My chain is skipping only on the smallest sprocket, and it skips with every crank turn. The chain is not stretched. Also, chainrings are almost new. Could this freewheel be the reason, it doesn't seem worn out to me (although it's old):

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  • Another pic showing the derailleur might help. Doubt its the freewheel.
    – Ken Hiatt
    Jun 7, 2013 at 5:49
  • I would check the limit screw, maybe turn it half a turn anti clockwise.
    – alex
    Jun 7, 2013 at 6:07
  • @KenHiatt: I added another pic. Jun 7, 2013 at 6:17
  • @alex: Good idea, I'll try that. Jun 7, 2013 at 6:17
  • 2
    Those rear sprockets appear to be in good condition. The derailer or hanger may be bent, or the derailer limit or the shifter may be preventing the derailer from swinging all the way to the outside. Or the chain may be too long. Jun 7, 2013 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


The reason was the sprocket after all. Changing the freewheel resolved the issue. I had some problem finding a service which has the wrench for that old Sachs/Maillard freewheels. Replaced it with standard Shimano 6-speed, and everything works smoothly now!

Thanks all for help.


Sprocket, cassette and chain match together. An old set will work well but change one part and you'll be skipping. Often people will wear out their favorite gears, change the chain and then only the less favorite gears work reliably.

The problem is that the chain will actually ride up high on the teeth, eventually so high that they're not all in position and the chain-reaction of skip occurs; the sprocket teeth graze the chain links uncontrollably in that ever-so-painful sound.

The derailleur is surely not the problem (as you noticed). If it were you would first here the clack-clack-clack from the out of alignment.

  • 1
    Actually, this is something of an old wive's tail. As a sprocket wears the "ideal" link spacing actually gets smaller. Too often people fail to replace a worn chain because they believe this, and it can cause worn but still good sprockets to become worn out fairly quickly. Dec 19, 2013 at 12:11

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