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Old 01-17-08, 05:22 PM   #1
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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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Old 01-17-08, 05:24 PM   #2
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Just gotta find the right tool
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Old 01-18-08, 09:34 AM   #3
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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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Old 01-18-08, 09:41 AM   #4
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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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Old 01-18-08, 10:05 AM   #5
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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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Old 01-18-08, 10:17 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-18-08, 11:30 AM   #7
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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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Old 01-18-08, 11:33 AM   #8
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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.
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.
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Old 01-18-08, 11:38 AM   #9
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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

Sheldon "Freewheels" Brown
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Old 01-18-08, 12:03 PM   #10
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Or just head to a shop that works on older bikes with a six-pack in hand.
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Old 01-18-08, 12:21 PM   #11
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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.

Sheldon "IPA" Brown
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Old 01-18-08, 01:03 PM   #12
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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...
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Old 01-18-08, 01:08 PM   #13
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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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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.
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Old 01-18-08, 02:07 PM   #14
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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!

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Old 01-18-08, 02:15 PM   #15
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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.

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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Old 01-18-08, 04:09 PM   #16
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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.
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.

Sheldon "Not Like Cab Drivers" Brown
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Old 01-19-08, 02:21 PM   #17
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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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Blondes
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and
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People too.
I'm with Sheldon though no Drinky during office hours.
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Old 01-19-08, 11:50 PM   #18
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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.

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Old 01-19-08, 11:57 PM   #19
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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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Old 01-20-08, 07:27 AM   #20
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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.
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Old 01-20-08, 08:54 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 01-20-08, 09:33 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 01-20-08, 06:12 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by moxfyre View Post
+1

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

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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.

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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.

Sheldon "Splines Are Good" Brown
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Old 01-20-08, 06:55 PM   #24
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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

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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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Old 01-21-08, 08:16 AM   #25
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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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