel? (see photo) It has 12 splines, but it's about 20mm in diameter where the splines are, which is just a tad too small for my Park FR-1 tool. This is on a random bike I have from circa mid 80s, as far as I can discern.
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  2. #2
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    Just gotta find the right tool

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    . TheFool's Avatar
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    Does anyone know of any good places on line that might sell such a tool? I haven't found it in trying a few google searches.

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    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I had a similar one on my 1987 Trek. I took it to a bike shop, and they removed it no charge. Also, I had another freewheel today that I was looking for the right tool. The local bike shop just put the freewheel in a vise (not too tight) and spun the wheel off. No special tool was used. I am not recommending this method, but it sure worked.

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    Senior Member dmac49's Avatar
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    http://www.parktool.com I t looks like it might be the FR-5. In any event try your LBS and they usually are willing to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    Also, I had another freewheel today that I was looking for the right tool. The local bike shop just put the freewheel in a vise (not too tight) and spun the wheel off. No special tool was used. I am not recommending this method, but it sure worked.
    You really can't do that. A vise can't clamp onto the stationary core of a freewheel unless you completely disassemble the freewheel. I expect the shop had the correct removal tool clamped in the vise and just placed the wheel over it and used the rim to spin off the freewheel. This is a common technique.

  7. #7
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFool View Post
    Anyone know how to remove this freewheel? (see photo) It has 12 splines, but it's about 20mm in diameter where the splines are, which is just a tad too small for my Park FR-1 tool. This is on a random bike I have from circa mid 80s, as far as I can discern.
    Pre '85 Shimano freewheels used a smaller removal tool. They are available, but I think only in a thick wall version which means the axle has to be removed to use it.
    Alternatively, if you are replacing it with an up to date version, you can remove it destructively. The easiest way I have found (if you have access to a welder,) is tack several welds where the sprocket rotates on the hub of the freewheel, and then just crank it off with a chain whip. Otherwise, it's dissassemble the freewheel and take a pipe wrench (or vise) to the inner hub.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmac49 View Post
    http://www.parktool.com I t looks like it might be the FR-5. In any event try your LBS and they usually are willing to help.
    That freewheel is taken off with a FR-1 from Park. The FR-5 is for shimano cassettes, not freewheels. You should be able to get one at a well stocked bike shop.
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

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  9. #9
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tradtimbo View Post
    That freewheel is taken off with a FR-1 from Park. The FR-5 is for shimano cassettes, not freewheels. You should be able to get one at a well stocked bike shop.
    No, 'fraid not.

    The FR-5 is for newer Shimano freewheels, 23.5 mm diameter.

    The O.P. needs this model: http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=569 20 mm diameter.

    If the O.P. just needs to remove it to discard it and upgrade to a newer freewheel, it doesn't make sense to buy the tool, rather, remove the freewheel by destruction. This is explained at http://sheldonbrown.com/freewheels

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  10. #10
    Your mom
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    Or just head to a shop that works on older bikes with a six-pack in hand.

  11. #11
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    Or just head to a shop that works on older bikes with a six-pack in hand.
    The first part of this is good advice. However, most of us in the biz prefer to be paid in actual money. ;-)

    I like good microbrew beer, but don't drink at the shop.

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    [COLOR=blue][CENTER][b]Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts[/b]
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  12. #12
    Senior Member tradtimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    No, 'fraid not.
    Sheldon saved you from my bad info! I'm so very glad I'm being corrected by the one and the only...
    Can anyone give me a ride from Monterey to Big Bear on Wednesday or Thursday?

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  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    The first part of this is good advice. However, most of us in the biz prefer to be paid in actual money. ;-)

    I like good microbrew beer, but don't drink at the shop.

    Sheldon "IPA" Brown
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    I always wondered about this. I keep reading posts of guys sauntering into their bike shops loaded with beer, and all my bike techs look more like herbal tea drinkers! I thought of bringing cookies, but I'm not even sure those would be welcome. So I've stuck to paying them (or offering to, or buying something) every time I bother them.

  14. #14
    . TheFool's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Hmm, maybe a new freewheel isn't a bad idea. Was planning on spending as little as possible on this bike since I only paid $15 for it, but I guess a cheap one would be equal to or better than the one that's already on there. And I'd have to buy the tool. I don't think I searched Harris cyclery, duh, thanks Sheldon!
    Last edited by TheFool; 01-18-08 at 02:27 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    I always wondered about this. I keep reading posts of guys sauntering into their bike shops loaded with beer, and all my bike techs look more like herbal tea drinkers! I thought of bringing cookies, but I'm not even sure those would be welcome. So I've stuck to paying them (or offering to, or buying something) every time I bother them.

    You'd be surprised at what folks will do for drink or food!

    One of our saucier customers brought us in some very expensive Petit Fours at Christmas time. I've never seen a bunch of guys wolf those down in NO time! Very SWEET with some nice Liqueur in them.


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  16. #16
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    I always wondered about this. I keep reading posts of guys sauntering into their bike shops loaded with beer, and all my bike techs look more like herbal tea drinkers! I thought of bringing cookies, but I'm not even sure those would be welcome. So I've stuck to paying them (or offering to, or buying something) every time I bother them.
    Removing a freewheel from a wheel is a perfectly standard minor repair job, I would expect it to cost between $2-5 in a shop, assuming you just bring in the wheel, so they don't have to deal with the whole bike. If you're a good customer, this is the sort of thing that might be a freebie.

    The thing with tips, either cash or comestibles is kinda tricky. Sometimes a tip will get your job bumped up out of turn in the rotation, which isn't particularly fair to whoever gets bumped so the wrench can fix your problem. However, sometimes there's some slack time and this can be reasonable, if the job pushed aside is not also time-sensitive.

    If it's done as a freebie and then you give the mechanic money, that can create an ethical issue. The mechanic may be justified in doing a freebie for the sake of good will for the shop, but if you wind up paying the mechanic and he/she pockets the money, it means, in a sense, that the mechanic is ripping off his/her employer, because the employer is paying for the mechanic's time.

    This is not to say that tips or goodies are never appropriate, just to express appreciation for a job well done, or for service above and beyond the call of duty.

    Although bike mechanics are chronically underpaid, they never expect tips, so you should never feel under any obligation to offer one.

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  17. #17
    Sunrise Cyclery
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    pay yer mech w/ something other than cash

    Not that I would actually dis agree w/ Mr Brown....
    But,
    If you go to yer LBS and the shop is pretty small ( 85% of shops in the USA are one man shops making less than $500,000 gross a year thats 3000 shops btw),chances are yer talkin to THE guy/gal
    who owns it.
    so if ya give us cash and we pocket it the only one were rippin off is the Guvnor' in unreported taxable income.
    Sheldon is correct though,Tips are never to be expected,but earned,or given freely remember a tip is
    To Insure Prompt Service.
    But is most commonally used as a reward for exceptional service nowadays,nad rewards can come in various forms.
    I used to have a sign that said
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  18. #18
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnybiker View Post
    If you go to yer LBS and the shop is pretty small ( 85% of shops in the USA are one man shops making less than $500,000 gross a year thats 3000 shops btw),chances are yer talkin to THE guy/gal
    who owns it.
    so if ya give us cash and we pocket it the only one were rippin off is the Guvnor' in unreported taxable income.
    My mother taught me that you don't tip proprietors, only employees.

    Maybe she was wrong, I dunno.

    Sheldon "Old School" Brown
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  19. #19
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    You really can't do that. A vise can't clamp onto the stationary core of a freewheel unless you completely disassemble the freewheel. I expect the shop had the correct removal tool clamped in the vise and just placed the wheel over it and used the rim to spin off the freewheel. This is a common technique.
    +1

    A freewheel will just spin if you try to clamp the cogs.

    I don't understand all the fuss here. You just put the appropriate tool in the vise, pointing up, lay the wheel on top of it, engaging the tool and crank on the wheel... works like a charm. Honestly this is a common-as-dirt operation
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Funny thing, quite a coincidence, I just had a freewheel like the one originally described here removed at the LBS yesterday. The took about two minutes to do it and it only cost me $2.00. I had bought the wrong freewheel remover, but I think that I can use it on another bike later.

  21. #21
    hobby-ist peterbarson's Avatar
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    older shops are more likely to have the correct tool.
    a new shop may not have that little rascal 'cause Park stops making or distributing tools for older / models.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Why would anyone even want to service the freewheel or hub, as I remember things, "333s" were 5spd cog sets usually installed on steel-hubs?

    Not that it matters, but there's some chance someone in a hurry to remove that freewheel, even using the correct tool - will end up stripping/damaging the freewheel body or tool or both. This freewheel removal design wasn't exactly the height of Shimano's technical acumen.

  23. #23
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    +1

    A freewheel will just spin if you try to clamp the cogs.
    Right.

    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    I don't understand all the fuss here. You just put the appropriate tool in the vise, pointing up, lay the wheel on top of it, engaging the tool and crank on the wheel... works like a charm. Honestly this is a common-as-dirt operation
    The problem is the availability of the "appropriate tool" for a freewheel design that was discontinued 25 or 30 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Not that it matters, but there's some chance someone in a hurry to remove that freewheel, even using the correct tool - will end up stripping/damaging the freewheel body or tool or both. This freewheel removal design wasn't exactly the height of Shimano's technical acumen.
    That's not true in this case, because it is a splined tool, not one of the old two-prong type. The splined remover systems were a HUGE improvement over the two-prong freewheels that Europe was producing at this time.

    Shimano deserves major credit for pioneering splined freewheel remover interfaces. You're being unjust in slagging them on this particular issue.

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  24. #24
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    Right.

    The problem is the availability of the "appropriate tool" for a freewheel design that was discontinued 25 or 30 years ago.
    Yeah. I think we have one at the U of Maryland campus bike co-op, but that won't help the OP

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown View Post
    That's not true in this case, because it is a splined tool, not one of the old two-prong type. The splined remover systems were a HUGE improvement over the two-prong freewheels that Europe was producing at this time.
    I agree completely! I recently had to remove a Suntour 2-prong freewheel, and boy was that a hassle. Actually getting the freewheel off isn't too hard as long as you apply a lot of vertical pressure on the tool... but finding a tool that isn't worn out is tough!!! The two prongs get quickly worn down into useless little nubs, presumably because the pressure is distributed over such a small area.
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  25. #25
    hobby-ist peterbarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
    The two prongs get quickly worn down into useless little nubs, presumably because the pressure is distributed over such a small area.
    I hate that!
    I think it helps to put the Axle nut on over the tool, then apply pressure with a long handled wrench, instead of trying to use a vise.

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