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Grenaded a freewheel tool...

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Grenaded a freewheel tool...

Old 01-08-23, 04:44 PM
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francophile 
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Grenaded a freewheel tool...

Found a random wheel with a Sachs LY 96 freewheel, M700 high flange MTB hub. Freewheel frozen, but salvageable, and figured the hub was definitely worth salvaging.

Hit it with some PBB to loosen up the freewheel and sit overnight. Freewheel started to spin once the grease dissolved, but the freewheel wasn't budging off the hub with standard force and a 24" adjustable wrench. Slapped my Shimano fw tool in the vice and gave it a couple torques... SMASH! Shattered to many small bits.

I bought this one on Amazon a couple years back to replace my Bicycle Research tools. Knowing Amazon, it's entirely possible it's not even legit, there's so many knockoffs on there anymore.

Anyone seen similar? I've definitely put more force into others. No clue why this blew to bits. Yes, I was definitely spinning the correct way!

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Old 01-08-23, 04:47 PM
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fender1
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Oof!
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Old 01-08-23, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Found a random wheel with a Sachs LY 96 freewheel, M700 high flange MTB hub. Freewheel frozen, but salvageable, and figured the hub was definitely worth salvaging.

Hit it with some PBB to loosen up the freewheel and sit overnight. Freewheel started to spin once the grease dissolved, but the freewheel wasn't budging off the hub with standard force and a 24" adjustable wrench. Slapped my Shimano fw tool in the vice and gave it a couple torques... SMASH! Shattered to many small bits.

I bought this one on Amazon a couple years back to replace my Bicycle Research tools. Knowing Amazon, it's entirely possible it's not even legit, there's so many knockoffs on there anymore.

Anyone seen similar? I've definitely put more force into others. No clue why this blew to bits. Yes, I was definitely spinning the correct way!

Yeah, that's that famous park tool quality.
Park tool stands behind their product with a lifetime "you bought it, you got it" guarantee.
They say they are forged, I say they are cast. I'd bet money on it.
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Old 01-08-23, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Found a random wheel with a Sachs LY 96 freewheel, M700 high flange MTB hub. Freewheel frozen, but salvageable, and figured the hub was definitely worth salvaging.

Hit it with some PBB to loosen up the freewheel and sit overnight. Freewheel started to spin once the grease dissolved, but the freewheel wasn't budging off the hub with standard force and a 24" adjustable wrench. Slapped my Shimano fw tool in the vice and gave it a couple torques... SMASH! Shattered to many small bits.

I bought this one on Amazon a couple years back to replace my Bicycle Research tools. Knowing Amazon, it's entirely possible it's not even legit, there's so many knockoffs on there anymore.

Anyone seen similar? I've definitely put more force into others. No clue why this blew to bits. Yes, I was definitely spinning the correct way!
I've had an old uniglide one that had the teeth grind down and an Ice Toolz version cracked apart like yours. It is likely from over hardening the steel, which will make it strong but instead of stretching or deforming, it will instead fail by blowing apart like a cracked egg.
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Old 01-08-23, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund View Post
Yeah, that's that famous park tool quality.
Park tool stands behind their product with a lifetime "you bought it, you got it" guarantee.
They say they are forged, I say they are cast. I'd bet money on it.
Iím normally a Park hater but thatís a Shimano TL-FW30 in the picture.
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Old 01-08-23, 06:25 PM
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That tool does have a thin wall on it. And that is some damage on the tool. Wow. It was hardened. That is for sure.

All I can say is try it again with a new tool or bring it to a bike shop and see if they have better luck.

Heat often helps as well. If things get to the point that you break another tool, dismantle the freewheel so that you can heat up the only inner part of the freewheel without heating up the rest of the freewheel and try it again. Keep cycling the heat until it gives. It will come off.

Last edited by Velo Mule; 01-08-23 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Because I missed the fact that Francophile said that he did the bench mount method.
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Old 01-08-23, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
That tool does have a thin wall on it. And that is some damage on the tool. Wow. It was hardened. That is for sure.

All I can say is try it again with a new tool or bring it to a bike shop and see if they have better luck.

Heat often helps as well. If things get to the point that you break another tool, dismantle the freewheel so that you can heat up the only inner part of the freewheel without heating up the rest of the freewheel and try it again. Keep cycling the heat until it gives. It will come off.
I may try again with heat, and thanks for the edit, although I realize in hindsight I misspelled "vise".

I still have the wheel. I'm actually going to try heating the freewheel, and hit it from the backside with PB to cool it, sometimes that'll wick penetrant up between the metals as it cools. I just don't know if I want to risk exploding another tool. Definitely not going to throw my Bicycle Research version, even though it's thicker-walled and I think he machines from solid block vs. cast+harden, I don't want to grenade it also.
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Old 01-08-23, 07:06 PM
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I have the Park FR-1.2 which has similar thin walls. Never had a problem, even with prodigious torque applied with my 3í long pipe breaker bar extender.
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Old 01-08-23, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steel1 View Post
I have the Park FR-1.2 which has similar thin walls. Never had a problem, even with prodigious torque applied with my 3í long pipe breaker bar extender.
For S&G, I ordered a couple off the old scammerzon site. One from VANICE, and another from Bikehand. I wanted to try the BW brand, looked similar to the VANICE, the longer body looks appealing. Will see how it goes.
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Old 01-08-23, 08:31 PM
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Jeebus. The Shimano tools are impact rated, so that's some serious torque that went through there.
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Old 01-08-23, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Found a random wheel with a Sachs LY 96 freewheel, M700 high flange MTB hub. Freewheel frozen, but salvageable, and figured the hub was definitely worth salvaging.

Hit it with some PBB to loosen up the freewheel and sit overnight. Freewheel started to spin once the grease dissolved, but the freewheel wasn't budging off the hub with standard force and a 24" adjustable wrench. Slapped my Shimano fw tool in the vice and gave it a couple torques... SMASH! Shattered to many small bits.

I bought this one on Amazon a couple years back to replace my Bicycle Research tools. Knowing Amazon, it's entirely possible it's not even legit, there's so many knockoffs on there anymore.

Anyone seen similar? I've definitely put more force into others. No clue why this blew to bits. Yes, I was definitely spinning the correct way!

yeah, need to resume clean living
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Old 01-08-23, 09:08 PM
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In the iffy advice dept, I use a very low powered air impact gun on some stuff like this. My big one would do what just happened, blow the tool apart. My really low power one with air adjustment dialed down sort of beats/vibrates the stuff apart without damaging the tool. You really have to know your air tools to do that. YMMV
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Old 01-09-23, 11:44 AM
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BUMMER!

I had a Campagnolo crank removal tool shear in half, if that counts. It broke right at a stress riser which coincided with where the wall was thinnest.

At the time, I was devastated. Obviously, I am still disturbed by it.

I do still have the "peanut butter wrench" that went with it when I purchased the pair.
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Old 01-09-23, 12:21 PM
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Note to self: Do not challenge @francophile to an arm-wrestling match.
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Old 01-09-23, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer View Post
In the iffy advice dept, I use a very low powered air impact gun on some stuff like this. My big one would do what just happened, blow the tool apart. My really low power one with air adjustment dialed down sort of beats/vibrates the stuff apart without damaging the tool. You really have to know your air tools to do that. YMMV
Know your compressor, you mean? You could just dial down the regulator for less kick, right? I contemplated throwing my electric IH on it, but the only impact socket I have in that size is 1/2" and my IH is 3/4" drive. I lack an impact reducer for that stepdown. I thought about whipping out my butterfly IH to feather it out. I can't seem to find that damn thing. I found my impact chisel. Not sure where my butterfly went. So much of my stuff is boxed right now...

Originally Posted by Bad Lag View Post
I do still have the "peanut butter wrench" that went with it when I purchased the pair.
Those Campy PB wrenches are the best. I dunno what the hell I'd do without mine. Out of all the tools I own, it and my Campy t-handle are king. I could live without half my tools just having a pair of PBs and one t-handle.
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Old 01-09-23, 12:46 PM
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my guess (and I'm not a metallurgist, not even on TV) is this was just "bad luck" due to the tool being thin-walled, cast steel (and prone to having some hidden defects in that casting process) then heat-treated to make the splines "harder" but the entire tool more brittle, which is a trade-off.
If this had been made by forging and then finished machining it may not have "exploded" but probably cost a great deal more and there are still other ways a tool can fail (broke my heart when a beloved VERY thin-walled Phil splined FW tool "collasped" on me! But my replacement, same tool, has held up).
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Old 01-09-23, 01:30 PM
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I've broken thin-wall Phil removers, and Park's two-prong SunTour removers, but not (yet) a Shimano TL-FW30.
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Old 01-09-23, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Note to self: Do not challenge @francophile to an arm-wrestling match.
to show that great minds think the same (take that for what you will ) i was about to put the exact comment in
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Old 01-09-23, 01:45 PM
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I look at those hubs and those removers and simply think that's collectively poor design to have one of the most highly torqued tool used on a bike to have that little material at the key spot. And yes, a delicate balancing act between hardness and strength with the real answer being more material.

Both Park and Shimano make good tools. But designing (or not designing and simple following along and making) FWs and hubs that require that thin a tool - well we really need a new metal that is substantially stronger and brittle failure free than steel. Or live our lives dedicated to the notion that FW threads will always be properly greased and not sit for years and decades, then removed. Or just accept that every once in a while, those tools break. (A good reason to clamp them in a vise and turn the wheel with both hands vs using a big wrench. Much less exciting. You don't slam your hands into things.)
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Old 01-09-23, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
I may try again with heat, and thanks for the edit, although I realize in hindsight I misspelled "vise".

...
You just witnessed one of the dark places playing with vices can take us.
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Old 01-09-23, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I look at those hubs and those removers and simply think that's collectively poor design to have one of the most highly torqued tool used on a bike to have that little material at the key spot. And yes, a delicate balancing act between hardness and strength with the real answer being more material.
Other, thicker-wall tools were available for the Atom/Regina/Zeus splined interface, but those often required removing axle locknuts to seat the tool. In the case of Phil hubs, this wasn't possible, which is why they produced their extra-thin remover tool. That tool became popular with other hubs as well, since there was no need to remove the locknuts to seat the tool.

Both Park and Shimano make good tools. But designing (or not designing and simple following along and making) FWs and hubs that require that thin a tool - well we really need a new metal that is substantially stronger and brittle failure free than steel. Or live our lives dedicated to the notion that FW threads will always be properly greased and not sit for years and decades, then removed. Or just accept that every once in a while, those tools break. (A good reason to clamp them in a vise and turn the wheel with both hands vs using a big wrench. Much less exciting. You don't slam your hands into things.)
As others have noted above, the Shimano tools were impact-rated, but they can still fail. Fortunately, the need for unbreakable freewheel tools has been largely obviated by the wide adoption of freehubs, whose cassette lockrings don't need to be super-tight, and don't self-tighten with use. Only those of us who use and service the older technology need suffer with the breakable remover tools.
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Old 01-09-23, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by francophile View Post
Know your compressor, you mean? You could just dial down the regulator for less kick, right? I contemplated throwing my electric IH on it, but the only impact socket I have in that size is 1/2" and my IH is 3/4" drive. I lack an impact reducer for that stepdown. I thought about whipping out my butterfly IH to feather it out. I can't seem to find that damn thing. I found my impact chisel. Not sure where my butterfly went. So much of my stuff is boxed right now...


Those Campy PB wrenches are the best. I dunno what the hell I'd do without mine. Out of all the tools I own, it and my Campy t-handle are king. I could live without half my tools just having a pair of PBs and one t-handle.
Yes, I have a nice line pressure adjuster
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Old 01-09-23, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Schweinhund View Post
Yeah, that's that famous park tool quality.
Park tool stands behind their product with a lifetime "you bought it, you got it" guarantee.
They say they are forged, I say they are cast. I'd bet money on it.
That may be true about Park Tool's freewheel removal tool(s). But the OP's tool - or what's left of it - appears to be marked "SHIMANO TL-FW30".

Last edited by Hondo6; 01-09-23 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-09-23, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Other, thicker-wall tools were available for the Atom/Regina/Zeus splined interface, but those often required removing axle locknuts to seat the tool. In the case of Phil hubs, this wasn't possible, which is why they produced their extra-thin remover tool. That tool became popular with other hubs as well, since there was no need to remove the locknuts to seat the tool.


...
I know and appreciate the history, but still - the end result is poor from this engineer's view. (Like narrow chains and big wheel dish. Yes, it all works but the simple 1/2" x 1/8" chain and no or velodrome levels of dish; now those are clean solution!) (I never did like the need to unscrew the right locknut. I like that side near permanently tight and do everything from the left.)
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Old 01-09-23, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo6 View Post
That may be true about Park Tool's freewheel removal tool(s). But the OP's tool - or what's left of it - appears to be marked "SHIMANO TL-FW30".
That was a Park employee having a little fun. Got fired the next day and every trace of his employment banished.
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