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Old 01-03-09, 12:12 AM   #1
Jerry in So IL
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Has anyone done or seen...

A Free Radical on a Worksman bike? If not, is it possible?

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Old 01-03-09, 12:49 AM   #2
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I don't see why not. So I'd guess it is possible.
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Old 01-03-09, 12:50 AM   #3
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Well, I hunted up the sales page on the Free Radical and just really can't tell that much about how it connects to the frame.

The standard Worksman bike has horizontal dropouts that face backwards. So if anything is supposed to hook in those dropouts, it won't work. The Worksman bike frame is the proper width for a coaster brake hub, and should be narrower than a normal road bike or mountain bike, so that may be an issue. The frame doesn't have provision for any kind of rim brakes if those are required.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:08 AM   #4
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The narrowness may be a big deal; I ended up having to actually squeeze my freerad to make it fit onto my Electra Townie 3 with an internal hub. Get some measurements from both sets of folks, or just email the nice ppl at xtracycle and bring up the specific issue.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:57 AM   #5
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Thanks

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Old 01-04-09, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
...The Worksman bike frame is the proper width for a coaster brake hub, and should be narrower than a normal road bike or mountain bike, so that may be an issue.
The one I got had a rear-end that was badly pinched. The rear dropout width was only about 4.125", and the 3-speed hub had an OLD of about 4.75"! The first time I tried to take the rear wheel off, I loosened both nuts and took off the brake arm bolt, and started pulling, and it wouldn't budge. I kept checking, thinking there was something else holding it in there, like I thought that maybe the insides of the dropouts were recessed or something??? But they weren't. I pulled harder and harder until finally it popped out.
And after all that,
I found that I had to use a board for leverage to get the wheel back in the frame at all. I would put one side just in the dropout notch, and then had to use the board between the wheel and frame on the other side, to pry the dropouts wide enough to push the other side of the axle in.

The wheel with the 4.75 OLD was a Nexus 3-speed.
An external-gear hub is even wider, around 5.25" OLD.

The frame is steel so you can bend the rear end open a bit more without doing much of any damage to it--but you'll need a heavy table to clamp it down to and a board for leverage, or a fairly-hefty friend. The paint may crinkle where the tubes bend, but the factory paint job is just rattle-can anyway, it's nothing special.

Quote:
The frame doesn't have provision for any kind of rim brakes if those are required.
This is true.
The rear coaster brake works but is lousy--particularly for a heavy-load bike--and the front (Worksman-supplied) drum I have on mine simply does not stop very well either.

A rear Nexave brake seems possible, and allows a better choice of (IGH) gearing. Nexaves don't have a great reputation but they're pretty low-maintenance and I'd be amazed if they were weaker than either the coaster or drum brakes that they'd be replacing. A disk would not work on the rear wheel because the rear wheel needs to be able to slide fore-and-aft somewhat to adjust chain tension--unless you used another method of chain tensioning (which would be possible too, if the rear wheel didn't have a coaster brake).

But then, the problem with doing all this is that a major part of the ruggedness of Worksmans is the 11g spokes used in the wheels,,,,, so to use Nexave wheels with the spokes, you would also have to drill out the Nexave hubs' spoke holes bigger.

The standard steel Worksman rims don't allow using rim brakes at all, as the rim edges are rolled--they are rounded off, not flat. The aluminum rims I don't know, I didn't get them. And using non-Worksman rims would require drilling out the rim holes to allow using the moped-size spokes as well.

Finally, the largest frame Worksman makes is a 20", and it wasn't nearly big enough for 6'2" tall me to ride comfortably even over short distances,,,, the handlebars were in my lap. I cut the one frame up and used the bits for another frame, home-made.

I had thought that if I wanted a "good" Worksman bike I would need to cut the frame up and lengthen it with pieces of extra tubing slipped over the Worksman frame tube ends and brazed, but it occurs to me now that this would not work easily because the top tube angle would need to change as the seat tube got taller, unless either the head tube or the fork blades were increased in length as well.... but the fork blade tubes are not round, they're mashed ovals--so that wouldn't work. And cutting and lengthening the head tube would be just about impossible for me to do and keep it straight, with the tools I have. :|
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Last edited by Doug5150; 01-04-09 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 01-04-09, 02:33 PM   #7
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I wrote to Worksman on this same issue, and they told me that although they no of no documented instances, they see no reason why it should not be possible.
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