freewheel to freehub?

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freewheel to freehub?

Postby DaveP » 17 Oct 2007, 9:19pm

I'm setting up an old 10 speed bike as a single speed hack for winter. I've decided that I need to replace the rear wheel, which is 27x1 1/4.
I dont think that replacing with a 700c wheel will present any problems, but I dont understand the options (if any!) for hub and gears.
The original was 130mm OLN with a 5sp freewheel. Would I be likely to get away with fitting a 130 OLN freehub?
Two reasons for wanting to: the new wheel would be more versatile in possible future uses, and shimming a single sprocket on the freehub body would be an easy way to control chain line.

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Postby Si » 18 Oct 2007, 10:04am

If it's a steel bike then 5mm won't make much difference to it. Although you could just use a 135mm MTB hub: they take the same cassettes as the road ones (talking shimano here). If, for instance, you go for an 8/9 speed one then you can fit a single sprocket and space the hub out with spacers or plumber's plastic tube. This method means that it's easy to set the chain line correctly. Using a cassette hub also means that it's more flexable in the future if you decide to go for gears as you can use 7,8 or 9 spd set up on it.

Alternatively go for a screw on hub and use a BMX freewheel for the sprocket - but be warned that the seels in some are not overly weatherproof.

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Postby specialist » 18 Oct 2007, 11:20am

Did you mean 130OLN on the original? Not 120 for 5 speed? If you meant 130 then you have no problem. If 120 you will probably have to cold set or have a bit of a squeeze when you are putting the wheel in and out. 120 oln is crying out for a proper fixed hub, then you can also run fixed not just ss if you fancy. Probably more expensive than a freehub though, oddly. The other option is to just get a new rim and spokes, remove the freewheel from your current hub, and spin on a bmx freewheel. Much the cheapest if you can build up the wheel yourself.

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Postby CJ » 18 Oct 2007, 11:51am

I agree with specialist. It's unlikely that an "old 10-speed" bike, that still has it's original screw-on, 5-speed, 27×1¼ wheels, will be as much as 130mm oln. Most likely 120mm or 125mm at most.

You need a new wheel but don't say why. Presumably the rim is worn out. So get a new one (700C if the brakes can reach another 4mm) built onto the existing hub and screw a single freewheel onto that.

If the hub is worn it's probably mainly the cones and you can certainly replace those. New 120mm fixed-gear hubs are expensive, but old screw-on hubs can be had for a song at any cycle jumble - you'll sometimes also find old fixed hub bargains there too - but only if the seller hasn't heard how trendy fixed has become on the London "fakenger" scene.

You said it's a hack bike. Even a palpably rough-running hub absorbs an utterly insignificant amount of energy when you ride - makes less difference than a few psi different in the back tyre. Put in new balls and grease, adjust as best you can and forget how bad it felt when you twisted the axle in your fingers: in the general scheme of things it really doesn't matter!
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Postby PW » 18 Oct 2007, 12:13pm

If it's from the era of 5 speed & compact or standard width 6 speed it could well have been set to 128mm to cope with the impending change to 130mm. I had at least two like that, a Viscount Deore fast tourer with the first generation freehub & a made to measure by DD of Dinnington.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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Postby DaveP » 20 Oct 2007, 7:48am

Well I came back to this thread meaning to apologise for asking a question that my lbs found to be something of a no brainer...

...and found some interesting history! Thanks.

My calipers indicate the thin side of 129mm, so perhaps it is safe to conclude that it is a transitional frame rather than one that has been coldset in the past.
I didnt realise that plastic pipe could be used for spacing out a single sprocket on a freehub. That'll take a lot of the grind out of it (no pun intended, for once).
I dont want to go fixed because I hold that the other side of a hill is natures way of encouraging one to climb the side one can see :lol:
Plus, coming out of the house and struggling down a 1 in 6 cold could, I imagine, finish off a pair of dodgy knees in fairly short order.

I'm replacing the wheel because most of the drive side spokes have grooves worn in by a metal "spoke saver", all the nipples are corrosion locked, and the rim, though not worn out is an old Weinmann, which, IMHO just wont compare for strength with the more modern box section. A new freehub wheel at around £35 just seems to solve so many problems, now I know I can fit one. My initial uncertainty resulted from the rather different silhouette of the two hub styles, and this sort of issue always seems to become of concern after the shops shut!
Thanks again.