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New Chain Skips On Freewheel

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New Chain Skips On Freewheel

Old 11-21-23, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz
I’ve also had a more “duh” cause of this issue when changing link count. Check to be sure one of the links is not binding from putting the pin back in. I’m the proverbial bull-in-a-china-shop with a chain tool so have gone almost exclusively to quick link set ups.
During both initial installation and when adding the extra links, I took great care to not have links that bind.

Now, I need time to work on the bike. I plan to ride tomorrow, so it has to be in the morning.
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Old 11-21-23, 07:48 AM
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This is a funny thread.
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Old 11-21-23, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchi84
In my experience, chains wear out with freewheels when together for a long time. I'd just change to new freewheel that's appropriate to chain and drive train.
^ - This. They wear together. Most of the time you have to replace the freewheel when you replace the chain. I have only had one of my vintage bikes not need a new freewheel after a new chain. That tells me the bike hadn't been ridden much before it came my way.
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Old 11-21-23, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
This is a funny thread.
What about it is funny?
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Old 11-21-23, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
^ - This. They wear together. Most of the time you have to replace the freewheel when you replace the chain. I have only had one of my vintage bikes not need a new freewheel after a new chain. That tells me the bike hadn't been ridden much before it came my way.
Alternatively, I have never before had this happen. To me, this is a puzzle.
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Old 11-21-23, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
Alternatively, I have never before had this happen. To me, this is a puzzle.
You're an experienced cyclist, so you probably use all your sprockets frequently and maybe do most of your riding in the middle sprockets. Cassettes and freewheels tend to last a very long time when used that way.

Casual riders with 2x or 3x cranksets often do the vast majority of their riding on flat or nearly flat terrain with the chain on the small or middle chainring and on the smallest one or two sprockets in the back. That's a recipe for wearing those smaller sprockets out. Bike shop mechanics get used to such riders complaining that their cassettes wear out rapidly, the sole symptom being the chain skipping in the smallest sprockets.
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Old 11-21-23, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
What about it is funny?
If your near Redondo Beach this week, come by. We can put a good freewheel on your bike and laugh a little.
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Old 11-21-23, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
Alternatively, I have never before had this happen. To me, this is a puzzle.
But it is happening now, correct? I think folks are trying to provide a solution for you. I would think replacing the freewheel would be easier than messing with the chain links. Yes, I have a chain tool, and have used it for tight links, etc., but I would think fiddling with the links too much would cause more trouble down the road.
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Old 11-21-23, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
But it is happening now, correct? I think folks are trying to provide a solution for you. I would think replacing the freewheel would be easier than messing with the chain links. Yes, I have a chain tool, and have used it for tight links, etc., but I would think fiddling with the links too much would cause more trouble down the road.
I was planning on reverting to the old chain on the old freewheel as a stop-gap measure.

Similarly, I have several near-new freewheels in my junk box. I also found some chains in there.

I have lots of easy to implement options, all on hand.

It's just that I LOVE TO FIDDLE.
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Old 11-21-23, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Trueblood
^ - This. They wear together. Most of the time you have to replace the freewheel when you replace the chain. I have only had one of my vintage bikes not need a new freewheel after a new chain. That tells me the bike hadn't been ridden much before it came my way.
Well, it's true that they do wear together but you only need to replace both the freewheel and the chain if you let your chain wear too far beyond limits, which wears the cog teeth so that they are incompatible with a new chain. If you measure your chain regularly and change it whenever it exceeds 0.5% elongation (12 links measure >12-1/16") your freewheels will last a very long time. If you let things go much longer than that then you will ruin the freewheel (and possibly chainrings) so that a new chain will skip.
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Old 11-21-23, 03:27 PM
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I just got back from my ride using the old chain (Regina Oro). It shifts well and did not skip even a single beat.

When under load, it sounds like it was trying to change gears. It didn't but it sounded like that. Under light loads, it sounded as if it was not quite in gear and no amount of fine tuning would quiet it down. When I looked down, it always looked as if it was a bit askew from the cog.

My next step is to investigate the derailleur and jockey wheels a bit further. Under static conditions, the derailleur body is not loose in any way.
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Old 11-21-23, 03:43 PM
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I have retired two Regina Record Oro chains- in succession, the same malady- they do not skip but there is too much limberness- the chain deflects “ twists” for lack of a better term when shifting.
quite annoying.
the Record Oro has narrower side plates, that probably does not help longevity.

these were not meant to last that long.
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Old 11-21-23, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
I just got back from my ride using the old chain (Regina Oro). It shifts well and did not skip even a single beat.

When under load, it sounds like it was trying to change gears. It didn't but it sounded like that. Under light loads, it sounded as if it was not quite in gear and no amount of fine tuning would quiet it down. When I looked down, it always looked as if it was a bit askew from the cog.

My next step is to investigate the derailleur and jockey wheels a bit further. Under static conditions, the derailleur body is not loose in any way.
Yes, I've had that experience: measure chain; chain checker shows excessive wear; install new chain, which slips forward over sprocket teeth under load; reinstall old chain to get several more months of life out of the old chain/old freewheel combination; eventually replace both when they're well and truly worn out.
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Old 11-21-23, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
My method of troubleshooting this situation is to install a new (or known unworn) freewheel and see if it still skips. My guess is your freewheel is worn - it can be pretty hard to tell from a visual inspection.
Exactly. If you can see it, that FW was very worn long ago. Now, you can run quality chains on the same FW for a very long time, especially if you are good about using all the cogs and not just staying one or two, but when it does come time for a new chain, you will have to replace the chainrings too. (1/8" of chain stretch and a ride-able bike is possible and some make it a point of doing it for money savings but for most of us, changing chains at 1/16" stretch and going 3-4 chains, then getting a new FW works pretty well and means shifting quality as intended.)
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Old 11-21-23, 05:03 PM
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The noise was very gritty or grindy, not unlike a fracture ball bearing would sound. I believe I could even feel the grinding thru my feet. I wasn't sure I'd make it home. This is different than the chain skipping. This is why I thought the cahin needed replacement.

The drive train needs work before I can ride it again. Swapping freewheels and chains is easy. I can check the axle bearings when the freewheel is off. Inspecting the jockey wheels is easy. It's all easy, I just have no idea what it is or what I will find.
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Old 11-21-23, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
What about it is funny?

I flipped some sprockets around once on a freewheel (new chain, old freewheel) to get me a working setup until replacements came in the mail. I swear I could not tell that it was excessively worn from a visual inspection, but "flipping" it sure got it to not skip anymore. It would only skip under power, but it doesn't take much of a mismatch to do so.
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Old 11-21-23, 06:23 PM
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I think replacing the FW to go with your new chain is preferable to using the old chain and soon needing to replace the chainrings also. Now, if this is a beater bike, don’t replace anything—put in your AirPods with some LedZeplin and just ride. 😉
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Old 11-21-23, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
What about it is funny?

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Old 11-21-23, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
I just got back from my ride using the old chain (Regina Oro). It shifts well and did not skip even a single beat.

When under load, it sounds like it was trying to change gears. It didn't but it sounded like that. Under light loads, it sounded as if it was not quite in gear and no amount of fine tuning would quiet it down. When I looked down, it always looked as if it was a bit askew from the cog.

My next step is to investigate the derailleur and jockey wheels a bit further. Under static conditions, the derailleur body is not loose in any way.
This reminds me, I forgot to bring up derailleur hanger and/or frame alignment as possible culprits. I had one bike that skipped on a middle cog under high rpm. Derailleur hanger was slightly misaligned. Dialed it in with an alignment tool and the skip went away. I still suspect cog wear was a contributor and the derailleur alignment added to the overall tolerance.
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Old 11-22-23, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
Could it be the derailleur?

I have a Nuovo Record derailleur. The spring is still strong but could slop (wear) in the top pivot cause chain slippage?
This malady affected my MB GR pretty much since Day 01 back in April '72. Always a surprise when drive'd skip a beat, sometimes two.

FINALLY found there's a cure lurking inside barrel: there's a second spring tension hole you can set the coil spring's base pin into that boosts tension. That fixed my problem 100%! Took me 51 years to stumble onto that....

So then I swapped out the Campy DR in favor of a 'donored' Suntour long cage anyway when I upgraded' the five speed FW for the 'upgrades' where I bike now.
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Old 11-22-23, 03:53 PM
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I inspected and disassembled the drive train.

1. The derailleur and pulleys look to be just fine - tight where they should be tight, free-spinning where they should spin.
2. The wheel bearings are smooth and tight with no lateral play.
3. The bottom bracket is tight in the frame and spins freely.
4. The freewheel was removed. The body is in fine shape, smooth, quiet.

I put on a different freewheel and the new IZUMI chain. I was able to ride up the hill outside my house with no skipping under load and the drive train was quiet. I will get a test ride in tomorrow, I've used up my free time for today.

Now for the fun part.

As I said earlier, yesterday's ride was sounding very gritty and I feel I barely made it home. I suspect this is why. I also suspect the cog was cracked during the previous chain slippages, some of which were brutal, then the piece fell off during yesterday's ride.





I added this picture trying to show more of the tooth profiles. I measured the width of several teeth at their very tops. New and old cogs on several different freewheels all measured about 0.130" +/-0.005". These teeth measure 0.135".





Any thoughts?
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Old 11-22-23, 05:50 PM
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Sounds like a worn freewheel, which is usually the most obvious culprit with a new chain skipping.
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Old 11-22-23, 06:45 PM
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It's time to buy some replacement cogs or even a whole new freewheel. I have a lot of freewheels in my kit but this one was my favorite and most used - 14-16-18-21-24. It is a Suntour Pro Comp.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 11-22-23 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 11-22-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad Lag
It's time to buy some replacement cogs or even a whole new freewheel. I have a lot of freewheels in my kit but this one was my favorite and most used - 14-16-18-21-24. It is a Suntour Pro Comp.
I have several brand new old Suntour freewheels in storage. Want me to check?
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Old 11-23-23, 11:05 AM
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@Bad Lag, please listen to experience. I've had this happen dozens of times because I was a professional bike mechanic for several years. Effectively, I have the experience of thousands of cyclists. Others here have seen this, too. We know the cause, and we know the solution, and I think you would do well to pay attention. This thread has so many complicated theories and esoteric procedures that I don't think help. You often have to change the chain and freewheel together. You may not have needed to until now, but now you do. Accept that, change the freewheel, and learn a lesson. It's not that complicated. The wear may not be visible, but it's there.
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