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Freewheel brutality

Old 07-23-18, 06:51 AM
  #26  
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You know, I have no intention of tearing down any freewheels, but I still kinda want one of those Bicycle Research freewheel vises. Bob, you're a bad man!
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Old 07-23-18, 07:04 AM
  #27  
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And a quick PSA: Before anyone goes out and spends eBay prices ($125?!) on the Bicycle Research freewheel vise, please know you can buy brand new for less than $25 directly from them. I had a long conversation with (I assume) the owner when ordering tools a couple years back and got a chuckle when I mentioned resale on used was higher than new. Sometimes astronomically so. "Must be doing something wrong! Or maybe doing something right?!"

Here are some quick links -

$24 for the plain version: Freewheel Cluster Vise
$29 for the version with a biz card holder: Cluster Vise Business Card Holder
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Old 07-23-18, 09:21 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
...I believe they and the securing pins are of a stronger gauge than the chains and pins on our modern day chain whips. After all, most chain whips are designed to simply hold a 7-11 speed cassette in place while the lock ring is removed. They really don't need to be as robust as we freewheel mechanics and modifiers would like.
That makes sense. Given that freewheels are now considered to be obsolete by the bicycle industry, it makes sense that tool manufacturers would start building less robust chain whips. That's quite likely what has happened. I should look for a couple of good chain whips from the 1980s, when they were still built to withstand freewheel-type stresses.

As far as cursing goes, I always remember my high-school English teacher, Mr. Steffenhagen. He argued persuasively that unnecessary cursing robbed cursing of its power, so that when one really needs to curse (in response to some sort of knuckle-skinning event, for example) it doesn't provide nearly the satisfaction that it otherwise would have.

Of course, I didn't listen at the time, have spent most of my life cursing far too much--although I did reduce it to a bare minimum when we had small kids at home.

Starting late last winter, I decided for no good reason to stop swearing entirely. It was easier than I would have thought, although it did take a week or two. Interestingly, no one (including my wife) seems to have noticed.

Next time I skin my knuckles, though, I will remember what to do.
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Old 07-23-18, 01:48 PM
  #29  
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I agree about swearing, though it comes out of me automatically since I was a little kid. I swore this morning when I discovered someone had written a fraudulent check against my personal account, but the bank has refunded all the money to me, so all is good once again.
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Old 07-23-18, 01:57 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
That's a sight I haven't seen for many years. A new, in the package freewheel vise, My SunTour vise, purchased new, was good and beat up by my racing days starting 1976. Good tool, I still use it.

Ben
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Old 07-23-18, 02:10 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
That makes sense. Given that freewheels are now considered to be obsolete by the bicycle industry, it makes sense that tool manufacturers would start building less robust chain whips. That's quite likely what has happened. I should look for a couple of good chain whips from the 1980s, when they were still built to withstand freewheel-type stresses.

As far as cursing goes, I always remember my high-school English teacher, Mr. Steffenhagen. He argued persuasively that unnecessary cursing robbed cursing of its power, so that when one really needs to curse (in response to some sort of knuckle-skinning event, for example) it doesn't provide nearly the satisfaction that it otherwise would have.

Of course, I didn't listen at the time, have spent most of my life cursing far too much--although I did reduce it to a bare minimum when we had small kids at home.

Starting late last winter, I decided for no good reason to stop swearing entirely. It was easier than I would have thought, although it did take a week or two. Interestingly, no one (including my wife) seems to have noticed.

Next time I skin my knuckles, though, I will remember what to do.
You can make a chinwhip. It's not hard. Buy a 1 x 1/8 steel flatbar from Home Depot. Drill a 1/8" or slightly larger hole. Grind or file the flatbar a touch at the hole so you do not have to stretch the chain's plates to slip it over the hole. Grinding the flatbar edge to a curve that better fits the sprockets isn't required but does improve both quality and likelihood of breaking sprocket teeth. A light piece of bungie cord to pull the chain toward the handle end of the tool will help a lot keeping the chain in place on the sprocket teeth.

I have one with 1/8" chain and a 3' handle. No fix gear cog has bested it yet. 24" is good for most FW jobs. 18" for cassettes. With common tools, the cost per whip is maybe $7. My two are 30 and 40 years old.

Ben
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Old 07-23-18, 02:30 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
And a quick PSA: Before anyone goes out and spends eBay prices ($125?!) on the Bicycle Research freewheel vise, please know you can buy brand new for less than $25 directly from them. I had a long conversation with (I assume) the owner when ordering tools a couple years back and got a chuckle when I mentioned resale on used was higher than new. Sometimes astronomically so. "Must be doing something wrong! Or maybe doing something right?!"

Here are some quick links -

$24 for the plain version: Freewheel Cluster Vise
$29 for the version with a biz card holder: Cluster Vise Business Card Holder
Frncophile, thanks for that post. It would never have occurred to me that those things are still available new. I don't need one, but knowing how I operate I will eventually buy one anyway. For a mere $24, that's pretty hard to resist.
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Old 07-23-18, 02:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Frncophile, thanks for that post. It would never have occurred to me that those things are still available new. I don't need one, but knowing how I operate I will eventually buy one anyway. For a mere $24, that's pretty hard to resist.
Totally! If nothing else, buy one because the guy is actually manufacturing his own tools, similar to what J.A. Stein is doing with his infamous high-quality crank pullers (and other goodies!), in-house, which is just freakin awesome. If you can get someone behind the operation on the phone, you'll find a fellow cyclist by love, engineer by trade, a blast to talk with. I thoroughly enjoyed my rather long conversation during my last purchase from Bicycle Research and would urge folks who believe in high-quality USA-designed and manufactured tools to give them a shot also. Their online catalogs are full of goodies!
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Old 07-23-18, 05:17 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Totally! If nothing else, buy one because the guy is actually manufacturing his own tools, similar to what J.A. Stein is doing with his infamous high-quality crank pullers (and other goodies!), in-house, which is just freakin awesome.
Yeah--kind of like that Red Clover Components outfit....
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Old 07-23-18, 07:59 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
Yeah--kind of like that Red Clover Components outfit....
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Old 07-23-18, 08:36 PM
  #36  
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Old 07-24-18, 04:45 AM
  #37  
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I can't believe I motivated a side conversation on cursing. Isn't life just grand!?!
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Old 07-24-18, 04:17 PM
  #38  
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In my new world of doing bikes up I have discovered the joy of freewheels and their removal. I have reintroduced my self to the world of physics and first aid. My local engineering shop gave me a length of pipe that fits over my biggest crescent has made a difference to my life. But what astounds me most as my collection of vintage wheels grows is I always seem to be one freewheel removal tool short. This includes a Regina 8 speed America 1992 that I picked up locally, unused, which was going to give me a good range. Stupidly I thought all freewheels were the same width, screwed it on, put wheel in and it didn't fit between dropouts, smallest cog hit dropout. I tried being creative with washers but went back to a Suntour 7 speed. Not sure what that was about. In my incredible newly found wisdom I had just ordered from ebay a Park Tool FR 4, which arrived on time averting a grump. What fun and what satisfaction upon successfully removing a freewheel with the correct tool, cleaning and re-greasing.....Simple pleasues
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Old 07-24-18, 07:05 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by BarryCW View Post
In my new world of doing bikes up I have discovered the joy of freewheels and their removal. I have reintroduced my self to the world of physics and first aid. My local engineering shop gave me a length of pipe that fits over my biggest crescent has made a difference to my life. But what astounds me most as my collection of vintage wheels grows is I always seem to be one freewheel removal tool short. This includes a Regina 8 speed America 1992 that I picked up locally, unused, which was going to give me a good range. Stupidly I thought all freewheels were the same width, screwed it on, put wheel in and it didn't fit between dropouts, smallest cog hit dropout. I tried being creative with washers but went back to a Suntour 7 speed. Not sure what that was about. In my incredible newly found wisdom I had just ordered from ebay a Park Tool FR 4, which arrived on time averting a grump. What fun and what satisfaction upon successfully removing a freewheel with the correct tool, cleaning and re-greasing.....Simple pleasues
There's nothing like having the right tool for the job.
And, yes, sometimes cursing is that tool. Even--or especially--for those who avoid it as a general rule.
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Old 07-25-18, 10:53 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I can't believe I motivated a side conversation on cursing. Isn't like just grand!?!
Yeah, makes you wonder, what the.....
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Old 07-25-18, 11:57 AM
  #41  
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Would love to buy one of those bicycle research tools, but the method I used as a kid still works when things are hard to remove. Long board, almost any firm scrap wood as long as its long enough to clamp onto a bench, with a slight depression for the lip on the freewheel bottom so that the largest sprocket sits flush. Several wood screws in the teeth, I actually use quite a few, screwed in as close as possible. Apply chain whip with three foot cheater bar. Usually by the time I go through all this trouble, its because I've run out of bandaids. Don't really take them apart that often though.

Once the pawls broke on a suntour winner, requiring a long push/coast back to home. Could not get the sprockets off, broke one of my whips, rebuilt it and broke the other one. Finally ended up welding the body together and just clamping the 14 tooth in a vice to remove the whole cassette from the hub. Still using the wheel, Gyromaster sealed bearing hub.

Wow, this makes me sound really redneck, don't it?
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Old 07-25-18, 01:10 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
Wow, this makes me sound really redneck, don't it?
Is there an anthology of redneck arts?

I worked as a bike mechanic in Cambridge, MA, and my boss was from Birmingham, Alabama and had a heavy Alabama accent. He didn't like to work on bikes unless it involved a sledge hammer such as on cotter pins. Once someone needed a U-lock removed from his bike. The boss did the job. Imagine the redneck accent saying, "I'll break that bad boy off!"
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Old 07-25-18, 04:18 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
Would love to buy one of those bicycle research tools, but the method I used as a kid still works when things are hard to remove. Long board, almost any firm scrap wood as long as its long enough to clamp onto a bench, with a slight depression for the lip on the freewheel bottom so that the largest sprocket sits flush. Several wood screws in the teeth, I actually use quite a few, screwed in as close as possible. Apply chain whip with three foot cheater bar. Usually by the time I go through all this trouble, its because I've run out of bandaids. Don't really take them apart that often though.

Once the pawls broke on a suntour winner, requiring a long push/coast back to home. Could not get the sprockets off, broke one of my whips, rebuilt it and broke the other one. Finally ended up welding the body together and just clamping the 14 tooth in a vice to remove the whole cassette from the hub. Still using the wheel, Gyromaster sealed bearing hub.

Wow, this makes me sound really redneck, don't it?
I used that method before I had a freewheel vise. But in my experience, if the small cog is at all stuck it will shear through a surprising number of screws without coming loose. Or, as you've noted, the chain whip will break.

I wonder if anyone has tried to disassemble a freewheel with explosives? That would be a good opportunity to use the legendary redneck last words: "Hey watch this!"
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Old 07-25-18, 04:31 PM
  #44  
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I disassembled one with a hammer and chisel. In my defense, there was no wheel attached, and I wanted to lace the hub.
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Old 07-25-18, 05:26 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I wonder if anyone has tried to disassemble a freewheel with explosives? That would be a good opportunity to use the legendary redneck last words: "Hey watch this!"
"...and hold my beer..."
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Old 07-25-18, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I used that method before I had a freewheel vise. But in my experience, if the small cog is at all stuck it will shear through a surprising number of screws without coming loose. Or, as you've noted, the chain whip will break.

I wonder if anyone has tried to disassemble a freewheel with explosives? That would be a good opportunity to use the legendary redneck last words: "Hey watch this!"

Yes, that did happen on the last one I did, so I used some Hilti anchor screws, one every other cog. Back when I was a kid, screws were not made of pot metal, and it didn't seem to happen, or I just never found one wound on that tight.
I keep threatening to make a freewheel tool, but 25 bucks versus 150+ dollars worth of my time... The bicycle research option looks pretty good. More and More of my bikes are getting updated with cassettes, but I will probably always have some bikes that are more, dare I say, pure.
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Old 07-26-18, 06:30 AM
  #47  
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@noglider

Tom, hearing you, who was born, raised and still lives (most of the time) in NYC, describe a redneck is funny, especially since you equate Alabama with rednecks. As @jonwvara and many others who live in northern Appalachia (i.e. northern New England) can attest, redneck is a state of mind/being--- and has nothing to do with geographical location. It also has nothing to do with intelligence. Redneck friends can easily be trusted and relied upon. I speak from experience on this.

However, I can't speak to the reliability of city/urban gang members and their particular freewheel skills, because I've never lived in an urban area. How accurate would it be if I speculated that a gang member would "Pop a cap in that @$#%! freewheel's arse in order to remove it?" Not very, because there are probably plenty of great bicycle mechanics who are also urban gang members.
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Old 07-26-18, 07:48 AM
  #48  
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@pastorbobnlnh, I'm aware of all that, and I hope I haven't upset any rednecks. I enjoyed and appreciated my redneck boss's style. He was educated and smart. I follow Trae Crowder who calls himself The Liberal Redneck, and I recommend him. He embraces intelligence, compassion, and redneckism all at the same time. See his videos to see what I mean.

OMG, I just found this
and it explains perfectly what I think you're talking about.

You and I have met, and you've heard my accent, so you won't be surprised to hear I'm probably not up on the latest gang vernacular.

I wouldn't know which bike mechanics are gang members, but I've seen some pretty damn good mechanics here in NYC, and some of them don't speak English too well.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:01 AM
  #49  
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I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this forum.
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Old 07-26-18, 08:06 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love this forum.
Jon, Amen! @noglider well put!
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