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Thread: Hub question

  1. #1
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Hub question

    Alright, laugh all you want at the guy who doesn't know his hubs...I've ridden plenty of track bikes, but they've always been fixed/fixed or just one side fixed hubs (in the Velodrome).

    I've been pretty happy with my Ultegra hub SS conversion, but my rims are toast and I want to get a SS specific hub so I don't have to dish. I'm rockin' (yes, I rock it) a Surly Xcheck, and saw that Surly has Free/Free hubs on their website. Looks good to me, and I gotta represent the Midwest guys.

    However, my question is, and I know I already know the answer, do I have to get a singlespeed freewheel to go on it? Or is the ratchet inside the hub? I'm guessing it's in the hub or they wouldn't advertise it as being free/free...seeing as how you can make any fixed hub a free hub with a freewheel. But, I have to make sure.

    So, go ahead and laugh, but give me the solace I need to plop down $80 for a new hub so I can build my bike the way I want it.

  2. #2
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    You need a freewheel.

    And I'd get the fixed/free. You can run a freewheel on both sides if you like, but have the option of goin fixed if you ever want to.
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  3. #3
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    +1 to riderx

    the "free" only refers to the threading, which does not have a reversed threading for a fixed lockring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  4. #4
    out of shape
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    there are bmx-specific hubs (drivers) that have a system similar to what you're thinking of, but not exactly. ss or track hubs are just a threaded shell with flanges and races for bearings.

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    And if you're looking to buy a good, quality freecog, I recommend White Industries' cogs. They're a little pricey, but worth it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Thanks for not choking on your laughter, guys.

    Those White's look sick, but at $90 I don't know if I could swing that AND a new hub. I'm thinking I'll do the fixed/free and get a Shimano freewheel and a Surly cog/lockring for the other side.

    I do like riding fixed, but right now I'm more of a utility cyclist, so the cheeky allure of a fixed doesn't appeal to me like it would have pre-child when I had more time to dork around with my skillz. However, it's still good for my strength and cadence, so I'll do it, but reserve the right to puss out at any time (free on the other side, two V-brakes, etc...)!

    One day I'll get a White Industries...

  7. #7
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Alright, maybe I won't get a Shimano freewheel...reviews make them sound like absolute crap.

    Anyone wanna recommend something cheaper than the White Industries?

    I see Dicta, ACS (I hear they're loud), Odyssey and not much else...what's good?

  8. #8
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    ACS or Shimano. Drip some thick lube in them frequently (easy to do since they aren't sealed). Then start saving your pennies for a White.

    Unless it is a White Industries, it is going to be low end. Unfortunately there is no middle ground on freewheels.
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  9. #9
    NitroPye
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    I love loud freewheels ([b]sometimes[/i]). Loud freewheels on road bikes give me the warm and fuzzies.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    I've used and abused Shimano, ACS, and Dicta freewheels for more than 20 years now. I've never had one fail on me and I've used them in pretty harsh conditions over the years. The inner workings are pretty simple, they require very little maintenance, and they are very reliable. You shouldn't have any problems with even the cheapest one's. I have a 17t dicta with more than 3000 miles on it, all dirt, mud, and snow (with salt), and I've never serviced it, not once. White Industries freewheels are nice, I'm sure, but total overkill.
    Shimanos seem to be the smoothest. ACS freewheels are loud and Dictas are somewhere in between. Theres no other significant difference in my opinion. If one fails (very unlikely) and requires replacement, you'll still be saving money over a WI freewheel.

    EDIT...I'm not convinced that dropping lube into a freewheel is generally a good idea. I don't usually lube mine and have never had a problem. Lube only invites dirt and the few times I have dropped lube into a freewheel (without first disassembling it and cleaning it), it only made it sound and feel rough. Leave it alone I say. The bearings and ratcheting mechanism only work when coasting, when the freewheel is not experiencing a load from the chain. So in that respect freewheel bearings are not as heavily abused as, say, BB or hub bearings. I remember a Sheldon article somewhere that advises the same.
    Last edited by mihlbach; 02-21-08 at 02:17 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member climbhoser's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Thanks again, guys. Looks like Shimano'll be the ticket for now.

  12. #12
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    I've used and abused Shimano, ACS, and Dicta freewheels for more than 20 years now. I've never had one fail on me and I've used them in pretty harsh conditions over the years.
    I've put them through their paces in harsh conditions and regularly had them fail to engage, skip, clunk and generally sound like hell (the latter after a couple of days of trail use). I'd go through about 3 per year on a single bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    EDIT...I'm not convinced that dropping lube into a freewheel is generally a good idea. I don't usually lube mine and have never had a problem. Lube only invites dirt and the few times I have dropped lube into a freewheel (without first disassembling it and cleaning it), it only made it sound and feel rough. Leave it alone I say. The bearings and ratcheting mechanism only work when coasting, when the freewheel is not experiencing a load from the chain. So in that respect freewheel bearings are not as heavily abused as, say, BB or hub bearings. I remember a Sheldon article somewhere that advises the same.
    Sure it invites dirt, but these things aren't sealed to begin with and they come prelubed. When the pawls wouldn't engage relubing was the only way to to get any decent life and performance out of them in my experience. Flush them with heavy lube. Drip it around the gap in the body and spin and watch all of the nasty stuff come out the back. Sometimes when I was real ambitious I'd do this routine with a degreaser first and then relube.

    You don't need a White freewheel and you can certainly ride any of the other ones and have a fully functional bike but there is a noticeable difference between these two extremes. My bikes are pretty utilitarian and I prefer function over fashion, but I am willing to pay for a solid quality part that performs. This is one of those parts that fits the bill IMO. It's like investing in a King headset. It hurts your wallet at first and you can't believe you are spending the coin but down the road you realize it was well worth it.
    Last edited by riderx; 02-21-08 at 02:44 PM.
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
    EDIT...I'm not convinced that dropping lube into a freewheel is generally a good idea.
    Doesn't sound like you ride daily in winter weather.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Doesn't sound like you ride daily in winter weather.
    everyday.

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