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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 09-29-11, 08:16 PM   #1
JoeBat3
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Building on a Budget

Hi everyone, this is my first post on this forum and I have a few probably noobish questions.

For background, I have been riding for about 6 months (inherited my father's 1984 Miyata 912) and love every minute of it. As I progressively get stronger and gain riding experience (commuting to work and school) I have become increasingly interested in the maintenance and replacement of old parts on the bike. Just today I replaced the chain, because the old one was about 1/8 of an inch out of whack, but I have noticed that I am experiencing mild shift slipping, and I was wondering if my sprockets are just too worn and used to the old chain, although they don't look that bad, but hey, what do I know? With that being said, I was wondering what the highest quality sprocket set I could get on a college student's budget, and also any tips or tricks when doing this type of repair work.
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Old 09-29-11, 08:37 PM   #2
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it depends whether you have a freewheel or a cassette. Your suspicions are probably correct-- your freewheel/cassette is probably worn with the old chain. Plenty of budget freewheels. Cassettes will be a tad more expensive.
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Old 09-29-11, 09:00 PM   #3
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I think it's a freewheel but I may be wrong. It only has 6 speeds so that's what I'm guessing. Do I have to replace the 2 chainwheels when I replace the freewheel as well?
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Old 09-29-11, 09:39 PM   #4
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Unless they are really worn, probably not. 6 speeds will most likely be freewheel. I know Dura Ace did 6 speed cassettes. Look up SunRace 6s freewheels. They are cheap, ramped, and last for a while.
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Old 09-29-11, 10:23 PM   #5
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Uh, I'm not sure but I think there may be a difference between uniglide and hyperglide 6 speed cassettes.
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Old 09-29-11, 11:30 PM   #6
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A) assuming your hub spacing is 126mm and not 120mm and you are using friction shifters, you could also consider getting a 7 speed freewheel. It shouldn't cost anymore really, as they are all pretty much around the same price. jenson USA. There is an example. Your local bike shop may have some in stock. Mine does and their prices are all around their, so you might save by not having it shipped.

B) If your chainrings are not ramped, which there is a good chance they might not be if it is an older chainring, you can help extend the life of the chainring, and chains, and therefore cogs by flipping them over.

scroll down to ramps and pins if you are unsure about what I mean
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Old 09-30-11, 07:50 AM   #7
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I must say I am pretty shocked at the affordability of most of these freewheels. But thanks for the advice, I will be sure to flip my chainrings over (they have no ramps). But I do have another question, I have no idea what the old freewheel's make and model is.....how will I be able to purchase the right freewheel tool without this information?
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Old 09-30-11, 07:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JoeBat3 View Post
I must say I am pretty shocked at the affordability of most of these freewheels. But thanks for the advice, I will be sure to flip my chainrings over (they have no ramps). But I do have another question, I have no idea what the old freewheel's make and model is.....how will I be able to purchase the right freewheel tool without this information?
Go to a bike shop. Have them remove it for you. Should only cost a couple of $$.

There are dozens of different freewheel tools out there. If you want us to identify the tool for you, take a picture of your freewheel, read the brand off of it, and post the pics here. But its really not worth that hassle, unless you just like buying tools and plan to do a lot more work on bikes in the future.

And even if you looked up the catalog on what your bike originally came with, often, it will no longer have that freewheel on it. Owners of bikes change freewheels all of the time, to change the gearing, to address wear, or for any reason.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:16 AM   #9
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To add to this, you can get a Shimano 6 speed freewheel from walmart, $9 plus shipping.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shimano-Fr...i_sku=13012506
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Old 09-30-11, 08:16 AM   #10
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Just called the bike shop, only 3 bucks to remove it, not bad at all. Sorry for all the questions but I do have one more. When my gear selection is on the big chainwheel and the smaller sprockets, I hear a odd "creaking sound" on every revolution of my pedals. I lurked on another post that said this may be loose spokes, but it seems to only happen on this gear selection and only when I pedal, is this a serious issue?
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Old 09-30-11, 08:18 AM   #11
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To add to this, you can get a Shimano 6 speed freewheel from walmart, $9 plus shipping.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shimano-Fr...i_sku=13012506
Wow, coming from a noob, I expected most replacement parts to be out of my price range, but that is a deal and a half.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:26 AM   #12
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Just called the bike shop, only 3 bucks to remove it, not bad at all. Sorry for all the questions but I do have one more. When my gear selection is on the big chainwheel and the smaller sprockets, I hear a odd "creaking sound" on every revolution of my pedals. I lurked on another post that said this may be loose spokes, but it seems to only happen on this gear selection and only when I pedal, is this a serious issue?
Sheldon Brown has a good read on strange noises. http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html

Give that a read and see if anything applies and see if you can self-diagnose the problem. Could be crank, pedal, BB, chain, wheel, frame, etc. Could even be a saddle issue as it was for me.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:06 AM   #13
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Before you replace anything try simply cleaning the cables. Remove tension from the cable system, then used wd-40 and cut up pieces of t-shirt to wipe down the cables really well. Also move the cable housing around, clean the cable under the housing, slide the housing back, and repeat. If you're cables look really rough, just replace them, or take some steel wool to them.

I was having shifting issues with my rear derailleur and I was sure it wasn't set-up right or something was wrong with it. I went to the LBS and got somebody to look at it, he said just to clean and lube the cables. I was a bit skeptical, but it really worked; I am amazed at the difference it made.
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