Page 1 of 1

when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 12:39pm
by Brucey
if you are an inveterate tinkerer of bikes you will sooner or later encounter a rear wheel with a screw-on freewheel which won't come off because the wheel is so trashed it just collapses more instead of allowing the freewheel to unscrew.

Options here include

a) -strapping the remains of the old rim to another rim using multiple toe straps or similar
b) - relacing the entire wheel
c) - relacing a minimum number of spokes only to allow the freewheel to be unscrewed.

I've never really gone down the a) option, b) is only really attractive if the wheel is to be rebuilt (re-rimmed) using the same spokes, so I've ended up mostly using c). For whatever reason I have found it difficult to do this even with all 18 'leading' spokes swapped into another rim. However a few days ago I released a freewheel having only relaced nine of the spokes into another rim (not even the correct size either);

Image01948.jpg
Hovering dangerously close to the bin


The thing that made the difference here I'm not entirely sure of, but it might well have been the flex-headed breaker bar; this (non-standard) one allows the handle to swing back into any plane required, including the hub flange plane. This meant that even with only nine spokes engaged, I could get everything aligned so that I could swing on the breaker bar without the hub trying to twist out of plane. For some reason even with a bench vice holding the remover ( allowing the rim to achieve the same alignment), I've struggled to do this before. Of course I don't know or sure that the freewheel was as tight as others have been in the past.

In this case the axle was bent so I had to slacken the LH cone before I could even fit the remover. I'm not sure I shall ever use the freewheel either. But it shows it can be done.

cheers

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 1:36pm
by iandusud
With a large flange hub (rare now but popular in the 80s) it can be possible to strip the freewheel and leave just the body on the hub allowing access to the spoke holes on the DS allow the wheel to be rebuilt.

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 2:01pm
by Brucey
oddly enough for some years I reasoned that my chances of getting the freewheel off my large flange touring hubs were somewhat less than the chances of removing the sprockets from the freewheel body, so I used to go tooled up for that, so that in the event of DS spoke breakage I could deal with it that way. With many freewheel bodies the spoke drillings in large flange hubs are clear once the sprockets are off. It is certainly less aggro than stripping the freewheel body, provided the sprockets have been off the body before and are not set too tightly.

With small flange hubs I guess you can rebuild a broken wheel with the same spokes or use joggled spoke ends to do a repair, but if you can't do that then the freewheel has to come off, nothing else for it.

Anyway in the future I shall always try with just a quarter set of relaced spokes; if this doesn't work I can still relace more spokes and I won't have lost much.

cheers

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 4:38pm
by Mick F
I made the mistake - once - of screwing on a cassette lockring without the cassette. Not very tight, but tight enough.
Ordinarily, you would use a chain whip to hold the cassette whist you undo the lockring ................. but without a cassette?
It was a Campag rear hub with an alu cassette carrier.

How did I do it without damaging the cassette carrier?

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 21 Nov 2020, 5:37pm
by SimonCelsa
Something nautical perhaps; you applied a flat seizing with tarred marline to the cassette carrier, and fashioned a Spanish windlass using a wooden fid to hold it in position while you simply unscrewed the lockring?

Or, used a dainty 36" stilson to gently grip the carrier whilst unscrewing..........

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 9:31am
by Mick F
I used a strap-wrench.
Fabric strap thingy with a half-inch socket, designed to remove oil filters from cars.

Like this.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DRIVE-1-2-OI ... 1331275965

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 7:51pm
by foxyrider
when i started to ride seriously, think age 13, i was given a nice but well used rear sprint wheel Campag l/f 28 on a Medal d'or rim. The rim however had a bit of a ding in it so i set about preparing it for a replacement rim, it was only after i'd chopped the spokes out that i was informed of the need to remove the freewheel before removing the spokes. bgr. My uncle, donor of the wheel, worked for Holdsworth at the time so next time we visited from way up north, i took the hub and very shamefaced explained my error. Off to Shooters Hill and no doubt a favour or two called in, the block and hub were seperated without damage to either. clearly it wasn't the first time they'd done it, some sort of pronged arrangement sat in the slots of the flange and a big handle and grunt on the remover.

I used the rebuilt wheel for over twenty years afterwards, a great hub even if it did go through axles about yearly! :lol:

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 8:16pm
by cycle tramp
Brucey wrote:
Options here include

a) -strapping the remains of the old rim to another rim using multiple toe straps or similar
b) - relacing the entire wheel
c) - relacing a minimum number of spokes only to allow the freewheel to be unscrewed.

cheers


If you're really brutal and don't care about saving the hub there's also;

x) cut the hub from the wheel saw off two parts of the flange (making the cuts parallel) before putting the hub in a very secure vice...
Y) remove hub from the wheel, remove the axle and then nail or screw the hub securely to a big lump of wood using the empty spoke holes (you may have to make them bigger using a hand drill)

...so far I've never had to do either.. but I am looking forward to trying Y. I'll post photos of any resulting injuries:-)

p.s. I am in awe of your freewheel remover. That's a great piece of kit :-)

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 8:49pm
by Brucey
cycle tramp wrote:….p.s. I am in awe of your freewheel remover. That's a great piece of kit :-)


I made the breaker bar myself (can you tell? :shock: :oops: :oops: :lol: ). Its main purpose was for working on disc brake calipers on cars, where being able to bring the handle back more than 90 degrees (which you can't do very well with most commercial flex-headed breaker bars) means you can often work with the breaker bar handle outside the wheelarch, and/or without a deep socket trying to cam out. It also reaches around corners slightly, which can be handy too. The 1/2" drive version in the photo worked so well I also built a 3/4" drive version, and this has bullied all kinds of things into submission, often with a 6' extension on it. Again being able to bring the bar back more than 90 degrees means sockets don't want to cam out.

cheers

Re: when the wheel is too trashed to get the freewheel off....

Posted: 22 Nov 2020, 8:58pm
by Brucey
foxyrider wrote:…. the block and hub were seperated without damage to either. clearly it wasn't the first time they'd done it, some sort of pronged arrangement sat in the slots of the flange and a big handle and grunt on the remover.....


I wonder what they used exactly? I have wondered about using a spare rim and some joggle-ended spokes myself

FWIW I also have a couple of hubs + freewheels which have been similarly treated (not by me) so I shall be going through a similar loop. My current 'best plan' is to weld the spoke ends (still in the DS flange, but too short to do anything else with) to something and then swing like a chimp.

cheers