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  1. #1
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Who else rides a 14-38 freewheel?

    There are almost always a few NOS Suntour freewheels with 5-speed 14-38 gearing for sale on ebay. Because I had a Huret Duopar derailleur, which was rumored to be able to handle the 38-tooth cog, I bought one a few years ago and set it up on my Gitane tour de France with a half-step 48-42 double in front. It shifts well, has fairly even jumps between gears, and is kind of fun to ride--half-step gearing does give you something to do besides just pedal.
    What happens to those other freewheels, though? I assume that some of them must be sold to people on this forum. Who's using them, how, why, and with what derailleurs? Just curious--and wondering what to do with my other Duopar
    By the way, ignore the horrible bar tape in the photo--it's gone now, along with the computer and bottle cage.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I probably would, but my RD won't allow me to go beyond 28.

  3. #3
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    I just picked up an 11-36 9 speed that I'm dying to try out. Haven't run across a 38 yet but I'd like to try it.
    I have spoken.

  4. #4
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have a 14-32 on the bike I've had for the longest (my McLean). Years ago, I was towing both daughters with it, so I needed the low gears. I haven't switched it back. The front chainrings are 52/42, so my bottom gear isn't crazy-low.
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  5. #5
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    I'd be willing to bet that a Suntour V-GT Luxe would handle that 38T cog as well.
    --Don't Panic.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    I'd be willing to bet that a Suntour V-GT Luxe would handle that 38T cog as well.
    Well, a VGT handles a 34 easily enough, but the additional 4 teeth is quite a lot--I have my doubts.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    I've got a 14-38t Suntour freewheel that I recently rebuilt to 6 speed "Ultra" spacing, thus compatible with 8 speed chains.

    Haven't made up my mind how to build it up. One notion is a trials-type MTB with 24" rear wheel and Rotor Cranks. Or on a Trek 520 touring frame. With Suntour Command shifters. Or with SRAM Double-Tap used as ratchet shifters by tricking the cable at the rear-deraileur.

    Normally a Suntour Mountech, Alpine Gear or Huret Duo-Par is needed for Campy dropouts. (Or if you have Simplex drops then a rear derailleur that can do 34t is said to work.) However I'm thinking that the new Shimano and SRAM derailleurs that are made to work with 36t cassettes should be capable of running the Suntour 38t.

    Also thinking of converting a few more 38-tees to Ultra and flipping them on-line, since it appears none were ever made stock with Ultra spacing.
    Last edited by Drakonchik; 06-16-10 at 06:02 PM.

  8. #8
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    I'm sort of wondering what besides that Huret RD would work
    --Don't Panic.

  9. #9
    can't member Noah Scape's Avatar
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    I just built up a 5sp Suntour with a 38t and I'm planning to use a Duopar. I'm thinking I briefly ran this setup on a different bike and I used a Suntour derailleur and it was probably a V-GT.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Suntour made the 14-38 and the only derailleurs that could handle this at this time were the Duopar and the Suntour V Gt series which are rated for 34 teeth (which they handle easily) and can be pushed to handle 38... derailleur hanger length is important here as a shorter hanger will reduce the derailleur's capacity.

  11. #11
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    The correct hangers have been showing up on eBay lately.
    --Don't Panic.

  12. #12
    Senior Member vonfilm's Avatar
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    Suntour AR ( Alpine Range) Derailleurs

    I have read that Suntour's AR (Alpine Range) derailleurs are designed to handle the 38 tooth freewheel. I have actually just purchased a NOS Suntour 14-38 freewheel and used good condition AR front and rear derailleur. I have changed direction in my Super Sport build and will go with my original plan of going to a 130mm rear hub with a 9 speed cassette.

    See the Disraeli Gears website for more information about the AR derailleurs.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The Suntour AG was rated for 38 teeth and would guess the AG stood for Alpine Gear... the AG 5 speed freewheel had a 14-38 range with some huge steps and would have rated a half step to smooth things out.

  14. #14
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Since I use a triple (30 or 32 tooth granny) on almost all of my bikes, I get by with just a 32 or 34 big gear in the back. I generally run a 6 or 7 speed Suntour Ultra.



    I do have a Continental that has not seen any road time in the past two years, which has a 46-42 chainring and I have a Suntour 5 speed Perfect waiting for it with a a spare Duopar that has a 34 or 36 tooth gear.
    Bob
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  15. #15
    sultan of schwinn EjustE's Avatar
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    You might want to read this thread from last year. Apparently someone made it happen using a cheap ( $15 new) Shimano Tourney RD.
    -E

    still stuck in the '80s; '70s were good as well, but i severely dislike tubulars.
    I tri...

  16. #16
    sultan of schwinn EjustE's Avatar
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    I never had a need for an 14-38, but I am seriously thinking of a wide range touring build and got one of those monsters, pictured underneath, which are spec'd to handle an 11-34 9sp (RD-800 sgs)

    -E

    still stuck in the '80s; '70s were good as well, but i severely dislike tubulars.
    I tri...

  17. #17
    RFC
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    Sorry, I have to ask. Why in the world would anyone want a 38t rear cog?

  18. #18
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    Mine is a 13-32 Ultra six rear with a 42/45T front. I use a Shimano DeOre XT rear deraileur and a Nuovo Record front derailleur.

    When you're riding from the desert floor (3,000 ft) to the mountain tops (8,000 ft) and you make the turn in a switch back and come face-to-face with a road that resembles a wall, you really learn to appreciate those low gears.
    Last edited by Mike Mills; 06-16-10 at 05:22 PM.

  19. #19
    RFC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Mine is a 13-32 Ultra six rear with a 42/45T front. I use a Shimano DeOre XT rear deraileur and a Nuovo Record front derailleur.

    When you're riding from the desert floor (3,000 ft) to the mountain tops (8,000 ft) and you make the turn in a switch back and come face-to-face with a road that resembles a wall, you really learn to appreciate those low gears.
    Yes, but a 38t belongs on the crank, not on the rear wheel.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFC View Post
    Sorry, I have to ask. Why in the world would anyone want a 38t rear cog?
    Same reason they'd want a 28, only more so--it gives you a low gear for hills. In my case, I do quite a bit of riding on dirt roads with grades of 10% or more (most roads in Vermont are dirt). I wanted to stick with the original Stronglight 93 crank on my Gitane--didn't want to go to a triple. The smallest ring I had for the crank was a 42. You can get them as small as 38, but they're scarce and tend to cost 50 bucks or more when they do show up on ebay. I already had the Duopar, so I found the freewheel--I think I paid less than 20 bucks for it--and presto, I had a double with a reasonable high and a 30-inch low. That might be too low for some people's needs, but it's not too low for mine.
    Plus, I have to add, I kind of like the challenge of getting something like that to work. I also kind of like the way it looks, in some odd way. It says to the world HECK YES, I LIKE LOW GEARS, AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.
    Last edited by jonwvara; 06-16-10 at 05:48 PM. Reason: add information
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  21. #21
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    ya know this might be the right discussion to ask my long burning question regarding gearing:

    Does Going up 2 teeth in the rear have the same effect as going down 2 Teeth in the front?
    --Don't Panic.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    ... freewheel had a 14-38 range with some huge steps and would have rated a half step to smooth things out.
    I rebuilt my custom 6-speed Suntour 38t Ultra as follows: 14-17-22-26-32-38. Nice smooth transitions.

    Low gearing rules!
    Last edited by Drakonchik; 06-16-10 at 06:04 PM.

  23. #23
    Lost Again gitarzan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    ya know this might be the right discussion to ask my long burning question regarding gearing:

    Does Going up 2 teeth in the rear have the same effect as going down 2 Teeth in the front?
    Much more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
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  24. #24
    Senior Member jonwvara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakonchik View Post
    I rebuilt my custom 6-speed Suntour 38t Ultra as follows: 14-17-22-26-32-38. Nice smooth transitions.

    Low gearing rules!

    That is very nice. Can you just get an ultra-6 freewheel and mix and match cogs with the 14-38 5-speed (using the thinner ultra spacers)?
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Drakonchik's Avatar
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    Drakonchik's 38t in all it's franken-glory:
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