I picked up what looks to be a late 80's Columbia 'USA Racing' Women's city bike on Craigslist recently. It needs a new 5 speed freewheel, but I can't seem to figure out which remover tool to use.

The freewheel center has 12 slots, and is 22-23mm in diameter (best guess is 22.25mm). I happen to have the FR-1.2 and FR-5 and both don't fit (too big).

Also, can anyone suggest a decent freewheel for this bike for around $15? Thanks!

Columbia USA Racing Women's Bike Original Freewheel Manufacturer's Logo

2 Answers 2


You're basically going to have to do destructive freewheel removal on that. As for which freewheel to choose, check the threading when you get it off, and buy a 5 speed freewheel (chances are any 5 speed freewheel you have is ISO threaded and will probably work). The only company that I know of that still makes them is Sunrace.

  • Thanks Batman. What is the reason for the destructive FW removal? Did people always used to do this, does the removal tool not exist, or is the freewheel just proprietary/cheap and not a standard size? Jan 13, 2015 at 1:39
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    Generally, if its not one of the common Park Tool tools (which it doesn't seem to be), you're going to spend more time and money finding the proper freewheel tool (if it exists) and using it rather than just destroying it and threading on another freewheel. You don't need the old freewheel for anything, anyway, and destructive freewheel removal doesn't hurt the wheel, so theres no harm in doing it.
    – Batman
    Jan 13, 2015 at 14:27

Take it to your favorite IBD- they can explain and illustrate much better. They might even show you how to do a destructive freewheel removal! Since bikes age in "dog years", and the correct tool to remove it (thick -boss Shimano) hasn't been made since the '90's), your shop may not have the correct tool unless they have been around for a while. IBD freewheel removal should be about $5 or so plus freewheel, if you bring just the wheel.

  • You also have to be confident with your bearing service skills. Most require axle removal to get the tool to fit in the freewheel.
    – mikes
    Jan 13, 2015 at 21:47
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    I think IBD = LBS (local bike shop) in this answer, and I think most places would probably charge significantly more. Destructive freewheel is easy if you own a hammer and a small punch (remember, you're just taking things apart, not putting them together).
    – Batman
    Jan 14, 2015 at 15:44

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