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Freewheel recommendation - 1980s Super Record replacement

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Freewheel recommendation - 1980s Super Record replacement

Old 08-12-19, 03:18 PM
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sheddle
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Freewheel recommendation - 1980s Super Record replacement

Working on getting a 1981 De Rosa Professional up to speed- one major problem is the freewheel that came with it. It's a wonderfully quiet and smooth Super Record freewheel, but the problem is that it's set up as a 6-speed 13-18 corncob (due to this, and the criterium bars, a shop mechanic expressed suspicion that this bike was used as a criterium racer/trainer back in the day). This is "fun" on the flats, but hills are a serious issue, especially given that the front crank is 53-42.

I'll need to check the threading, but I have serious suspicions that it's Italian- given this,

a) If I decide to install a more sane freewheel setup, will putting an English-threaded freewheel damage the threads and make it difficult to re-install the original freewheel?
b) What's a good freewheel? Both period-correct and modern/cheap are fine, as long as it's not the astounding price that vintage Campy SR freewheels and cogs go for on eBay and the like. For compatibility, this has a SR friction rear derailleur (the early 80s type with the black logo and "Campagnolo" script on it). I'm fine with 6/7 speed, since it's friction shifting. Would something like a NOS Shimano 600 from the period be a good fit, or are there any decently priced ones with Italian threads?

Thanks!

Last edited by sheddle; 08-12-19 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 08-12-19, 03:28 PM
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Regina Oro 6 speed would be my first choice. Otherwise a SunTour or Shimano would work excellent. The reason for the Regina recommendation first is to keep the parts Italian or at least European. And Regina freewheels are good.
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Old 08-12-19, 03:45 PM
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Thanks! As far as keeping stuff real goes, I care more about period accuracy than national origin- this might be my weakness for seeing late 80s Italian bikes with Shimano 600 tricolor setups
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Old 08-12-19, 04:14 PM
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There's no such thing as a Super Record freewheel, at least not from that era. Most would have been using a Regina Oro. The teeth lasted a long time. Problem is that the most common racing/training freewheel in those days was 13-21 or thereabouts. You will be unlikely to find a 14-28, though they can be rebuilt -- if you can find the cogs.

There were other brands: Everest, Cyclo Pans, Atom, were all used. Some people liked Suntour, but this is going to be hard to find in Italian threads.

BTW, the old rule of thumb was that you can screw a BSC freewheel onto Italian hubs, but from then on you should only use BSC thread freewheels with that hub. It's still a bit of a hack. While I would encourage you to stick with Italian if possible, I can understand if it isn't practical. If you decide to screw a BSC threaded freewheel on there, I suggest that you mark the hub with a dremel etc to say that it has been 'converted' to BSC.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 08-12-19 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-12-19, 04:15 PM
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I've gone to standard thread on a couple italian threaded hubs, but Sheldon says you shouldn't revert once the change is made.


I like modern ramps and 14-28t reliable freewheels, so I go modern and cheap, either sunrace or IRD.
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Old 08-12-19, 07:43 PM
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80's Shimano 600 or Dura Ace freewheels are the way to go. Superlative shifting action, expecially when the pulley wheels are replaced with Shimano 10 tooth or Bullseye units. Yeah, once you go english threading you may never be able to go back to italian (although I doubt the efficacy of that surmision), but hey, a good Shimano unit will last a couple decades. Buy two, lifetime supply...and easily available in 13-28 or 14-28 flavors. Or any flavor if you touch base with PastorBobinNH.
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Old 08-12-19, 08:27 PM
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If you want to stay Italian, a Regina America is a good option. I am currently building a 13-15-17-19-22-25 from parts of two of them.
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Old 08-12-19, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
There's no such thing as a Super Record freewheel, at least not from that era. Most would have been using a Regina Oro. The teeth lasted a long time. Problem is that the most common racing/training freewheel in those days was 13-21 or thereabouts. You will be unlikely to find a 14-28, though they can be rebuilt -- if you can find the cogs.

There were other brands: Everest, Cyclo Pans, Atom, were all used. Some people liked Suntour, but this is going to be hard to find in Italian threads.

BTW, the old rule of thumb was that you can screw a BSC freewheel onto Italian hubs, but from then on you should only use BSC thread freewheels with that hub. It's still a bit of a hack. While I would encourage you to stick with Italian if possible, I can understand if it isn't practical. If you decide to screw a BSC threaded freewheel on there, I suggest that you mark the hub with a dremel etc to say that it has been 'converted' to BSC.
Thanks! Yeah, forgot that groupsets weren't quite as comprehensive like they are today!
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Old 08-12-19, 10:27 PM
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I like new and cheap, too. Ramped cogs are the best. I still have a lot of free wheels with old timey straight cogs, and I use them, but I usually notice the difference.

I've never had a Super Record RD, but Iíve gone as high as 32T with a Pat 74 Nuovo Record, FWIW.

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Old 08-13-19, 04:20 AM
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A Sachs Aris 6 or 7 speed is a very nice (shifting and mechanical) French freewheel, but I've only ever seen them in ISO threading, never Italian.

If your Campagnolo freewheel is mounted to a Campagnolo hub, the hubs are marked between the threads and the flange as to the type of threading.
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Old 08-13-19, 04:43 AM
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You could also get another nice wheel for riding ( all BSC ) and store the original Italian wheel and FW for special occasions - photo ops, visiting cheerleader teams, autograph signings. Save your knees. Plenty of good options out there.
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Old 08-13-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
If your Campagnolo freewheel is mounted to a Campagnolo hub, the hubs are marked between the threads and the flange as to the type of threading.
Newer (say, late 70s onward) Campagnolo hubs have the thread spec explicitly stamped between the threads and the hub flange:



Older hubs are marked in a more arcane manner:


Source: Sutherland's 4th Edition

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Old 08-13-19, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
You could also get another nice wheel for riding ( all BSC ) and store the original Italian wheel and FW for special occasions - photo ops, visiting cheerleader teams, autograph signings. Save your knees. Plenty of good options out there.
To be honest, my main concern about "ruining" the Italian threading is hurting resale value if I ever have to lose this- despite the impracticality of the 13-18 setup at the back, I figure it'll still add to value if I ever want to trade/sell for something else, in case that dream Merckx comes along or something.

Would a 42 up front / 26t or so be alright as a bailing gear for short (~1k or so) "wall" climbs? Not planning on taking this thing to the mountains anytime soon, but I'm much more attached to the crank than I am the freewheel.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:50 AM
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I canít see the resale value being affected materially by that change. Thereís a decent chance that a future buyer would replace the wheels and drivetrain anyway. Itís a fairly select audience that would even think to ask about freewheel threading.
As far as what constitutes an acceptable low gear, thatís pretty subjective. Do you have another wheel you can swap in for experimentation?
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Old 08-13-19, 10:56 AM
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@JohnDThompson thanks for that info on Campy hubs. Itll come in handy when I buy hubs.
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Old 08-13-19, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
Thanks! Yeah, forgot that groupsets weren't quite as comprehensive like they are today!
Yeah, no freewheels were included then. I think that started with Dura Ace 7400.

One could argue that 'gruppos' were more comprehensive circa ~ '81 though. They included: hubs, headset, pedals and a seatpost. Pretty sure no modern groupset does... Also, realistically the only groupset was Campagnolo. Do you want SR reduced or NR? That would have been like 99% of the market for people that wanted to buy a whole group in a box.

Anyhow, back to the OT. Vintage Regina prices are pretty insane these days, especially since they cost about $15-20 new BITD. At this point in time I'd be inclined to conserve the hubs as they are, and instead get another wheel or wheelset that takes BSC freewheels. Then you use a 26t or whatever. In the meantime maybe look for a very old shop with a dusty Regina cog board, or find a bargain on a vintage ITA thread FW.

Can you get up a long grade with a 42x26? Of course you can, but it will hurt. Depends on your fitness and the hill gradient.

With light sew ups, you can push a bigger gear out of the saddle pretty effectively. Keep in mind this was part of the formulation. If you were a racer doing 400/week or whatever BITD, it was no big deal to ride a 13-21 or 14-21t FW for everything. People that preferred to do most or all climbing in the saddle typically ran a 13-24 instead. IIRC.
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Old 08-13-19, 01:26 PM
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As I remember some Regina hubs were stamped with an I or an F., but did the I mean Italian or Inglese? I forget. The six speed fws tend to bend axels. Mike Kone at Boulder Bicycle might be a source of Regina stuff. There is a BF member from New Hampshire who knows a lot about them. pastorbobnlnh, He will rebuild Regina fws. He'll probably show up on this thread.

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Old 08-13-19, 07:22 PM
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just an update, but I got a 13-24 Suntour in good condition from a used shop, and it's significantly better for Seattle conditions, hah. Thanks for the help, everyone!
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Old 08-13-19, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
As I remember some Regina hubs were stamped with an I or an F., but did the I mean Italian or Inglesia? I forget.
Perhaps this can help:


Source: Sutherland's 4th Edition
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Old 08-14-19, 04:56 AM
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As an aside to John's post above:

I've discovered that you can't always count on the "rectangular punch mark" being present on an English threaded Atom, Maillard, or Normandy freewheel. Check these with a known threaded BB fixed cup. I've found plenty which had no mark and English threads.
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