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Freewheels

Old 03-05-10, 01:50 PM
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Freewheels

I have a Motobecane Track on the way, which runs a 1/8" chain. Does anyone know if I can use this freewheel? I'm obviously pretty new to the whole technical bike thing. I read somewhere that the MX freewheels are for 1/8" or 3/32", but I don't know if there is a separate version for the 1/8" or what.

Also, what are some other decent yet affordable freewheels? How does the Shimano compare the the ACS Claws?

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Old 03-05-10, 01:56 PM
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With a 1/8" chain you can run 1/8" and 3/32" freewheels.
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Old 03-05-10, 02:14 PM
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that measurement is of the fatness of the teeth and/or space between the chain plates. since 1/8" is larger than 3/32" then a 1/8" chain can be used with 3/32" freewheels/cogs/chainrings, but not vice versa. the only thing is it might be a little more noisy because there's some play (but not in any way more dangerous)
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Old 03-05-10, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Steev
With a 1/8" chain you can run 1/8" and 3/32" freewheels.
...but since it comes in both 1/8th and 3/32nd sizes you might as well buy the freewheel that matches your current setup. An incorrect width of drivetrain setup, poor chain tension, and bad chain line can cause you to throw your chain often. Eleminate the incorrect drivetrain width and your less likely to throw a chain.... I'm not saying the Moto Tracks have a bad setup, I just dont get the whole "you can run either width". Just get it right.

I have a Shimano freewheel and its a good component. I'm sure just as much worth the money as the ACS.
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Old 03-05-10, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by coolkid_cody
...but since it comes in both 1/8th and 3/32nd sizes you might as well buy the freewheel that matches your current setup. An incorrect width of drivetrain setup, poor chain tension, and bad chain line can cause you to throw your chain often. Eleminate the incorrect drivetrain width and your less likely to throw a chain.... I'm not saying the Moto Tracks have a bad setup, I just dont get the whole "you can run either width". Just get it right.

I have a Shimano freewheel and its a good component. I'm sure just as much worth the money as the ACS.
What's the difference between 1/8 and 3/32?
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Old 03-05-10, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian
What's the difference between 1/8 and 3/32?
1/32?
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Old 03-05-10, 04:23 PM
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How big is the difference between a 46/16 ratio and a 46/18 ratio? I'm having trouble finding the Shimano 1/8" in 17t.
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Old 03-05-10, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by preston811
1/32?
Yup. I know you're not the one calling it "incorrect", but that's not going to cause you to throw a chain.
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Old 03-05-10, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by yummygooey
I have a Motobecane Track on the way, which runs a 1/8" chain. Does anyone know if I can use this freewheel? I'm obviously pretty new to the whole technical bike thing. I read somewhere that the MX freewheels are for 1/8" or 3/32", but I don't know if there is a separate version for the 1/8" or what.

Also, what are some other decent yet affordable freewheels? How does the Shimano compare the the ACS Claws?
As the previous poster said, yes, you can use that freewheel with a 1/8" chain. As for your second question: I have actually used both freewheels. The ACS Claws has a good reputation, and sure enough, I have not managed to ride it into the grave, and have now deposited it back into the spares box, still in near-perfect condition. That said, I am still using the Shimano freewheel, and it seems less sturdy, but while I have opened the Claws, I have not done so with the Shimano, and can't be sure. The thing is, the Shimano runs much smother than the ACS, something about the Shimano pawls seems to have been done very right, and overall I must say I consider it the better freewheel. Note that the Shimano has now thousands of kilometers on - it has been in longer use than the ACS. Still works impeccably.

However, if you need 19, 20 or 22 teeth, or any number @ 1/8", you have a better chance to find it in the ACS offering. ACS just takes the freewheel business more seriously than the rest.
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Old 03-05-10, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops
As the previous poster said, yes, you can use that freewheel with a 1/8" chain. As for your second question: I have actually used both freewheels. The ACS Claws has a good reputation, and sure enough, I have not managed to ride it into the grave, and have now deposited it back into the spares box, still in near-perfect condition. That said, I am still using the Shimano freewheel, and it seems less sturdy, but while I have opened the Claws, I have not done so with the Shimano, and can't be sure. The thing is, the Shimano runs much smother than the ACS, something about the Shimano pawls seems to have been done very right, and overall I must say I consider it the better freewheel. Note that the Shimano has now thousands of kilometers on - it has been in longer use than the ACS. Still works impeccably.

However, if you need 19, 20 or 22 teeth, or any number @ 1/8", you have a better chance to find it in the ACS offering. ACS just takes the freewheel business more seriously than the rest.
I had an ACS start slipping on me, with only about 30 miles on it. From what I've been seeing, They're rapidly gaining a reputation for being junk. The problem seems to be that the factory in India isn't putting enough oil in them, or something. (kind of ironic, considering the state of the packaging mine came in) I'd only recommend the Claws, if you have a lock ring tool, so you can open the freewheel up, and get some light oil into it, before you ride it. A little bit of oil seemed to solve the slipping problem in mine, which got me by until the better freewheel I ordered came in. It also seemed to quiet it down, a bit.

I'd suggest biting the bullet, and paying the extra for a White Industries freewheel. I balked at the price, when I first saw it, and bought an ACS. Three days later, I ordered the White. It's well worth its price. It's got a sealed bearing, and it's the only freewheel I've ever seen that runs concentric. (no more tight spots!) It engages as quickly as the ACS, which was one of the few things I like about my Claws freewheel.
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Old 03-06-10, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Greyryder
I had an ACS start slipping on me, with only about 30 miles on it. From what I've been seeing, They're rapidly gaining a reputation for being junk. The problem seems to be that the factory in India isn't putting enough oil in them, or something. (kind of ironic, considering the state of the packaging mine came in) I'd only recommend the Claws, if you have a lock ring tool, so you can open the freewheel up, and get some light oil into it, before you ride it. A little bit of oil seemed to solve the slipping problem in mine, which got me by until the better freewheel I ordered came in. It also seemed to quiet it down, a bit.

I'd suggest biting the bullet, and paying the extra for a White Industries freewheel. I balked at the price, when I first saw it, and bought an ACS. Three days later, I ordered the White. It's well worth its price. It's got a sealed bearing, and it's the only freewheel I've ever seen that runs concentric. (no more tight spots!) It engages as quickly as the ACS, which was one of the few things I like about my Claws freewheel.
A freewheel would start slipping if all the pawls failed to engage, so a lack of sufficiently light lubricant would indeed be the most likely solution. It would seem, if what you're telling is generally true, that the ACS freewheels are nowadays packed in too heavy grease, which under a non-hot climate would be just a bit too thick and keep the pawls in the contracted (disengaged) position.

Two comments: you don't necessarily need to disassemble the freewheel to fix this problem: put the whole freewheel in a shallow container filled with a nonpolar solvent (perhaps acetone, or hexane, or very light mineral turpetine) and let it soak for a few days, perhaps with rotating the cog a few times, to facilitate the access of the solvent to the grease. After you pull it out from the solvent, immerse the freewheel in a similar container, but this time filled with a light lubricant, and leave it like that for about half an hour - just make sure you turn the cogs several times. Extract the cog from the lubricant, let the excess lubricant flow out, dry it with a cloth and voilá, you got yourself an excellent freewheel, without disassembly.

As for the tool that you need for disassembly, you don't want to use a lockring tool! You need a pin spanner.
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Old 03-06-10, 04:04 AM
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If you get a 3/32 drivetrain,then you will be good with a 1/8 chain.
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Old 03-06-10, 06:53 AM
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I ride a 19 tooth ACS Claws freewheel on my bike and it works fine but it is the loudest freewheel I've ever heard.
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Old 03-06-10, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan
I ride a 19 tooth ACS Claws freewheel on my bike and it works fine but it is the loudest freewheel I've ever heard.
Correct - the ACS Claws are loud as all hell. It's part of their charm They're well-built, though (heavy grease notwithstanding).
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Old 03-06-10, 08:37 AM
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ACS < Shimano < White Industries < WI trials
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Old 03-06-10, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan
I ride a 19 tooth ACS Claws freewheel on my bike and it works fine but it is the loudest freewheel I've ever heard.
It's ironic that when I got a BMX bike as an adult, I loved that sound, but can't stand the noise on my road bike.
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Old 03-06-10, 07:20 PM
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Pin spanner is the tool I've used on freewheels. Some instructions I found for opening a freewheel for lubing it is where I heard it called a lock ring tool. Guess that's how I got to calling it by the wrong name. That, or just the general state of confusion I seem to exist in. It's the easiest way to get oil in, without giving the thing a bath. Definitely don't want to do a full disassembly, just open it up far enough to get some oil in.

My Claws quieted down, after I got some oil into it. My White was almost as loud as the ACS was new, but it's gotten quieter with use.
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Old 03-07-10, 12:26 AM
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Get the Shimano. They're very quiet.

As for the ratio, depends on your strength and the terrain. I live in a fairly hilly area and 46/15 was a bad setup. I run 46/17 fixed and 46/20 freewheel. It's a nice setup and I only use the freewheel when I'm tired and want to coast.
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Old 03-07-10, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Greyryder
My Claws quieted down, after I got some oil into it.
Uh.. really? It's not supposed to quiet down if you put lighter lubricant in it - it's supposed to get somewhat louder. Or else, your problem wasn't caused by too thick lubricant, but too little lubricant.
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Old 03-07-10, 01:42 AM
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Shimano freewheels offer the best performance for the $$$, ACS freewheels are crap, and if you get a 3/32 version you can run 3/32 or 1/8 chain.
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