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Is Freewheel format dead? Looking for >7spd freewheels

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Is Freewheel format dead? Looking for >7spd freewheels

Old 11-20-10, 10:01 PM
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Is Freewheel format dead? Looking for >7spd freewheels

Awhile back I have tossed in a pair of 8spd Sora brifters on my 7spd commuter bike. While it shifts fine, I am beginning to toy with the idea of upgrading to 8spd rear. However I can't find any Shimano freewheels at that spd.
The only one I found were by Sunrace.
Is Freewheel dead?
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Old 11-20-10, 10:15 PM
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The freewheel isn't exactly dead but it's certainly on life support. 8-speed freewheels are rare because the expanse of unsupported axle needed to clear them leads to frequent broken axles.

I suppose there could be a hub designed to overcome this but there is no significant demand since the freehub does it so well.
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Old 11-20-10, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by |3iker
Awhile back I have tossed in a pair of 8spd Sora brifters on my 7spd commuter bike. While it shifts fine, I am beginning to toy with the idea of upgrading to 8spd rear. However I can't find any Shimano freewheels at that spd.
The only one I found were by Sunrace.
Is Freewheel dead?
Shimano never made an 8-speed freewheel. Their freewheels stopped at 7 speeds.
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Old 11-20-10, 10:45 PM
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I have a small stash of Sachs (before Sram bought the company) 8s freewheels. Feel free to PM me if interested. Otherwise consider the freewheel format of be near it's end. Volume drives costs down, and with the bulk of production going to the cassette format, freewheels will continue to be marginalized.

There are still freewheel bikes being built for third world markets, but they're mostly limited to 6 and 7 speed.
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Old 11-20-10, 11:14 PM
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I've got an 8-speed Sachs but it's just too much. I was averaging about 250 miles between axle breakages. Mind you, I was a good bit heavier then, but honestly, the 7-speed Winner and a half-step + a bailout ring give me 18 out of 21 speeds with no duplication; how much more do ya really, really need?

I will say that the Sachs freewheel is possibly the slickest-shifting cogset I've used.
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Old 11-21-10, 12:00 AM
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I have a small stash of buggy whips. PM me.
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Old 11-21-10, 02:31 AM
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The Sunrace freewheels work OK for me, my longest brevet this year was the 1600km Mille Miglia in Italy.
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Old 11-21-10, 07:14 AM
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Is there something special about your hub?

Why not just get a freehub? You can scrounge em for nothing these days.
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Old 11-21-10, 07:54 PM
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https://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...id=20756448876
https://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...wheels-8-Speed
https://www.bikeparts.com/productsear...ame=FREEWHEELS
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Old 11-21-10, 08:26 PM
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"Note: 8-speed thread-on freewheels have largely gone out of fashion, and for good reason. If your hub uses a standard threaded axle, and you extend the right side far enough to clear an 8-speed freewheel, the extra, unsupported length of axle is at relatively high risk of bending or breaking.

We don't recommend 8-speed thread-on freewheels except for very light, gentle riders, or for use with hubs, such as Phil Wood, that have oversized axles."

-sheldon brown/harris cyclery



While multi-speed freewheels aren't as common as their cassette/freehub cousins, I'd guess that as long as there are BMX bikes and MTB trials bikes, there will be freewheel hubs made. And if there continue to be freewheel hubs made, there will still be enough reason to produce replacement multi-speed freewheels.
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Old 11-21-10, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by peripatetic
While multi-speed freewheels aren't as common as their cassette/freehub cousins, I'd guess that as long as there are BMX bikes and MTB trials bikes, there will be freewheel hubs made. And if there continue to be freewheel hubs made, there will still be enough reason to produce replacement multi-speed freewheels.


Screw-on hubs begone.
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Old 11-21-10, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo


Screw-on hubs begone.
Ha. Touche!
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Old 11-21-10, 09:15 PM
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I had no idea they existed until just recently, when I had to make a double idler pulley for this thing (here).

The splined bit off one of these hubs was just what the doctor ordered : D
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Old 11-21-10, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo
I had no idea they existed until just recently, when I had to make a double idler pulley for this thing (here).

The splined bit off one of these hubs was just what the doctor ordered : D
Bikezilla, Bikenstein!

I'm anxious and sweating just looking at all those wheels near those rail tracks!

Does that hub require a lockring over the single cog?
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Old 11-21-10, 09:40 PM
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Given all the redundancy, that thing laughs at train tracks. Pranged it once, destroying a fork and front wheel, and kept going without it.

Yeah, uses a lockring. Here's a closeup of my idler.
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Old 11-22-10, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
There are still freewheel bikes being built for third world markets...
The third world market being, in this usage, bikes retailed at American big box stores.
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Old 11-23-10, 10:41 AM
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I don't know why you would want a free wheel. I work on bikes and 99% of free wheel hubs are wobbling from a bent axel. Its just a poor design. You should be able to buy a wheel with an 8 speed cassette fairly easy. I have bought a couple over the last year from $20-$40
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Old 11-23-10, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by spathfinder3408
I work on bikes and 99% of free wheel hubs are wobbling from a bent axel. Its just a poor design.
A bent axle cannot cause a freewheel or wheel to wobble. The axle is stationary and parts rotate around it whatever it's condition. Freewheels wobble because they're mounted on a spinning hub, and the axis of the mounting threads isn't perfectly concentric with the axis of the wheel.

This isn't a comment on whether freewheels are bettor worse, or that broken axles aren't a problem, just to correct the mistaken impression that freewheel wobble indicates a broken axle, or is a problem in itself (it isn't).
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Old 11-23-10, 11:12 AM
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Premium Multi speed freewheels sold Under the IRD brand.
[Merry sales imports/Soma]

I still have found freewheels fine, the hub I have used them on has exceedingly strong axles

Phil Wood is a company that is still making a hub like that,

Collectors grab Maxcar as fast as they come available,
my current touring wheel-set is built around a Bullseye hub.

the axle is thick and will not bend, sealed bearings [at least Bullseye and Phil]

8 speed why ? I don't see the point ... its ratios not how many cogs..

i sent back the only 8 speed freewheel I ever laid hands on, Sachs ARIS.

You have to remove the higher gear cogs with chainwhips

in order to get the thing off .

#8 screws into 7, 7 screws onto 6, and 6 is screwed onto the body.

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Old 11-23-10, 11:26 AM
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+ NB: Sun Race is putting serious money into the Bicycle Industry,
They bought up Bankrupt British Sturmey Archer,

and have improved and expanded the products offered under that brand.

Malliard continued to make very good freewheels as part of the Sachs Group,

until SRAM did a financial takeover, eliminated one of their competitors,
got their patents,and tooling

and threw the French Malliard company over the side, out of the boat.

They use Taiwan/ROC and PRC, sited manufacturing too ..
I expect Sachs' machine tools are there now.
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Old 11-23-10, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
A bent axle cannot cause a freewheel or wheel to wobble. The axle is stationary and parts rotate around it whatever it's condition. Freewheels wobble because they're mounted on a spinning hub, and the axis of the mounting threads isn't perfectly concentric with the axis of the wheel.

This isn't a comment on whether freewheels are bettor worse, or that broken axles aren't a problem, just to correct the mistaken impression that freewheel wobble indicates a broken axle, or is a problem in itself (it isn't).
whatever you want to call it. A freewheel does not rotate in a straight rotation after the axel is bent. If you don't want to call it a wobble fine, but the bend in the axel causeing the freewheel to not rotate straight. I will repeat the truth again 99% of free wheels tend to have bent axels due to the axel being extended to far out and putting to much tension on axel. Just making a statement of fact. Freewheels work fine just can have limitations due to design. I am into older bikes so I see a lot of them and keep them on the bikes I work on. They work fine and probably will last a long time. If you need to replace hub,it is getting harder to find parts
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Old 11-23-10, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by spathfinder3408
I will repeat the truth again 99% of free wheels tend to have bent axels due to the axel being extended to far out and putting to much tension on axel.
99% huh!, That's an awful lot of bent axles (BTW- A-X-L-E is the correct spelling). I must have been living a very sheltered life, lo the last 40 years. Are you sure you're not being slightly hyperbolic?
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Old 11-23-10, 10:18 PM
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have 20 years of service from my Sturmey archer Drum brake 7 speed freewheel rear hub.
I just took it out on the icy road yesterday, It's my winter shod bike with the studded tires
and it has just a 9mm solid axle..
have 2 QR Campag hub bikes with a 'wheels of boulder' replacement rear axle,
seems to be less brittle hard tempered than the original Campag ones were.

also OK for many years..
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Old 11-23-10, 10:19 PM
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I think someone's done a double bent axel at the rink.

99% of freewheels wobble, but that doesn't indicate the axle is bent. And just because a freewheel wobbles when the axle on the hub is bent doesn't indicate that the freewheel caused the axle to bend.

I'd like someone to remove ten axles from ten hubs with freewheels and then shoot a video showing us those 9.9 bent axles. I've lubed/re-packed/fixed plenty of freewheel hubs; all of them wobbled a bit due to the slight disparities in concentric-ness as FBinNY noted before. Of those, I've had a few with actually bent axles, but nothing close to 99%. I've also worked on a fewer number of freehubs and their axles. (I mainly own vintage bikes with freewheels). Of those, a higher proportion actually had bent axles. There happen to be numerous reasons why an axle gets bent not having to do with whether it's got a freewheel on it.

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Old 11-23-10, 10:21 PM
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When the rear wheel is freewheeling and the stationary freewheel has a slight rise and fall; is this the "wobble" characteristic mentioned in the discussion?
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