Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Bice
Posts: 30
Joined: 18 May 2020, 7:33pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Bice » 20 Nov 2020, 6:23pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:
PT1029 wrote:I repair bikes for a living.
Over 20+ years I have replaced countless broken rear axles on bikes with screw on freewheels - most for not over weight people who use their bikes for commuting only.
I have NEVER seen a broken cassette hub rear axle (or even bend).
Better design, and probably better metal too.


Cycling 40y. Absolutely agree. Never broke an axle on a cassette hub axles. Broke loads on freewheel hubs. Not only that, if you don't spot the broken axle your chainstay can break due to metal fatigue. I'd a few of these.


Interesting. 35 years commuting and pottering around London with shopping etc and I have never broken one.

I have broken two steel frames, though. One Trek hybrid which had a lifetime guarantee on the frame. "Ah, but have you got a receipt"" asked the man at Evans, hoping it would have gone astray over the previous 10 years or so. "As a matter of fact, I have ..." And I produced a scrap from the early Nineties.

The result was a free alloy 3x Trek hybrid seven speed that my daughter happily abuses to this day.

The other was an old Claude Butler mixte frame, rescued as abandoned in the office car park. (I used to get loads of abandoned bikes given to me by security and I would get them going and hand them over to the neighbours' children.)

Here's the break:

Image

Here's the bike. Mixte frames are pretty flexy, but can look cool especially with drops and a step-through frame is great as a commuter / shopper. Best of all I could leave it anywhere in the confident expectation that it would not be nicked:

Image

And then I broke the front fork of my Carlton Courette in Parliament Square. Or, more likely, noticed it was completely gone at that point. I happily rode the bike home another five miles.

Image
Daily: Carlton Courette 1982 mixte frame, 42, 32, 22 7-speed on Tiagra
Favourite: Lazzaretti steel 1996 10-speed 48/34
Trek 1.7 10-speed triple 2010;
Ciocc steel 1984 50/34 7-speed used for Eroica in Italy
Marin Bolinas Ridge MTB c1995, 7-speed triple

slowster
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby slowster » 20 Nov 2020, 6:38pm

Bice wrote:I have ordered the set of SLX on eBay

If you are getting a new 7 speed rear hub and building it into a wheel, you might want to stock up on a few spare cassettes. I think you can still easily buy 11-28 or 12-28 7 speed cassettes and I imagine those ratios will continue to be available. However, for heavily loaded touring in the mountains you would probably be better off with a 14-32 cassette. These cassettes have been discontinued by Shimano, but you can still buy them, e.g. on Ebay.

Bice
Posts: 30
Joined: 18 May 2020, 7:33pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Bice » 20 Nov 2020, 6:46pm

slowster wrote:
Bice wrote:I have ordered the set of SLX on eBay

If you are getting a new 7 speed rear hub and building it into a wheel, you might want to stock up on a few spare cassettes. I think you can still easily buy 11-28 or 12-28 7 speed cassettes and I imagine those ratios will continue to be available. However, for heavily loaded touring in the mountains you would probably be better off with a 14-32 cassette. These cassettes have been discontinued by Shimano, but you can still buy them, e.g. on Ebay.


Good point. I actually bought three Sram ones 14-32 from SJS, and I have one on the Carlton Courette, which has a Tiagra freehub. I guess basic bikes are 8-speed now.

CORRECTION They are 12-32
Last edited by Bice on 23 Nov 2020, 8:41am, edited 1 time in total.
Daily: Carlton Courette 1982 mixte frame, 42, 32, 22 7-speed on Tiagra
Favourite: Lazzaretti steel 1996 10-speed 48/34
Trek 1.7 10-speed triple 2010;
Ciocc steel 1984 50/34 7-speed used for Eroica in Italy
Marin Bolinas Ridge MTB c1995, 7-speed triple

nsew
Posts: 520
Joined: 14 Dec 2017, 12:38pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby nsew » 20 Nov 2020, 6:58pm

On a 7sp hub you can use 7 speed spacers with 8 speed sprockets. Run 8 from 9 using 9sp shifters. Run 9 from 10 using 10sp shifters. There’s also a SRAM 12-32.

Bice
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Joined: 18 May 2020, 7:33pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Bice » 20 Nov 2020, 7:20pm

nsew wrote:Good man. Spa are recommending Sapim Strong on the drive side due to the dish caused by a larger 8 sp freehub. With a 7 speed this is unnecessary. Here’s the tech doc for the STX MC32

https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/stor ... -1485C.pdf

Notice on the drive side there is a 1.5mm spacer (4). This can be removed and fitted to the NDS side giving a further net gain of 3mm decrease in dish (or thereabouts) resulting in an almost dish free wheel which in turn can use identical double butted spokes on both sides. The Sapim Race are a good choice.


Very useful tip. I have a Sram x7 14-32 and will put it in the drop-out after moving the spacer to see it clears the stay and the chainline is good. I probably should open up the hub to see the bearings anyway, given that it will have been hanging around for 25 years.

Seven speed is very forgiving, in my experience. With the 10-speed Campag Record I did, the space between the chain on highest gear and the frame stay is barely visible at all. I only know it exists because there is no noise, or scratch, and when there is tension the gap increases as the chain rises a bit.
Daily: Carlton Courette 1982 mixte frame, 42, 32, 22 7-speed on Tiagra
Favourite: Lazzaretti steel 1996 10-speed 48/34
Trek 1.7 10-speed triple 2010;
Ciocc steel 1984 50/34 7-speed used for Eroica in Italy
Marin Bolinas Ridge MTB c1995, 7-speed triple

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 20 Nov 2020, 7:45pm

Hi,
hamster wrote:
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Using an eight speed shifter on a seven speed cassette.
The end sprockets will be 0.6 mm out of alignment.
With modern chains and the amount of slopp in the pulley wheels and chain clearance, Bearing in mind that with When you shift gear you don't have to shift the full distance for the chain to catch/swap gear.
Then no wonder that it will work quite Satisfactorily on most set ups.


Which means that all the cable errors etc have to be taken up only 0.4mm left of jockey float.
Indeed, you have to set it up in the middle of the cassette, not from the smallest cog. Yet did you know that Shimano systems have longer pull for the first shift to take up all the slack?

It's probably fine on a road bike in the dry. Bitter experience with MTBs says it's a waste of time. If you tolerate rattly gears in the same way that many seem blissfully unaware of scraping front mechs then go ahead and fill your boots.

My personal example was that on a 7 speed cassette and eight speed acera changer was that it worked fine.
The bike is a hack but the changing was faultless even with a very cheap rear derailleur.

OH...............I see you have edited my post when you quoted :?

NA Wrote-
"Hi,
Using an eight speed shifter on a seven speed cassette.
The end sprockets will be 0.6 mm out of alignment.
With modern chains and the amount of slopp in the pulley wheels and chain clearance, Bearing in mind that with When you shift gear you don't have to shift the full distance for the chain to catch/swap gear.
Then no wonder that it will work quite Satisfactorily on most set ups.

Ideal no but there you go."


I am not arguing its perfect when its not, just that it works fine enough for most.

The truth of the matter was when I originally posted I did so based on my experience not thinking that there was a difference :(

But just like building wheels, the best components mean nothing on a poor build.................use cheap parts that have been assembled correctly and they come close to the former if not exceed expectations.

Back to what I would do-

I find that Sputnik rims if they are the same I used (mine 700) are just an over kill for touring, my opinion only.
I would get hold of a second hand MTB with a cassette 7 or 8 speed and swap over the parts.
Agreed alivio hubs is all you need thats early 90's stuff :)
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

Brucey
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Brucey » 20 Nov 2020, 8:56pm

re using 8s shifters on 7s sprockets; there is a complication which is that the cable pulls are not uniform but instead get longer as the larger sprockets are engaged. In 8s the largest sprocket is approximately 8 x 4.8 = 38.4mm leftwards of the inside of the RH dropout. In (carefully set up) 7s the largest sprocket is set approximately 7 x 5 = 35mm left of the dropout. So the 3-2 pull ratio in 7s is slightly different from the 3-2 pull ratio in 8s. Also the indexing only matters on sprockets 2-6 in a 7s setup; in gears 1 and 7 the mech limit screws set the gear. This all means that if you use clicks 1-7 in an 8s shifter to operate 7s, you end up using the longer cable pulls in the shifter when the mech is closer to the dropout, meaning that the mech moves slightly more than 4.8mm per shift in most of the shifts. This mitigates the mismatch between the shifter and the cassette spacing to some extent. [Also I'd note that 7s is meant to be 5.0mm pitch but it very rarely is, not quite; in uniglide 7s I have seen the whole stack compressed by over 1mm and in HG the same thing can happen if the lockring is retightened a few times. I got so cheesed off with the instability of UG (if you pedal hard the top sprocket just keeps winding itself inwards again and again; plastic creeps under sustained load, so the top sprocket becomes 'loose' again after a while and just keeps winding in occasionally for ever) that BITD I went to the bother of making aluminium spacers for UG 7s sprockets. Much better.]

Re cassettes. 8s cassettes can have the smallest sprocket removed and binned (it is usually so small as to be practically useless anyway) and the remaining sprockets respaced using 7s spacers or additional spacers cut out of beer cans (as if you needed an excuse...). They then work quite well in 7s setups.

Re 7s in the long term; shimano no longer sell spare freehub bodies for 7s. I think that in many cases you can shorten an 8s freehub body and use that instead; the limiting factor is often the threading inside the body for the lockring; the length of this thread varies but to all intents and purposes you can usually remove the last ~2mm from the freehub body and still be able to fit a (slightly modified) HG lockring. You won't be able to use an 11t top sprocket; the freehub body you have made is basically a slightly longer version of the original 7s HG (pre HG-C which all HG has been since in fact), with splines extending the full length of the body, i.e. with no end relief. If needs be you can use a thin spacer between the smallest sprocket and the lockring; this has the additional feature that less crud gets between the dropout and the lockring because the gap is smaller than normal. Use a drop of threadlock on the lockring if the serrations are not positively locking such a lockring; if it backs out in use, it can cause big trouble.

Re cassette hubs and strength. I have seen (literally) hundreds of broken axles in threaded freewheel hubs of all kinds and I have been personally responsible for about a dozen such breakages. I used to carry a spare axle for my freewheel hub on tour. By contrast I have never personally seen a broken shimano freehub axle. Only recently someone posted on this forum that they had seen two or three such broken axles in well-used/abused MTBs; the first I've heard of it. However in touring use, give a little TLC, steel 10mm freehub axles are to all intents and purposes unbreakable. If using a STX freehub then the worries are that (IIRC) the freehub body has no left hand seal, and occasionally (in hard use) the hollow bolt that secures the freehub body will work loose. So I suggest running the hub in semi-fluid grease (which will slowly pass through the freewheel mechanism, thus keeping the water out whilst not gumming up the pawls) and carrying a tool to retighten the hollow bolt if necessary. With a new hub I would check it every thousand miles or so to start with. If you have no choice but to use a screw-on freewheel then it is possible to install an 'outrigger bearing' and this very greatly reduces the rate of axle breakage.

As noted above it is possible to improve the dish in most freehubs. One difference between 7s and 8s freehub bodies is that the shoulder on the LH side of the body is slightly wider in 7s. This means the largest sprocket is further from the spokes in 7s, and the wheel is more dished than it needs to be. You can machine the shoulder back slightly on a 7s freehub body if you want to address this. 1 to 1.5mm can be had this way. Alternatively you can use a dished #1 sprocket and a different 1-2 spacer and improve the wheel dish slightly that way instead. How far you take this is up to you; modern 10/11s kit runs the RD less than 1mm from the spokes in some cases, which is OK until stuff is bent, neglected or worn, and then the RD does a 'death plunge' into the spokes.

IMHO fitting a 7s cassette to an 8s wheel is something of an abomination. No need for it. Modern 'road' wheels often have a tension balance of about 50% in the rear wheel. Needless to say this is not enough for a strong reliable touring wheel. In round numbers every 1mm less wheel dish improves the tension balance by about 5%; a few mm may not seem like much but it all adds up and when packing a load for thousands of miles there is no reason not to make the wheels as good as they can be. Realistically a 7s/135mm setup can easily get you to about 85% tension balance and this will be pretty good.

FWIW when touring, having the shifters near the tops is a pretty good compromise between convenience and lack of hassle. There are a few ways of mounting various different shifters in this sort of position. I think your plan for a budget tourer is a good one and with a bit of "6P" (proper preparation prevents p-poor performance) it should be more than good enough.

cheers
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nsew
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby nsew » 20 Nov 2020, 9:42pm

This is the STX MC32 freehub with what looks like a removable seal. Very similar to the Ultegra freehub of that era. Somewhat delicate but carefully removed with a pic. Same seller as the hubs. That’s a helluva lot of grease in the photo which bodes well. Distributor stock usually comes in sealed packaging.
Image Attachments
A36374EE-3CC2-4276-BDC6-B6A5745BC740.png
0EE32E28-8BEC-45F5-84F1-303CD1B24AFF.png

Brucey
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Brucey » 20 Nov 2020, 10:02pm

There are at least three different STX 7s freehubs; FH-MC30, FH-MC32, FH-MC33. Maybe the LH seal is another difference between FH-MC30 and other STX models? FH-MC30 has no body washer, and the freehub body is a different pn to FH-MC32/33 models (which use the same freehub body as one another) even though the RH seal is common to all.

The NOS 7s stuff on ebay won't last for ever, maybe I should stock up....

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

nsew
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby nsew » 20 Nov 2020, 10:52pm

I’d overlooked STX before but these seem to tick all of the boxes for a reliable touring hub. Another cheat (other than removing the right side spacer) to reduce dish that I’ve used to good effect is to add 2mm of spacer to the left side and reduce the exposed axle thread to 4mm at either end. Creating a 137mm OLN. This has resulted in 110 / 120 kgf spoke tension. If I had the kit to shave off the shoulder of the freehub the wheel would likely be near as dammit symmetrical.

Brucey
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Brucey » 20 Nov 2020, 11:44pm

sounds good. The STX hubs I've used have had well polished cones in the main bearings and I don't think you can reasonably expect to get better bearings or main seals. Maybe IDRC about the left body seals in STX freehub bodies I've used in the past, but then again maybe they were FH-MC30s and are different; I'll check into that when I get a chance.

Although I'm thinking about stocking up I think I already have three sets of nice brown ('chromica bronze' apparently) STX hubs stashed somewhere; I have had them squirreled away for at least 15 years, I think they are MC32 model. I also have a nice set of brown mavic rims and a (very) brown MTB to put them into, too... what a colour scheme!

cheers
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 21 Nov 2020, 1:20am

Brucey wrote:sounds good. The STX hubs I've used have had well polished cones in the main bearings and I don't think you can reasonably expect to get better bearings or main seals. Maybe IDRC about the left body seals in STX freehub bodies I've used in the past, but then again maybe they were FH-MC30s and are different; I'll check into that when I get a chance.

Although I'm thinking about stocking up I think I already have three sets of nice brown ('chromica bronze' apparently) STX hubs stashed somewhere; I have had them squirreled away for at least 15 years, I think they are MC32 model. I also have a nice set of brown mavic rims and a (very) brown MTB to put them into, too... what a colour scheme!

cheers

Guess what, I got the bronze cranks complete barely a scratch and the derailers.
RC stx hubs and rear derailleur.
The year after the RC is bronze so is the stx Loverly :)
Oh 94 even better.............thats what you got I suppose?
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/v/M ... gues/1994/
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/v/M ... gues/1995/
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/gallery2/v/M ... gues/1996/
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1994 - STX SE.jpg
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

Bice
Posts: 30
Joined: 18 May 2020, 7:33pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Bice » 21 Nov 2020, 9:58am

Brucey wrote:....Re cassettes. 8s cassettes can have the smallest sprocket removed and binned (it is usually so small as to be practically useless anyway) and the remaining sprockets respaced using 7s spacers or additional spacers cut out of beer cans (as if you needed an excuse...). They then work quite well in 7s setups.

...
IMHO fitting a 7s cassette to an 8s wheel is something of an abomination. No need for it. Modern 'road' wheels often have a tension balance of about 50% in the rear wheel. ...

FWIW when touring, having the shifters near the tops is a pretty good compromise between convenience and lack of hassle. There are a few ways of mounting various different shifters in this sort of position.


Very interesting, and the advanced course, grinding down the hub shoulder etc.

More basic, how are you separating the 7-speed cluster / block? This would be a good way of keeping these scarce 32T going longer. Do you have to drill them out? Is it a DIY job? 10-speed gears are all loose, thank God.

I put the Tiagra on my Carlton Courette commuter just because I had it lying around and I wanted to upgrade a bit. I used it for years with an ancient 27 inch wheel and a six speed freewheel and a 46T chainring. But then decided to make it more versatile for seeing people in the country, where there are hills, hence the now quite fancy MTB chainrings and the Sram 14-32 cassette. But it is not an ideal wheel. With 32 spokes and a Mavic Open Sport rim, it is a bit too fine for a bike used every day and almost always laden.

As Londoners, our bikes are our means of transport. My wife has worked in the office throughout lockdowns, and cycles on her Pashley everyday. I don't go into the office much now, but use the Carlton or the Marin every day for chores and meetings. (We have an ancient Volvo, but it is hardly used and when it dies / is banned by ULEZ I reckon we might just hire in future.)

But this does not mean we spend out on the bikes: the ancient Pashley was found abandoned, with ruined wheels; the Carlton cost 27 pounds; the Marin 85 pounds on eBay. Sure the butterfly bars, decent brakes and the mount for the downtube shifters were a lot more. None the less, these STX hubs and wheels amount to quite an investment.
Last edited by Bice on 21 Nov 2020, 10:12am, edited 1 time in total.
Daily: Carlton Courette 1982 mixte frame, 42, 32, 22 7-speed on Tiagra
Favourite: Lazzaretti steel 1996 10-speed 48/34
Trek 1.7 10-speed triple 2010;
Ciocc steel 1984 50/34 7-speed used for Eroica in Italy
Marin Bolinas Ridge MTB c1995, 7-speed triple

Bice
Posts: 30
Joined: 18 May 2020, 7:33pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Bice » 21 Nov 2020, 10:10am

Bit late, as I have ordered the Sputniks, but how do they ride?

I like the feel of the Marin as it is, with perky Continental slicks. It is a really comfortable, neat little bike.

Will the Sputniks deaden this? Hopefully not.

I know tourers love their Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, but I detested them on the 700c wheels of the Carlton. They killed the feel of the bike; were far too hard; and very slippery: I came off on some diesel and blame the Marathon Pluses.

They got better after a year or so of use, and I think would have been happier slightly less inflated. But I found them the nastiest tyres I have ever used. I now use some cheap, light Kendo tyres, that just feel so much better. I have had one puncture in two years, and I am more than happy to live with that.

Maybe the Marathon Pluses are better on 26 inch; maybe they are a huge advantage on heavily loaded bikes. But I like the Continentals for the riding I am doing at the moment.

I still have the Marathon Pluses, but they are unused in the cellar. I loved Schwalbe Marathon non-Pluses, which I thought were the perfect compromise for some puncture resistance.
Daily: Carlton Courette 1982 mixte frame, 42, 32, 22 7-speed on Tiagra
Favourite: Lazzaretti steel 1996 10-speed 48/34
Trek 1.7 10-speed triple 2010;
Ciocc steel 1984 50/34 7-speed used for Eroica in Italy
Marin Bolinas Ridge MTB c1995, 7-speed triple

Brucey
Posts: 41359
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Should I worry about freewheel axle?

Postby Brucey » 21 Nov 2020, 12:15pm

if you have a 7s altus rear hub and HB-CT91 (altus) front hub then it is probably FH-CT91 rear hub you have although it could be FH-CT90 I suppose.

https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/storage/pdf/en/ev/FH-CT91/EV-FH-CT91-2056.pdf
https://si.shimano.com/api/publish/storage/pdf/en/ev/FH-CT90-7NT/EV-FH-CT90-7NT-1418A.pdf

IME either is a pretty reasonable freehub (but not as well sealed as STX) and there is no reason why it should suddenly fail. I'd service it and

a) make sure the RH cone and locknut are properly tight and/or use Loctite on the cone (to prevent precession) and
b) check/Loctite the hollow bolt

then ride.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~