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  • Hi,

    I've had a quick search but can't see anything already posted although I would have thought this would be a common query.

    I have a Langster with 48:16 gearing that I ride singlespeed for commuting duties. I inherited it from another rider and since I have owned it I have commuted 3,500 km and the freewheel is now feeling a bit graunchy.

    A few questions:

    • Are these serviceable or at least is there a grease port on them? (I'm pretty certain this one is beyond serviceable but it would be useful to know for next time)

    • Is there a recommendation on what to replace it with and from where?

    • Is there a noticeable difference between a Shimano 16T single speed freewheel available from Wiggle for £26-99 and a Dicta 16T freewheel from Mango bikes for £7-99?

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  • Most freewheels aren't serviceable. Expensive ones like the White Industries one are, and they come highly recommended, but they cost around £80 new.

    I personally also like the Shimano ones and used them happily for many years. Others don't like them. I also used Dicta with no problems, although it didn't last as long.

  • I didn't have much luck with shimano freewheels, but like fizzy said (and experienced) some do. One way to split the difference is go for a halo clickster which splits the difference between lower end shimano / Dicta / Sturmey Archer and the hot shit WI freewheels. Clicksters get good reviews and last a long time. Apparently clicksters are serviceable as well

  • Are these serviceable or at least is there a grease port on them?

    You might be able to flush it through with WD40 and follow it through with something thicker like wet chain lube. Sheldon relates the equivalent instructions for a freewheel here.

  • I've also flushed though with WD40 (or something similar) to revive a crunchy freewheel. It improved it for a few months.

    Dicta are fine but IMO the Shimano ones run smoother, quieter and last much longer.

  • Thanks all, Halo clickster 16T ordered from Winstanleys Bikes

  • You can take the front off those Shimano ones, loose ball bearings will then cascade to the ground. There are a lot. Grease it back up with not too thin or thick grease to keep the pawls operational. Fiddle for about an hour reassembling it. It will run great until it gets wet dirt inside and you have to repeat the process ha!

  • Don’t take the cover all the way off. At least not until you blast all the shit out with wd40/gt85.

    If you want you can take it off to re-lube - it does make it easier - but you’ll want to sit the freewheels in a flat surface and keep it there all the time the cover is off, bearings stay put that way.

    You can also submerge the freewheel in degreaser to get the crud out. Easing the cover slightly will allow for better flow through of degreaser and old oil and crud.

    I’ve never thought Shimano ones were worth the extra over Dictas, Clickster seemed a bit nicer when I had one.

  • Although the price of entry is high, getting a WI from the get-go makes sense...

    1. they really are fit-and-forget reliable - I've gone through 3 or 4 and they never (like never) skip a beat
    2. mine seem to last around 3 years riding in all weather and I only change them when the teeth are terminally shark-finned. I was lucky to get 6-9 months out of a Shimano MX30 before they went funky, so it actually works out cheaper in the long run
    3. MX30's are quiet, WI's sound like a death swarm of bees - I get a lot less peds walking out in front of me as a result = less grief

    YMMV and all that...

  • Yeah WI are a level above.

  • There are sealed freewheels (WI, token, profile) and unsealed ones (dicta, shimano, halo, acs, etc.) The unsealed ones will all die if used in crappy weather (~1-2 years commuting) crap gets inside and the ball bearings start to wear faster, it becomes loose or the pawls stop catching or similar. Adding oil can extend their lives a bit. The WI ones are great but a bit of a false economy as you can buy 10 dicta type freewheels for one WI one, and the WI casing is quite expensive compared to the cost of a new WI freewheel (and the last time I did that I found they now only sell the new casing with a new bearing).

    Get one that works with the standard 4 sprog removal tool.

  • profile

    Da best!

  • thanks once again.

    Thought I already had a freewheel removal tool but I can't find it in my admittedly untidy garage/workshop.

    To save me buying the wrong tool(s) can anyone confirm which Park (or other) Tool ref I need for the following?

    To remove this Shimano freewheel?

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  • and replace the Halo Clickster

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  • errr... I hate to appear dim but there are 3 tools on that page, FR-2, FR-4 & FR-6.

    I'm assuming the four pronged tool is the one I want but I can't see which FR-ref this is.

  • I did type fr-6 in that post

  • In the first line of his post he said FR 6.

    If I Google park tool FR6 I can see which one it is quite clearly.

    This is just one example of how one can navigate modern life with the aid of forums and Google. #salty

  • so you did, thanks...

  • I was visiting the Giant store in Twickenham today and asked if they had Park Tool FR-6 to buy.

    They didn't but they had one in the workshop and let me borrow it. What a top bunch of guys there.

    Existing freewheel now removed, new Clickster fitted and not only has the graunchy feeling gone but a beautiful buzzing sound is now there when I freewheel.

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  • Good work :)

  • If you have a grinder and are a bit bored, you can cut open the old freewheel, liberate all the balls and achieve a deeper understanding of freewheel construction.

  • Everyone says they're not serviceable but they're just fucking lazy :)
    They are serviceable and you can extend the life of them quite a lot.
    You can normally get the front off with a pin wrench or similar, clean everything, relube, refit and it'll be good to go until next time or until something really fails and then it's normally better to buy a replacement.

    WI might be serviceable but the spares are stupid money so for commuting you're better off with cheap and cheerful (and this is from someone who fitted a WI to his partner's commuter and watched it turn into sharkfin soup...).

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