Monday, 15 October 2012

remove pheasant brand freewheel

I've been looking at my blog's stats.... I know from my referring sites that I get almost as many visits from as I do from (people that might actually know me), and I know from the search keywords that what most people who end up on my blog really want to know is how to remove a pheasant brand freewheel!

Until now you would have been sent to my post on  dingle gearing, where you could have found a picture of a pheasant brand freewheel and a link to freewheel-destructive-removal on the Park Tools website, which probably would have helped you get your freewheel off.

But here is some more specific information which might be what you are looking for.

I have a very basic workshop without a lot of special tools... The Park Tools page gives excellent instructions, but you can get your freewheel off without a pin spanner or bench vise and it may even work better on difficult to remove freewheels. These methods will also work if you want to remove a dicta brand freewheel, an unbranded freewheel, any low cost freewheel from China or Tiawan, any freewheel without, or with inadequate fittings for a removal tool, or if you can't get the tool that fits the freewheel you have. The freewheel will be dismantled and probably damaged in the process so don't do this to an expensive freewheel that you might want to reuse.

Leave the tyre on the wheel for better grip. Sit on the floor holding the wheel with your legs. Get a hammer and a small tipped punch. You might like to wear safety glasses, and be prepared for ball bearings to go everywhere.

You can unscrew the freewheel bearing cone (the flat metal ring with the brand stamped on it), by using the punch in one of the small pin holes to drive it clockwise. Don't worry about overtightening it by turning it the wrong way, you can't do it. If it doesn't move just hit it harder...HARDER!

After you've removed the bearing cone, the rest of the freewheel will come  apart except for the inner body which is screwed on to the wheel's threaded hub. The inner body has cut outs to accomodate the pawls springing back from the outer body when freewheeling. You can place the punch against one of these surfaces and unscrew the inner body by driving it anticlockwise... this time you can drive it the wrong way, so if it doesn't move, check that you are driving it the right way... then HIT IT HARDER!

And that's it! If that's all you want to know, you can stop reading.

If you want to read about setting up a Dingle, a dual-single speed bicycle with two gearing options, or why you might want to use one, or if you want to read more of my bicycle related ramblings, then please check out the other posts on this blog.

If I get enough hits I might even think about selling advertising space.


Actually there might be a simpler way to remove a freewheel without a removal tool. (Adam's comment below got me thinking about this.)

I've described a method based on the Park Tools method of dismantling the freewheel so you can access the inner body to unscrew it off the hub. The Park Tools method uses a pin spanner to unscrew the freewheel bearing cone, then a vise to hold the inner body to unscrew it. I've said you can do both these things with a hammer and punch.

I made a bit of a mistake when I said you can't overtighten the bearing cone by driving it the wrong way. If you drive it anticlockwise, it will tighten against the inner body of the freewheel. If you keep driving it anticlockwise, and it doesn't break, it will start to unscrew the whole freewheel off the threaded hub. Which is what you are trying to do in the end. You probably can't do this with a pin spanner because the freewheel is usually too tightly screwed on to the hub, but you might be able to do it with a hammer and punch.

So try this. Just put the punch in one of the little holes on the front of the freewheel and drive it ANTICLOCKWISE.... HIT IT HARDED..... it'll just come right off!