i've got about 50k miles on my phil wood freewheel hub. hub is still going strong,
think i'm on my third freewheel. all of this very heavy loaded touring.
advantage here is that fw hub is about $200 cheaper than the cassette hub.
disadvantage is the limited freewheel availability, especially in touring ranges.
perf/nash still have sunrace 13:30 7spd, NOS can be found on ebay, and
sheldon brown has shimano 7spd megarange in 11:34.
"Hyperglide thread-on freewheels
New! 11 - 13 - 15 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 34 "Megarange" "C" Type $24.95
"Alpine" design, with closer spacing between most of the sprockets for efficient cruising, and the huge 34-tooth "bail-out" gear for the tough hills.
11 tooth top gear makes this the best choice for bikes with "compact" chainwheels (fewer than 48 teeth on the largest)
This specific model has a revolutionary, re-designed freewheel body. It is sturdier, has better bearings, less play and is easier to service than all previous designs. This new design only exists in the 11-34 combination at present.
For technical details, see my article on Mega 7 Freewheels
Because of its unusual design, the larger sprockets have to use a larger spline pattern than other Shimano freewheels. Therefore, it is not possible to customize the gearing on this freewheel, take it or leave it."
forget your lbs. last time i went in, the girl behind the counter asked
"whut's uh freywheel?"