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Fixed Rear Gear Cluster

Old 09-29-19, 12:06 PM
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Crossthreaded88
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Fixed Rear Gear Cluster

So I have an old Schwinn frame, touring style 27" wheeled, with a very strange freewheeling bottom bracket. The original rear 5 speed gear cluster was fixed in place and did not "freewheel" so when coasting the chain continued to rotate even though the pedals were not. My question is where do I find a new rear wheel cluster and maybe as important what is the proper terminology for this part. Searches for this part have produced nothing but more questions.Alternatives? Can I get a standard freewheel and have it tack welded in a couple of spots to stop it freewheeling? Is it just too weird and one of a kind to find? Any help or advice is welcome. I did find an older gentleman at the LBS that remembered these bikes and told me the cool thing about them was that you could shift gears while coasting because the chain is always in motion as long as the bike is. I couldn't think of a practical application for this but I also thought it was "cool"
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Old 09-29-19, 12:28 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_freewheel

Time to modernize or suffer.
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Old 09-29-19, 12:29 PM
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What is the matter with your existing rear cogs?
I think this design is something Shimano came out with that didn't catch on, It is heavier from memory compared to conventional set ups.

And i'm thinking having a conventional freewheel fitted wouldn't matter {would it?}
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Old 09-29-19, 12:36 PM
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'spose it would matter, you wouldn't be able to change gears while coasting, Good luck hunting down a replacement, some folks collect these bikes just for the hell of it.
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Old 09-29-19, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post

Absolute spot on response thank you. I do not have the original freewheel so I never knew it would "freewheel" in extreme cases. FFS is what I'm looking for. Also I tried a standard freewheel it works but weaker than the front and therefore won't allow chain to move freely. Thanks again.
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Old 09-29-19, 01:21 PM
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Stuff is out there yet.

https://bikeretrogrouch.blogspot.com/...ng-cranks.html

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-VINTAGE...4383.l4275.c10

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-NOS...oAAOSwEdRdimtF

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-NOS...UAAOSwqSZdim3Q

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.Xshimano+ff.TRS0&_nkw=shimano+ff&_sacat= 0&LH_TitleDesc=0&_osacat=0&_odkw=shimano+ffs

Last edited by dedhed; 09-29-19 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 09-30-19, 10:03 AM
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Secret is....

Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Can't thank you enough I could not find the part anywhere using FFS rear freewheel as the search topic. You'd think that eBay would be sophisticated enough to figure out what I was asking for but as usual if you don't ask the right question you won't get a right answer. The secret I guess was FF system instead of FFS just great and I was ready to throw in the towel. Well thanks to you this project has new legs and can continue thanks again.
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Old 09-30-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Can't thank you enough I could not find the part anywhere using FFS rear freewheel as the search topic. You'd think that eBay would be sophisticated enough to figure out what I was asking for but as usual if you don't ask the right question you won't get a right answer. The secret I guess was FF system instead of FFS just great and I was ready to throw in the towel. Well thanks to you this project has new legs and can continue thanks again.
Google Foo is an important skill to possess.
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Old 09-30-19, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
Can't thank you enough I could not find the part anywhere using FFS rear freewheel as the search topic. You'd think that eBay would be sophisticated enough to figure out what I was asking for but as usual if you don't ask the right question you won't get a right answer. The secret I guess was FF system instead of FFS just great and I was ready to throw in the towel. Well thanks to you this project has new legs and can continue thanks again.
The other option is to check bike coops in your area and sometimes you can buy the whole bike for $20-30 as these are usually on lower level bikes and have all the parts plus extra.
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Old 09-30-19, 05:53 PM
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Or get a "normal" freewheel, and do without the sifting-while-coasting feature ?

I hope the fixed gear cluster comes off with a normal remover tool.
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Old 10-01-19, 12:20 AM
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They take the smaller type removal tool {don't think they make em any more}
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Old 10-01-19, 07:48 AM
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If the cluster is "Fixed", perhaps gripping the cogs in a vise will work. Or a chainwhip.
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Old 10-01-19, 08:17 AM
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Should work. Don't think the OP has one on the bike though, wants to bring it back to original. Even then i suppose he could use that method fasting it on when he buys one..tighten it up with a chain whip
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Old 10-01-19, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Crossthreaded88 View Post
So I have an old Schwinn frame, touring style 27" wheeled, .......
Is it a Schwinn Caliente?
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Old 10-01-19, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by le mans View Post
They take the smaller type removal tool {don't think they make em any more}
Yes, the front-freewheel rear cluster uses the Shimano TL-FW20 tool for removal. It's been out of production since the mid-1980s but you can still find them on the used market.


https://www.bikerecyclery.com/nib-nos...ool-container/
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Old 10-03-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by le mans View Post
Should work. Don't think the OP has one on the bike though, wants to bring it back to original. Even then i suppose he could use that method fasting it on when he buys one..tighten it up with a chain whip
You are correct that I have no stock gear cluster and yes it takes a special tool to remove. I agree a NOS part should thread on and tighten with a chain whip.
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Old 10-03-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
Is it a Schwinn Caliente?
No Schwinn Suburban men's large frame, fenders, and swept back bars.
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Old 10-03-19, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Yes, the front-freewheel rear cluster uses the Shimano TL-FW20 tool for removal. It's been out of production since the mid-1980s but you can still find them on the used market.


NIB/NOS Shimano TL-FW20 "Boss" Freewheel Removal Tool: Pre-1985 - Thick Wall - Cool Container - Bike Recyclery
So low and behold I have that exact removal in my tool box all these years and just though it was for a regular freewheel I have one for quick release axles and one that is very thin walled that seems to fit all other freewheels so there this one sat unused waiting for it's turn to make the right fit. I don't know for sure if this is indeed the correct removal tool for the FFS rear freewheel until I try it but that would be a real kick in the pants!
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