24. How to Replace A Freewheel

Demonstrates how to remove and install a traditional thread-on freewheel cluster.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Replace A Freewheel
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This video is available on DVD

VIDEO UPDATES

  • 01:21 - Apply a thin layer of grease to the hub threads before installing the freewheel.

In this tutorial we’ll learn how to remove and install a freewheel on your bike. You may remember a while back when we covered cassette removal and installation. For this job you'll need a notched freewheel remover and a large wrench or vise clamp.

Here's how the two systems differ: a cassette is a series of gears that slides onto a freewheel unit. This is a better system because it allows you to replace worn sprockets without having to replace the freewheeling component (freehub body). A freewheel on the other hand, contains both the sprockets and freehub in a single unit that threads onto the outer flange of your hub. We'll be covering removal and installation of this style today.

Click on this image to visit Sheldon Brown's page on this topic:
Cassette Freewheel

Freewheel Removal

First you'll have to remove the rear wheel from your bike. Then in some rare cases the axle nuts will be too big to allow the freewheel tool to slide into the freewheel, so you’ll have to overhaul the hub to remove them first. Now slide the freewheel remover into the freewheel and loosen it with your large wrench by holding the wheel on the firmly on the ground and turning your wrench counter clockwise.

If your freewheel is really tight, you may need to mount the tool in a vise clamp so that you can use the wheel as leverage. I don't have a clamp to demonstrate this, but once mounted in the vise, you can easily turn the wheel counter-clockwise to loosen the freewheel.

Freewheel Installation

Before installing the new freewheel, inspect the threads on the hub to make sure they aren't damaged. Be careful threading the new freewheel on, as you don't want to cross-thread it. If it feels unusually tight right away, back the freewheel off and try again until it threads on smoothly.

Tightening

To tighten a freewheel, all you have to do is get it finger tight and then re-install your wheel and go for a ride. The freewheel will tighten itself while you're pedaling!

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09/11 Stay spacing for 6-speed freewheel

I have an older frame with an ultra-6 freewheel.  When the rear wheel is removed the stays measure 122.78 (hub is a 120 for the ultra-6).  I can cold bend it out to 126, I'm sure, but do I need to if I just put a regular 6-speed freewheel on?  I'm not sure how tight that would be as far as the chain scraping the frame.  has anybody tried it?  Has anybody bent a 120 out to 126 or 130 without problems?... Read more >>

09/10 Chain wear indicators

I recently picked up a Park CC-3.2 to put in my portable bike tool-bag (12 inch ruler won't fit).  With it one of my chains that measures fine with the ruler, fails, even at the .75 side.  Reading on the subject states that the CC-3.2 doesn't take into account roller wear, which the Shimano TL-CN41 does. So, I took a popsicle stick (perfect thickness) and shaped it to press the roller nearest the drop-in end of the Park to give similar results to the Shimano and eliminate roller wear anomalies.  Sure enough, measurements come out differently, and what "failed" previously with the Park, now ... Read more >>

09/03 Changing cassette fail

Hi all. 1st time post. I am unablr to remove the cassette from my rear tyre. I followed the easy tutorial on bikeradar but havent managed to get any success.

See link to pics of my cassette and the lockring i bought. http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/Nexus62/library/Mobile%20Uploads

I think i know where i went wrong. The lockring i purchased didnt fit properly, so i just used a spanner to remove the bolt. Now all that is left on the wheel is the old cassette..

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07/26 Chain slipping off gear shifter(?)

i've recently started riding my bike for exercise. was going well for a couple weeks, but a few days ago the chain on my bike has been slipping off of what i think is the gear shifter. it is very annoying and i haven't been able to ride my bike because of it.

Edit More info: i have a Schwinn Ranger 10 speed. the gear only slips like that in high gear. it does not slip while in low gear.


i have a video of basically what happens. can't get a video of it while riding. it is a video of it slipping off stationary.



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