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My Freewheel Can Whoop Your Cassette

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My Freewheel Can Whoop Your Cassette

Old 01-03-11, 03:51 PM
  #51  
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Old 01-03-11, 03:54 PM
  #52  
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I've never bent a freewheel axle, even on 135mm OLDs. Seriously. My current commuter has one, and I've bombed tons of potholes with it.
I'm of the thinking that cassettes are better, but I'm not going to go out of my way to buy them if I have plenty of freewheels available. There's a reason they were in use for so many years: because they work.
The only cassette wheel I have is being re-laced, and is a 7-speed.
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Old 01-03-11, 03:56 PM
  #53  
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I guess I'm pragmatic.

If my frame is spaced 120, I use a freewheel.

If my frame is spaced for 126, I'll probably use a freewheel, but might go with a cassette depending on function and aesthetics.

If my frame is spaced for more than 126, I use a cassette.
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Old 01-03-11, 04:04 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by mixtemaniac View Post
They're not really meant to be serviceable. Most don't even have holes or notches for a pin spanner. All you can really do is flush out and spray some high quality lube in there.
I don't disassemble freewheel bodies. I do pull the cogs then...

Body in the ultrasonic with 1:1 Awesome and hot water.
Pull, and while still wet and spinning the body chase with WD-40 to flush the water/Awesome (don't let dry!). Do this until WD-40 comes out the bottom of the body.
Then, while spinning the body I introduce Finish Line wet lube. Do this until the green lube comes out the bottom.
Let the thing sit on paper shop towels to catch excess lube.

Clean the cogs/spaces, reassemble, enjoy. Perfect freewheels every time.
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Old 01-03-11, 04:10 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
I don't disassemble freewheel bodies. I do pull the cogs then...

Body in the ultrasonic with 1:1 Awesome and hot water.
Pull, and while still wet and spinning the body chase with WD-40 to flush the water/Awesome (don't let dry!). Do this until WD-40 comes out the bottom of the body.
Then, while spinning the body I introduce Finish Line wet lube. Do this until the green lube comes out the bottom.
Let the thing sit on paper shop towels to catch excess lube.

Clean the cogs/spaces, reassemble, enjoy. Perfect freewheels every time.
That's a lot of work. If the insides are THAT grungy that you have to flush them with de-greaser and/or water or soak in an ultrasonic cleaner then they are probably beyond hope already. I just flush them with ATF, spin the hell out of them to get it everywhere and then let them drain out. So far it's perfect every time.

Didn't they used to make a special rubber grease doo-dad that you could chuck up on the freewheel and then pump to your heart's content with a grease gun -until the grease flowed out the other side? Better use a thin grease if you want to ride in the winter though...
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Old 01-03-11, 05:29 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
That's a lot of work. If the insides are THAT grungy that you have to flush them with de-greaser and/or water or soak in an ultrasonic cleaner then they are probably beyond hope already. I just flush them with ATF, spin the hell out of them to get it everywhere and then let them drain out. So far it's perfect every time.

Didn't they used to make a special rubber grease doo-dad that you could chuck up on the freewheel and then pump to your heart's content with a grease gun -until the grease flowed out the other side? Better use a thin grease if you want to ride in the winter though...
My LBS has a freewheel grease injector but it's made from aluminum. Works exactly as you describe and results in a ninja-quiet freewheel.
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Old 01-03-11, 05:38 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
Didn't they used to make a special rubber grease doo-dad that you could chuck up on the freewheel and then pump to your heart's content with a grease gun -until the grease flowed out the other side? Better use a thin grease if you want to ride in the winter though...
The Phil Wood freewheel grease injector

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Old 01-03-11, 06:01 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
Every single one of those Shimano cogs are first position only. Show me a complete availability of cogs. Heck, some of the higher-end cassettes have the majority of their cogs permanently affixed to each other for lightness:



-Kurt
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Old 01-03-11, 06:03 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I guess I'm pragmatic.

If my frame is spaced 120, I use a freewheel.

If my frame is spaced for 126, I'll probably use a freewheel, but might go with a cassette depending on function and aesthetics.

If my frame is spaced for more than 126, I use a cassette.
54 posts in, and we have a winner!

personally, i don't always take the luddite view on bicycle technology, but there's nothing like the freewheel/cassette debate to make the sensible cyclist look at the application, and choose accordingly.

-rob
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Old 01-03-11, 06:05 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Every single one of those Shimano cogs are first position only. Show me a complete availability of cogs. Heck, some of the higher-end cassettes have the majority of their cogs permanently affixed to each other for lightness:


-Kurt
he's right. these days, if you want to swap cogs out, you'll want to buy a cheaper cassette with separate cogs, plus an extra cassette that includes the sizes you want, and then you'll get mad b/c the ramps won't jive as designed, so shifting'll suffer.

-rob
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Old 01-03-11, 06:19 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Every single one of those Shimano cogs are first position only. Show me a complete availability of cogs. Heck, some of the higher-end cassettes have the majority of their cogs permanently affixed to each other for lightness:
It's getting even worse than that!

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Old 01-03-11, 06:32 PM
  #62  
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Yech.

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Old 01-03-11, 06:33 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
I don't disassemble freewheel bodies. I do pull the cogs then...

Body in the ultrasonic with 1:1 Awesome and hot water.
Pull, and while still wet and spinning the body chase with WD-40 to flush the water/Awesome (don't let dry!). Do this until WD-40 comes out the bottom of the body.
Then, while spinning the body I introduce Finish Line wet lube. Do this until the green lube comes out the bottom.
Let the thing sit on paper shop towels to catch excess lube.

Clean the cogs/spaces, reassemble, enjoy. Perfect freewheels every time.
I take a different approach:

Soak in concentrated simple green several hours/overnight using a toothbrush to scrub clean after soaking
Rinse under hot water while spinning the FW body... do this for at least a couple of minutes
Continue to "spin" excess water out
Dry in oven at 250F for 1/2 hour
Allow to cool, and add lube dropwise while spinning, until lube passes through body (you will hear the pawls suddenly become almost silent)
Allow exess lube to drain on blotter paper/paper towel
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Old 01-03-11, 07:01 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Nobody is required to cold set a frame. I run 130 mm hubs with 10 speed gearing on my old bikes by just spreading the dropout the extra few mm when I install the wheel .... no big deal ... I updated my vintage bike's drivetrain for about $350 (used wheels, new cassette, new 2009 Campy shifters, used crankset, used RD). My other bike has 10 speed on it now, still using a 1985 crank. So it can be done cheaply depending on the degree of "bling" you want. Cassettes aren't that expensive unless you buy the high end models, which are a tiny bit lighter.

I appreciate vintage stuff, and raced it for a long time, but I prefer riding with indexing and am selling my vintage parts.

PS. I thought "Drewing" was doing irreparable damage to a vintage frame, not a slight modification to allow a different axle length.
Bending the frame (coldsetting) is irreparable. I can see squeezing - in fact, that's what I do - I squeeze a 6 or 7 speed freewheel on a 5 speed bike. Fitting a 10 speed cassette in a 5 speed bike is a little more permanent, unless you carry a crowbar to fix flats.

But in any case, I guess I'm a hypocrite, since I use modern derailleurs and cranks with the old freewheels and hubs. I disdain vintage derailleurs as much as some of you guys disdain freewheels. Some old technology sucks.

But still, I won't bend frames (anymore...)
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Old 01-03-11, 07:12 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
It's getting even worse than that!

Most of them are nothing like that.
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Old 01-03-11, 07:15 PM
  #66  
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Yep, to the best of my knowledge, only the new Sram Red cassettes are like that. If they seem to work, I imagine some trickle down will occur over the next few years.
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Old 01-03-11, 07:27 PM
  #67  
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I have one of these. I've never used it. I had always heard that grease was a no-no inside the freewheel. True or False?



I cleaned this old Atom as khatfull describes above with the oven treatment southpawboston adds to the to mix. It would not spin before. Afterward, it seems good to go!

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Old 01-03-11, 07:34 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Yep, to the best of my knowledge, only the new Sram Red cassettes are like that. If they seem to work, I imagine some trickle down will occur over the next few years.
and the top-end xx cassettes, which are like that with a 36t aluminum bail-out. Only a matter of a few decades before C&Vers of the future buy the original xx cassettes, NOS, to install them on their fake-french vintage VO whips.

in 2044, second-year art school students will be using telepathy to expound on the virtues of hammerschmidt on the future iteration of BF, and wondering why it never caught on with randonneurs in the early 21st century...

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Old 01-03-11, 07:46 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
I have one of these. I've never used it. I had always heard that grease was a no-no inside the freewheel. True or False?

I once tried phil wood grease inside a suntour freewheel, it gummed up the prawls and would no longer engauge to transmit power, results using grease in other freewheel designs may work better? I think it is much better to just apply a light coating of grease on the outer seals to repel water but keep the inner bearings and prawls lubed with 10W-40.
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Old 01-03-11, 07:52 PM
  #70  
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I know you can buy individual cogs in a large range of sizes. I've seen them on more than one occasion.

As for quietness, I think that just depends on the item in question. I've have quiet and loud freewheels. The only cassette I have is practically silent. I love it. I have heard cassettes on newer bikes cruise by, though, and was almost shocked at how obnoxiously loud they were.

Last edited by 3speed; 01-03-11 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 01-03-11, 07:52 PM
  #71  
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This SRAM cassette reminds me of this chainring once made by Cannondale.



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Old 01-03-11, 07:53 PM
  #72  
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I knew they had to have a word for it. Powerdome!

- PowerDome technology: 8 largest cogs are machined from one piece of CroMoly steel, then given a nickel finish

More red pics:



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Old 01-03-11, 07:56 PM
  #73  
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The smallest two cogs (and of course the lock ring) aren't part of the main body. Those slackers.
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Old 01-03-11, 08:03 PM
  #74  
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Maybe after the PowerDome trickles down they'll come out with the ThunderDome and fix those inadequacies.
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Old 01-03-11, 08:05 PM
  #75  
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I think I found Sram's inspiration for "red"

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