Suntour freewheel advice

cartoonist
cartoonist Posts: 9
edited October 2009 in Workshop
Hello. First post here.

Having taken a break from serious cycling for about 16 years I'm planning to get back into it. I recently bought this bike on ebay to get going on over the winter whilst I decide whether to buy a new one and how much to spend if I do, etc. I'm quite pleased with it - Reynolds 653, Campag etc, the sort of bike I wouldn't have been able to afford first time around. Here's a picture (please don't mock my taste in handlebar tape):

IMG_1067.jpg

One of the first problems I have is that the range of gears are those you'd need for serious road racing and I'm not quite at that level yet. I need to change the rear freewheel/cassette kind-of-thing but am in some doubt as to exactly what kind it is:

IMG_1079.jpg

I think it says Suntour on it but it isn't that clear. Have consulted the invaluable Sheldon Brown site it doesn't look like the Suntour one shown there.

My questions are therefore (a) What is it? and (b) What should I replace it with - would it have to be another Suntour one? (c) Is this something I could do myself with the right tools or will I save hassle by going to a bike shop?

Comments

  • This looks to me like a Suntour freewheel.
    You will need a specific Suntour 2 prong remover which you attach to the outer part of the freewheel so the 2 prongs fit in the corresponding slots in the freewheel body(first removing the QR). then reinsert the QR through the middle after temporarily removing the QR springs, and using the qr to hold the remover onto the body. You can then use a large spanner to remove the freewheel from the threaded hub. If the freewheel has not been fitted with loadsa grease on the threads it will be practically welded on -well corroded anyway, so it may be wise to take it to a bike shop ---a remover costs £5-£10 and they only fit a specific make , so you would need to buy another freewheel remover to attach and remove your new one. Spa cycles still sell freewheels here http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s112p0

    and it looks like a narrow 6 speed on your bike ,so any 6 or possibly 7 speed will fit the wheel. depends on frame/axle width and rear mech. If you can squeeze in a 7sp the Zenith ones work well-I have them on a couple of bikes.

    Nice bike--it probably rides better than a lot of new ones.

    Rich
  • geoff_ss
    geoff_ss Posts: 1,201
    That type of freewheel remover is fairly universal. I have a tobacco tin full of various types of freewheel remover and sort through until I find one that fits :)

    If desperate and you're not bothered about preserving the freewheel you can take it apart by undoing the bearing cap with a punch and small hammer (LH thread IIRC). The bearings will fall out as will the pawl and springs. The it's easy to grip in a decent vice and unscrew it using the wheel as a lever. I've resorted to this kind of brutality when a tandem block has tightened really hard through a combination of low gears and two pairs of legs.

    Not sure if good quality freewheels are still easily found but you can replace it with any 6 speed block. I used to favour Maillard because individual sprockets were readily available and I could choose my own ratios as well as only replace a worn sprocket when a new chain caused jumping.

    Looks a very nice frame which will be quite lively. You could also fit a different chainset with more appropriator chain rings for non-racing use. One of beauties of non-indexed gears is the ease you can mix 'n' match transmission components.

    Geoff
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
  • Thanks for these responses - very useful. First step is to get hold of a Suntour two prong remover, or indeed take it to a bike shop, and take things from there.

    In the meantime I will confine myself to extremely flat roads. This will, I think, be possible where I live (South Essex) for the time being.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Plenty of new 6/7 freewheels available on Ebay with Shimano ones going for about £8, I converted an old 80's bike to 7 speed with one of these and it gave me a nice 14-28 spread of gears at the rear.
  • Just noticed where you live.

    Herongate Cycles is a proper bike shop which should be able to help.

    They are in Herongate, just your side of Brentwood.

    Rich
  • Markos1963 - I guess I just need to be sure to get one with the correct fitting - ie a screw on freewheel.

    Rich - aha - local knowledge. Yes, I have used Herongate Cycles - we bought hybrid bikes there which we use to cycle to the pub or around the Basildoncycle paths. The guy there has always been very helpful. Will have a go myself first I think, but taking the wheel there will be my backup option.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    cartoonist wrote:
    Markos1963 - I guess I just need to be sure to get one with the correct fitting - ie a screw on freewheel.

    Rich - aha - local knowledge. Yes, I have used Herongate Cycles - we bought hybrid bikes there which we use to cycle to the pub or around the Basildoncycle paths. The guy there has always been very helpful. Will have a go myself first I think, but taking the wheel there will be my backup option.

    I think you'll find the threads are the same, at least my LBS told me so and I have'nt had any problems yet. I have done this conversion on 3 bikes now without any hassle.