Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-05-09, 01:21 PM   #1
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Freewheel spacing


I have a 2 part question. I am replacing my freewheel on my 1985 Fuji League. The current one is a 6 speed Suntour Mighty, standard spaced. I believe the new one is the same, (I am getting it from someone else). Anyway, if it is a tighter spacing, do I need to add washers somewhere to keep the chain alignment proper?

Also, recently, after a sand blasted ride, I cleaned out my cogs, derailleur and chain; however, recently, I've been getting a strange somewhat grinding sound from the backside with my chain (freewheel or derailleur). Anyway, it occurs more often on hard cycling and happens between too many turns to be a particular link in the chain. Is there some common problem this could be?

Is there a good chance after replacing the freewheel and the chain, I will be free of this problem?

Sorry to be not direct or specific, but it is confusing me with my minor knowledge.

Weberish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-09, 04:00 PM   #2
Senior Member
CACycling's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxnard, CA
Bikes: '08 Fuji Roubaix RC; '07 Schwinn Le Tour GS; '92 Diamond Back Ascent EX
Posts: 4,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
No need for spacers. You might need to adjust the RD limit screws a bit and, if you have indexed shifters, may need to tweek the adjustment there as well.

The grinding could be the chain or freewheel but also might be the hub bearings. This would be a good time to disassemble, clean or replace the bearings and grease it all up.
CACycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-09, 04:29 PM   #3
cab horn
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1987 Bianchi Campione
Posts: 28,321
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Doublecheck that your cogs aren't running close to the frame at any point first - that's a game over deal.
operator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-14, 07:48 AM   #4
Senior Member
SJX426's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Alexandria, Va
Bikes: '72 Motobecane Le Champion(totaled), '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Tre Cim3, '91 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster
Posts: 5,742
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 291 Post(s)
Not to hyjack this thread but maybe enhance it? I have had a problem with index shifting a 6spd. I measured the spacing between cogs and found one that was significantly less. This is the cog I am haveing issues with. it is the distance between the second smallest to the next largest. I can't effectively upshift from the third to the second but can downshift to the second cog from the first (smallest). All distances measre 5.51 +.ox. The one in question is 5.3+.

I then started measuring other freewheels, 5, 6, and 7 speed all of which have some variance. Are they all suppose to be the consistant distance for each cog space on a freewheel + or - a couple of thou?
SJX426 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-14, 08:07 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 35,438
Mentioned: 105 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3790 Post(s)
If you're running 6 speed, odds are you don't have index shifting, so small variances in spacing are immaterial.

You didn't give details of the sprocket sizes, but I suspect you may have a wide range freewheel, ie. 13-28 or larger. Also that the step from the 2nd (from outside) to the 3rd is larger than the step from the small to the 2nd.

What may be happening, especially if the chain is a bit older and/or the derailleur is sitting a bit father away is that the chain flexes over and touches on the 3rd sprocket before it touches the 2nd. You can often observe this on a repair stand, if you start a shift and stop at the first sound of tooth contact.

There's no easy cure, but bringing the RD up as far as possible (check for clearance on larger sprockets). Also, since chain wear is a factor take a moment to measure your chain for stretch (wear), and if it's near the end of it's life, consider replacing it.
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-14, 08:14 AM   #6
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
Little Darwin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Bikes: Many
Posts: 8,401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
It is hardly hijacking when you resurrect a 5 year old thread.

As I recall there were two different 6 speed "standards" back in the day. Maybe one was called ultra??? Anyway, as I recall reading, one version of the 6 speed was developed to be the same overall width as 5 speed, so the cogs were closer together than the typical 6 speed, which retained the 5 speed width overall... the other (the majority as I recall) retained the 5 speed spacing so was wider overall, so was wider overall. 7 speed did reduce spacing across the board as I recall.

If you want more info and don't get a definitive answer here, you could ask in the Classic & Vintage section.

{edited to correct logic error]
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last edited by Little Darwin; 04-16-14 at 08:17 AM.
Little Darwin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-14, 08:37 AM   #7
Andrew R Stewart 
Andrew R Stewart
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder
Posts: 8,835
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 831 Post(s)
Sun Tour freewheel cog spacing was not always consistent WRT the smaller cogs and the larger cogs. Close to the same C-c spacing but not exactly the same. This is but one aspect of the Shimano/Sun Tour non compatibility when indexed. Shimano cog spacing is consistent across all the cogs.

Cleaning a chain can cause it to run with more noise. The presence of grime acts as a damper for noise. If the freewheel internal bearings were cleaned and not relubed some noise can come from the dry ratchet bits/bearings acting on each other. (To give a possible answer to the OP, I hope his problem was cleared up since ) Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:54 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.