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Old 08-12-12, 10:10 PM   #1
Don Taye
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Phil Wood Hi-Low hub 5 or 6 speed?

I just picked up a set of vintage Phil Wood wheels the rear being a High-Low. The rear is spaced 120 and seems to be built for a 5 speed freewheel. I'm fine going with a 5 but would like to have a 6 if possible.

I have a couple of 6 spd freewheels laying around and when I thread em on they are only maybe 1 or 2 mm from the dropouts.

So does anybody know of a slim 6 spd freewheel?
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Old 08-12-12, 10:21 PM   #2
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Hi-Lo is kinda rare, pretty cool stuff! Phil Wood & Co. can replace the axle to a 126 (6-7 speed) for a reasonable price.
Oh and Suntour made a skinny (ultra) 6 speed freewheel.

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Old 08-12-12, 11:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip on the Suntour I'll keep an eye out. I'm hoping not to have to change anything, I really want to get these on the road and don't think I could wait.
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Old 08-13-12, 01:43 AM   #4
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You'll only need 4mm of the thick portion of the axle protruding past the smallest freewheel sprocket.

The axle end cap can be knocked off by putting a quick-release skewer thru the opposite end of the axle and tapping the end cap off.

A slightly-longer end cap can then be compressed onto the axle stub with a drop of LocTite, but check that the bearings are free of play before reassembling around a worn set of bearings.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:01 AM   #5
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Cool. Where would I get a slightly longer axle stub?
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Old 08-13-12, 09:25 AM   #6
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The Sun Tour 'Winner' series six-speed freewheel was a direct replacement for a normal 5-speed freewheel. I'm currently running just such an animal on my '75 Fuji! Most of the time you can get away with using the 10-speed (wide) chain, but some of the time you'll need a narrower chain.

BTW, you make me a bit envious, since I had built up my set of replacement wheels for my Fuji using Phil hubs almost 35 years ago! I wish I still had those hubs/wheels!!!
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Old 08-13-12, 09:34 AM   #7
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The Sun Tour 'Winner' series six-speed freewheel was a direct replacement for a normal 5-speed freewheel. I'm currently running just such an animal on my '75 Fuji! Most of the time you can get away with using the 10-speed (wide) chain, but some of the time you'll need a narrower chain.

BTW, you make me a bit envious, since I had built up my set of replacement wheels for my Fuji using Phil hubs almost 35 years ago! I wish I still had those hubs/wheels!!!
I would leave it set at 120 mm. Phil will change the axle but you will have to take the wheel apart.
Locating a loose part to do the axle stub swap yourself is not a high probability.

Ultra six freewheels will probably work, they work best with 122 mm spacing.
Will work with 120 if you have a frame that was created to give a bit more clearance on the inside of the stays, like the way the Italians often did with upper end bikes.
You could probably add a washer to the end of the 120 axle to get you an additional mm of space.
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Old 08-13-12, 11:48 AM   #8
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These are going on my '85 Raleigh Alyeska touring bike which doesn't allow any extra chain clearance. I think for now the safe bet is to track down a nice 5 spd and just ride. I will eventually want to get more range form my gearing and at that point I may as well take it to Phil Wood, they're less than an hour from my house. I'll probably have it spaced 126 so I can go to a 7 then switch to a wider rim.
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Old 08-13-12, 12:09 PM   #9
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A 1985 Raleigh Alyeska was originally equipped with a normal (not Ultra) 6 speed freewheel and the rear should be spaced to 126mm. In fact, it should be easy to use a 130mm hub without issue.
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Old 08-13-12, 12:20 PM   #10
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Ah yes it should be 126 in the rear but the drive side dropout was wrecked and had to take it to a local frame builder to have it fixed. After he repaired the dropout he spaced it to 120. Why I don't know but it will work with these wheels so it will work.

When I have the hub respaced I'll probably fix the frame too.
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Old 08-13-12, 02:02 PM   #11
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I've purchased longer axle stubs directly from Phil in the past. The published length of these axle caps obviously doesn't include the protruding 10mm axle tip that fits in the dropout slot, so easy to measure and describe.

The new axle stub cap is pressed on against the opposite-end of the entire axle, i.e. with no force pressed against the bearing through the hub shell (which would damage the bearing).

Figure on about $25 for a new axle cap stub, and be sure to specify that it is un-threaded!
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Old 08-21-12, 11:41 AM   #12
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The Sun Tour 'Winner' series six-speed freewheel was a direct replacement for a normal 5-speed freewheel.
Can you help me identify such a beast? The Suntour six-speed freewheel on my Bianchi seems like the small cog is a bit "outboard" of the freewheel body, but I don't see "Winner" stamped on the body. I'm waiting for a freewheel remover to arrive in the mail, after which I can remove it and get a better look all around (and take pictures). I am about to convert the wheel to use on a Medici (120mm rear spacing) and have been scouting around for a suitable freewheel, but if I don't have to replace what I've got, then: !

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Old 08-21-12, 03:22 PM   #13
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Oh, jeeze, you would have to call me on this one... I think I still have the Bike Warehouse (precursor to Nashbar) invoice for my 6-spd freewheel around here somewhere.... I just gotta find it, LOL! Actually, i think it is up in the garage attic with my bike parts 'collection'... (what wives cal 'junk' ) Get back to me in a couple of days to let me sort through my junk -- I mean treasures...
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