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Old 08-25-10, 08:20 AM
  #1  
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Freewhel Timeline

Hey,

I'm wanting to get a new freewheel for my 82/83 Guerciotti. I can't climb in the mountains with my Regina 13-21. It's just ridiculous

I'm not terribly concerned with getting a true vintage one, can't seem to find a climbing one anyway. Harris Cyclery sells IRD freewheels and I am eyeballing those now.

My question is what is the approximate time line of 5-6-7-speed freewheels. Should I get a 5 Speed for my '83 or did they have 6 by then?

I'll add to that, what did people use back in the day to climb? I don't see many vintage 5 speed freewheels with a 26 or 28 cog though I imagine they had to exist. I understand that the NR derailleur on my bike is rated to a 26 but some people have managed to get a 28 to work. I think a 26 would be ok for me but the 28 would really sweeten the ride.

Regards.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post

I'll add to that, what did people use back in the day to climb? I don't see many vintage 5 speed freewheels with a 26 or 28 cog though I imagine they had to exist. I understand that the NR derailleur on my bike is rated to a 26 but some people have managed to get a 28 to work. I think a 26 would be ok for me but the 28 would really sweeten the ride.
Sixes were widely available in the mid-70s and Hyperglide came out around 1977 or so. That meant six cogs on a 120 mm axle and seven on 126.5. I believe the European manufacturers were a year or two behind SunTour and Shimano in adopting the narrow spacing.

Back in the day, nearly everyone was still over-geared, even with the extra cogs. 13-21 was pretty standard, with maybe a 13-23 called out for a super steep day. You wanted single-step for at least the first four cogs.

So don't sweat, seven speed is period-correct for you Guerciotti. Of course, you've probably been using incorrect eight speed chains for the last ten years. If you spread your chainstays, be aware that dropout alignment may be affected.

Last edited by oldbobcat; 08-25-10 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Hyperglide came out around 1977 or so.
That seems a little early to me...
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Old 08-25-10, 09:00 AM
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Sixes first appeared in the early 70's, "ultra" or narrow sixes by mid to late 70's. Narrow sevens came out in early to mid-80's, and started to show up on upper end bikes by mid to late '80's. By the time this happened, Shimano had moved to cassettes and Suntour was fading, so decent 7-speeds are harder to find.

Assuming your Guerciotti has Campy bits on it, you can probably slide a 25 or 27 tooth cog under it. If you want to stay with Regina, be prepared to shell out $$ as the larger coged italian freewheels were not as common and most of us running blocks from that era have gotten alot smarter.
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Old 08-25-10, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
Sixes first appeared in the early 70's, "ultra" or narrow sixes by mid to late 70's. Narrow sevens came out in early to mid-80's, and started to show up on upper end bikes by mid to late '80's.
At least for SunTour, narrow six and seven happened simultaneously, on the same system. I distinctly recall the display with bodies, cogs, spacers, and charts hanging on the wall of my local dealer in Northampton, Mass. I used to build my own blocks. They used the same body but with different small cogs. For seven, the last cog screwed into the inside of the sixth, or something like that. It's been a long time since took one apart.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:00 AM
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where do you live? I am sure you can find a 6spd 13x 26 or so somewhere what about this? 13x28 I know I know $50 OMG! but if it gets you the gearing you want so you can enjoy your bike

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Old-Stock-Su...efaultDomain_0

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Old 08-25-10, 10:24 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
...what did people use back in the day to climb? I don't see many vintage 5 speed freewheels with a 26 or 28 cog though I imagine they had to exist.
obc said that 13-21 was "pretty standard" but I don't understand that. Every 5-speed mid-level bike I ever saw up close back then (early to mid-'70) had a 14-28 or 14-26. So that's what people used to climb. Anyone who wanted a tourer or who was generally worried about hills went to a 32 (or bigger), or switched to a triple. I didn't see many high-end bikes up close back then, and I'm sure they were gear higher.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:06 AM
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I'd go with the 14-28 Shimano or IRD and tell your RD it has to do it. Modern teeth will shift smoother anyway, and you'll save some money. btw, what are you running for a small ring on the front - 39? 42? If you have a 42 now, maybe you could change to 39 and get away with the 13-24 fw.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:21 AM
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I think I'll look for a 7 speed. Seems like all the places that sell IRD are out of stock

I have a 39-52 set up now. But let me tell ya Virginia has some big climbs

I'd be ok with a 25 or 26 but that 21 is just to hard. And I'd really like to keep the 13 as well for coming back down the mountain.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
I think I'll look for a 7 speed. Seems like all the places that sell IRD are out of stock

I have a 39-52 set up now. But let me tell ya Virginia has some big climbs

I'd be ok with a 25 or 26 but that 21 is just to hard. And I'd really like to keep the 13 as well for coming back down the mountain.
In that case I'd go with the 13-28 shimano.
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Old 08-25-10, 11:31 AM
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I had the same problem. I recently began riding again after a long hiatus, and soon realized my old 6-speed 12-21t freewheel was not going to cut it. When I was riding junior races in the mid-80s, the low gear restrictions were about 50x15t (varied slightly with age group) and it was not uncommon to see 15t-20t or 16t-21t straightblocks, which I always thought looked kind of strange.

You can try to find replacement cogs, though they are hard to come by. I bought a couple replacement cogs from Ebay seller "Everything Bicycles 1959". You might also consider a Shimano HyperGlide freewheel. They are pretty cheap (less than $30), come in 6- or 7-speeds, and people swear by them.

EDIT: If you do try to replace some cogs, this compatibility chart may help.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:43 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
Sixes first appeared in the early 70's ...
When my brother and I got low-end 10-speed Bianchi Corsas for Christmas 1962, one of the neighborhood kids got a 12-speed Campi, which was almost identical to our Bianchis except for the longer rear axle and the green paint job. Six-speed freewheels became standard in the very late 1970s into the early 1980s.

Get a Regina if you really crave correctness or are worried about Italian/English thread "combatibility," but get a 7-speed SunTour, Shimano, or SRAM for most positive downshifts and a greater choice of ratios. My favorite low gear cog is a hard-to-find 26, which works with almost any short-cage derailleur, while providing a very nice granny with a typical 42T inside chainring. I changed the Bianchi from 52-42 / 13-15-17-19-21-23 to 50-42 / 14-16-18-20-23-26, picking up a seldom-used but so-nice-to-have bottom gear.
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Old 08-25-10, 01:17 PM
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Another source: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...?category=1665

They are local for me so I just picked up a IRD 13 - 28 and use it with my Campy SR but not with the 52 ring, only the 42 ring. Works great for me.
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Old 08-26-10, 02:34 PM
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Great thanks so much I'm gonna order an IRD. Hope I can make it work with my NR derailleur.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:19 PM
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I recently bought an IRD freewheel and after 2 months it is broken. It worked great for about a month and then developed a "clunk sound" and then quit working altogether. I have a friend who had an IRD and it lasted three months. I ride a vintage Cuevas with a Campy Rally in the rear and am looking for an older freewheel as the IRD freewheels don't seem to hold up to hard climbing and sprinting. The good news is the store I bought it at exchanged it for a new one the dayI brought it in to them.
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Old 10-11-10, 12:42 PM
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I think the 6/7 speed transition came around in 85/86, but I beleive that the 7 speeds did not stay around too long as 8 speeds and 130+mm rear hub spacing came up with indexed shifting very shortly after. Both my bikes have 126mm spacing and I'm trying to get them both up to 14 speeds with Maillard 7 speed freewheels for non indexed systems are getting harder to find (lots of Maillard/Sachs 7 speeds out there yet though, for indexed Sachs based systems). Most out there are well used and sometimes just too worn out already. Lots of them are also 12-18 tooth "corn cobs" which makes for crazy (non existant) climbing ratios with my 52-53/42 rings. My 13/21 6 speed Spidel 700 FW cogset is hard enough to push these days.......what the heck am I thinking with these 7 speeds??!...... I guess I have to find a good source for bigger cogs for my 7 speed FWs. It does not help when trying to stay "Tout French" with my French 80's bike is also making it harder to get the right freewheels.

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Old 10-11-10, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott830 View Post
I recently bought an IRD freewheel and after 2 months it is broken. It worked great for about a month and then developed a "clunk sound" and then quit working altogether. I have a friend who had an IRD and it lasted three months. I ride a vintage Cuevas with a Campy Rally in the rear and am looking for an older freewheel as the IRD freewheels don't seem to hold up to hard climbing and sprinting. The good news is the store I bought it at exchanged it for a new one the dayI brought it in to them.
Photos please!
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Old 10-11-10, 01:02 PM
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You should check out JensonUSA. They have Falcon HG freewheels, I'm hoping that my Simplex Cirterium can handle the 28 cog...it'll be a close one that's for sure.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Freewheel.aspx

I rarely used the 52-13 on the tour de france so I didn't mind the bump to 14, but I WILL enjoy the bump to a 28t cog when I ramp up a hill .
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Old 10-11-10, 06:24 PM
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The Guerciotti of 1982/1983 came with 6 speed blocks, typically a Regina CX 13-21T, though 7 speed freewheels were widely available at the time. HyperGlide wasn't introduced until 1989 but it improves shifting so much that this is one period-incorrect concession that I would readily make.

The maximum cog you can use with the NR derailleur depends on the dropout hanger length and how far back you clamp the axle in the dropout slot. With a Campagnolo 1010/B dropout, the NR derailleur will handle 28T.

Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Sixes were widely available in the mid-70s and Hyperglide came out around 1977 or so.
HyperGlide came out in 1989. I believe you're thinking of its predecessor, the Uniglide with twisted teeth, that came out in 1978.


Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
obc said that 13-21 was "pretty standard" but I don't understand that. Every 5-speed mid-level bike I ever saw up close back then (early to mid-'70) had a 14-28 or 14-26...
He was referring to competition models, which typcially came with 13-21T. The typcial, entry level, sports touring model came with 14-28T.

Originally Posted by pcfxer View Post
You should check out JensonUSA. They have Falcon HG freewheels, ...
Avoid Falcon, in my opinion they make the worst freewheels on the market. I've replaced literally dozens for customers. I've seen broken pawl springs, gunked up pawls (they're poorly sealed), split cogs, stripped threads, etc.
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Old 10-11-10, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
My favorite low gear cog is a hard-to-find 26, which works with almost any short-cage derailleur, while providing a very nice granny with a typical 42T inside chainring.
That's a nice definition of granny! Works for me!
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