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Indexed freewheel compatibilty

Old 08-17-08, 07:30 PM
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twentyflights
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Indexed freewheel compatibilty

i'm thinking about getting a new 6-speed freewheel for a wheelbuild, but i wanted to know what restrictions i would have to keep my indexed shifting with Shimano SIS shifters. i'm not considering 7-speed since my shifters are 6-speed indexed. do i have to stay with Shimano 6-speed freewheels? or can i just about use any freewheel? it's much easier to find "racier" freewheels (like 12-19 or 13-21 tooth) from brands like Suntour and Regina on eBay than it is Shimano, so it'd be nice to be able to use one of those...
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Old 08-17-08, 07:47 PM
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Stay away from Ultra spaced 6s freewheels (they're narrower spaced) and you should be fine, although models lacking Shimano's twist-tooth design may not work quite as well with indexing.
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Old 08-17-08, 08:24 PM
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Aside from Shimano I'd look at modern freewheels like SunRace and IRD. Those are specifically designed to be Shimano compatible. Going back to vintage freewheels of other brands is asking for trouble.
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Old 08-18-08, 04:17 AM
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Must be 6 or 7 speed Shimano compatible.
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Old 08-20-08, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kommisar89 View Post
Aside from Shimano I'd look at modern freewheels like SunRace and IRD. Those are specifically designed to be Shimano compatible. Going back to vintage freewheels of other brands is asking for trouble.
hmm...i checked those freewheels out...not exactly the cogs i was after, but nice to know new freewheels are out there. if i wanted to stick with vintage like Regina or Suntour, what specification should i consider that would be equivalent to "Shimano compatible? e.g., a cog spacing of 5.0 mm, etc.

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Old 08-20-08, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by twentyflights View Post
hmm...i checked those freewheels out...not exactly the spacing i was after, but nice to know new freewheels are out there. if i wanted to stick with vintage like Regina or Suntour, what specification should i consider that would be equivalent to "Shimano compatible? e.g., a cog spacing of 5.0 mm, etc.
6s is not 5.0mm unless it's an Ultra freewheel, but almost all 7s are 5.0, though. Shimano 6s freewheels were 5.3mm. Do you have an existing freewheel to measure? Don't try measuring cog to cog, measure the entire 6 cogs c-c and divide by 5.
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Old 08-20-08, 02:23 PM
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Here's a cog spacing chart-
http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sp-ss.html#spacingk7
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Old 08-20-08, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
yeah i've seen that before, which is the reason why i asked if i should worry about cog spacing. the table by itself and nothing else on that page really helped me figure out what exactly would determine if a freewheel was index compatible or not...i suppose just checking my spacing would help, though i suppose it'll probably be 5.3mm.
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Old 08-20-08, 06:24 PM
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It's not just spacing. You mentioned Suntour and Regina. Not all vintage Suntour freewheels are compatible with index shifting. I've had mixed success mating index shifters (Suntour brand) with Suntour freewheels that came from a friction shifting bike. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't. The advice to stay with Shimano compatible freewheels is sound if you intend to use the index feature. IMHO, the freewheels with ramps are better for index than the non-ramped freewheels regardless of brand.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:41 AM
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BTW, if anybody wants an authentic Ultra 6 chain, PM me.
I have one in pretty good condition, it's got blue inner plates and silver outer has "ultra 6 HKK" stamped on the outer links...I can supply a pic.
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