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5 speed freewheel wheel set for a Clydesdale?

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5 speed freewheel wheel set for a Clydesdale?

Old 02-21-18, 05:08 PM
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5 speed freewheel wheel set for a Clydesdale?

I'm going to give wheel building a try, was wondering what components I should be looking for? My instinct is to stick with a 126MM 5 speed freewheel hub and 700c rims for the first go around. Im pushing 230 lbs right now and might want to "sport tour" with light gear, but that still adds 20-30lbs to the load. Id appreciate any wheel building recipes, and in particular, recommendations as to which hubs I should be looking for on ebay and such. Thanks, Woody
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Old 02-21-18, 05:10 PM
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126mm spacing would typically be used for 6-speed or 7-speed freewheels. You could attach a 5-speed freewheel to such a hub, though, if you really wanted to.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:14 PM
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Sounds like I need to recheck the spacing on my bike. There's a 5 speed freewheel on it and I got 126mm using calipers with the wheel still on the bike.

Last edited by bark_eater; 02-21-18 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:16 PM
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Yeah, 126mm spacing is for 6 speed. 7 speed freewheels most of the time too. 5 speed is 120. Nothing wrong with that.

Maybe try to find yourself some old Phil Wood hubs. Very tough. The oversize axles were a good solution to the old broken axle issues.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:21 PM
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I have been as high as 280 - super Clydesdale? and have had good luck with the Stay Tru wheels on Amazon I do find them to be a bit miserly with the bearing grease but I don't mind opening up the hub to add more. They say they are for 6-7-8 freewheel but I don't see why you couldn't run a 5 speed if you wanted. at 126 I would go with a 6 speed personally.
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Old 02-21-18, 05:25 PM
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Not cheap but velo orange sells some pretty nice 126 mm hubs,

https://velo-orange.com/collections/hubs

If you want a stout rim, the sun rhynolite is strong and not expensive. More expensive but very good are rims from Velocity like the Dyad or the Atlas.

Frankly if your bike is set at 126 and it's steel, not a big deal to go with 130 and then you have a lot of choices since you can go with a modern freehub which will be stronger (same applies if you go with a 126 shimano freehub).
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Old 02-21-18, 05:26 PM
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If it really is 126mm, then you should be able to use a 6 or 7 speed freewheel, or stick with the 5 speed, and shuffle the spacers on the hub to reduce the dish required. This will improve the rear wheel strength, similar to the early MTBs using 130mm spacing for 6 or 7 speed.

As for components, early Phil Wood hubs are bombproof, and will handle much more axle overhang than most cup and cone designs with 10mm axles. For freewheels, the Suntour New Winner is probably the "Strongest", but it's probably a moot point. Most of the Suntour, and Shimano Freewheels are plenty strong enough for someone your size. (Which isn't all that big. You're a bit over what some vintage components were designed for, but not by much.)
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Old 02-21-18, 06:02 PM
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Why 5 speed? Are your other bikes set up for 5 speed? If your building new wheels for a bike you might want to consider building something that can be used on multiple bikes.

I got rid of most of a FW hub wheels years ago and now use shipmano hyperglide 7spd hubs on most of my bikes. That way wheels can be swapped between most of most bikes that don't have CampI Ergo shifters.
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Old 02-21-18, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I'm going to give wheel building a try, was wondering what components I should be looking for? My instinct is to stick with a 126MM 5 speed freewheel hub and 700c rims for the first go around. Im pushing 230 lbs right now and might want to "sport tour" with light gear, but that still adds 20-30lbs to the load. Id appreciate any wheel building recipes, and in particular, recommendations as to which hubs I should be looking for on ebay and such. Thanks, Woody
I think 5-speed with 126mm OLN for your setup would probably be perfect if you can space the axle so you have minimum axle overhang. That will decrease dish, keep the chance of axle breakage low, and make for a good strong wheel. If you're touring, I assume you'll have triple chainrings up front, and the 5s/126mm OLN will probably give good chainline with a triple.

Phil hubs, as mentioned, are pretty bombproof, but IIRC they no longer make freewheel hubs, and you can't easily adjust the axle overhang. But Phil axles don't really break so that's not a big deal. I think if you use any quality hub that you can still get axles and cones for, you should be ok. Sorry if that sounds vague, but hubs are not really the biggest concern I'd have for your wheelset. Rims and spokes are more important.
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Old 02-21-18, 07:24 PM
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Didn't read everything above but if you're starting from scratch there's every reason to build a freehub instead of a freewheel hub. You can go with Uniglide flavour, Hyperglide flavour, or some Frankenfreehub depending on your goals and willingness to customize. Considering your 126mm constraint, I suspect Uniglide gives you the best starting point in terms of hub availability, but I guess there are many ways to get a HG hub to work in a 126mm OLD setup if that's your goal.
Either way, sprocket availability will not be an issue in the foreseable future, as HG sprockets are easily adapted to UG splines.
BTW, I'm more or less average in weight, but somehow I've managed to bend or tweak at least 2 freewheel axles while riding, both 120-124mm OLD, give or take.
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Old 02-21-18, 07:26 PM
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Just a thought here. If you have never done it before why not find an old steel wheel, remove the spokes and then re lace them. That way youi have zero investment iin the wheel and spokes and you can screw up without any worries. I have a piile of old steel wheels up against the side of the garage that I have taken off bikes to upgrade to alu. rims. I would bet that you could get your local bike shop or bike co op to give you some. The Bike exchange has a pile of them that we send to the scrapper.

In my experience any job gets easier after you have done it a couple of times. I know guys that routinely strip spokes off old wheels to re use.
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Old 02-21-18, 07:31 PM
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The bike presently has a serviceable 27" wheel set, so i would like to keep the frame spaceing incase i want to pass the bike along or decide that 27" is the bee's knee's. The crankset is a half step with grannie. Im not sure how that will mesh with more speeds in the back.
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Old 02-22-18, 07:38 AM
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I'll second the suggestion to use Phil Wood hubs and also suggest using the Sun CR rims which come in 27" or 700c, are very sturdy, and run $30-40 a piece.

A bullet proof freewheel for 126 spacing and heavy riders would be a 7 speed Sachs Aris. The notched teeth improve shifting and the bearing cages double as seals, keeping contaminants on the outside. The only caution is that the original grease in a Sachs Aris usually degrades into a sticky peanut butter consistency and needs to be cleaned and replaced with a modern synthetic. Finally, the less than adequate freewheel servicing method I refer to as "flush and dribble" can't be used on Sachs Aris due to these seals.





The notorious contaminated "Peanut Butter" grease in a Sachs Aris prior to cleaning.

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Old 02-22-18, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
The bike presently has a serviceable 27" wheel set, so i would like to keep the frame spaceing incase i want to pass the bike along or decide that 27" is the bee's knee's. The crankset is a half step with grannie. Im not sure how that will mesh with more speeds in the back.

Going from a 126mm rear hub to a 130mm rear hub won't impact the frame spacing at all.

I'm tipping the scales at a svelte 270, the last bike I put together for myself I wanted a sturdy set of wheels that would hold up well over time. I went with a set of Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke 700C rims with DT Swiss spokes and Shimano 105 (5800) hubs. I got these from Velomine, put a set of Panaracer Pasela 28mm tires on them, and have loved them ever since.

I also changed out all the other components as well - to Shimano 105 (5800).

As mentioned earlier in the thread, a wheel with a freehub will be stronger than a wheel with a freewheel - you'll be less likely to snap off spokes or bend\break the axle.
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Old 02-22-18, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RandolphCarter
Going from a 126mm rear hub to a 130mm rear hub won't impact the frame spacing at all.
Um what!? The 126mm and 130mm ARE the frame spacings. I don't catch your drift.

I do however agree with your comment that a freehub makes much more sense than a freewheel hub for a heavy person.

My suggestion is that the first step is to ascertain whether the frame is actually 120mm or 126mm by pulling the wheel and measuring between the dropouts with an accurate ruler. Then, if it truly is 126mm, find a 126mm freehub wheel with either 6 or 7 cogs.
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Old 02-23-18, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by RandolphCarter
As mentioned earlier in the thread, a wheel with a freehub will be stronger than a wheel with a freewheel - you'll be less likely to snap off spokes or bend\break the axle.
That's true with standard 10mm axles, but the Phil hubs already mentioned are at least as strong as a freehub. A freewheel hub with a fat axle was just as strong and probably stronger than a freehub/cassette. Shimano was behind freehub/cassette, and they won, so we have cassettes. Both were good solutions to the old bent/broken axle issues.
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Old 02-23-18, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by davester
Um what!? The 126mm and 130mm ARE the frame spacings. I don't catch your drift.

I do however agree with your comment that a freehub makes much more sense than a freewheel hub for a heavy person.

My suggestion is that the first step is to ascertain whether the frame is actually 120mm or 126mm by pulling the wheel and measuring between the dropouts with an accurate ruler. Then, if it truly is 126mm, find a 126mm freehub wheel with either 6 or 7 cogs.
My drift - you can mount a 130mm spaced hub in a 126mm spaced frame and it won't permanently change the spacing of the frame. The original poster wasn't sure if this was a frame he was going to keep or pass on.
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Old 02-23-18, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll
Why 5 speed? Are your other bikes set up for 5 speed? If your building new wheels for a bike you might want to consider building something that can be used on multiple bikes.

I got rid of most of a FW hub wheels years ago and now use shipmano hyperglide 7spd hubs on most of my bikes. That way wheels can be swapped between most of most bikes that don't have CampI Ergo shifters.
Are there any issues with cog spacing between the FW and the HG? Donít want to change out any more components than I would have to when I get around to a build. Sorry if that sounds stupid, am riding all old school stuff.
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Old 02-23-18, 07:24 AM
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Hopefully I will get a chance to get a good measurement on the hub spacing today. As far as far as "upgrading" from the 5 speed freewheel, what would I need to know about picking a free wheel/cassette that will be compatible with the half step gearing chainrings?
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Old 02-23-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by RandolphCarter
My drift - you can mount a 130mm spaced hub in a 126mm spaced frame and it won't permanently change the spacing of the frame. The original poster wasn't sure if this was a frame he was going to keep or pass on.
The problem with jamming a wider hub into a narrower frame is that the dropout faces have not been realigned to the wider spacing so they are no longer parallel when the wheel is in place. This works for a while but over time can cause cracking of the dropout and/or bending/snapping of the axle.
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Old 02-23-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
Hopefully I will get a chance to get a good measurement on the hub spacing today. As far as far as "upgrading" from the 5 speed freewheel, what would I need to know about picking a free wheel/cassette that will be compatible with the half step gearing chainrings?
Ooohh, you've got a half step set up. You have to figure out your gears in inches on a chart to get them reasonably spaced. There are two gears for every cog in back, one for each of the two big chainrings. No avoiding it, you have to nerd your way through. Essentially, you'll need to calculate every gear (avoid the cross chained combinations), attempting to get them all evenly spaced. There should be 8 usable gears in the big chainrings, and 3 in the small. (if this is a triple) Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

Half step gearing made sense with 5 speed freewheels and triple cranks. If the freewheel was widely spaced, you'd end up with even gear spacing in the normal riding range, and a few widely spaced extra low gears for climbing. With 6 speeds or more, it becomes increasingly pointless. IMHO of course.

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Old 02-23-18, 12:01 PM
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Well I pulled the bike down and the spacing still measures 126mm.

Here's the bike, a 1983 Miyata 610:

00q0q_9AnIC8hThYc_600x450 by woodersonj, on Flickr

00Q0Q_4bwOU8vkZ7u_600x450 by woodersonj, on Flickr

And here's the existing drive chain:

DSCN2873 by woodersonj, on Flickr

DSCN2875 by woodersonj, on Flickr
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Old 02-23-18, 10:20 PM
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1983 is roughly where manufacturers switched from 120 and 5 speeds to 126 and 6 speeds. It looks like yours is a transitional model. If it were me, I'd take a look at the space between the dropout and small cog and ascertain if I could fit either a 6- or 7-speed freewheel in there. If your rear wheel is original then they may have adjusted the dish and axle spacers so that a 5-speed is all than can fit without juggling spacers. However, 126 mm can definitely accommodate a 7-speed freewheel or freehub. I would definitely explore the freehub options if I were you.
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Old 02-23-18, 10:57 PM
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Yeah, it was the transitional time. Touring bikes were intentionally fitted with the older standards. This is mostly evident in that touring bikes still used 27" wheels for several years after most people had switched to 700c. Same thing with freewheels I guess. The idea was that if something broke, you'd be able to find a replacement in a small town.

Anyhow, I looked at the 83 Miyata catalog and in fact the 610 did come with a 5 speed cluster. I guess it freed some extra space for a spoke protector? Maybe the wheel had less than standard dish?? If your 126 measurement is accurate, you will be able to run a 6 (or maybe 7) speed freewheel, if you prefer.
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Old 02-24-18, 12:48 AM
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My Bridgestone has a 126 mm, and was originally equipped with a 5-speed; There was more than enough room to fit a 6th cog between the old FW, and the frame, but the modern Shimano FW I picked sat farther out on the hub threads than the vintage Shimano I replaced, or the modern Sunrace 5-speed I had on hand, so I had to add a 2mm spacer on either end of the axles to get room, and preserve the wheel centering.

I ended up using the modern Shimano 6-speed to get the 34t 'MegaRange' sprocket, since I was heading in to the mountains of western NC, with a 'classic double' 52-42, and wanted a 'bail-out gear.' Either way, most of the new / NOS freewheels you will find have the modern ramped teeth that make shifting so much nicer.
Also bonus, 5-6 speed freewheels are really cheap, like between $10-15 for Shimano or Sunrace (Sturmey/Archer), so you can pick up a few different configurations to try.

I don't always qualify as a Clyde, depending on who's setting the cutoff, since i'm usually between 205-210, but I ride with guys who are way, way bigger than me. You should be fine with just about any 32h rim, don't go super-light or super-cheap, and you should be fine.

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