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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    Remove Freewheel from Bare Hub

    Hi. I did an uninformed thing today. I needed to replace my rear rim, so I cut all the spokes with cable cutters, hoping to save the LBS some time when they build my wheel. The problem is that I use a freewheel, and it will not come off easily without the wheel all built up to use as leverage. So now, I have a hub attached to a six-speed freewheel and a bunch of six-inch spokes still attached to the drive side. It's kind of embarrassing, really. How do I get this freewheel off?
    I have seen a freewheel vise, but I think they only work if the hub is not still attached.
    Can I pound nails in to the cogs of the outer chainring on the freewheel, into 4X4's, say, and secure the freewheel thus? I would have to use two blocks of wood, because the hub would hang in between. Any ideas?
    Specialized sealed hub, Shimano Hyperglide Freewheel, HG-22

    Paul

  2. #2
    Nipples of Steel! AngelGendy's Avatar
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    Take it to the LBS and have them do it, I think you have helped enough.....


    EDIT: didn't mean to sound so harsh, if I had a bike for every time I thought "ohh crap, why did I do that" I'd have a lot more bikes than I do.....
    Last edited by AngelGendy; 03-09-11 at 09:39 AM.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    you need to rebuild the rim partially, to get the leverage to turn the wheel
    against the freewheel removal tool.

    or throw it in a lesson's learned the wrong way bin..

    If inclined to become a tool maker pins precisely spaced to fill all the spoke holes

    can replicate the spokes in the hub ,
    and on your drill press they can be set in 2 pieces of say aluminum ,
    to hold hub in bench vise.,
    while you wrestle the remover with a big wrench.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-11-11 at 10:45 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    With the freewheel side spokes missing all I can say is "good luck". Fietsbob is right in that the best way is to partially rebuild the wheel to get the leverage. But it'll have to be done on just the one exposed side. The only good news is that since it's just to allow spinning off the freewheel that they can use all the spokes angled in one direction.

    The only other option is to do what I did with some freehub hubs and make up a wooden clamping caul that has holes sized to be just a hair smaller than the middle of the hub. You drill these holes through the block of HARDWOOD such as maple, cherry, birch or similar and then cut it in half lengthwise through the hole so you can grab the hub between the two halves with a good stout vise. Normal softwoods for building won't work. It has to be a good hardwood to avoid just deforming and letting the hub spin.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  5. #5
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    So my vote is also to just take it to the LBS and say "I did something really dumb".

    Normal procedure with these is to fix the freewheel tool in a bench vise, drop the hub/wheel over it - and just spin the wheel.

    Although that can be done with only one side spoked - since you apparently cut ALL the spokes - it doesn`t seem to be an option you have yourself. Relax. On the list of really dumb things to do to a bike - it isn`t close to being on the top ten.

  6. #6
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    There's a fairly easy way to remove it if your freewheel remover has a hexagonal head.

    Assemble the remover into the hub and tighten the QR with the nut on the removers side. Bring it and a cup of coffee (or other inducement) to your auto mechanic and ask him to remove it with his air impact wrench.

    I've done this while holding the shell in my hand (wear gloves, because it may slip and those spokes can be deadly) and had the freewheels spin off. If it resists, wrap 1/2 turn of an old leather belt around the right flange and secure it in a vise (not tight enough to damage the flange) and the impact wrench will pop it off no problem.
    FB
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  7. #7
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    I've also seen someone clamp the remaining spoke nubs in a vise, ugly but worked.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Don't beat yourself up over this.

    I can't count the times I've had an "Ah, S%^&" moment while "fixing" a bike.
    Anybody who says they've never done such a thing are commiting a prevarication.

    What would life be without such moments!
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bikedued's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    There's a fairly easy way to remove it if your freewheel remover has a hexagonal head.

    Assemble the remover into the hub and tighten the QR with the nut on the removers side. Bring it and a cup of coffee (or other inducement) to your auto mechanic and ask him to remove it with his air impact wrench.

    I've done this while holding the shell in my hand (wear gloves, because it may slip and those spokes can be deadly) and had the freewheels spin off. If it resists, wrap 1/2 turn of an old leather belt around the right flange and secure it in a vise (not tight enough to damage the flange) and the impact wrench will pop it off no problem.
    If he's a good mechanic, he'll get the concept immediately. It's the same method used for removing alternator pulleys. Hold the blade lightly, one good hit with an impact spins the pulley nut off completely. You hardly ever feel the blade move. The only possinble fly in the ointment, is that 's it's a Suntour, or some other two pronged freewheel. I cringe when I see them on a fully assembled wheel, lol!,,,,BD

    Ahh, I read more carefully, and see that it's a hyperglide.....
    "Whale. Oil. Beef. Hooked!" The Rumjacks

  10. #10
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    I was wondering if someone was gong to suggest an impact
    good answer . I think anyone wrenchin' needs one .one can't own enough tools.

    Cheers

  11. #11
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    'The only other option is to do what I did with some freehub hubs and make up a wooden clamping caul that has holes sized to be just a hair smaller than the middle of the hub. You drill these holes through the block of HARDWOOD such as maple, cherry, birch or similar and then cut it in half lengthwise through the hole so you can grab the hub between the two halves with a good stout vise. Normal softwoods for building won't work. It has to be a good hardwood to avoid just deforming and letting the hub spin.'

    This sounds good, particularly if you wrap the hub with one turn of #100 sandpaper (grit to hub) and really clamp down on it (but avoid crushing it). Later you can polish out the hub with #600 wet and dry if needed. Once you're set up, whack the wrench handle with a big mallet or bat to get the shock effect of the impact wrench. You might need a sucker ummm, helper to hold the head of the wrench on the remover.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    There's a fairly easy way to remove it if your freewheel remover has a hexagonal head.
    it off no problem.
    And if your freewheel remover doesn't have a hex head, now's a chance to buy a decent one.

  13. #13
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    Unless you can find a way to hold the hub by the flange closest to the freewheel, chances are you will destroy the hub either by crushing or twisting the spool.
    If the cut spoke ends are still in the hub, I might try bending them all over so that they all form equal length loops. Then attach short spokes to them and lace that into a rim. don't cross them, just arrange them so they all pull in the same direction, and they will all load up pretty equally when you turn the rim to spin the freewheel off. Of course, you might end up with bloody knuckles, a ruined the rim, a bunch of useless short spokes, and still not get the freewheel off.
    OTOH, that hub must be 25 years old. Maybe it's time to retire it.

    em
    Last edited by eddy m; 03-11-11 at 08:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    I just did this job. Due to a crash, the rear wheel was destroyed, therefore I couldn't use it to hold the hub. First, I cut all the remaining spoke ends off and removed the remnants. Then I cut four wood blocks, 6" long x 1 1/2" wide x 3/4" thick. I clamped them together, 2 wide and 2 high, in my drill press vise and bored them to an inside diameter about 1/16" larger than the diameter of my hub between the flanges (this is a mid-70's Phil Wood hub so it it easy - the diameter is the same flange to flange). I cut 4 pieces of 1/16" rubber gasket material and glued them to the half holes in each block (an old inner tube would work also). I then took one pair of blocks and clamped them on the hub, next to a flange and marked 14 holes with a small punch that fit through the spoke holes. I cut 14 pins (the diameter just fit through the flange holes), about 1 1/8" long. I drilled the set of blocks I marked for the pins. I assembled the pins into the set of blocks, and put that assembly on the hub, with the pins through the freewheel side flange. I set the other pair of blocks next to the first pair on the hub to stabilize the whole works in my vise. I clamped to whole assembly in the vise and the freewheel came right off using my freewheel remover with a socket and breaker bar.

    To use this on a hub that is shaped between the flanges would take some extra work to shape the ID of the blocks. I like the impact wrench idea; I just don't have access to anyone with one.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Canepa View Post

    To use this on a hub that is shaped between the flanges would take some extra work to shape the ID of the blocks. I like the impact wrench idea; I just don't have access to anyone with one.
    Every shop in the country. It takes 15 seconds to do. That's not an exaggeration. It takes longer to find the right socket than it does to take the freewheel off. Even if you paid someone 1/2 hour shop rate, you'd be way, way ahead.

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