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Replacing Maillard Freewheel(8 posts)

Replacing Maillard Freewheeljagiger
Feb 14, 2002 7:01 AM
I've found that it's generally ok to replace a 5-speed with other freewheels, but I saw that the Maillard Helicomatic is special. Mine is from Maillard but not Helicomatic. Are my choices still limited? If I wanted to change to 7 or 8-speed should I have the lbs do this? Thanks for helping bring new life to my vintage '75 Peugot!
Axle length issues...Cima Coppi
Feb 14, 2002 7:35 AM
Before moving away from your 5 speed freewheel, you will need to install a longer axle to fit the cogs. If you move to an 8 speed Maillard freewheel (which Performance still sells!!), you will need a 130mm axle on the rear hub. If you find a 6 or 7 speed freewheel, you can use a 126mm axle. I believe your Peugiot has a 120mm axle spacing between the dropouts.

Feb 14, 2002 8:27 AM
Once you overcome the axel length issues, which are pretty easily remedied, you'll probably need to re-dish the wheel slightly to overcome the larger freewheel. Check out:
for some great explanations on upgrading.
re: Replacing Maillard FreewheelRusty Coggs
Feb 14, 2002 7:41 AM
If it's not heliomatic,then it's probably 'standard' freewheel threading. Sticking with no nore than 7 speed presents fewer potential issues.
re: Replacing Maillard Freewheelsprockets
Feb 14, 2002 11:57 AM
Contrary to what some people may tell you, that fact that you are still in the "freewheel" world -as am I-does limit your choices, but that really isn't a big problem for the time being. We are running out of freewheels, and hubs that hold them. Good freewheels are hard to come by. Also contrary to what you may be told, the fact that you have a freewheel doesn't mean you need to convert in order to be a real bicyclist.

First thing, try putting a 6 and then a 7 speed freewheel on the hub, mount the wheel and see how things look. You might be good to go. Over the years, when I upgraded the freewheels on my bikes-and this is without spreading the stays-there were sometimes a few instances in which I could not use smallest cog because the chain would hit the seat stay, but I locked the derailleur from going that far and all is well. The lost cog isn't a problem for me usually. In no situation did I need to add a new axle, it was long enough already-but I didn't spread the stays, either.

You should determine what your rear spacing is and if it is less than 126, and the above dry run of mounting a freewheel and seeing how it looks results in a sad sight, then you might want to consider the need to space out the stays.. If you need more room for sure, and if you are not comfortable with just stretching out the stays a bit, and bending the dropouts a bit, you should get your LBS to do that and make sure the frame is aligned, too.

I don't know if a 7 speed will fit where a 5 speed once sat UNLESS you spread, but you should check it out, put one on and see how it fits. A 6 speed might fit. I don't think a freewheel comes in 8 speed. Cassette, yes. Freewheel? I have never seen one, but maybe that's just me.

Another interesting solution to the problem of wider range of gears is to mount a mountain bike triple on your BB. That will give you a wide range of gearing, but also require some new derailleurs,etc.
there is still a lot if you look aroundsecourir
Feb 14, 2002 12:52 PM

and if you look closely at the following 3 links

these are just some options and there are many more so you dont need to start hording them. some reasonably cheap and of good quality and some way overpriced.

even campy superlight 6 speeds, everest, regina, maillard and other european freewheels can be found new but for a bit of a price. personally i think about 7 speeds is enough but i have seen 8 speeds tht work fine on 130mm hubs and spacing. just make sure you do all the calculations and have the right threading.

the option of freewheels is dying but certainly not dead.
and wont be for a long time in my opinion. and if it does stop being made im sure someone will start remanufacturing them as die hard and retro fans have money to spend and not everyone needs 18 or 20 speeds.
Loose screwsjs
Feb 14, 2002 1:03 PM
has tons of Regina 5s... you could also consider replacing cogs if the guts are OK. Or you could replace the entire drivetrain, like some would rather do.
Thanks for the Info/Sources [nm]jagiger
Feb 15, 2002 9:04 AM