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My Freewheel Can Whoop Your Cassette

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My Freewheel Can Whoop Your Cassette

Old 01-11-11, 12:34 AM
  #126  
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Why wouldn't any of us want a gear for every situation we may find ourselves in on a given bike? This means a gear set that's as close as possible, with enough range. As one poster noted, customisation becomes unnecessary as the number of ratios rises...

I wonder why a close-ratio 9 or 10spd and a triple isn't perfect for everybody. Smaller chainrings for MTBs, smaller granny ring for tourers, that's it. Done. Sorted.

Then cassettes could be nice and cheap... jizzworthy Powerdomes aside (I like the drillium Powerdome idea ).

Originally Posted by elcraft View Post
The tool for dismantling Shimano Freehubs is apparently no longer available, so the "flush-out and re-lube" approach seems to be the only option, besides replacing the freehub mechanism completely.
Does anyone know if a non-Shimano freehub dismantling tool is available?
It's two slots you can engage with an appropriately-sized bit of plate! How does that seem hard?

Just leave the freehub body on the wheel to get it started. Left-hand thread, IIRC
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Old 01-11-11, 08:50 AM
  #127  
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Could It Be UniGlide?

Originally Posted by Jose Mandez View Post
"Um - isn't the Shimano freewheel tool the same as the Shimano cassette lockring tool?"

No, they are different, but very similar in size and design. I actually bought the cassette lockring tool for my Gary Fisher, only to find out that it had one of the older cassettes that apparently doesn't even have a lockring. Maybe someday I'll get up enough motivation to actually figure out how it comes off, but not today.
The outer cog is actually threaded onto the hub. You use one chainwhip to hold the cassette base stationary, and use another chainwhip (opposite direction, counterclockwise) to loosen the outer cog. Once it's removed, the rest just lifts off the splines of the freehub. I have this setup on my 1989 Club Fuji, 7-speed indexed. PG
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Old 01-11-11, 08:52 AM
  #128  
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mtnbke, what does Phil do differently? I don't remember, and I could never afford one for myself.

I don't hate freewheels, but I sure the heck don't prefer 'em.
Absolutely. Never disappointed to ride a freewheel, but I enjoy my modern (ha, 11 years old) drivetrain.
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Old 01-11-11, 04:08 PM
  #129  
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not to speak for mtnbike, but phil wood freehweel hubs have incredibly over-built, dookie-fat axles. They also tend to have hub shells designed to minimize dish to a certain extent.

hth
-rob
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Old 01-11-11, 05:25 PM
  #130  
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So construction accounts at least partly for their durability. And how does design weigh in?
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Old 01-11-11, 06:22 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
I have never understood the argument that having a gear as closely matched as possible to the terrain you're on is somehow a disadvantage.
Me too.
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Old 01-11-11, 06:55 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
So construction accounts at least partly for their durability. And how does design weigh in?
Well, the hub shell sizing is a design element, and the overbuilt aspect of the design could arguably be called "construction", but i think that when ya build something, the construction and design go hand in hand. Apparently, Arvon hubs have beefy axles, plus extra bearings closer to the driveside locknut, but i might be misunderstading Sixty as far as that goes. If phil uses a similar approach, it isn't described anywhere on the website that i've seen. But, really, the achilles' heel of freewheel hubs has been the scrawny, unsupported axles, especially as rear spacing increased. Also, removal has proven problematic if the proper precautions and technique aren't employed. It doesn't take a lot of design acumen to make a scrawny thing thicker and stronger. More bearings on the starboard side seems like a more thorough extension of that basic improvement.

-rob
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Old 01-24-11, 01:11 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Are there any good diagrams for disassembly and re-assembly of freewheel bodies? How different are they from one manufacturer to another?
So, I dismantled a Singapore-made Shimano freewheel today and I can elaborate on how it varies from a SunTour. The main differences are in the springs for the pawls. The Shimano has shorter pawls and a single "cir-clip" spring that both "retains" the pawls against the freewheel body and provides the tension to force the pawls outward. There are six, very thin shims that are beneath the outer adjusting cone. This design is reminiscent of Maillard /Atom freewheels from the Seventies.

The SunTour has separate springs for each of the two pawls. They are retained in the freewheel body by a simple slip-in pin. The pawls are longer, so they may not have to pivot as much as the Shimano design requires. This might be a reason (in my experience) they seem more durable than the Shimano. There is a retaining washer with two keyed tabs, as well as a few shims that are under the outer cone.
The tolerances between parts seem a bit looser on the Shimano freewheel than on the SunTour product. Perhaps, a Japanese-made Shimano Freewheel has tighter tolerances than this particular Singapore-made version. I have not dismantled one of the Chinese-made models, so there may be some differences in apparent tolerances from what I have noticed. I am curious as to how the IRD and Sunrace freewheels are constructed- The Shimano freewheels seem to only come with loud Shimano graphics that might be less "appropriate" in appearance for many a C&V "Resto/upgrade" project. I like the cleaner, less "branded" appearance that these two manufacturers have chosen.
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Old 01-24-11, 03:41 AM
  #134  
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Thanks for the comparison! I'm waiting for my pin spanner to arrive before I tackle my next FW.

FWIIW, I found a 1.5 mm Allen/Hex wrench at my local ACE Hardware on Friday. The one retaining screw in a SRAM cassette is this size. So if you want to disassemble one for cleaning, this is the $0.55 tool needed.

SRAM 9 Speed Cassette on left.

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Last edited by pastorbobnlnh; 01-24-11 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 01-24-11, 10:52 AM
  #135  
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That's an impressive picture, Pastor Bob.

The cassette on the hub I sent you, the Rolf hub, isn't really a cassette. It's a bunch of sprockets and spacers with no bolt or anything binding them together. Is this common?

As for rating freewheels in grades of quality, I really can't say I notice one is better than the other. The freewheel that I've seen fail the most is the SunTour Perfect. Ironic name, huh? It was also sold as the Pro-Compe with gold sprockets but no other difference. The body tended to come apart spontaneously. I have always been a SunTour fan, and I know many here are, too, so I'm sorry to report this, but it was my experience. All other mechanisms seem equally reliable. And it would be very hard to comment on which sprockets are harder, i.e. resistant to wear, because testing would have to be extensive and measured. Perhaps someone can give them the Rockwell hardness test, and perhaps someone has. How that translates into durability in real world application is another question.
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Old 01-24-11, 11:44 AM
  #136  
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Tom,

Thanks for the compliment.

Some cassettes are not screwed together, but most are, and most can come apart by removing a screw or screws. They do not need to be, because the top lock ring (or sprocket in the case of the old Shimano UGs), hold them together while they are attached to the freehub body.

Pulling them apart makes cleaning really easy, both for cassettes and freewheels. I personally like my cogs clean, so the above photo is the after shot for the two.

I've not had any trouble with the Suntour Perfects, but I must admit they see very light duty in my fleet since I use them mostly on a couple of bikes which I don't ride much. The Perfect I cleaned and re-greased recently is for a friend's bike. It is a 1982 model. I don't think it has seen many miles.



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Last edited by pastorbobnlnh; 01-24-11 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 01-24-11, 11:49 AM
  #137  
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My bad experiences with the suntour freewheel were mostly as a bike mechanic in bike shops, so my sample size was very high. The likelihood of having one of those difficulties for any given one person is very low. I've ridden more Perfect freewheels than any other model, and I can't remember if I had any problems with one. I did take a couple apart. It's much too much trouble for my taste, and I am perfectly fine at taking apart other things that have a zillion small pieces.
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