I'm trying to restore an old BSA bike. I want to salvage a Sebco freewheel from a very messed up wheel.

  1. I want to know what do I need to remove it. Am a newbie home mechanic so I know nothing.

  2. Since I have to replace the rear wheel, can I swap the single speed freewheel for a 5/6 speed freewheel. It just makes the bike a little more ridable for my sister.



  1. I was planning to replace the rear with the one in the link. Is this possible?


  • 1
    Your bike doesn't have a derailleur, so installing a 5/6 speed freewheel doesn't help much.
    – ojs
    Sep 19, 2017 at 10:20
  • Specifically, adding a 5/6 speed freewheel doesn't make the bike any more ridable for anybody because there's no way of changing gear. Sep 19, 2017 at 10:50
  • yes thats true. Is it not possible to retro fit one? Since posting I have also seen there is such a thing called a gear hub which has the deraileur built into the hub itself. IS this a possibility
    – Ageis
    Sep 19, 2017 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


Getting the freewheel off:

You need a special tool that fits in the notches in the threaded part of the freewheel, which you may or may not be able to find. In any case, the freewheel is likely worn and it will definitely need servicing so you are not going to want to re-use it. Just get a new one.

A note on wheels:

Older bikes often had rim diameters that are not the same as commonly available modern wheels, you'll need to be careful about rim sizes. A slightly different size may fit the frame but you have to make sure the brakes can be adjusted to reach the rims.

Beware that the 'size' commonly given for a wheel is not the actual rim diameter. See this Sheldon Brown page for details: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rim-sizing.html

You'll also want to be similarly careful about the frame dropout spacing and axle length. See this SB page: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-spacing.html.

On retro-fitting a derailleur system:

Almost certainly not possible as your frame has too-narrow dropout spacing to take a wheel with a multi sprocket freewheel. Also, it will be expensive and a huge pain to do. better to just buy a cheap used geared bike.

On retro fitting an internally geared hub:

Technical possibility. I believe Shimano and Sturmey Archer make internally geared hubs for a range of frame dropout widths. You'll obviously have to consider whether the cost is worth it for you.

  • Ah right. I do have the original tyres thankfully. Raleigh has also been very helpful in stamping the size onto the rim. I suspect the rear rim is one of inferior quality. Since the front is almost brand new after a good clean. Where as the rear is not only covered in crap, the chrome finish has comletely faded and the cones need ajusting. There's so much wrong with it Iam just going to get a new one.
    – Ageis
    Sep 19, 2017 at 13:27
  • I did have a feeling I won't be able to fit a freewheel on it. i was hoping by some miracle I could. Ah well she will just have to grow bigger calf muscles/ pony up cash for geared hub.
    – Ageis
    Sep 19, 2017 at 13:32

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