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  1. #1
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    Schwinn Varsity 700c freehub

    So I'm a newbie and I got one of the new varsity wal-mart bikes. I know it's cheap-o, and I know you get what you pay for, but when I bought it I wasn't sure I was going to stick with biking. Now I'm pretty sure I'm staying, but I'd still like to keep it for a while just because money's relatively tight and I'd like to learn to work on bikes with a cheap one so I don't have to worry about jacking up a big investment!

    So first thing when I got it I sat down and taught myself quite a bit... I had to, the wal-mart guys assembled it like CRAP - but I got the brakes set right, the deraileur and shifters set good, etc. Now, it's riding great so far (less than 50 miles yet). The wheels aren't very true, so I'll figure that out sometime in the future.. But there's one thing I noticed when I was setting up the rear - the gears seem to 'wobble' on the centerline, as if they're just slightly off center. It's enough of a wobble that with the rear wheel free spinning and the pedals still, you can watch the deraileur move back and forth about 1/4" with the rotation of the wheel. So far this hasn't caused any operational issues, but it bugs me because I know it's not right!

    So I figured this would be a good time to learn to take apart the rear hub.

    Unfortunately, I'm basically stuck at the freehub. It's a shimano, supposedly; the name is all over the place... But I'm not sure what model or anything. Seems like it may be a schwinn-only one-off or something. 7-gear shimanos seem pretty uncommon anyway, and the notches where the gears slide onto the freehub are pretty different from any of the cassettes I'm seeing online.

    anyway, it has a circle with little notches around the edge in the center, so I thought it used a shimano freehub removal tool. I ordered one and got it in today, but it's not quite right. The shape actually looks just right, but the diameter is not - the tool is smaller than the gap in the freehub.

    So anybody know where i could get a tool to fit this bike? Or if not, is there any chance I can get a new rear wheel for a pretty minimal price that will work with the 7-speed shifter/deraileur setup that's already in place? I've looked at a bunch of shops online, and everything seems to be 8-9-10 speed...

    Again, not really a hurry, it works fine right now, but like I said, it bothers me that it's not right

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    If the frame is 130mm, a 8-10 speed wheel will work. From what I understand, 7 speed cassettes can be installed with a spacer behind them on the newer freehubs.
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  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defiancecp View Post
    So I'm a newbie and I got one of the new varsity wal-mart bikes.
    OK, you got one of these bikes:
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4698938

    Dang... that's really different from the 40 pound Varsities I worked on 30 years ago.

    In any case, the cassette wobble you're describing is actually fairly normal. I've seen it on lots of bikes- more expensive bikes have less, but it's still there. 1/4" is a little excessive, but if the bike shifts properly and stays in gear when you want it, why worry? In most cases you can't adjust this out.

    I'd be willing to bet that the hubs and cassette are Taiwan-made cheapies. Usually, they try to match Shimano's dimensions, but it sounds like that's not the case. Look really closely on the hub and cassette for a manufacturer's name- something like "Joytech" or "KunTeng" might be there. That may give you a starting point for finding a cassette tool.

    Once you have the tool that fits, the Park Tool site has some great instructions on how to work on your bike. Here's some articles that will get you started:
    http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=48
    http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=45
    http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=105
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  4. #4
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    what you need isthe park's FR-7 , which fit into the off band cassette you have.

  5. #5
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    Thanks! It's got the shimano name all over the shifters, derailleurs, etc, but now that I'm looking, you're right - the hub actually has 'Falcon' branding on it, which the FR-7 you mention indicates it works with. Thanks!

    I keep calling it a freehub, but everything refers to falcons being freewheels - so obviously my understanding of the difference is flawed - sorry about that

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikeman715's Avatar
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    that ok we all have to learn and that what we are here for.

  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Are you sure it is a cassette and not a freewheel?

    I don't know if Shimano still makes freewheels, but with the wobbling and different size tool needed, it sounds like a freewheel to me.... when you hold the wheel and spin the cogs, do the splines where the tool is supposed to engage move?

    If the splines move with the cogs, it is a cassette. If they stay with the wheel while the cogs move, you have a freewheel.

    EDIT: Never mind, I just read the Falcon reference...

    Good luck on the repair... but the wobble, is nothing to be overly concerned with.
    Last edited by Little Darwin; 09-05-08 at 01:58 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Yep, and now that I know it's a freewheel, I think I'm just going to pull it and replace it with a shimano (ie, http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=780 ) - I just got back from a ride, ad I thought the chain was slipping at random, but when I got home and got the problem to occur again, turns out the freewheel isn't catching all the time. Any reason the shimano referenced above wouldn't work?
    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Alright, LBS had a shimano freewheel pretty cheap, so I'm up and running again And this one has the same wobble, which I'm being told is normal, so I'll stop being paranoid Thanks for all the advice guys!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defiancecp View Post
    Thanks! It's got the shimano name all over the shifters, derailleurs, etc, but now that I'm looking, you're right - the hub actually has 'Falcon' branding on it, which the FR-7 you mention indicates it works with. Thanks!
    Thread your freewheel remover into the freewheel and loosely install the quick release (important). Then take a BIG Crescent wrench (15") to remove it. The splined Shimano pattern freewheels aren't so bad but the notched suntour freewheel removers will pop out while you are trying to apply the necessary torque for loosening.

  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Thread your freewheel remover into the freewheel and loosely install the quick release (important). Then take a BIG Crescent wrench (15") to remove it. The splined Shimano pattern freewheels aren't so bad but the notched suntour freewheel removers will pop out while you are trying to apply the necessary torque for loosening.
    Yo, Retro-

    Back up a couple postings and you'll see that the OP has a cassette, not a freewheel.

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  12. #12
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    No, actually I just confused everyone by not knowing what I was talking about for a while; it is a freewheel
    Thanks for the tips, all, had a good ride yesterday after swapping it out, and the slipping is, as expected, gone

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