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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-11-07, 12:26 AM   #1
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Shimano Freewheel rattling on the flip side?

I went to the bike shop a month ago and had a freewheel installed on my flip/flop hub for up/downhill purposes only. It would make a loud knocking noise at higher torques at higher speeds so I asked the LBS guy what the problem was. He told me it needed to be broken in. I knew that was a bs answer but he seemed really busy and told me he'd order another one if I still had the same problem the next day. I went back the next week (on my day off) and told him I still had the problem. He orders a Shimano cog and I get it installed the following week. Knocking is gone.

The first cog (generic brand) made a rattling noise when I flipped the hub onto the fixed side. The same with the shimano cog. It happens at all but really slow speeds.

Is it not tightened down? Is it not greased enough? Is it just a bad batch of cogs?
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Old 09-11-07, 06:47 AM   #2
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Simple answer: Cheap freewheels. Unless you use a White Industries you can expect this to happen.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by riderx View Post
Simple answer: Cheap freewheels. Unless you use a White Industries you can expect this to happen.
Indeed, only the most expensive parts can possibly work at all. Also recommend replacing your cranks with Sugino 75's and getting a Thompson seat post and Toshi straps just to be safe.

Two things can rattle in a freewheel, the pawls and the cog. The pawls will sound like something very small (because they are), but they've got a spring holding them down so they won't rattle unless you shake it really hard or hit a bump or something. This is normal unless it sounds like there's something rolling around in there totally loose, if it bugs you you can take apart the freewheel and use heavier oil in there (phil tenacious or similar), but there's no performance gain to be had and disassembling freewheels kind of sucks. The other possibility is that the cog is loose because the cone assembly isn't tightened down enough, which would be indicated by lateral play. You would need to use a pin spanner (or a bent coat hanger) to tighten it. Sheldon explains it here:
He says to hit it with a hammer and drift pin, this may be necessary but if it has actually loosened you can probably do it with a spanner. He explains how to take out spacers as well, this is always a possibility but shouldn't be needed.
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