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  1. #1
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    Replacing my freewheel

    I've noticed my chain is skipping like crazy on the lower gears and I'm blaming it on the freewheel as on them cogs, they are bent (pointing outwards - not natrually bent either) and on the higher gear (lower sprocket) they climbs over the bend which skips. The high gears 4/5/6 work fine. So it looks like I need to replace it.

    Anyway it's a 14/28 6 speed f/w and I was wondering how I would remove it ... since it's a f/w I assume I don't need a chainwhip?

    Removal tool - there are two, should I order the cheap one and save money?

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...tegoryrn_31290
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BIKE-TOOLS-SHI...QQcmdZViewItem

    Replacement - again two, the Halfords one looks more generic to me.

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryrn_103704
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SHIMANO-6-SPEE...QQcmdZViewItem

    Here is a pic of my current f/w the nut you see on the front I can't remove, which I need the removal tool for?


    Thanks in advanced ... sorry if I seem alittle n00b.

  2. #2
    Healthy and active twobikes's Avatar
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    Tony,

    As far as I am concerned, do not feel badly about asking a basic question. Everyone is unschooled about something, although he may be expert in other things.

    Is your old freewheel a Shimano? If so, you want a Shimano compatible tool. There are some other makers of freewheels that use a very similar tool, but of a slightly different size. As long as the tool fits the freewheel, a cheap one will likely do the job as well as the more expensive one.

    I could not tell from your second last sentence if you cannot remove the nut from the axle or if you simply cannot remove the freewheel. The nut must be removed before you can insert the freewheel removal tool.

    A chainwhip is not required for the job you have to do.

    If worse comes to worst, there is a way to dismantle the freewheel on the bike and thread the internal hub off of the wheel. I can describe it for you later, if you choose that method. It also does not require anything but normal household tools.

    I hope this helps.
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  3. #3
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    I don't think it's a Shimano f/w it says Nervar Freewheel on it.

    It's the nut I can't remove from the axle, by the looks of it, it's connected (welded) to the barrel behind it when I use a spanner on it there is a nut on the other side which just spins so I use one on each end and only the rear one losens which in effect exposes bearings from inside.

    It's getting late here so any replies, I'll have to read in the morning ... thanks.

  4. #4
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    Hey Tony - there's two on line sources that I think will talk you through it pretty well.

    www.parktool.com has a good guide to cassette and freewheel removal and replacement. Easy to follow and not a difficult job.

    www.sheldonbrown.com has a bunch of info on various freewheels and cassettes that also might be of help. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Okay so what tool do I need, would the FR-1 do?

    http://www.parktool.com/products/category.asp?cat=4

  6. #6
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    Sorry for double posting ... but I think the Shimano one would fit as I looked at the Shimano f/w and then mine and they both have groves looks like it might work.

    Now I need to get off this damn nut.

  7. #7
    1 bike 2 many. Butterthebean's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at that picture, it looks more like an old uniglide cassette than a freewheel. You should not have to remove your cone nut to remove a freewheel. If it is a uniglide cassette, you will need 2 chainwhips to remove it, I believe. Turn the smallest cog counter clockwise with one while holding the largest cog in place with the other. The small cog is threaded on and acts as a retaining nut for the rest of the cassette.

    Uniglide cassettes are getting pretty hard to find, but I bought one last year on ebay for $10 NOS.

  8. #8
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    I got the freewheel off today using alot of force, now I just have to get the new one on when it comes. Also the bearings (ball thingys) I've removed and I'll reinstall them before I install the new freewheel.

    Should I place them back in or should I grease them ... there's still grease in there but should I add cycle oil too?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Williams View Post
    I got the freewheel off today using alot of force, now I just have to get the new one on when it comes. Also the bearings (ball thingys) I've removed and I'll reinstall them before I install the new freewheel.

    Should I place them back in or should I grease them ... there's still grease in there but should I add cycle oil too?
    While you have the hub apart, clean out all the old grease and clean the cones, bearing retainers and races too. Then reassemble it with new clean grease. Adjusting this type of bearing properly is a bit tricky so you might see if a local mechanic can check your work.

    Oh, another thing. When you install the new freewheel, install a new chain too.

  10. #10
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    New chain? I should still have mileage left on my old one ... I'm replacing the freewheel because the teeth where bent not worn.

    Also would cycle oil work for the bearings or do I need special grease?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Williams View Post
    New chain? I should still have mileage left on my old one ... I'm replacing the freewheel because the teeth where bent not worn.

    Also would cycle oil work for the bearings or do I need special grease?
    If the freewheel teeth were bent, it's very likely they damaged the chain too. The skipping that made you realize there was a problem was also very hard on the chain. Even a slightly worn or damaged chain is going to cause problems with a new freewheel.

    Use grease, not oil. Any bike shop sells suitable grease and auto parts stores also sell tubes of light grease that works.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Tony, it's up to you but if the current drive train has seen a lot of miles already then I'd suggest changing it as well.. Old cogs and new chains wear out the new stuff quickly just as new cogs and an old chain will more quickly wear out the new cogs. Hillrider is right and a new chain will ensure you get a lot more life from your drivetrain overall.

    You'll want to check your front chain ring with the new chain as well. Once it's on pull the chain away from the very front of the chain wrap around the front of the teeth. If you can pull the chain rollers away from the gullets by more than about 3/32 then your ring is worn as well. If you can pull it away by more than 1/8 inch it is REALLY shot and should be replaced in order again to ensure your whole drive train lives to it's full lifespan.

    The amount of wear in a chain that means it is dead is only about 1/32 inch of elongation over a 12 inch length. That's not much and it's sure not something you can easily see without careful measuring with a ruler.

    The wheel bearings should be greased, not oiled. I like to use boat trailer wheel bearing grease myself as it is water resistant so any rain or puddle water getting in there will be less damaging.

    And you're also going to need the special thin wrench for adjusting the preload on the axle bearings. the flats on the cone won't accept regular wrenches. And you need to hold that cone back when tightening the locking nut. Go for a preload value that has no slop in the axle and is showing the very first signs of some resistance. Just a HAIR of resistance. I know this is a judgement thing but try to feel for just the very first sign of resistance that isn't from the stickiness of the grease.
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  13. #13
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    One more thing, if the bearing surfaces (cup on the hub and cone on the axle) are in good shape with even wear and no pitting) you'll want to keep them that way with a full set of new ball bearings.

  14. #14
    Senior Member aesmith's Avatar
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    If you're after a basic freewheel, these are good value. I have one on my road bike, and one on the missus' mountain bike ...

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-Suntour-7-...QQcmdZViewItem

    You may need another couple of washers to space the wheel out to make room for the 7 speeds.

    Tony S

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