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Need frewheel advice

Old 05-06-18, 10:09 AM
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76SLT 
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Need freewheel advice

A couple months ago I bought a really nice set of never been used Wolber Alpine 700c rims, from a forum member. They're laced with Sapim spokes and Campagnolo Record hubs. I want to get a new freewheel for it, and tires. I'll probably get a five speed fw for it or maybe a 6. What brand do you recommend? I'd prefer vintage but I'm open to suggestions. Would a 6 speed fw fit on the hub?

Wolber wheel

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Old 05-06-18, 10:58 AM
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Any ISO threaded brand will work with the hub. Only specific threading that might not work for all hubs are French threaded FW's as they have a thread pitch that is slightly different. 6 speeds should also fit.
It depends on what kind of build you are going after. For best shifting with most C&V derailleurs, you might consider Shimano's Hyperglide cogged FW's which are a favorite of many here. Or you could go with any of the FW's coming from the respective countries your bikes might have come from to do that "complete" (regional/national) build. Each different FWs will have their pros and cons, depending on their design.......add to that the many different kinds of chain that also either contribute or deter from good shifting performance.
I have Reginas on all my Italian bikes and Maillards on all my French bikes, and Zeus on my only American bike. Mostly working with mostly Sedis/Sachs narrow chains, the single Zeus with Regina chain. They all work well enough for me and sometimes do show their quirks in different ways, but nothing really unmanageable.
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Old 05-06-18, 02:06 PM
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A shimano hyperglide with a matching chain remains the best and cheapest option.
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Old 05-06-18, 02:16 PM
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...although the older UG freewheels work just fine. What size do you need?
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Old 05-06-18, 02:27 PM
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Get one with ramped teeth like a Sunrace or IRD. It will shift 100x smoother. Sunrace is fine if the one gearing option they have works for you, I have them on two bikes and spent less than $20 for each. I don't know of any vintage freewheels that are ramped.
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Old 05-06-18, 02:47 PM
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Yup, the SunRace freewheels are remarkably smooth operating for the money. No idea how long the guts will last, haven't ridden one long enough. But the 13-25 SunRace 7-speed I've used on my Ironman shifts more smoothly than the original 13-24 Suntour. I just didn't care for the gear spacing of the 13-25 combined with the 52/39 chain ring, but I might try again with a 38T smaller chain ring.
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Old 05-06-18, 03:02 PM
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#1 , minimum axle / frame spread. width for 6 speed is 126.. 130 better..

It says Italian... 35mm, which is not exactly 1.37" but British/ISO is 24 tpi..

I expect you can calculate the exact Metric equivalent to 1.37"?









[its 34.789 mm]
for export your hub was also made british thread..


once you force a British thread freewheel on , intentional damage*, then other british/Asian freewheels will screw on the threads easier,

But you may find Italian thread Regina Freewheels in the Collector's market auctions.. to keep it perfect.

*Math: diameter difference -.21mm, so 0.105mm of aluminum will be removed (radius)
in screwing on the more easily available freewheels..




...

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-06-18 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-06-18, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
...although the older UG freewheels work just fine. What size do you need?
I'm thinking 14-28. I'll be using it on my Crescent which currently has tubular tires, and an IRD freewheel that the guys at The Yellow Jersey in Madison installed. Now that I'm thinking about it, I should just use the one they installed since I'm not going to use those wheels on another bike.
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Old 05-06-18, 04:14 PM
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I find the hyperglide freewheels do get into gear easier but I find they are slightly more work to find the perfect spot. The older non ramped freewheels are harder to get into gear but I find once they are in gear they are easier to find a happy place on.
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Old 05-07-18, 04:11 AM
  #10  
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14-28 Suntour Perfect 5 and 6 speeds from the early-mid 70s are readily available and pretty strong. They take the two-prong removal tool, also available.
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Old 05-07-18, 04:44 AM
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@fietsbob hinted at a key item to consider. 5-spd or 6-spd depends on the frame in most cases. What is the axle length and the inside width between the dropouts on the intended frame? DO widths are 120mm for 5-spd, 126mm for 6-spd, with the axle nominally 11mm longer for each. If the axle is 131mm then the wheel is most likely dished for a 5-spd. You can use it with a 6-spd FW in a wider frame as long as you have a few mm sticking into the DO slots. But you will have to add spacers to the right side to keep the FW from rubbing on the frame and you will probably have to re-dish the wheel. The point being, arbitrarily switching FW width isn't impossible but it isn't just a trivial swap in most cases. Figure out your intended application first.
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Old 05-07-18, 05:11 AM
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I can usually squeeze a 6 speed onto a 120 spacing hub, may need a little axle spacing help - usually a 2mm washer. Maybe a half turn on the spokes if you are dish obsessive.

I’ve had good luck with the cheapo shimano 14-28 cogs, with the ugly shimano stencil on the largest cog. A little black testors and the stencil is gone. They shift really nice with a modern 8 speed chain.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
#1 , minimum axle / frame spread. width for 6 speed is 126.. 130 better..

It says Italian... 35mm, which is not exactly 1.37" but British/ISO is 24 tpi..

I expect you can calculate the exact Metric equivalent to 1.37"?









[its 34.789 mm]
for export your hub was also made british thread..


once you force a British thread freewheel on , intentional damage*, then other british/Asian freewheels will screw on the threads easier,

But you may find Italian thread Regina Freewheels in the Collector's market auctions.. to keep it perfect.

*Math: diameter difference -.21mm, so 0.105mm of aluminum will be removed (radius)
in screwing on the more easily available freewheels..




...
I went back and re-read your post, and I understand it better now. My mind has been a little fuzzy, I'm just getting over a heart attack last week.

Are you saying that the hub is Italian threaded? I attempted to mount my IRD fw on this hub but after a few rotations it got real tight so I stopped. The hub the IRD came off of, previously had an old Regina Extra Oro 15-19 corncob type on it which is possibly Italian thread? If that's true, then this IRD should screw on to it since you think the hub is Italian, but it doesn't. I'm probably not getting it yet.

I'm going to have to take it to the lbs to see what I have and what I need to get.
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Old 05-09-18, 12:02 PM
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Italy had export parts threaded in the common british standard as well..

as I offered earlier, British diameter, is a bit smaller than 35 mm, at 34.789mm .
but , as I understand, Italy bought British machine tools so the thread pitch was in per inch.

and Much earlier was mentioned , the detailed shape of the thread itself differs as well very slightly.. a few degrees..

If you can find a thread cutting die, probably exclusive to bicycle component manufacturing,
you could re cut the hub thread to become British standard
then all the more common freewheels will screw on with out forcing it on and re shaping the threads that way..

perhaps a BB lock ring, that is British thread, can be modified to cut ..
a notch ground in the interior thread to be a cutting tool?

Most others are suggesting just force it on.. your choice..



...

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Old 05-09-18, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 76SLT View Post
I went back and re-read your post, and I understand it better now. My mind has been a little fuzzy, I'm just getting over a heart attack last week.

Are you saying that the hub is Italian threaded? I attempted to mount my IRD fw on this hub but after a few rotations it got real tight so I stopped. The hub the IRD came off of, previously had an old Regina Extra Oro 15-19 corncob type on it which is possibly Italian thread? If that's true, then this IRD should screw on to it since you think the hub is Italian, but it doesn't. I'm probably not getting it yet.

I'm going to have to take it to the lbs to see what I have and what I need to get.
From your picture, your hub is Italian threaded -- 35(mm)x24(threads per inch). Yeah, they mixed metric and imperial measurements in one standard. Bike standards are a real mish-mash, with a lot of odd history. (Some of it makes sense, some doesn't).

In practice, most newer ISO freewheels are only ~.003" undersized for the Italian spec, and will probably thread on with nothing more than minor tightness. Older British spec freewheels were ~.008 under the Italian size, and would usually also work, but could be pretty tight going on. All this ignores real world variation in dimensions. Your IRD freewheel may be a bit undersized, and your Italian hub thread may be a bit on the large size. I bet if you try a couple of other freewheels, you'll find one that threads on easily enough. (Or, find an actual Italian threaded freewheel. There aren't any made new, but plenty of used stuff from the late 70s or earlier.)

Also, make sure that it really is starting to thread on properly. If someone started to crossthread a freewheel in the past, you might get a turn or two before it starts binding if it's starting off-center.
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Old 05-09-18, 02:35 PM
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FWIW I shifted my wheel over to a 130 frame, so got to take some dish of the 126, out
when I added a 4mm spacer on the left end of a longer axle..
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Old 05-09-18, 02:35 PM
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I built those wheels, and use Shimano UG level freewheels. Italian and BSA threadng are so close, any brand of freewheel should thread on there just fine.

Although the wheelset was new and never ridden, I did thread a freewheel on there when the hubs were serviced to ensure that everything was OK. Check to make sure you haven't cross threaded the IRD; might also check if the threads on both hub and freewheel are clean.
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Old 05-09-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
I built those wheels, and use Shimano UG level freewheels. Italian and BSA threadng are so close, any brand of freewheel should thread on there just fine.

Although the wheelset was new and never ridden, I did thread a freewheel on there when the hubs were serviced to ensure that everything was OK. Check to make sure you haven't cross threaded the IRD; might also check if the threads on both hub and freewheel are clean.
These wheels that you built are great! I'm layed up for a couple weeks so I decided I'd use that time to complete them. I'll go ahead and just carefully screw them on. Thanks to everyone for their help.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
I built those wheels, and use Shimano UG level freewheels. Italian and BSA threadng are so close, any brand of freewheel should thread on there just fine.
I disagree.
They are "close" perhaps in absolute terms, a few thousandths of an inch. But in relative terms, specifically machine threading, they are out of each other's tolerance spec, so interchanging them will damage one part or the other. Given that the aluminum threads on a hub are softer than the steel threads of a freewheel, guess with threads will be damaged....

Putting a British thread freewheel on an Italian thread hub will likely squash the tops of the hub threads. Fine perhaps if you or anyone else never puts an Italian thread freewheel on ever again. But given the nominal thread size is stamped onto the hub, someone in the future might try it, and they might end up completely stripping the threads off the first time they stomp really hard up a hill. (This is not theoretical. I've seen several Italian thread hubs ruined this way.)
By the way, British thread is BSC (British Standard Cycle.) Despite the ubiquity of the erroneous usage, BSA is a company, not a bicycle thread standard.

ISO thread splits the difference between British and Italian thread by design, and is within the tolerances of both, so will interchange with nary a problem. Almost every freewheel and threaded hub made since about 1981 will be ISO unless specifically designated.

As @fietsbob implied, country of manufacture does not indicate threading. Regina made freewheels in all four thread standards, ISO (after 1981), British, Italian, and French, as did most other big freewheel companies. (On any Regina, lack of a stamp or groove on the back indicates Italian thread. Early versions had FF for French thread and FI for British. Later versions had a single groove for British, 2 grooves for French, and 3 grooves for ISO.)
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Old 05-09-18, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghrumpy View Post
I disagree.
They are "close" perhaps in absolute terms, a few thousandths of an inch. But in relative terms, specifically machine threading, they are out of each other's tolerance spec, so interchanging them will damage one part or the other. Given that the aluminum threads on a hub are softer than the steel threads of a freewheel, guess with threads will be damaged....

Putting a British thread freewheel on an Italian thread hub will likely squash the tops of the hub threads. Fine perhaps if you or anyone else never puts an Italian thread freewheel on ever again. But given the nominal thread size is stamped onto the hub, someone in the future might try it, and they might end up completely stripping the threads off the first time they stomp really hard up a hill. (This is not theoretical. I've seen several Italian thread hubs ruined this way.)
By the way, British thread is BSC (British Standard Cycle.) Despite the ubiquity of the erroneous usage, BSA is a company, not a bicycle thread standard.

ISO thread splits the difference between British and Italian thread by design, and is within the tolerances of both, so will interchange with nary a problem. Almost every freewheel and threaded hub made since about 1981 will be ISO unless specifically designated.

As @fietsbob implied, country of manufacture does not indicate threading. Regina made freewheels in all four thread standards, ISO (after 1981), British, Italian, and French, as did most other big freewheel companies. (On any Regina, lack of a stamp or groove on the back indicates Italian thread. Early versions had FF for French thread and FI for British. Later versions had a single groove for British, 2 grooves for French, and 3 grooves for ISO.)
The Regina has FI on it so the IRD that replaced it is most likely IOS, and it was new. I should be able to put it on the Wolber.

Last edited by 76SLT; 05-09-18 at 07:07 PM.
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