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The elusive freewheel: 13-24?

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The elusive freewheel: 13-24?

Old 03-14-18, 07:45 AM
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The elusive freewheel: 13-24?

I've been taking a hiatus on my elsewhere-described Francenbike while recovering from some household injuries (2018 has not been kind to me), but have been following topics here on C&V BF. Hopefully I'll be picking up wrenches again soon.

Anyway, what I think of as the core of this build is the drivetrain: Single chainring Stronglight 49D (50T), and a 13-24 freewheel, and using a Simplex 543 derailleur.

Alas, I have not been seeing any 13-24 5-speed freewheels anywhere. Ideas? Moreover, on the For Sale sub-forum recently I saw advertised a 13-24 "narrow" 6-speed. Unfamiliar with that, is it a 6-speed that fits in the width of a 5-speed? Curious, that would make my 543 a Simplex 6543, I guess. Perhaps I should have snapped it up.

Thoughts on what was/is made in this size, and where to look? BTW, the wheels and especially hubs are likely to be the key non-French components on this bike so French Thread is not a requirement. And this is to be my flatlander bike and not needing an inner chainring or a wider-range freewheel.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:56 AM
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Here is some info from Sheldon Brown's Website:

5-Speed to 6- or 7-Speed
Hubs originally intended for 5-speed freewheels can be converted to use 6- or 7-speed freewheels. You will generally need to add a few spacer washers to the right side of the axle, building it up far enought that the cone locknut can reach the frame dropout through the wider freewheel body. You will need to re-center the axle but probably won't need to replace it with a longer one. You'll also need to re-dish your wheel , and probably re-space your frame. If you're fairly handy, this is not an unreasonable thing to do.
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Old 03-14-18, 08:00 AM
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IRD makes them. If you want to buy new. Classica 5/6/7-Speed Freewheels
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Old 03-14-18, 08:10 AM
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There are plenty on ebay, especially if you are willing to settle for a 14-24 5-speed. I just bought a Pro Compe gold 14-26 for $20 including shipping.
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Old 03-14-18, 08:40 AM
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If you want all nice, new shiny, from Boulder Bicycle you can get a NOS Winner 5sp 14-24. It costs.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:00 AM
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Thanks, all!

(a) I kinda want 13-24, this keeps the tooth range tight enough for the RD, and gives me a tall enough top gear for some top speed and a low enough 1st for the uphill grades I'll likely encounter.

(b) I just measured the frame, 120mm, and I guess (YIKES ) that I can stretch the frame, will be asking how to do that equally l-r so I do not get a goofy chain line. Plus the expense of re-dishing, I'll concede I'm not the greatest with a spoke wrench.

(c) The IRC is pricey (as will the only 50T chainring I have seen), but OK.

(d) again, I worry about the span, left to right, between top and bottom cogs; the 543 is adjusted oddly, not simply high and low limit screws that I can back out. If either the 5 or 6 speed IRC's need 126mm because the span is wider, the Simplex is unlikely to handle it. That's why I asked about the "narrow 6 speed"... is that a thing?
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Old 03-14-18, 09:01 AM
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13t small would have been unusual for a freewheel with a 24t low. 14-24 was more typical. There were no luxury extra gears when you only had 5 to work with.

It's possible you'd find this combo in an ultra 6. Those are the narrow freewheels which allow 6 cogs on a 5 speed sized hub.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:17 AM
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I think the IRD might be your best bet. I've read that 13T cogs didn't become very common until the 6-speed era, not that they weren't employed on custom freewheels before that...

But don't beat yourself up about missing the ultra-6 freewheel. The typical progression of a 6-speed 13-24 was 13-15-17-19-21-24, so it substitutes a 19 and 21 for the 20 in the IRD 13-15-17-20-24 freewheel. At least the way I ride, I'm not as picky about jumps on the low end as opposed to the middle and high end.
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Old 03-14-18, 10:49 AM
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@tiger1964, I might have a six-speed freewheel. It is (or was) 13-24 or 14-24.
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Old 03-14-18, 10:52 AM
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I may have a Suntour Ultra 6 13-24. I'm away, but can check when I get home tomorrow evening. Drop me a PM to remind me, if you'd be interested.
-john
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Old 03-14-18, 10:53 AM
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The Sunrace 14-24 was $7 about a year ago. Still going strong.
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Old 03-14-18, 11:18 AM
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Ultra/compact spaced 13-24 6 cog freewheels that will fit a 120mm hub can be had from Regina, Atom, and SunTour. I have at least one of each in the fleet.


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Old 03-14-18, 11:21 AM
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The problem you are running into, is that 13t cogs weren't really possible on a number of the 5sp era freewheel designs. Most of them had 14t minimums. One that I know of that will work is the Suntour New Winner. It's body could be used for 5sp, 6sp narrow, 6sp and 7sp. You probably won't find a 13-24 5sp as stock, but two chainwhips are all you need to disassemble them. Almost all of the cogs are interchangable, with the spacing being determined by spacers. (There are a few cogs with integrated spacers that are narrow or wide specific.) You could probably build exactly what you want from the judicious purchase of two used freewheels.
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Old 03-14-18, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
13t small would have been unusual for a freewheel with a 24t low. 14-24 was more typical. There were no luxury extra gears when you only had 5 to work with.

It's possible you'd find this combo in an ultra 6. Those are the narrow freewheels which allow 6 cogs on a 5 speed sized hub.
13-24 5-speed was a stock SunTour Winner in 1977. I could have put one on for the Stowe, VT race. (I worked at a Fuji bike shop/regional dealer and raced a Fuji. I remember that freewheel being on the board to be had but I passed and made up a custom Perfect, 14-23 because I wanted that higher low gear for Smuggler's Notch.)

I have no idea if any of those FWs are still around; that was 40 years ago, just that they were not rare back then.

Ben
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Old 03-14-18, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
13-24 5-speed was a stock SunTour Winner in 1977.
Was it? In that case a Suntour Winner is one to look for. It's been awhile. I don't remember everything. I remember most people using 14 as the small cog unless they were running 6 speeds. Probably kind of regional.

Anyhow, I (just now) looked at the old PA catalog and see that both Suntour and Regina offered 13-15-18-21-24 as a stock size. Maybe there's one out there.

BITD every bike shop had cogboards, so it was kind of irrelevant. Anything could be made up custom. I often made up my own freewheels to suit, especially for 'junior' gears.

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Old 03-14-18, 01:21 PM
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Again, thank you all...

Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
It's possible you'd find this combo in an ultra 6. Those are the narrow freewheels which allow 6 cogs on a 5 speed sized hub.
That would be pay dirt, and worth using "ultra 6" as a search criterion at eBay, whatever.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@tiger1964, I might have a six-speed freewheel. It is (or was) 13-24 or 14-24.
Cool!

Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
I may have a Suntour Ultra 6 13-24. I'm away, but can check when I get home tomorrow evening. Drop me a PM to remind me, if you'd be interested.
-john
Also cool! and there's that "Ultra 6" again.

Originally Posted by top506 View Post
Ultra/compact spaced 13-24 6 cog freewheels that will fit a 120mm hub can be had from Regina, Atom, and SunTour. I have at least one of each in the fleet.
Any would be cool if the width can be determined. I like Atom only because I already have two pullers including an early Phil Wood one.

Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
13-24 5-speed was a stock SunTour Winner in 1977.
OK, another brand/model to look for.
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Old 03-14-18, 01:47 PM
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EBay item # 122937428502 is just one of several 13-24 New Winner freewheels I found for moderate prices. Don't just look for ones described as "Ultra 6", as those go for a lot more. Most sellers don't know what they have. If you look carefully at this freewheel, you can see the double locknut of the New Winner freewheel body. If it's body is flush with the outer cog, then it's a narrow or "ultra" 6, or a 5 speed. Either one will work fine on a 120mm hub. If the body is recessed by ~1/4", then it's either a normal spaced 6 speed, or a normal spaced 7 speed (which happens to be the same cog-cog spacing, and use the same spacers as narrow 6 speed. They just added one more cog to a narrow 6 to make the standard 7 speed.)
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Old 03-14-18, 01:53 PM
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Worst case: consult with Pastor Bob.


Top
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Old 03-14-18, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
Worst case: consult with Pastor Bob.


Top
That could hardly be the worst case.
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Old 03-14-18, 03:10 PM
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+1 on Pastor Bob. He's very helpful.

Turns out I have a Suntour Winner 13-24 5-speed on my Falcon that I would happily trade for a nice shiny gold Pro Compe 14-24 or 14-28. My days of pushing a 13 (or 14 for that matter) with the big ring are far back in the rear view mirror. Contact me if other options don't work out.
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Old 03-14-18, 04:46 PM
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I've used a SunRace 7-speed 13-25 on my Centurion Ironman. The spacing was fine with the original 52/42 chain ring combo. But it felt weird with the 52/39 chain ring combo I switched to, hoping for a better hill climbing combo. Too much double shifting to find the sweet spot, so I was losing momentum on climbs. I went back to the 13-24 Suntour with the 52/39 chain ring.

I didn't use the SunRace long enough to comment on durability. They're very inexpensive. Externally they seem comparable to the Suntour. No idea about the internals.
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Old 03-14-18, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I've used a SunRace 7-speed 13-25 on my Centurion Ironman. The spacing was fine with the original 52/42 chain ring combo. But it felt weird with the 52/39 chain ring combo I switched to, hoping for a better hill climbing combo. Too much double shifting to find the sweet spot, so I was losing momentum on climbs. I went back to the 13-24 Suntour with the 52/39 chain ring.

I didn't use the SunRace long enough to comment on durability. They're very inexpensive. Externally they seem comparable to the Suntour. No idea about the internals.
Thanks. I'll pick up at least one. (52-42 is what I run + a third little one, currently a 26.) SunRace used in the past very little shift assists unlike the otherwise much nice Shimanos. Those Shimano cogs drive me nuts, I friction shift like I learned and raced decades ago. You can't do standard racing shifts and be confident that the chain will stay put. Yes it will find a cog. But if you dump the chain to any old big one coming into a hill, you may find the chain going back and forth between two cogs, usually exactly when you don't want that shift. I have never seen that with any other make of freewheel, ever.

Those Shimanos do shift beautifully. But for my sanity, I'm trying to stay away.

Ben
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Old 03-15-18, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Thanks. I'll pick up at least one. (52-42 is what I run + a third little one, currently a 26.) SunRace used in the past very little shift assists unlike the otherwise much nice Shimanos. Those Shimano cogs drive me nuts, I friction shift like I learned and raced decades ago. You can't do standard racing shifts and be confident that the chain will stay put. Yes it will find a cog. But if you dump the chain to any old big one coming into a hill, you may find the chain going back and forth between two cogs, usually exactly when you don't want that shift. I have never seen that with any other make of freewheel, ever.

Those Shimanos do shift beautifully. But for my sanity, I'm trying to stay away.

Ben
The SunRace felt like it shifted just a wee bit smoother than the original Suntour. Not sure if that's due to the difference in the bevels or the more polished finish.

Unfortunately I messed up the front derailleur by "fixing" what didn't need fixing: I adjusted the angle after eyeballing it and thinking it wasn't straight. I should have left it alone -- it shifted perfectly without chain rub. By adjusting it where it looked straight it started dropping on chain ring shifts and rubbed more often, so I needed to keep trimming it. Now I can't slam the friction shifter back and forth for quick chain ring shifts on roller coasters. I tried readjusting it a few days ago and it shifts better, but still has some chain rub.

And it's more finicky with the 52/39 combo than it was with the original 52/42. If I slam it, it might drop. But if I finesse it too much, it definitely will drop.

FWIW, I'm only a middling climber. I'm solidly in the middle of the pack on every Strava local hill climb, which only means there are a lot of folks who are even slower on hills than I am. Because on most group rides I'm falling off the back and getting dropped if I don't sprint to close the gap after the next crest.

I might be better off with a 13-28 freewheel, but I keep hoping my conditioning will improve enough that I can get by with the 13-24 or 13-25.
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Old 03-15-18, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by vtchuck View Post
+1 on Pastor Bob. He's very helpful.
Agreed. The good Pastor and I have collaborated on several freewheel projects. What I was trying to get across is if one can't find what you want/need he can help one roll their own.

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Old 03-15-18, 09:08 AM
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Turns out I have three Suntour Ultra-6 13-24 freewheels. Two are on bikes, and one is up for grabs. PM me an email address, and I can send a pic or two.
-John
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