Freewheel rear hub- keep or replace?

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Freewheel rear hub- keep or replace?

Postby Sares » 3 Aug 2009, 7:56pm

I use my main bike for commuting and touring. It's fairly old, with a 6-speed freewheel (not cassette) on the rear wheel. The rim and spokes of the rear wheel need replacing, and I'm trying to decide what to do with the hub.

I could keep it in the new wheel (I will build the wheel myself), but then it would probably need replacing before the rest of the wheel. It's ok, but showing some signs of wear inside. I've replaced the bearings once before. Or, I could try to replace it with a similar hub, but the only one I can find seems expensive for what it is(£50) and they are obsolete, so not going to get any easier to source. Or, I could replace it with a freehub/cassette or internal hub gears but then I'd have to pay more for those and also replace the shifter (it's indexed and 6-sp cassettes are also obsolete) and chain. I'm trying not to spend too much on this. Is keeping the existing hub or replacing it like for like with an obsolete hub type thrifty, or false economy?

Thanks for any advice on this.

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Re: Freewheel rear hub- keep or replace?

Postby hamster » 18 Aug 2009, 10:34pm

Personally I'd replace it with a modern MTB or road hub as the old stuff costs more as it's enthusuast material and the modern screw-on freewheel hubs are only made for cheap sub-£100 bikes.

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Re: Freewheel rear hub- keep or replace?

Postby gaz » 20 Aug 2009, 9:35am

Personally I'm happy stuck in the 20th Century with threaded freewheel hubs. I'm quite fortunate that they are all cartridge bearing models, effectively I get brand new cups and cones every time I change bearings.

That said I accept the mechanical advantages of freehubs and that only lower quality freewheels are now available.

My mileage doesn't justify an upgrade and it would upset my chosen gear ratios as well.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

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Re: Freewheel rear hub- keep or replace?

Postby Phil_Lee » 21 Aug 2009, 1:27am

If you change from 6sp freewheel to a freehub design, you'll also need to cold set the frame, as the new hub will be wider.
Not a show-stopper on a steel frame, but worth bearing in mind.