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Need info on changing Suntour freewheel cogs

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Need info on changing Suntour freewheel cogs

Old 05-29-10, 06:30 PM
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Need info on changing Suntour freewheel cogs

I have a nearly new (was NOS when I bought it, but rode it a bit on a trainer this winter) Pro Compe 5-speed freewheel with 14-17-20-24-28 cogs. I'd like to replace the 28 with a 34 to make it into a 5 speed Suntour "megarange." I realize I probably won't be able to find just that one cog--I'm resigned to buying a 14-18-22-28-34 freewheel on ebay and plundering the 34 cog from it. But I'm not clear about compatibility. Will a cog from a New Winner freewheel fit a Pro Compe? If not, what should I look for?
Since I've never switched freewheel cogs before, I'm also wondering how hard that is to do. Do the cogs tend to thread on super tight from pedaling pressure, as the freewheel body tends to do on the hub? I often use a 4-foot length of 1 1/2 inch galvanized pipe as an extender on the handle of my big adjustable wrench when removing freewheels, and it seems to me that something similar might be necessary when using a pair of chain whips to unscrew individual cogs. Or is that not a problem?
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Old 05-29-10, 08:22 PM
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You can start your Suntour freewheel journey here :

http://www.yellowjersey.org/stfw.html

I've only changed cogs on the Winner series freewheels, so I can't vouch for interchangeability between the Winner and Pro compe series. A pair of chainwhips with some huffing and puffing will work fine. It's kind of like using a pair of scissors, so if you do need to use an extension, you'd need two.

It's hard to find ST cogs nowadays as stock is running out. Have you tried looking on the Loose Screws site? perhaps some forum member will have what you need too. Otherwise, it's much, much simpler to buy a new freewheel.
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Old 05-29-10, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I have a nearly new (was NOS when I bought it, but rode it a bit on a trainer this winter) Pro Compe 5-speed freewheel with 14-17-20-24-28 cogs. I'd like to replace the 28 with a 34 to make it into a 5 speed Suntour "megarange." I realize I probably won't be able to find just that one cog--I'm resigned to buying a 14-18-22-28-34 freewheel on ebay and plundering the 34 cog from it. But I'm not clear about compatibility. Will a cog from a New Winner freewheel fit a Pro Compe? If not, what should I look for?
Since I've never switched freewheel cogs before, I'm also wondering how hard that is to do. Do the cogs tend to thread on super tight from pedaling pressure, as the freewheel body tends to do on the hub? I often use a 4-foot length of 1 1/2 inch galvanized pipe as an extender on the handle of my big adjustable wrench when removing freewheels, and it seems to me that something similar might be necessary when using a pair of chain whips to unscrew individual cogs. Or is that not a problem?
Depends: If the New Winner is not the Ultra variety, it should fit (but you'd need an RD that can handle the 34 and the 20 tooth difference from the 14 to the 34. Not many 5sp RDs that can do that - so your best bet is to get a 6-7sp MTB RD and adjust it to deal with 5)

About getting freewheels off hubs: the easiest way is to keep the wheel intact and mount the extractor on a table vice. Pop the freewheel on the extractor, grab the rim and turn the wheel.
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Old 05-29-10, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I often use a 4-foot length of 1 1/2 inch galvanized pipe as an extender on the handle of my big adjustable wrench when removing freewheels, and it seems to me that something similar might be necessary when using a pair of chain whips to unscrew individual cogs. Or is that not a problem?
Back when I was customizing SunTour freewheels, we'd take the freewheel off and put it in a freewheel vise. Suntour used to make a good cheap one, but the only one I found was this:
http://www.biketoolsetc.com/index.cg...&item_id=BR-SV
This holds the freewheel nice and steady while you heave on a chain whip to remove the top threaded cogs.

As far as I can remember, the larger cogs were interchangable between Winner and Pro Compe bodies. I'd agree that the 24-34 jump is going to be pretty rough.
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Old 05-30-10, 12:05 AM
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Randy, I have a used 14-18-12-28-34 that I'm looking to swap out for a 14-28 or 30 ultra 6. Now that I have a triple in front I don't need the pancake anymore. Like the PP noted, the Suntour cogs are interchangeable as long as you don't mix 5 speed with the ultra series. I never had a freewheel vice, I just left the freewheel on the wheel, sat on the floor of the garage and held if firmly with my legs. Since the chain whips turn against each other, you're not torquing the wheel. It worked dozens of times for me.
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Old 05-30-10, 05:34 AM
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I am reading BF away from home (it is OK, everyone else in the house is asleep, although some should ask why I am not out riding my bike).
Anyway, I have a pile of SunTour cogs in the basement. Not huge, but I believe I have some 32 or 34 tooth cogs. Won't know until Tuesday.
Anyway, Jon if you are interested PM me. I also have a freewheel set up the way you want it I believe. Also you want to make sure the Der is up the
job.

Getting FW cogs off can be a bear. It is usually just the first that is hard. I forget how many cogs on a Pro Comp are threaded, but the others
are almost always easier, although the second can be almost as hard.
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Old 05-30-10, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
As far as I can remember, the larger cogs were interchangable between Winner and Pro Compe bodies. I'd agree that the 24-34 jump is going to be pretty rough.
The Yellow Jersey site seems to say that it's New Winner cogs that are broadly compatible with other models, such as Pro Compe. i had the impression that the Winner and New Winner designs were very different, despite the similarity in their names.
Why should the 24-34 shift be rough? I used to have a VGT Luxe that made that shift very well with a 6-speed Megarange. Are you saying that it perhaps won't shift as well with the simpler (non-ramped, etc.) Suntour teeth?
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Old 05-30-10, 10:41 AM
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I had mixed success with 2 chainwhips. I made a home made freewheel vice: I set the freewheel on a block of wood, used some wood screws to hold it on, then put the block of wood in my vice, and finally took one chainwhip and hit it with a rubber mallet to unscrew the cog(s).
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Old 05-30-10, 07:18 PM
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Sutherland's 4th edition, page 4-14, seems to say that any type of Winner cog in 1st or 2nd (largest) positions is backward compatible to a Perfect. But it also suggests that the Winner types only came with cogs up to 32 teeth.
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Old 05-31-10, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
Sutherland's 4th edition, page 4-14, seems to say that any type of Winner cog in 1st or 2nd (largest) positions is backward compatible to a Perfect.
"Backward compatible?" What does that mean?
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Old 05-31-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jebejava View Post

It's hard to find ST cogs nowadays as stock is running out. Have you tried looking on the Loose Screws site? perhaps some forum member will have what you need too. Otherwise, it's much, much simpler to buy a new freewheel.
+1 for just buying a new freewheel to meet your type of riding. If you're looking for a versatile freewheel for all kinds of elevations, I'd use Shimano's hyperglide 6 speed 13-34. You'll most likely need a new chain, too. Two weeks ago I just resigned myself and went from 5 speed to 6 speed so I could get that extra 34T. It seems like you already have a long cage derailleur (VGT) for the 34T cog, so no problem there.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
+1 for just buying a new freewheel to meet your type of riding. If you're looking for a versatile freewheel for all kinds of elevations, I'd use Shimano's hyperglide 6 speed 13-34. You'll most likely need a new chain, too. Two weeks ago I just resigned myself and went from 5 speed to 6 speed so I could get that extra 34T. It seems like you already have a long cage derailleur (VGT) for the 34T cog, so no problem there.
I'd go to a six speed, but it's a 1964 Dawes--sort of a historical piece so I don't want to spread the frame to 126. I know you can spring a 126 hub into a 120 frame, but I've never liked doing that--it offends my sense of mechanical propriety, or something. I don't mind changing the crappy-shifting Nuovo Record derailleurs to the wider-range Suntour setup because that can easily be reversed.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:30 AM
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Easy answer....

Just get a triple crank
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Old 05-31-10, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by king koeller View Post
Easy answer....

Just get a triple crank
The Dawes has a nice 46-year-old Nicklin cottered steel crankset. I'm not about to replace it. It wouldn't be an easy replacement even if I wanted to go that route.
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Old 05-31-10, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
I'd go to a six speed, but it's a 1964 Dawes--sort of a historical piece so I don't want to spread the frame to 126. I know you can spring a 126 hub into a 120 frame, but I've never liked doing that--it offends my sense of mechanical propriety, or something. I don't mind changing the crappy-shifting Nuovo Record derailleurs to the wider-range Suntour setup because that can easily be reversed.
Understanding the type of bike involved, it makes more sense on what you're trying to do. I was having the same feelings on spreading my frame from 120 to 126mm, although my Nishiki bike is from the early 80s with very little historical value. If I were you, once I find the right 34T cog, I'd just pay someone for professional installation as you may even damage your current freewheel if you're not careful. BTW, my Suntour VGT derailleur shifts very nicely from 24-34T but that's using a hyperglide freewheel and a new Sram PC-870 chain. Keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 05-31-10, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jonwvara View Post
"Backward compatible?" What does that mean?
It means that a cog from a Winner type will work on the Perfect type. Winner was a later model freewheel, though they may have been produced concurrently for awhile.

If you like, I can send you a PDF of the Sutherland's page in question.
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Old 05-31-10, 07:30 PM
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Earlier in the thread, cheater pipes to increase the leverage of chain whips were mentioned. This may not work. You may just break the rivet out of the chain that anchors it onto the body of the whip before you get the cog loose. I managed to do this once just with unassisted brute force on the chain whip without a cheater bar, and I'm not a gorilla.

Also, don't use them like scissors or bolt cutters: you'll pinch your fingers between the whips when the cog breaks free and the whips suddenly come together. Instead, position them so your two fists are pulling away from each other as you torque on the cogs. You can usually get more of your weight over them that way, too.
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Old 05-31-10, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
If you like, I can send you a PDF of the Sutherland's page in question.
PM sent.
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Old 05-31-10, 08:20 PM
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I have a vise with (replaceable) wood faces on my big heavy workbench. I clamp down on the freewheel such that the teeth on the big cog are biting into the wood and the small cog is above the vise, hence needing only one chain whip. If my meager upper body strength proves insufficient, I whack the end of the chain whip a couple of times with a mallet. This has always worked for me so far, even on very old, very high mileage freewheels.
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Old 05-31-10, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
I have a vise with (replaceable) wood faces on my big heavy workbench. I clamp down on the freewheel such that the teeth on the big cog are biting into the wood and the small cog is above the vise, hence needing only one chain whip. If my meager upper body strength proves insufficient, I whack the end of the chain whip a couple of times with a mallet. This has always worked for me so far, even on very old, very high mileage freewheels.
^ I like!
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