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7 Speed freewheel problem

Old 02-27-15, 03:20 PM
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7 Speed freewheel problem

I'm close to finishing the build on my new (old) Tommasini,excited to get my new (old) set of wheels today. It's a 126 mm spaced frame and test fitted the rear wheel to confirm the right size. Perfect fit, so far so good! I thread on the 7 speed SunRace freewheel (13-28) and now the wheel doesn't fit, small cog strikes on the frame. Only about 2 mm of the axle protrudes beyond the freewheel.

Just to be sure, I checked with my other Record hub wheel set with a Regina 7 speed and it fits fine. I bought the freewheel from Amazon, read the reviews, one person mentioned having to move spacers and redish the wheel, but I don't see how a redish would solve anything and this wheel set doesn't have any spacers, other than the standard shiny freewheel spacer that I can see.

I measured the width of the SunRace and got 36 mm vs 32 for the Regina, so I guess there's my answer. I'm going to return this freewheel and start shopping again. I got the SunRace because I heard HG shifting was so much better. Are there any freewheel makes or clues I should avoid? BTW I avoided the Shimano HG freewheel because of the ugly black large cog with the garish lettering.

Long post. Thanks for sticking with it.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:25 PM
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That's disappointing. Can you measure the cog spacing? I wonder if they used 6-speed spacing for it.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:25 PM
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I had the same issue with a Sunrace. IRD, Shimano and Suntours worked fine but the Sunrise rubbed.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:25 PM
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I vote HG and some "chrome" spray paint.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Henry III
I vote HG and some "chrome" spray paint.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:29 PM
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Measure the over-locknut width of the axle and verify that it is within 1mm of 126. It is possible, in fact easy, to insert a 120mm (5-speed) hub then tighten down the QR so that it just pulls the stays together. The point is, if you simply put a 6 or 7-spd FW on a 120mm hub it will do exactly as you describe. A 6 or 7-spd hub needs a longer 131mm axle (usually) and 6mm of spacers added to the right side, then the wheel re-dished 3mm to the right.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:36 PM
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It is not uncommon to get rub with a 7 speed freewheel. You can get a 1 mm spacer and place it on the drive side of the axle. Yes your wheel won't be dished quite right but you won't notice it while riding. Or you can get 2 1 mm spacers and put one on either side of the axle. That's what I did on one of my wheels; I ended up using a bit longer axle as well but it's not big deal inserting a 128 mm wheel into a rear triangle set at 126 mm. Bottom line is you may have some rub with any f'wheel you get and so a spacer may be your best solution.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs
I'm close to finishing the build on my new (old) Tommasini,excited to get my new (old) set of wheels today. It's a 126 mm spaced frame and test fitted the rear wheel to confirm the right size. Perfect fit, so far so good! I thread on the 7 speed SunRace freewheel (13-28) and now the wheel doesn't fit, small cog strikes on the frame. Only about 2 mm of the axle protrudes beyond the freewheel.

Just to be sure, I checked with my other Record hub wheel set with a Regina 7 speed and it fits fine. I bought the freewheel from Amazon, read the reviews, one person mentioned having to move spacers and redish the wheel, but I don't see how a redish would solve anything and this wheel set doesn't have any spacers, other than the standard shiny freewheel spacer that I can see.



I measured the width of the SunRace and got 36 mm vs 32 for the Regina, so I guess there's my answer. I'm going to return this freewheel and start shopping again. I got the SunRace because I heard HG shifting was so much better. Are there any freewheel makes or clues I should avoid? BTW I avoided the Shimano HG freewheel because of the ugly black large cog with the garish lettering.

Long post. Thanks for sticking with it.
The Shimano 13-28 7 Speed HG freewheel works fine on my Tommasini Super Prestige with a Campy Super Record rear hub. And the black cog with the white letters grows on you after a while, although I would prefer if the letters spelled "Campagnolo".

Shimano 7 Speed 13 28 Freewheel | eBay

Last edited by D1andonlyDman; 02-27-15 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 02-27-15, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs
Are there any freewheel makes or clues I should avoid? BTW I avoided the Shimano HG freewheel because of the ugly black large cog with the garish lettering.
Try IRD. They have HG style cogs and are chrome plated.
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Old 02-27-15, 04:00 PM
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I have measured and compared several key dimensions onSunrace, Shimano and Suntour freewheels, and found only slight differences, never enough to cause me any problems that I can remember.

I almost can't believe that the smallest cog itself hits the frame, did you perhaps mean that the chain is contacting the dropout???

When comparing to an Italian freewheel though, keep in mind that some of these seemed intended to be used with at least a couple of mm freewheel spacer placed over the hubshell threaded portion, so would affect the freewheel's lateral position significantly.

With modern 8s chain, I don't usually need more than 3.3mm of axle locknut extension beyond the driveside face of the smallest cog in order to clear the frame, unless perhaps there is a protruding axle stop or derailer claw mount bolt present, and which then may need serious massaging with a Dremel.

As bikemig mentioned, a 1 or 2mm washer added to the axle's spacer stack on the driveside has minimal effect on wheel centering.
A 2mm washer added to the driveside will move the rim only 1mm to the non-driveside, but will gain a full 2mm clearance at the dropout!

You might want to check to see if the Regina freewheel, installed with no freewheel spacer, gives the deriler enough clearance with the spokes.

Some later Regina freewheels, likely as with your 7s model, have better, thinner tooth profiles that may work best with modern chains, something to consider if the freewheel has good ratios for your area.

Last edited by dddd; 02-27-15 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 02-27-15, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kactus
Try IRD. They have HG style cogs and are chrome plated.
+1. I had the same issue on my Woodrup, 753. Put and IRD 13-28 7 speed freewheel on it and now it works great.
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Old 02-27-15, 04:51 PM
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i added a sunrace 7 (13-24) and kmc 9-speed chain to my davidson and love it. smooth and quiet.

i have two ird freewheels, but see no benefit over sunrace.

if my freewheel of choice were hitting the frame (or if the chain in the highest gear were hitting the frame), i would add spacers (and possibly a longer axle) to solve the problem.
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Old 02-27-15, 05:06 PM
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7 speeds with narrow cog spacing should fit most 126mm spaced rear triangles.
Check to see that if there are any shims on the hub that is pushing out the FW towards the DO/seatstay. If there are shims, remove them and things should be OK....
I dunno,....Can a very small frame cause the problem, maybe because shorter seat stays might be angling towards the the FW at the dropout??
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Old 02-27-15, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
It is not uncommon to get rub with a 7 speed freewheel..
This. I see this about half the time with 126mm spaced frames. Happened again to me yesterday.
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Old 02-27-15, 05:13 PM
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I had a similar problem fitting a 7-speed SunRace freewheel into a Peugeot UO-8 (respaced to 126). The freewheel went onto the hub just fine and the dropout didn't interfere with the freewheel at all. The problem was that the seat stay protruded too far inward, too close to the hub. The chain grazed the stay if it was on the small cog. I had to go with a 6-speed freewheel instead.
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Old 02-27-15, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
It is not uncommon to get rub with a 7 speed freewheel. You can get a 1 mm spacer and place it on the drive side of the axle.
THIS

No reason to return the FW, this is a common issue.
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Old 02-27-15, 05:44 PM
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The IRD Classica 7-speed has a stack height of 33.1 mm, so you'd save yourself 1.9 mm over the Sunrace if you went that way. Also, the cogs have ramps so will give you the smooth shifting you're looking for. The downside is that they are costly (though they do have a clearance sale on their previous Defiant model, which I have on one of my bikes and is fine).

If I were you I'd just add about a 1 mm washer under the right side axle locknut and see if that got you enough clearance. If you're running out of axle then just adjust the left side cone out and the right side cone in. If you do this then you might have to pull the stays apart a tiny bit to get the wheel in, or perhaps you could get a thinner washer for the left side to compensate. I doubt if a mm or two would require redishing the wheel. A 7-speed is going to be very close to the stay no matter what, but as long as it clears by a little bit you should be OK.
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Old 02-27-15, 06:04 PM
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Thank you all for the detailed input. I double checked measurements and the locknut spacing is 126. I inspected the wheel closer and there was a 2 mm spacer ( I initially thought it was the lock washer) on the non-drive side which I removed, then readjusting the cones to give me a little more axle on the drive side. It really didn't make much difference. The cog spacing is even and about 3 mm, which seems a tiny bit wider than the Regina.

just to give more detail, the small cog bangs on the frame before the axle can even engage the dropout. I was able, just now to get it mounted by flexing the frame outward but couldn't easily replicate the results. And again, take the freewheel off and wheel slides right in, easy as kiss my hand.

I might be having trouble conceptualizing, but I don't think a drive side spacer will fix this.
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Old 02-27-15, 06:36 PM
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Something else you might want to check is that the dropouts are really aligned with each other, and vertical with the bike. I was working on a six speed that was doing the same thing yours is doing. I had to put a 2MM spacer on the drive side, and when I checked the dropouts, neither one was aligned with the other, neither horizontal or vertical to the bike. After I fixed both those problems the trouble went away. I made a couple of tools to check the dropouts, they are very simple to do. Now the wheel is perfectly centered and neither the chain nor the small cog hits anything. I doubt that this happened when you put the new FW on, but hey, who knows, it may have always been that way and the new FW just made it show up.
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Old 02-27-15, 08:47 PM
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Any photos possible of the clearance area?
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Old 02-27-15, 08:58 PM
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I have a dura ace 7 speed freewheel that does that for the viscount and the 27" wheels I had on it before
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Old 02-27-15, 09:31 PM
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Here are some pics: One is the Regina freewheel, mounted in the frame no problem. The other is the offending SunRace. I mounted it with a quick release this time and when I cinched it down the wheel wouldn't turn! Tomorrow I might try putting the Regina on the new wheel to verify some tweaks on that aren't needed.

Meanwhile, if someone with a Shimano 7 speed wouldn't mine measuring the stack or width I'd appreciate it. I'll probably start shopping for one of those. I think the 32 vs 36 mm difference is big, plus the lockring (I think - part that contacts the hub) on the Regina is almost flush with the big cog while the SunRace extends another 1.5 mm or so.
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Old 02-27-15, 09:49 PM
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What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs
there was a 2 mm spacer ...on the non-drive side which I removed, then readjusting the cones to give me a little more axle on the drive side.
The amount of axle on the DS doesn't matter at all as long as it extends into the DO by a few mm.

I don't have much experience wit 7-speed FWs but I have seen 6-speeds which had different amount of clearance.
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Old 02-27-15, 10:04 PM
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In the posted pics, is it just me or there seems to be a lot of space between the hub/spokes and the biggest cog on the offending FW......
It might be that the inner flange of the FW body where the biggest cog sits on and against the hub might be thicker than what's normal/usual with other 7 speed FWs??
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Old 02-27-15, 11:33 PM
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Throw the 2mm spacer from the non-drive side onto the drive side and re-dish. I did that when I put a 7s Sunrace freewheel on my wife's bike (to replace the 6s freewheel). Worked like a charm.
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