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  1. #1
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    1970 Schwinn Sprint rebuild

    I am new to rebuilding bikes. I ride a new mountain bike but have never worked on an old one. Is this schwinn supposed to be able to free wheel? Right now if I turn the back wheel the pedals turn.
    It sat in a garage for 30 years or so but its functional in all other aspects. Gears change brakes work, sort of. Just the free wheel has me confused.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    If it has multiple gears, it's almost certainly supposed to freewheel. Fixed-wheel bikes with gears are very, very uncommon (there are a handful of internal hub gear systems that let you do it). I'd imagine the freewheel is gunked up with old oil/grease. Is it an internally geared hub or does it have multiple sprockets on the outside of the hub?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The cluster of cogs on the back wheel is called a "freewheel". Yours is all gunked up. New ones aren't too expensive but it takes a special tool to take off the old one.

    If you feel like you hve nothing to lose you can try to take the old one apart but I don't recommend it. The freewheel is full of real little ball bearings and itty bitty springs.

  4. #4
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    Thanks fellas. I will try to grease it up. It was sitting in a garage for 20 years, so I hope its just a little grease needed. I will maybe use the yellow bike peeps we have here in Austin if needed.

  5. #5
    Mechanic/Tourist
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    DO NOT grease it up or take it apart - greasing will not remove old grease that is hardened, and disassembly is out of the question - time intensive, likely to lose bearings or parts. Best to have a shop remove the freewheel (don't remove any guards or spacers underneath the freeewheel). Dunk it in solvent and spin until it runs free, then just follow Sheldon's lubrication advice: http://sheldonbrown.com/freewheels.html and reinstall it if it now works OK - no tool required, just carefully screw it on. (handy hint - turn it counterclockwise until it seats into the entry threads, then clockwise til it stops. Riding will tighten it.
    Last edited by cny-bikeman; 06-18-12 at 10:00 AM.

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