22 votes

What is the difference between a freewheel and a hub?

The hub is the body at the center of the wheel containing the axle. It is more or less just some bearings in a pair of cups that rotate around the axle. The freewheel is the mechanism that locks ...
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  • 10.9k
16 votes

What freewheel mechanism designs are used in bicycles?

Standard Pawl and Ratchet Design This design is by far the most common on bicycle freehubs, and as such the least expensive to employ. Mechanism In it's simplest form, this design consists of a ...
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  • 1,901
15 votes

Reverse Gear in Bicycles

Such a hub exists for trike and quads . Pedal forward with 3 or 5 gears then having a coaster brake to stop . At full stop with the brake engaged continued backward pedal pressure will cause the cycle ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Why are trigger shifters so widely used, instead of the twisting grip shifters(revoshift)?

In the context of a high-end MTB designed to go quickly over difficult terrain, trigger shifters have the following advantages: They can be operated using only the thumb, without changing the grip, ...
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13 votes
Accepted

How can I lower the gear ratio on my son's bike?

The specific model of rear derailleur you have is an Acera RD-M360 SGS, produced about 2009-2011, for 7 or 8 speed drivetrains. Shimano very helpfully provides archive specifications on the product ...
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11 votes

What freewheel mechanism designs are used in bicycles?

American Classic Cam Plate Design The full name is "Six Pawl Cam Actuated Engagement System." This design is one of the more complicated ones, but according to American Classic provides a ...
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  • 1,901
11 votes
Accepted

Rusty chain and back cassette – Replace or repair?

As long as the crank arms, chain and freewheel turn freely and all as one. Without clunk's, slipping or sticking at any point there should be no need to replace any of it. The surface rust will not ...
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  • 280
11 votes

Switching a 11 speed cassette+wheel with a 8 speed freewheel+wheel. Any compatibility issues?

No sorry, this is not practical. Freewheels mostly stopped at 7 speed, and 8 speed was rare because of excess unsupported axle causing bent axles due to leverage. Your suggested plan would require ...
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  • 96.5k
11 votes
Accepted

How does one remove a old French (Maillard) sprocket set from its freewheel?

You are correct, the smallest sprocket is threaded to the freewheel on the old Maillard freewheels. Using two chain whips, one on the smallest sprocket, one on the next one up or a few farther. ...
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  • 16.1k
11 votes

What if both wheels were powered by pedalling?

Many two wheel drive mountain bikes exist. Here's one article advertising a new one: There’s been no shortage of attempts to build a workable two wheel drive bicycle over the years, but this latest ...
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  • 23k
10 votes

How can I tell if my bike has a freewheel or a cassette?

If you take the back wheel off you should be able to examine the freewheel/cassette to determine which it is. Here is a picture of some common types. If yours doesn't look like one in the picture, ...
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  • 21.2k
10 votes
Accepted

What's the point in a freewheel/cassette with incrementally sized rings?

The point is efficiency. Cyclists actually have quite a narrow optimal power band. Most of us can bang away at a cadence of 50 rpm, up to about 90 rpm. Some of us pedal faster - 90 to 120 rpm. At ...
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  • 17k
10 votes

Reverse Gear in Bicycles

While it may be possible, by creating a mechanism that shifts the chain from one freewheel to another, or disconnecting one temporarily through mechanical actuators, the hassle and engineering it ...
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  • 9,051
10 votes

Terminology: coaster brakes vs free wheel?

It doesn't make much sense to insist on one thing being the opposite of another, so let's just focus on what these things are, and you can decide for yourself what, if anything, is "opposite" of what. ...
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9 votes

What's the point in a freewheel/cassette with incrementally sized rings?

From personal experience, having just changed to a cassette with less range, I have to say that smaller steps definitely offers some advantage. I went from an 8-speed 11-32 to a 12-23. Having a ...
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  • 21.2k
9 votes

What freewheel mechanism designs are used in bicycles?

Star Ratchet and variations This design in it's simplest form is used by DT Swiss. This design incorporates easily replaceable ratchet plates that offer the added benefit of every engagement point ...
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  • 1,901
9 votes

How can I lower the gear ratio on my son's bike?

While not suggesting its the best option, another option from a new cassette is a 30 tooth chainring. which will give close to same ratios as a 14-34 cassette. Square taper cranks can often be picked ...
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  • 39.4k
8 votes

How many freewheel thread sizes are there?

The ISO freewheel thread standard is 1.375" x 24tpi Most freewheels I have encountered have been ISO. Some hubs use "British" threading at 1.370" x 24tpi If you use an ISO freewheel on a British ...
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  • 3,811
8 votes
Accepted

Can we turn a fixie bike into a freewheeler?

You can buy a flip hub rear wheel where one side is fixed, the other free (Some bikes even come with them). You just take the wheel off, flip sides and put it back on. Brakes will depend on the frame ...
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8 votes

Removing an unusual freewheel

The Park Tool FR-3 should fit that. https://www.parktool.com/product/freewheel-remover-fr-3
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8 votes

Just replaced axle on rear wheel. It is loose at first but as soon as I ride it, it tightens and wheel no longer rotates. Help!

I have sometimes made the mistake of not tightening the locknuts enough, causing the rotation of bearings to drag the cone, tightening it enough for the bearing to bind. The solution is to properly ...
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  • 10.5k
8 votes

0W-20 engine oil for freewheel pawls?

Engine oils are generally a bad idea on a bike. They tend to be quite liquid and will dribble out over time. Engine oils are also known to grab and hold dirt, because that's one of their purposes in ...
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  • 96.5k
8 votes

What to do with a busted freewheel on a vintage road bike?

Given the freewheel is toast already, there's no harm in disassembling it to attempt a refurb. If it breaks, it was already failed and you're no worse off. Start by removing the freewheel and ...
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  • 96.5k
7 votes
Accepted

Is this an unsuitable cassette lockring tool?

I think thats a Shimano freewheel, rather than a cassette. A Shimano freewheel needs a tool like a Park Tool FR-1 (or FR-1.2 or FR-1.3), which has 12 splines and a diameter of around 23 mm rather ...
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  • 45.5k
7 votes

What freewheel mechanism designs are used in bicycles?

Sprag Clutch The sprag clutch has existed in industrial applications for some time: being used in motorcycles, helicopters, airplanes, automotive transmissions, and others. As far as I know, Onyx is ...
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  • 1,901
7 votes
Accepted

How to remove this Shimano cassette (actually: freewheel)?

Thats a Shimano freewheel, not a cassette. You need a freewheel remover like Park Tool FR-1 to remove it. Note that this is not the same tool as the cassette tool (e.g. Park Tool FR-5 for Shimano-type ...
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  • 45.5k
7 votes

Could I replace a hub on a wheel?

Simple answer: yes, but it’s not worth doing. Cost of hub, spokes, nipples and having wheel rebuilt will exceed the cost of a new wheel. Even if you re-use the spokes a new wheel will still be ...
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7 votes

Could I replace a hub on a wheel?

Yes - I have personally done this, by installing an 8 speed cassette freehub into a wheel that had a 6 speed freewheel. The donor was a 26" MTB wheel, and the recipient was a 20" wheel for my folding ...
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  • 96.5k
7 votes

How can I lower the gear ratio on my son's bike?

Shimano makes the TZ510 7-speed freewheel which is 14-34 teeth. It generally retails for under $20. You'll need to get a "freewheel removal tool" which is a splined tool on one side while ...
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  • 6,868
7 votes
Accepted

Are freewheels really that prone and susceptible to bent axles?

It almost certainly won't happen with a cassette hub. It can happen on standard axle cassette hubs, but it takes a lot, and there's basically always a dropout alignment problem at work in addition to ...
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