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Changing sprockets on shimano front freewheel cluster?

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Changing sprockets on shimano front freewheel cluster?

Old 03-10-18, 11:45 AM
  #1  
Philphine
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Changing sprockets on shimano front freewheel cluster?

i have a couple of front freewheel clusters for various projects (because i like them, that's why). i'm wondering if they come apart like regular freewheels, with a chain whip (never used one personally, but they have one to use at the co-op), and also if i could change the number of sprockets on it.

one that i have is 5sp with the largest cog being 28. i have another regular cluster that is 6sp and goes up to 34. i do have a front freewheel cluster that has a 32 as the largest cog, but i'd love to combine these two. possibly even one of those 7sp mega range freewheels as i has a couple laying around. is it possible? thanks.
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Old 03-10-18, 11:59 AM
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What do you mean by front freewheel? Is this a mid drive on a recumbent or other long frame bike?
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Old 03-10-18, 12:09 PM
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Remember Positron .. stiff wire push-pull shifted bikes, Way Back ? had a crank that freewheeled , the 5 speed hub cluster did not freewheel

for people challenged with the concept of needing to keep pedaling as you changed gears

(thus increasing market size?)

being targeting the entry level I expect the crank riveted the chainrings on, so Nope, cannot change them.


New thing there is a 3 speed gear box crank a 28t chainring , the overdrive planetary ratios make its 2 higher gears..
it includes a freewheel too..






...
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Old 03-10-18, 12:41 PM
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I'm quite sure Andy is familiar with the FFS system, and the OP is not talking about the chainrings. Perhaps the OP means the freewheels that were part of the FFS system. We'll have to wait for further clarification, but I know the freewheels for that system were decidedly different, as the cogs could be moved counterclockwise on the body, in case the front was not freewheeling well.
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Old 03-10-18, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Remember Positron .. stiff wire push-pull shifted bikes, Way Back ? had a crank that freewheeled , the 5 speed hub cluster did not freewheel.
The rear cluster didn't "freewheel" as such but it had some sort of friction clutch that would slip if the front freewheel were to jam.

As regards the OP's question, the Shimano parts manual doesn't show them disassembled but I believe I have taken one apart, just like a regular freewheel. Many many years ago. I don't recall whether the cogs were the same as other Shimano Z-type freewheels, but I strongly suspect they are.
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Old 03-10-18, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
The rear cluster didn't "freewheel" as such but it had some sort of friction clutch that would slip if the front freewheel were to jam.

As regards the OP's question, the Shimano parts manual doesn't show them disassembled but I believe I have taken one apart, just like a regular freewheel. Many many years ago. I don't recall whether the cogs were the same as other Shimano Z-type freewheels, but I strongly suspect they are.
Thanks yes. This is what I was meaning. I guess I need to pull out some calipers or something to measure the width, but do you think I could replace the 5 sprockets with a wider range set from a 6 speed? Or would i just have to take them apart and try it? Thanks.
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Old 03-10-18, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Philphine View Post
...would I just have to take them apart and try it?
You could certainly try that, although it seems a lot of effort for what was such a kludgy system. I would point out that you can just put a standard freewheel on the bike, although you will sometimes experience a slightly longer time before engagement when starting to pedal, due to there being two freewheels.
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Old 03-10-18, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
I'm quite sure Andy is familiar with the FFS system, and the OP is not talking about the chainrings. Perhaps the OP means the freewheels that were part of the FFS system. We'll have to wait for further clarification, but I know the freewheels for that system were decidedly different, as the cogs could be moved counterclockwise on the body, in case the front was not freewheeling well.
Yeah, that's where I got confused. I know about freewheeling chain rings, but didn't put together that he was talking about rear clusters that work with them.
The ill conceived Autobike that lived for a while on late night infomercials used a freewheeling chain wheel with a fixed rear cluster.
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Old 03-11-18, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
The rear cluster didn't "freewheel" as such but it had some sort of friction clutch that would slip if the front freewheel were to jam.

As regards the OP's question, the Shimano parts manual doesn't show them disassembled but I believe I have taken one apart, just like a regular freewheel. Many many years ago. I don't recall whether the cogs were the same as other Shimano Z-type freewheels, but I strongly suspect they are.
IIRC (and I'm digging through some very old dusty memories), the FFS clusters were in no way related to "regular" freewheels. Each cog had a separate clutch to allow emergency freewheeling. That's from Schwinn School, which I attended in 1980.

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Old 03-11-18, 10:48 PM
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If I read the OP right you guys have it right. The Front Freewheeling system freewheels are different in their cog to body interface. I'm sure that someone with enough incentive can pull one apart, but why? I don't know of anyone who has done more then replace the spec freewheel as a complete unit or just used a standard freewheel and didn't coast when shifting.


Maybe in a year or two Philphine will be this list's Front Freewheeling freewheel expert. Andy
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Old 03-11-18, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
IIRC (and I'm digging through some very old dusty memories), the FFS clusters were in no way related to "regular" freewheels. Each cog had a separate clutch to allow emergency freewheeling. That's from Schwinn School, which I attended in 1980.

You're right! It's all coming back to me. (I was ages and several concussions ago.)

I take back my earlier assertion; there's nothing about these freewheels that will interchange with regular freewheels.
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