Changing Freewheel Cassette Gears

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Alaskavan

Guest
Does anyone have any experience with changing the gears on an old freewheel cassette? My old back wheel had the new style cassette with a range of 11 - 34. When I changed to the HD Freewheel hub, I had to change to an old-style 7-speed freewheel cassette. The best I could find is 13 - 34. I miss my old 11. I'd like to switch an 11 (or smaller if it's possible), for the 13 I have. I read Sheldon Brown's article on it, and he says it's doable, and I think I could handle it, but... Are there any tricks? And where do I find an 11t gear. I can look through the parts pile. Perhaps I can find an 11 on a road bike in there. I'd appreciate any advice.
 


bluegoatwoods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,021
I hope I understand your question right. But here goes.

On multi-speed bikes the freewheel can be removed with a special tool. There are a few different tools and freewheels. But the most common type involves a tool that is shaped something like a typical socket for loosening nuts and bolts. But it will have fluted sides. It will also have a head like a bolt. Mine is larger than 3/4, I think. I just use a crescent wrench on it, so I might not have ever checked the size. Anyway you simply slide the fluted side over the axle straight into the center of the freewheel. And then the freewheel can be unthreaded from the wheel hub. It's been a little while but it seems to me that the last couple of sprockets on this free-wheel set can just pop off of it. And these can be replaced by sprockets of a different size.

But thinking about your question you seem familiar enough with all of this that you must have been through this before. Did I understand you right? Is this what you are looking for?
 

bluegoatwoods

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
3,021
Take a look at the link that Pete posted. Right in the center of the freewheel you'll see the female part of the fluting that I was talking about. And look at the smallest sprocket; you'll see that it just slides off of it's mounting teeth straight toward you. Then replace with a different size, if you'd like. The removal tool can be had at bike shops and, no doubt, online.
 
A

Alaskavan

Guest
Rats. I hate the phrase, "Out of stock. No ETA." I would have bought one if they had it.

Blue, I think you are referring to the newer cassettes that go on a freewheel hub (not to be confused with the freewheel cassette that goes on the HD freewheel hub. According to Sheldon Brown (before whom I prostrate myself) (forgive me for speaking of him in the present tense), the gears are threaded onto the freewheel, which is then threaded onto the hub. He says that they can be removed using 2 chain whips. He actually says the high (small) gears come off pretty easy, and are interchangeable between almost all mfgs.

Well, If Harris Cyclery has had the item I want, it must exist. If it exists, perhaps I can find it.
Thanks for your help.
 
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turkeyssr

Guest
You are correct, Alaskavan. The lower 2 gears come off, as part of the design, and can be replaced. I'm guessing that since you're in Alaska, you can't exactly go to the local bike shop and get an 11 tooth sprocket. At Jensonusa.com I found a 12 tooth:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CS307Z09-Shimano+E-Type+1St+Pos+Splined+Wspacer.aspx
You could buy a whole cassette and simply take off the last cog:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CS309B00-Shimano+Hg40+8-Speed.aspx

Nashbar has some cassettes that go down to 12 teeth for $15.

--John
 
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Alaskavan

Guest
Those parts at Jensonusa are Cassettes, and cogs for Cassettes. I need a cog for a Freewheel. A Freewheel Cassette is a different critter from a Cassette. The cogs for a Cassette, have teeth on the inside, and slide onto a freewheel that is part of the hub (I believe). The cogs for a Freewheel Cassette are threaded onto a freewheel which is threaded onto the hub.
Thanks for the effort.
 
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turkeyssr

Guest
Ok - that was the confusing part. It's either cassette or freewheel. I searched for freewheels with 11T and no luck for 7 speed. I did find a Sunrace with 13...
 
A

Alaskavan

Guest
Shimano aparently stopped making them in the late 90's. The DNP is a possibility. Anybody know of a dealer in the US that handles Long Yih products? Anybody got an opinion on wether a cog from an 8-speed freewheel, will thread onto a 7 - speed freewheel?
 
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