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Freewheel questions(4 posts)

Freewheel questionsscottfree
Apr 29, 2002 4:28 AM
How many miles do you get out of your freewheels? My last two were cheapo Sunraces from Rivendell, and they were pretty much toast after maybe 3000 miles. I just installed a new (and, by comparison, expensive) Sachs/SRAM, and I'm hoping for better.

Also, is there any reason freewheels are better than casettes, or do we like 'em just because that's what our bikes are equipped with? I think it's possible to say some retro things are superior (I think downtube friction is clearly superior to STI/Ergo) but I'm not sure about the freewheeel thing.
re: Freewheel questionscurlybike
Apr 29, 2002 7:26 AM
From what I have experienced, I prefer wheels with freehubs. They usually have less dish, which makes a stronger wheel. Anytime you are installing a new set of cogs, install a new chain. With close chain monitoring, the cogs should last 2-3 chains. There are others that will dispute this and your results may vary. Chain lube selection and use is critical. Chain lube opinions and choices vary widely.
re: Freewheel questionsxxl
Apr 29, 2002 10:48 AM
I've always gotten a lot of mileage out of my freewheels, like decades' worth. I'm a large rider with some torque, but I've never really worn a freewheel out. Chains, yes, hubs, sure, but I can only remember one freewheel ever giving me any trouble. Just lucky, I guess, but to me the freewheel is just one of those components that looks like it should've cost a lot more than it did, and I've always been amazed that they weren't pricey.

Having said that, I do have to agree with the other poster; freehubs are better. I have bent my share of rear axles, and I think that was the reason. Of course, I also wonder if the additional strength of the reduced dish (inherent in the freehub design) is negated by the longer axle lengths that are now being employed as drivetrains keep expanding outwards.
re: Freewheel questionsRay Sachs
Apr 30, 2002 11:17 AM
If you like to shift in friction, it's easier to find freewheels with flat or twisted tooth cogs. These give more feedback on a clean shift than do the ramped hyperglide cogs found on most cassettes (where everything sounds just fine until you stand up and stomp on the pedals, only to find you didn't have the derailure centered and the ghost will shift the chain). Other than that though, I can't think of an advantage to freewheels. You won't bend an axle with a cheap freehub, you may with any freewheel style hub axle other than a Phil Wood.

This is one area where the new stuff is a definite improvment. And it's possible (although difficult) to find freehub cogs with twisted teeth.

-Ray