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  1. #1
    I like to ride my bike
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    BMX freewheel vs SS

    So this might be a really dumb question but:

    What's the difference between a BMX freewheel and some of the expensive SS freewheels?

    I've noticed that there is a large price difference and my LBS only has BMX so I would have to order one. I'm guessing that weight has something to do with it as well.

    Which would you guys recommend. I'm looking at the ENO or Surly in 16t if I go SS

  2. #2
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    Reputation: j e SS e's Avatar
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    There is only one expensive freewheel, the ENO. And yes they are significantly better than the $20 ACS, Dicta, etc. Worth every cent.

    Surly makes COGS, which fit onto a FREEHUB, such as that on a geared bike.

    FreeWHEELS thread onto threaded hubs, ala BMX style.

    So either you go with a freehub and use whatever size cogs you want (much easier to change then freewheels, BTW)

    Or, you have a threaded Single Speed or BMX hub and choose whatever size freewheel you want to thread on to it. Cheap vs. ENO freewheels isn't about weight, it's about performance and reliability, in which case the ENO's are exponentially better performers and more reliable.
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  3. #3
    metrotuned WoS
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    Freehub vs Freewheel

    Like JeSSe said, you are talking about two different applications. The ENO freewheel and the other BMX freewheels thread onto a singlespeed hub (some are flip flop). The Surly 16T is a cog, it goes onto a shimano compatible freehub. Some companies like Hope and Chris King do not have threaded hubs like Paul, White Industries, Phil Wood. Neither is a wrong choice, just as many freewheelin' as freehubin' out there in single speed land.

    This isn't 100% accurate for your application but you'll get the idea from the late, great, Sheldon Brown:



    First you need to figure out which system you have. Then ask again on MTBR. Good luck.
    #willofthesun and author of the most viewed MTBR thread: Platform Pedal Shootout

  4. #4
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    AHH Interesting!

  5. #5
    I like to ride my bike
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    Yeah, thanks guys. I'm still learning. Figured it out a few mins after I typed it.

    I was mainly wondering if there was a difference in quality or weight or something that would justify the dfference in price between an ENO and a BMX thread on FW.

    Either way, Jesse convinced me to buy the ENO and it should be here on Friday!

    THanks for the info

  6. #6
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    The key to thread-on freewheels is the SS hub. I went cheap once with a Shimano thread-on freewheel and got screwed by the regular mtb hub. My chainline was off like 1.5"

  7. #7
    Drinking the Slick_Juice
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    on most bmx freewheels they have loose bearings and on the ENO they are sealed. the loose bearing freewheels get dirt and girt in them easier than then sealed bearing ENO's
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  8. #8
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    I just rebuilt my ENO f/w yesterday. Really easy! I was surprised at how good things looked on the internals after a couple of seasons of riding. I pretty much just wiped things down, added some nice lube and put her back together. Doesn't take a rocket scientist and expect about a nice slow beer's worth of time to do the job right.

  9. #9
    I like to ride my bike
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    OK so here's another question:

    Am I gonna need a few spacers to get the chainline straight if I'm planning on threading my ENO onto my Surly hub? If so, which spacers do you guys recommend?

    Sounds like the ENO is the way to go, I'm a sucker for quality.

  10. #10
    Got single track/speed?
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    The FW is going to screw onto the hub until it stops. Your only chainline adjustments are going to be spacing the axle or adjusting your bottom bracket. Maybe there's a spacer you can get for the hub between the FW and the stop.

    To your original question, the price difference is due to the quality. The cheap ones will start to make noise, run eccentric giving you loose/tight spots, and possibly lock-up or slip internally. If you got a good cheap one, you'll be happy for a little while and then it will start annoying the heck out of you. ACS are crap and Shimano are only a little better. I have an 22t ENO that I don't use because I radically changed my gearing. I'm now waiting until I can't take the clunking from my 16t Shimano before buying another ENO. It's tough spending $60 on a $399 bike.

    -Chuck

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