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6-speed freehub replacement???

Old 01-22-14, 05:19 PM
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nkemp
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6-speed freewheel replacement???

Nothing frustrates me more than compatibility of bike components. With that off my chest, here is the problem...

I have an older Santana tandem (early 80's vintage) Marathon style frame. I believe that one or more of the rear gears are sufficiently worn that the chain slips/jumps. We don't ride it enough to justify a rear change-out to something newer or a new tandem.

The 6-speed rear freewheel is a 14-17-29-24-28-32 Shimano VH HG22 SIS. I've looked at 6-speed freewheels and I understand that a 7-speed freewheel might work. But most are HG50 and mine is HG22. Or at a mininimum, they are not HG 20's

- What does HG50 or HG20 mean and can they be interchanged?

Last edited by nkemp; 01-22-14 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Correct terminology
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Old 01-22-14, 05:24 PM
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Freewheels are freewheels, and 6s is 6s, so any 6s freewheel will fit on any 6s spaced hub, and work with any 6s (or 5s or 7s) chain. The variation between HG20, HG50 or whatever is mostly related to when they were produced and the pricepoint, but not relevant to whether it'll work pr not.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:29 PM
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You used both freewheel and freehub in your post. These are NOT the same and you need to determine which one you have before we can give you any useful advice. Read this: https://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
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Old 01-22-14, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
You used both freewheel and freehub in your post. These are NOT the same and you need to determine which one you have before we can give you any useful advice. Read this: https://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html
I may be wrong here (it was a long time ago) but I believe that the move from freewheel to freehub/cassette started with 7s, and 6s implies it's a freewheel system.

Hopefully a Shimanophile will post and confirm whether HG22 was a freewheel or cassette, but until then I'll vote freewheel.
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Old 01-22-14, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
You used both freewheel and freehub in your post.
Screwed it up again! It is the thread on freewheel I believe. Some day I'll get it straight :-)
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Old 01-22-14, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I may be wrong here (it was a long time ago) but I believe that the move from freewheel to freehub/cassette started with 7s, and 6s implies it's a freewheel system.

Hopefully a Shimanophile will post and confirm whether HG22 was a freewheel or cassette, but until then I'll vote freewheel.
OP already confirmed it's a freewheel, and I'm not a Shimanophile, but I did have a 1979 Schwinn Super Le Tour with a 6 speed freehub.
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Old 01-22-14, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I may be wrong here (it was a long time ago) but I believe that the move from freewheel to freehub/cassette started with 7s, and 6s implies it's a freewheel system.

Hopefully a Shimanophile will post and confirm whether HG22 was a freewheel or cassette, but until then I'll vote freewheel.
At least some late 80's Rockhoppers had a 6 speed Uniglide hub.

Googling HG-22 brings up FW's.
I just ordered a cheap 9 speed "vacation/hills" cassette and it 's an HG-20.

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 01-22-14 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-22-14, 10:16 PM
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If it's a freewheel, you can use virtually any 6S freewheel you want. Any new Shimano one would be just fine. 7-speed is possible but might require more spacers on that side of the axle, and some re-dishing. I'd stick with a 6S to avoid any complications.

And yes there were 6S Shimano cassette freehubs. My friend has one on a 1988(?) Schwinn Tempo with full 105 group.
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Old 01-22-14, 10:27 PM
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I have an older Santana tandem (early 80's vintage)
what hub do you have? how wide a dropout? with a Phil freewheel hub I had , it was just fine .,
no need to replace it, as there was never a problem..

the freewheel itself was a consumable as it wears it gets replaced .
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Old 01-22-14, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
If it's a freewheel, you can use virtually any 6S freewheel you want. Any new Shimano one would be just fine. 7-speed is possible but might require more spacers on that side of the axle, and some re-dishing. I'd stick with a 6S to avoid any complications.

And yes there were 6S Shimano cassette freehubs. My friend has one on a 1988(?) Schwinn Tempo with full 105 group.
A 7s freewheel takes the same amount of space as a standard spaced 6s freewheel, the difference being narrower spacing.

With minor variation and small actual differences, the sequence is as follows.

5s went to 6s with the addition of one sprocket maintaining the spacing, so needed about 6mm more space.
6s went to 7s by narrowing the spacing and squeezing the added sprocket into the same total width
7s went to 8s maintaining the spacing and adding one sprocket to the end.
After that all cassettes from 8s to 11s were roughly the same total width, with the spacing made narrower with each added sprocket.

Sun Tour also made a 6s freewheel spaced like a 7s to fit on hubs spaced for 5 speed. This was designated as an ultra 6 or 6u.
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Old 01-22-14, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by nkemp View Post
Nothing frustrates me more than compatibility of bike components. With that off my chest, here is the problem...

I have an older Santana tandem (early 80's vintage) Marathon style frame. I believe that one or more of the rear gears are sufficiently worn that the chain slips/jumps. We don't ride it enough to justify a rear change-out to something newer or a new tandem.

The 6-speed rear freewheel is a 14-17-29-24-28-32 Shimano VH HG22 SIS. I've looked at 6-speed freewheels and I understand that a 7-speed freewheel might work. But most are HG50 and mine is HG22. Or at a mininimum, they are not HG 20's

- What does HG50 or HG20 mean and can they be interchanged?
You wanna talk compatibility? Why can't I bolt in a twin-turbo LS3 motor into my Dodge Challenger? Riddle me that, huh?

Bike parts are easy, especially if you've been soaking in them for 35 years like I have. 6-speed freewheels are almost 100% interchangeable. There aren't many out there now because the world has progressed to zillion-cog cassettes. If you're looking for a decent replacement, look at the IRD freewheels: https://store.interlocracing.com/fr76and5sp.html

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Old 01-23-14, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
7s went to 8s maintaining the spacing and adding one sprocket to the end.
That's what Campy did, but Shimano went from the 5mm spacing shared with Campy 7 & 8s to 4.8mm with 8s.
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Old 01-23-14, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
At least some late 80's Rockhoppers had a 6 speed Uniglide hub.
+1

The nowadays awkward intermediate design. A cassette-like stack of sprockets, but threaded on smallest sprocket as opposed to lockring.
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Old 01-23-14, 08:02 AM
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I have an "Atom 77 Compact" 6 speed freewheel on a 1981 Peugeot that I am working on. Was planning to just swap in a new Shimano 6 speed freewheel, but noticed the Shimano was wider than the Atom so now thinking I will leave it alone. But it does seem the general assumption that all six speed freewheels are the same width might not be the case.
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Old 01-23-14, 08:11 AM
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The highwater mark was the Shimano Mega 7; That's what I have on my '82 Santana. Alas, no longer available unless you find the random NOS one on ebay or at a swap meet.
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Old 01-23-14, 09:03 AM
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I have a 1994 Burley Duet with a 6s index shifting. It will easily take a 7s freewheel and changing the barcons to friction it will shift through all 7 cogs. My 83 Colnago also was 6s and was updated with an IRD 7s without issue. As others have said, check the spacing you have now. I don't have pics of the Burley so I will offer pics of the Colnago.
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Old 01-23-14, 10:36 AM
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First off ... thanks for all the input. It is appreciated.

The rear is 140mm on 27" wheels and Phil Woods hubs in good condition.

Using this search [Shimano 14 (34, 32) freewheel] on eBay, it brings up a number of 7s options. From what I've read here, these would work. Do I have that right?
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Old 01-23-14, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nkemp View Post
First off ... thanks for all the input. It is appreciated.

The rear is 140mm on 27" wheels and Phil Woods hubs in good condition.

Using this search [Shimano 14 (34, 32) freewheel] on eBay, it brings up a number of 7s options. From what I've read here, these would work. Do I have that right?
No spacing problem with any of those. But it won't work if you have index shifting (unless you also replace the shifters). Then there might be issues of RD chain take capacity, or the chain length. Check all before you decide, though none are insurmountable, anf you need a new chain anyway.
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Old 01-23-14, 10:45 AM
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The bar ends are not indexed and another gear might make it shift better by hitting the next gear a bit sooner. I'm no longer used to the long throw required to move it a gear...I really would like integrated shifters but changing to those would cost so much it would be better to shop for a newer tandem.
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Old 01-23-14, 10:59 AM
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Recent manufacturers of freewheels have adopted the tooth profiles that are used on cassette cogs

and they do shift earlier m because of the shorter teeth and side embossed ramps of the cogs..

Those who were used to friction shifting (and old enough to be your father ) like me..

I miss the way the older designs Chain stayed in place not shifting by itself ..

and found a bit of over-shifting and trimming back to center the Derailleur over the gear again,
no big burden.

.. just part of being involved with how your bicycle worked at it's best.
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Old 01-23-14, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I may be wrong here (it was a long time ago) but I believe that the move from freewheel to freehub/cassette started with 7s, and 6s implies it's a freewheel system.
Actually, Shimano had 5-speed freehubs/cassettes (Uniglide) a long time ago. What you may be thinking is that Hyperglide freehubs/cassettes start at 7-speed. Shimano never made 5- or 6-speed Hyperglide cassettes (although I have seen some 6-speed "HG compatible" aftermarket cassettes at some online stores, presumably made to go on a 7-speed HG freehub).

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Old 01-23-14, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by nkemp View Post
I really would like integrated shifters but changing to those would cost so much it would be better to shop for a newer tandem.
Once you have the 7s freewheel on there, you can add the brifters later (assuming you have Shimano derailers).

There were a few models of 7s STI made over the years, and one is still being made today. With only a little luck and persistence, you should be able to score a pair for cheap, particularly if you have a local co-op.

Actually, scratch all that, the new ones are only like $100.

ST-A070, or ST-A073 for the triple set.

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Old 01-23-14, 09:24 PM
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Kimmo ... I'll keep an eye open.

I really like brifters. I tend to shift a lot more. That said, the only down side is if you crash and take out a brifter you are out of luck. It happened to me once and the rest of the 250 miles trip were with foam and bottle caps providing tension on the cable to keep it out of granny gear. But ... if I put the tandem on its side with the wife as the stoker the shifters will not be on my mind
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Old 01-23-14, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KenNC View Post
I have an "Atom 77 Compact" 6 speed freewheel on a 1981 Peugeot that I am working on. Was planning to just swap in a new Shimano 6 speed freewheel, but noticed the Shimano was wider than the Atom so now thinking I will leave it alone. But it does seem the general assumption that all six speed freewheels are the same width might not be the case.
I wasn't aware that Atom did it but Sun Tour offered Ultra-6 freewheels that packed 6 cogs into the width of a 5-speed freewheel so you could have 6 speeds that fit into a 120 mm dropout width frame. Their contemporary "standard" width 6-speed freewheels use 126 mm hubs and dropout spacing and later 7-speed freewheels/cassettes packed 7-cogs into the spacing of a 6-speed standard freewheel.
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Old 01-23-14, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
Actually, Shimano had 5-speed freehubs/cassettes (Uniglide) a long time ago. What you may be thinking is that Hyperglide freehubs/cassettes start at 7-speed. Shimano never made 5- or 6-speed Hyperglide cassettes (although I have seen some 6-speed "HG compatible" aftermarket cassettes at some online stores, presumably made to go on a 7-speed HG freehub).
I thought about bringing this up, but figured FB was really getting at the fact that freehubs truly took over when 7- and 8-speed freewheels turned out to be more problematic than prior FWs. (Kinda moot for this thread anyway.)
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