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Freewheel issue

Old 05-11-15, 05:58 PM
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Freewheel issue

I am having an issue installing a freewheel on my bike and was hoping the (not always so) nice people of bfssfg could help me out.

I am on a wabi classic with the stock wabi wheels that are fixed/fixed. From what I have read I should not have any issues installing a freewheel on this bike yet I am.

I have tried an ACS crossfire and a shimano sf-mx30 with the same issue. When I thread the freewheel onto the hub and then move the pedal a couple rotations the wheel locks up and stops moving. It is not coming in contact with any part of the frame or the brakes. It appears as if when the freewheel is being turned it is causing the hub to tighten down. Did I do something wrong? Is there a different freewheel I should be using?
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Old 05-11-15, 06:31 PM
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The Wabi comes stock with a 3/32" chain. Are you sure that your freewheels are not 1/8" ? Also, are you 100% sure that you are not pulling the wheel such that it is rubbing the left chainstay ?
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Old 05-11-15, 06:47 PM
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does the freewheel itself make contact with the spoke bends or the hub flange once its screwed on?

are you screwing it on the right way with the notches facing away from the hub?

does the hub spin freely on its axle without the freewheel on?

is your chain long enough so that its not "crackling" tight?

if, without the wheel on the bike, you screw on the freewheel, can you ratchet the freewheel in the other direction?
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Old 05-11-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
The Wabi comes stock with a 3/32" chain. Are you sure that your freewheels are not 1/8" ? Also, are you 100% sure that you are not pulling the wheel such that it is rubbing the left chainstay ?
Both freewheels I referenced claim to be compatible with both 1/8 and 3/32. After I installed the first freewheel(the ACS Crossfire) and had this issue I went to my LBS. They installed a new freewheel(made by Sunlite) that was for an 1/8 chain. I do not believe this is the same issue here. According to them, the freewheel I had was threading itself onto the hub and tightening it as I turned the wheel. I can feel the wheel loosening as I spin it back the opposite way. I never got to try the Sunlite due to the chain size difference but the Shimano is acting the same as the ACS was.

I am sure the wheel is not touching any part of the frame or brake other than the chain and the dropouts. Here are some pics showing that it is not touching anywhere(sorry for the crap quality):













I just find it very odd that arguably the two most popular single speed freewheels available do not work on this wheel. I have talked to Richard at Wabi about this and it is the first he has heard of it as well. I would be surprised if this ended up not being something I was doing wrong. I just cant figure out what that would be.
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Old 05-11-15, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mumonkan
does the freewheel itself make contact with the spoke bends or the hub flange once its screwed on?
It is not touching any of the spokes or anywhere close to it. It seems as if on the inside of the freewheel, it narrows and this catches on outer cup of the hub. I have included pictures because I am sure I am not using the correct terms.

This looks like it is hitting:



on this section of the hub and pushing it tight:



Originally Posted by Mumonkan
are you screwing it on the right way with the notches facing away from the hub?
Yes. The side that the freewheel removal tool fits into is facing outwards, away from the hub.

Originally Posted by Mumonkan
does the hub spin freely on its axle without the freewheel on?
Yes. I have been riding it fixed for the past couple of weeks with no issues. Once I loosen the freewheel the hub spins fine. When I put it back on and it tightens from the pedals turning, the hub tightens and locks up and the wheel stops spinning.

Originally Posted by Mumonkan
is your chain long enough so that its not "crackling" tight?
Yes. I am not leaving much slack but its definitely not on so tight it would cause any issues.

Originally Posted by Mumonkan
if, without the wheel on the bike, you screw on the freewheel, can you ratchet the freewheel in the other direction?
yes
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Old 05-11-15, 07:42 PM
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OK. Remove chain. Does wheel turn freely in the dropouts ? Is chain too tight like Mumonkan asks ? Take a side view pic on the drive side. I have a Wabi wheel, and I can't see how the freewheel can be the problem.

Edit: I posted this before your above post with the hub pics, and your hub looks totally different than mine, so maybe Wabi made a change to the hub that is causing the problem. I can see the issue, and you definitely need to resolve it with Richard.

Edit 2: I looked on the Wabi website and indeed the dust cover design has changed since I bought my new generation Wabi wheels that have the bolt-on design and are fixed-fixed. The dust covers are smaller on mine and clear the freewheel body where it tapers down past the threads. You may be able to fix this by placing a thin shim between the hub flange and the freewheel.
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Last edited by TejanoTrackie; 05-11-15 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Edit: I posted this before your above post with the hub pics, and your hub looks totally different than mine, so maybe Wabi made a change to the hub that is causing the problem. I can see the issue, and you definitely need to resolve it with Richard.

Edit 2: I looked on the Wabi website and indeed the dust cover design has changed since I bought my new generation Wabi wheels that have the bolt-on design and are fixed-fixed. The dust covers are smaller on mine and clear the freewheel body where it tapers down past the threads. You may be able to fix this by placing a thin shim between the hub flange and the freewheel.
So essentially the wheel hub is the issue? Are the dust covers able to be replaced easily?
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Old 05-11-15, 08:40 PM
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Email Richard and give him the same info and pictures you have posted here. If there is any problem with the hub he will be sure to take care of you.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by icepik1234
So essentially the wheel hub is the issue? Are the dust covers able to be replaced easily?
Yes, apparently. You need to ask Richard about your options. Maybe you can replace the dust covers with the older style, but I don't know if the hubs have been changed to a different brand in which case that might not be possible. Like I said, you might be able to get enough clearance to avoid binding with a shim.
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Old 05-11-15, 09:09 PM
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Went ahead and sent him an email. Thanks for all your help.
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Old 05-12-15, 04:14 AM
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please keep us posted

please keep us posted, i want to know potential solutions to the problem
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Old 05-12-15, 06:17 AM
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Am glad I only ride fixed

My Wabi wheelset has the same dust covers as icepik1234. In fact in an earlier discussion about whether they are the "best value" or some such, it was one of my complaints. Out of curiosity, could you please post pics of yours TejanoTrackie?

This thread got me wondering...

I keep a new Dicta, one the cheapest POS freewheels in existence, in my parts box "just in case". So I just popped it on, being careful not to over-tighten it, and rode for a few miles...with zero problems.

If you notice in the attached pic - this crappy fw not only does not have the pronounced ridge that's seen in the pic in post #5 , it is actually cut back a smidge, so nothing catches or binds. I wonder if that sort of thing is what would solve OP's problem if he doesn't want to ride fixed.

Am looking forward to hearing what Richard has to say about his newer hubs/dust caps as I should be changing the bearings on my rear but am a little nervous to start digging around on my hub...

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Old 05-12-15, 06:23 AM
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Depending on the freewheel used, you will have to use a 1ml spacer. I ran into similar issue when trying to use wabi freewheel with wabi wheelset. Weird, I know, but it worked. I've since swapped out freewheels.

Not all freewheels are created equally!
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Old 05-13-15, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam
My Wabi wheelset has the same dust covers as icepik1234. In fact in an earlier discussion about whether they are the "best value" or some such, it was one of my complaints. Out of curiosity, could you please post pics of yours TejanoTrackie?
Here ya go.

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File Type: jpg
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Old 05-13-15, 07:53 AM
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I literally dealt with this issue last week. My ACS freewheel on one side was catching onto the cone/dust cover. A 1mm spacer didn't work.. it took 2.5mm to clear the cone, thus bringing my chain completely out of alignment. What worked for me was modifying the cone, I took a file and trimmed about 1.5mm off. It was relatively easy, although I wish it wasn't an issue to begin with.

Not all freewheels will have this problem, you need one without a lip that changes the inner diameter.

I'd be interested in a cone/dustcover that works without modification.

OP, please keep us updated.
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Old 05-13-15, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Here ya go.

Very interesting...
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Old 05-13-15, 04:22 PM
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Richard's reply

I've run into this 3 or 4 times, with a few hundred of the wheel sets out there, but I understand it's a pain. FWIW, my standard freewheel works fine with it, not sure why the Shimano doesn't. Haven't tried one on the hubs. FWIW, one customer just filed down the end cap a little bit to allow clearance. I'll follow up with the hub maker as well about a tweak.
I sent Richard a reply asking about the possibility of swapping out dust covers completely.

I ended up ordering a Sunlite brand freewheel that should be coming in next week as I previously had one installed at my LBS and it seemed to work without any issues. Unfortunately the only one they had was the wrong chain size.

Originally Posted by tdn
What worked for me was modifying the cone, I took a file and trimmed about 1.5mm off. It was relatively easy, although I wish it wasn't an issue to begin with.
Do you have a picture of your hub after you shaved it? did you do this with the dust cover still attached? got any tips for this?

It seems that only the cheaper freewheels arent affected by this. Does anyone know if any nicer quality freewheels(i.e. white industries, etc.) do not have this lip?

Last edited by icepik1234; 05-13-15 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 05-13-15, 04:47 PM
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i have an echo trials freewheel next to me on the desk and there is no lip, the threads go all the way to the end, which is chamfered towards the inside of the threads


thusly:


<Hub | Outside>

| |
\ |


Axle===


/ |
| |

if that makes sense to you. this freewheel at least has the exact opposite of a lip

Last edited by Mumonkan; 05-13-15 at 04:52 PM. Reason: automatic post reformatting made that a lot less elegant, whatever
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Old 05-14-15, 08:22 AM
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According to Richard the old style dust caps will not fit on the new hubs as they are nowhere near the same dimensions. Seems the only two solutions for this are to either find a freewheel that works or file down the dust cap until it is not an issue. I would love to hear more from someone who accomplished this on how they went about the process.
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Old 05-14-15, 09:13 AM
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I would think securing the dustcap to a drill chuck (via bolt+nuts) and putting it to an abrasive surface of some sort would fix this issue rather quick.
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Old 05-14-15, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by icepik1234
Do you have a picture of your hub after you shaved it? did you do this with the dust cover still attached? got any tips for this?

It seems that only the cheaper freewheels arent affected by this. Does anyone know if any nicer quality freewheels(i.e. white industries, etc.) do not have this lip?
I don't have a picture of my hub at the moment. At a glance no one would be able to tell, none of the hub internals are exposed from what I remember so the dust cover works just as it should.

When I installed my freewheel and it seized the dust cover/cone, it created a minor mark or indentation around the dust cover - I used that as reference for how much to file. I removed the cone and held it in one hand and used a metal filer in the other, working my way around until I got to the indentation created by the freewheel. It probably took me about 20 minutes of filing (with a ****ty file)... I would also use the freewheel to see when the cone would barely pass through. When it was just barely able to pass through, maybe slightly catching, I stopped there and figured the rest of the freewheel would smooth out the cone, giving it a smoother cleaner look. It worked well.
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