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Old 10-20-10, 10:12 AM   #1
hakonbj
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New or old, freewheel or casette?

Hello

I have a Peugeot PX10L (if I remember correctly) and have been upgrading everything as it breaks since I bought it in a lousy condition last summer (was cheap). Recently, the Helicomatic freewheel started slipping and it became a lot worse in few days. I tried to soak it in WD-40 and then lube it up but nothing changed, except it made more noise, before it had been absolutely silent when coasting! I don't think it would make any sense trying to open the freewheel to fix so I now have the following options:

A. Buy a Helicomatic freewheel, with both hubs, which I found on french eBay. I would try to use my own hub which should fit together.

B. Buy a new wheel and a new freewheel or a casette (which is better?)

C. Buy a new wheel and make it fixed

or should I only buy a new hub instead of a wheel (B and C) and let a mechanic put it in my current wheel?

If noone else bids on the freewheel on eBay I could get it for 28€ (incl. shipping), which makes it probably the cheapest option. But maybe I should spend some more money on something that will definiately last longer and is more servicable and interchangable.

What would you do?

Best wishes from Amsterdam
Hákon
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Old 10-20-10, 10:51 AM   #2
LarDasse74
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If you are happy with everything on the bike then a new freewheel for 28 euros is not bad. You might find it for cheaper if you keep looking, but maybe not. Check with the folks in Classic & Vintage forum, too, as lots of them will have opinions and insights.

As I recall the helicomatic was not a particularily good system, although it was sort of a good idea. These hubs were mostly extinct when I first started working in a shop in the early '90s.
Here is a link to SHeldon Brown's description of the system: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ha-i.html#helicomatic

If I were you I would move to a better freewheel or freehub system if this is a bike you actually ride... if it is a restoration project where keeping everything original is the goal then the new helicomatic is the best idea.

But modern freehub design is a better system and there are replacement parts available everywhere.
Even a good quality non-Helicomatic freewheel hub could be an upgrade as standard new freewhweels can be picked up for dirt cheap and good quality racing style ones are available as NOS or used.
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Old 10-20-10, 12:27 PM   #3
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Hub is probably fine, Its just a relocated right wheel bearing on the axle inside the helix,

If tou can get a NOS helicomatic cassette, that should cure it.

I personally still have multispeed freewheels on my derailleur bikes

light bikes have Campag Hubs, Load bearing tour bike has a Phil Wood rear.

have a Mavic freewheel hub waiting to be built into a wheel, for 6~7 speed .

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-20-10 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 10-20-10, 05:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarDasse74
If I were you I would move to a better freewheel or freehub system if this is a bike you actually ride... if it is a restoration project where keeping everything original is the goal then the new helicomatic is the best idea.

I actually ride the bike every day (when it's not broken) and it's not really a restoration project, but I do try to use parts that fit the 80's look. I had already read Sheldon's page about the Helicomatic (and also some posts here) and that's why I'm not desperate to keep it. I just want something that works well and and looks nice (and not too expensive), I'm actually going to check out a cheap race bike soon to see if I can use the wheels (and perhaps something else) from it.

Well, the eBay auction ends in 2 days, so I guess I will be closer to my decision then. I'll let you know

-Hákon

P.S. the bike is actually a PH10LS, see http://i419.photobucket.com/albums/p.../1986de_03.jpg the one on the left.
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Old 10-21-10, 09:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakonbj View Post
I actually ride the bike every day (when it's not broken) and it's not really a restoration project, but I do try to use parts that fit the 80's look. I had already read Sheldon's page about the Helicomatic (and also some posts here) and that's why I'm not desperate to keep it. I just want something that works well and and looks nice (and not too expensive), I'm actually going to check out a cheap race bike soon to see if I can use the wheels (and perhaps something else) from it.

Well, the eBay auction ends in 2 days, so I guess I will be closer to my decision then. I'll let you know

-Hákon

P.S. the bike is actually a PH10LS, see http://i419.photobucket.com/albums/p.../1986de_03.jpg the one on the left.
Helicomatics came in a number of models. The cheapest ones gave the most problems; the high-end ones were actually quite nice, with ground and polished races, labyrinth seals, etc. -- essentially a Helicomatic implementation of the Maillard 700 "Professional" hub.

Are there any identifying stickers on the hubs?
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Old 10-21-10, 06:11 PM   #6
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Are there any identifying stickers on the hubs?
No stickers but it has the numbers 43 and 88 on it. It looks as if the 88 is upside down relative to 43 so I don't think they should go together, you know what I mean? They must stand for two different things. Then it only says: HELICOMATIC Made in France.

Is it possible that different models of the Helicomatic hub don't accept the same freewheel?

-Hákon

Last edited by hakonbj; 10-22-10 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 10-24-10, 09:26 AM   #7
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Well, I didn't buy the Helicomatic stuff but bought me used wheels today instead. The rims are Mavic and the hubs Campagnolo! I'm gonna put them on today and I can't wait to use my race bike again, my omafiets reminds me too much of a tank.

Thank you for all the responses.
-Hákon
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