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Chain skating on rear freewheel

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Chain skating on rear freewheel

Old 12-18-16, 07:48 PM
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Chain skating on rear freewheel

My brother snagged Dad's old bike (vintage Torpado). But maintenance has been sparse since he got it home.


Dad changed the bars a while ago, and I think the original parts have been lost, but I'm not worrying about it.

The last time I was up there, I borrowed it, and had a lot of problems with the chain skating on top of the freewheel. Several gear combinations were just impossible to pedal in with the chain just riding on top of the freewheel. Perhaps I'm losing my touch with non-gated freewheels and friction shifting, but I think it is something else.

I'm wanting to give it a quick tune-up over Christmas, and wanted to have some ideas before I head up that way.

I'm thinking maybe trying a new chain. I can try to dig up an old 5s or 6s freewheel, but that doesn't really make sense as the issue (and I'm not sure which freewheel tools to bring).

It also has cracked, but intact Nuovo Record jockey wheels. I sent up some replacement (cheap) ones which were promptly lost. So that will be something to work on too.

More info after Christmas.

But, I'm open for suggestions early.
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Old 12-18-16, 09:46 PM
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Let me guess: Atom or Maillard freewheel? These are notorious for "chain skating." Replace with a Shimano Uniglide or Hyperglide freewheel and a new chain.
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Old 12-18-16, 09:47 PM
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^^^ I agree.
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Old 12-18-16, 09:57 PM
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Older freewheels, especially vintage Atom and Regina freewheels with a "split" tooth profile - looks sort of like an M when viewed edgewise - are very sensitive to chain width and plate shape, and prone to letting a chain to ride the tops.

Older chains had plates that overhung the rollers considerably, and better at guiding themselves onto a sprocket than modern chains with little plate overlap.

Width is also important, because a narrow chain can ride the notch while leaning on the face of the larger sprocket. If the chain is wide enough, the larger sprocket will push it away far enough that the plates cannot hang the tops of the teeth.

Other than that, I can't advise without seeing the bike, and trying to observe exactly what's happening as it skips.
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Old 12-18-16, 11:56 PM
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I found this thread that discusses tooth profiles which I found to be quite interesting.

It is probably an older Regina freewheel, and could well date back to the early 70's. But it also should have worked fine for decades. I am thinking it may be a chain fault, but I'll try to find a more modern 6 speed freewheel that I can take with me too. Hopefully it will fit without too much of a hassle. Grease too?

I accidentally bought a few IG-51 chains. So, I'll take one of those.
I have to dig pretty deep to find a modern profile, road geared 6-speed freewheel. I could do 7 speed, but I don't want to mess with it.
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