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How to convert a vintage racing bike wheel to fixie wheel

Hi everyone,

I have a vintage racing bike wheel, six gears, which does not function properly. The freewheel (hub) is not free and the chain goes slack when I coast.

I showed it to a bike shop and turns out they need to completely change the hub and rebuild the wheel.





Since I couldn't fix it myself I thought I will convert it to a fixie wheel. Is it doable? What do I need for that?

Or if anyone knows how to just fix my freewheel I can also consider that.

Thanks for your help

Posts

  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    edited 3 January
    you can pick a new 6 speed freehub up for about a tenner. if you dont have the tool to remove it then another tenner will sort you out.

    Stick the tool in a vice (or on the end of a long wrench/breaker bar) stick the wheel on it and unwind.

    Chuck the busted one away, wipe the threads clean, apply copper paste, wind the new one on and ride for the next twenty years.

    20 mins and £20 sorted

    thats your freewheel sorted, not sure why they would need to rebuild your wheel? that sounds like complete b oll ocks to me. I think a lot of shops arent interested in this sort of repair, it's difficult for them to sell you anything on top, younger or less experienced "mechanics" may poopoo older tech or simply not have the tools confidence or knowledge to fix them.

    And yet in large parts of the world bikes like that are repaired constantly and used for decades.


    EDIT, before splashing a tenner, take the freewheel off and flush it through with solvent / leave soaking over night in petrol perhaps. You may find things start working as intended once 20 years of gunge is gone. Remember to dry thoroughly and drip some oil in there, apply copper paste to the hub threads and screw the freewheel back on.

    #theydontmakethemlikethatanymore
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    Also whilst the freehub is off, you might as well clean and grease the bearings. they probably need doing as well. in fact it might be worth doing that first.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,130 Lives Here
    As above, the freewheel is not part of the hub so why would the wheel need rebuilding. It's a screw on freewheel, do what Mr37 describes above, look at some YouTube videos for removing a screw on freewheel if you're still not sure.
  • Bicelli88Bicelli88 Posts: 16
    Thank you very much. That is eye opening.
    At the bike shop they offered to rebuild the wheel for 50bucks which felt like a real rip off.

    Should I buy just any 6 speed freehub and it will be a good fit? Anything else I should take into consideration?

    Thanks again
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    chose one with approx same max gear that should be it.
  • Bicelli88Bicelli88 Posts: 16
    Awesome. Many thanks!!!
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    edited 3 January
    Actually you could try flushing it through with solvent without removing it, potentially saving you the hass of buying a tool to undo it. If you do it that way you will have to clean the hub out too and clean/ degrease / re grease but there shouldnt be any more cost, (assuming you have a suitably sized cone spanner and that it works of course)
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 4,290
    You'll need two cone spanners - one for each side (one holds in place, one undoes) but as they cost about a fiver each its not a biggie.

    so long as you take your time its actually a really nice job - top satisfaction.

    Remember not to do up FT at the end - finger tight plus half a turn because when you clamp it all up in the frame it will compress it all a bit more.

    #oooohspinny
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    heres a good tutorial on freewheel / freehub and the appropriate tool

  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 4,290
    david37 said:

    heres a good tutorial on freewheel / freehub and the appropriate tool

    #cinematography

  • Bicelli88Bicelli88 Posts: 16
    edited 4 January
    How can I remove the hub? do I need specific tools? I did not see this type in the video (Thank you!!):

  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,130 Lives Here
    That's a cassette rather than a freewheel so we have misinformed you. I must confess I thought all 6 speed were freewheel.
    A freewheel screws into the hub and the moving parts are in the gear assembly. A cassette has fixed gears and the freehub has the moving parts. That's the splined part you're holding in the second picture. It's normally removable using a large Allen key, often 11 or 12mm. You will have to identify exactly what hub and freehub you have to get a replacement.
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    edited 5 January
    maybe thats why the bike shop wanted to rebuild the wheel. i.e. replace the whole hub. and if thats the case 50 bucks is not a bad price. though i guess that wouldnt include the cost of any spokes or the hub itself.

  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,130 Lives Here
    david37 said:

    maybe thats why the bike shop wanted to rebuild the wheel. i.e. replace the whole hub. and if thats the case 50 bucks is not a bad price. though i guess that wouldnt include the cost of any spokes or the hub itself.

    Indeed, time taken trying to identify the correct freehub only to find it is NLA would soon add up.
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