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  1. #1
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    Upset Freewheel Installation Mistake - Don't Do This

    I made a serious blunder. No one to blame but myself on this one. Had a set of chub hubs built up on Gordo wheels. Awesome combo. Added a WI Eno freewheel and it was nice set of SS wheels.

    In my haste to get these wheels out on the trail I neglected one little thing - I didn't put anti siege on the hub/freewheel when I screwed on the FW. Long story short, my WI freewheel is now locked on the chub hub - I'm afraid this is a permanent thing.

    Neither me nor the LBS can get it off. In a vice, with a wrench, using several different FW removal tools - this bad boy isn't coming off...

    Lesson learned, use anti siege when installing a freewheel.

  2. #2
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    Oooooo, bummer! Maybe a liberal application of hardcore penetrating lube? That is such a nice wheel combo... I guess it wouldn't be bad to be "permanently stuck" with it (yes it would); eventually you'll want at what you can't get to. Meanwhile, as we all know if you're to try something, time is of the essence since it'll only get worse.

    Good luck, and please post up if you're able to undo it.

    -Sparty

    P.S. Thanks for posting. Cruising MTBR's forums is my whole life right now... again, best of luck.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Cruising MTBR's forums is my whole life right now...
    What happened?
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    What happened?
    Just day 5 of the flu... sorry to cause alarm without a good crash story!

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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  5. #5
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    I did the same thing with a cog on a paul hub. it's been locked up that way for 6 or 7 years, i tried and tried to get it off, broke a chain whip, and finally gave up. now i just use the wheel for fixed gear riding in the snow.

    but getting a freewheel off might be a bit easier. multiple doses of penetrating oil is a good idea (over days), and then going back to extenders or the vice for leverage might work.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Oooooo, bummer! Maybe a liberal application of hardcore penetrating lube? That is such a nice wheel combo... I guess it wouldn't be bad to be "permanently stuck" with it (yes it would); eventually you'll want at what you can't get to. .
    The good thing, I can simply change the front chainring to a 34. Not what I want to do BUT it gives me some options. I'm going to talk to the guys at WI and at TheHive next week and see if they have any suggestions.

  7. #7
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    Went out and took some pics.




  8. #8
    Making fat cool since '71
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    (your LBS has probably tried this, but...) when I worked at an LBS and this would come in I would "lock" the FW removal tool onto the hub using a bolt screwed into the hub (or through if not a bolt on) and a big washer on the outside of the FW tool. It sandwhiches it on and will not allow the slippage you have experienced. You can only unscrew it a bit at a time and release pressure on the washer/bolt "assembly" bit by bit until you can get the FW off "normally." A breaker bar, some PB Blaster (or other penetrating agent), some cursing usually and voila...FW is off. I've had some be stubborn, but I've never been beaten doing it this way. I used to use silver anti-seize but some old school wrenches convinced me to just use good ol' fashioned grease (Phil's is what's in my "shop" at home).

    Good Luck!

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    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  9. #9
    Duckin' Fonuts.
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    Lock the tool on with a bolt and washer as described. Use a small enough washer that a 1" socket will still fit the tool. Use an impact wrench to burp the fw loose. Remember don't go too far because the tool is bolted to the hub. I have used this method to remove stuck freewheels from trials cranks and independent coasting tandem crank arms.

  10. #10
    I like to ride my bike
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    Thanks for the warning, I'll be doing this same thing in a few days and had no idea that I needed to lube it up first.

    What kind of lubrication do you guys recommend? (insert jokes here)

  11. #11
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    It'll hurt, but maybe you could take the freewheel apart and use a pipe wrench on what's left. I've had to do that plenty of times with cheap freewheels.
    Chasing bears through the woods drunk with a dull hatchet is strongly not advised

  12. #12
    meatier showers
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    Either Phil's or boat trailer wheel bearing grease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  13. #13
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    There are a couple of options. Penetrating lube first. Then bolt the FW tool on. I like the ACS one with the big bar attached already. You just want to break it free, then it will come off with ease. Don't apply even pressure. You want to use more of a jerking motion. That is why impacts work so well. You are less likely to strip anything. Sometimes it is easier to put the tool in the vice and turn the wheel. It has more leverage.

    The next option is to disassemble the freewheel and clamp it in the vice and rotate the wheel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob
    It'll hurt, but maybe you could take the freewheel apart and use a pipe wrench on what's left. I've had to do that plenty of times with cheap freewheels.
    Been there. It sucks, but it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    You just want to break it free, then it will come off with ease. Don't apply even pressure. You want to use more of a jerking motion.
    This is VERY good advice. Heed it.

    I went through this recently (though I greased) and understand what you mean by 'ramps;' they just guide/drive the tool up and out no matter how tightly you clamp it down.

    Also, try a couple of different freewheel removers. It turned out that my tool (no laughing) was a slightly larger diameter than the notches in the freewheel, so there wasn't full contact between the two metals. My LBS's tool (Park) was built to better tolerance, and did the job in the end.

    Good luck.

    C.
    I'm covered in beer.

  15. #15
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    what I would do, because this happened to me with a ENO freewheels vs ENO hub...

    A shop vice and tool won't work for this application. Not enough leverage.
    What works...

    Have a big buddy sit on the wheel (wheel's got to be vertical, with a tire, and fully inflated.) Then, have the freewheel tool setup with a crescent wrench...said crescent wrench needs to have a pipe on the end...a looong pipe to use as a cheater bar for long leverage. Put your weight on it and it should come off smoothly.

    I do use a ENO freewheel tool which interfaces and locks on the freewheel very solid.

  16. #16
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    Penetrating oil and a gear puller???
    Edit. Forget that stupid idea

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by victim
    Penetrating oil and a gear puller???
    Edit. Forget that stupid idea
    Close. Penetrating oil and beer.

    You almost had it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  18. #18
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    the White Ind freewheel tool is worth its weight in gold, but one and use an old QR to hold it on than get a buddy to hold the wheel vert, than get a long wrench and stand on the wrench, as cyclists we have much more leg power than arm power
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    ... sorry to cause alarm without a good crash story!
    Oh, I figured it had something to do with a certain keg system...

    Never mind.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  20. #20
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    Crush the freewheel in a vice and spin it off.Brutal but it works and i have done it quite a few times.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernesto_from_Wisconsin
    what I would do, because this happened to me with a ENO freewheels vs ENO hub...

    A shop vice and tool won't work for this application. Not enough leverage.
    What works...

    Have a big buddy sit on the wheel (wheel's got to be vertical, with a tire, and fully inflated.) Then, have the freewheel tool setup with a crescent wrench...said crescent wrench needs to have a pipe on the end...a looong pipe to use as a cheater bar for long leverage. Put your weight on it and it should come off smoothly.

    I do use a ENO freewheel tool which interfaces and locks on the freewheel very solid.
    +1. I've used this method and have always enjoyed success. Try a one-meter cheater bar; I got a section of pipe from home depot that slid over the end of the adjustable wrench. Like taking candy from a baby...

    Joe
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  22. #22
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    The problem is that the ENO freewheel removal tool won't fit. The chub caps are to fat and stick out far enough that the tool won't set down on the freewheel. I can't take the caps off because they hit on the freewheel. So I'm stuck with the park tool the LBS had 2 different Park FW removers.

    My buddy has a CNC milling machine so maybe I'll see if he can modify my ENO tool by chewing out the center of it so it will slide on. Outside of that, I'm stuck with using the park tool. With that being said, I'll just live with the 19t for now.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale
    The problem is that the ENO freewheel removal tool won't fit. The chub caps are to fat and stick out far enough that the tool won't set down on the freewheel. I can't take the caps off because they hit on the freewheel. So I'm stuck with the park tool the LBS had 2 different Park FW removers.

    My buddy has a CNC milling machine so maybe I'll see if he can modify my ENO tool by chewing out the center of it so it will slide on. Outside of that, I'm stuck with using the park tool. With that being said, I'll just live with the 19t for now.
    I would have your buddy machine out the white Ind tool.
    There is no need to waste a perfectly good ENO by crushing it in a vise, The FW is designed to be rebuilt on the hub. You can replace any part that may fail or wear out with out ever taking it off. If all you are looking to do is change tooth count, I would call White Ind and ask if you can just buy the tooth ring separately, that way you would could still change gearing with out having to pull your freewheel off. And the only tool needed would be the red Park pin spanner.

    No sense in crushing a White FW, if it was a Shimano or ACS than destroy that mutha
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  24. #24
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    scooter,

    I have two other WI freewheels so if taking it apart on the hub is an option, I have no problem what so ever. That's what I was going to talk to WI about tomorrow. The WI freewheel instructions say to take it off the hub first BUT if I can do it while still on the hub - ALL IS GREAT!

  25. #25
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    the last time I rebuilt mine was just before SSWC09 and I'm pretty sure I did it on the wheel. But now that I am thinking I think I just left it on the hub to loosen the lockring than took it off to fully rebuild it.

    I was really impressed, 3 years of use, with some nasty muddy rides/races multiple hub deep creek crossings, when I pulled it apart it was brown inside but I pulled the bearing out and removed the seals, soaked it in cleanstreak, blew it out with an air compressor, repacked with Rock N' Roll super web grease, cleaned out the tooth ring and pawls with cleanstreak, than reassembled with Phil Tenacious oil and it felt brand new.
    I almost feel guilty for getting a new set of wheels that are cassette rear and not using WI FW on my new SS.
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  26. #26
    meatier showers
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    When was SSWC'09 anyway?

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  27. #27
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    Use a hairdryer to heat it up.
    Ride more!

  28. #28
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    my bad I meant SSWC08, SSWC09 is in Sept
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  29. #29
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    I had this happen a few years ago. I tried with all my might and took it to two bikes shops with no luck. I eventually used a high-speed handheld cut off wheel. It only took about 10 minuets to get it cut off. Obviously be careful not to cut to deep or you will damage the threads on the hub.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostrider
    I had this happen a few years ago. I tried with all my might and took it to two bikes shops with no luck. I eventually used a high-speed handheld cut off wheel. It only took about 10 minuets to get it cut off. Obviously be careful not to cut to deep or you will damage the threads on the hub.
    That ain't going to happen! There's no way to get a cutting wheel in there as the freewheel sits almost on top of the hub. Besides that I've got really good hubs with really good bearings and a very good freewheel all of which require very little to no maintenance. I'll stick with the 19t freewheel for a year or two and get some new wheels before I break out any power tools.

  31. #31
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    Well,,,, I talked with White Industries and The Hive.

    Talked with Charlie at the Hive and he is investigating a solution for me.

    White Industries gave me two options. 1. Find a savoy mechanic that can get it off. 2. take the freewheel apart on the hub and then lock the internal to a vice and twist it off. Also you CAN rebuild the freewheel on the hub IF you have room between the hub and the freewheel to put the blue seal on. I don't... You can rebuild without the rear seal BUT it will be open to all the elements.

    Come'on Charlie - have some good news for me!

    On a positive note, yesterday I bought a tube of Phil's Waterproof Grease and a new tube of anti-siege.

  32. #32
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    For those that are following this thread or doing a search here's an update.

    Got some info from the guys over at The Hive. The cups on the Chub Hubs will not come off unless you first remove the WI freewheel. The WI freewheel is the only FW that the cups won't clear. Shimano, ACS, etc will allow the cups to slide out - the WI will not. Basically with the cups in and WI freewheel on the WI freewheel removal tool is unusable. You'll have to use a different tool.

    Their basic advise was to use lots of penetrating oil (or heat,) lock the freewheel to the hub with a 10mm bolt, and apply some muscle to the freewheel. Charlie also recommended using a longer 10mm bolt to lock the freewheel tool onto the freewheel to prevent it from busting the axle threads.

    I'm pretty sure the FW threads have not welded with the Hub threads so maybe I'll take on this chore this weekend. While I don't need to take this freewheel off I now want too! I'm going to get some penetrating oil tonight and I've got a heat gun. Maybe 2 or 3 days of soaking and this thing will hopefully come off.

    **Edit** My buddy just came over and took measurements on the axle cups and took the WI tool with him. He's going to mill it out for me tomorrow at work. Also something we noticed - the WI revmoval tool would not take a 10mm bolt through the center hole. He's going to drill that out too. The wheel is currently off the bike on the floor in the garage with penetrating oil trying to penetrate between the FW and the hub. This thing is coming off tomorrow!!!!
    Last edited by dontheclysdale; 03-10-2009 at 06:43 PM.

  33. #33
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    I feel your dilemma is gaining Apollo 13 like fame. Everyone is rooting for you, following the thread, but not holding out much hope.

  34. #34
    oh crap...
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    That thing is totally coming off.

    No doubt about it!
    Grow some food for yourself.

  35. #35
    one chain, two sprockets
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    Get that tool modified, bolt it to the hub as mentioned above ˆˆˆˆ, then leverage is your friend! I've never had an easy FW removal from my SS or Trials bikes. It always takes a LOT of effort/prep and a 3-foot lever. And I always use anti-seize compound.

    Tom P.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank
    Get that tool modified, bolt it to the hub as mentioned above ˆˆˆˆ, then leverage is your friend! I've never had an easy FW removal from my SS or Trials bikes. It always takes a LOT of effort/prep and a 3-foot lever. And I always use anti-seize compound.

    Tom P.
    Mine always pop right off...

  37. #37
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    Do you know anyone with an impact wrench? I have had great luck with one in situations like this.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale
    The good thing, I can simply change the front chainring to a 34. Not what I want to do BUT it gives me some options. I'm going to talk to the guys at WI and at TheHive next week and see if they have any suggestions.

    Park Tool has a writeup of "destructive removal" of a siezed freewheel.

    Check it.

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=46

    Sometimes heat helps too - if you've got access to a butane torch, warm that sucker up a little before wrenching on it.

    Thanks for the heads up. I just built up a set of wheels and installed a freewheel (been using spacer/cogs). Didn't even really think about adding grease to the threads.

  39. #39
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    good luck on the removal.

    this is one reason i'm a fan of freehub. makes switching on a smaller or bigger cog a 2 min operation...can do it at the trailhead. even w/ Ti anti sieze, my mechanic buddy at the LBS has to resort to the vise and sweat and grunt removal method on his freewheel.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider
    good luck on the removal.

    this is one reason i'm a fan of freehub. makes switching on a smaller or bigger cog a 2 min operation...can do it at the trailhead. even w/ Ti anti sieze, my mechanic buddy at the LBS has to resort to the vise and sweat and grunt removal method on his freewheel.
    I don't get it.. quality hub, quality freewheel... no issues. Just comes off. A lot easier than fixed cogs and lockrings.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    I don't get it.. quality hub, quality freewheel... no issues. Just comes off. A lot easier than fixed cogs and lockrings.
    I don't think frorider was talking about fixed cogs and lockrings, I think he was talking about splined cogs on a freehub (with a lockring).

    The latter is what I use, and can attest to the simplicity and ease of use. Switch gearing at the trailhead? With small tools that weight less than a pound? In less than 5 minutes? Without working up a sweat? No problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
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  42. #42
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    wait dont cut it off , the FW removal tool on there. lock the bolt on there reach for your wrench and get a tube to go over ur wrench that is kinda long . get some one to hold the wheel and wank on it . the secret to remove is leverage. ive done it many times without using anti seize stuff . this should do it, if not then cut it if you want.basically what ernesto said
    Last edited by nuck_chorris; 03-11-2009 at 04:23 PM.
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  43. #43
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    *** imagine a bugle playing taps in the background as you read this post....***

    Well the battle is over for now and the Freewheel has won! My buddy couldn't mill the WI tool because it was hardened to "65 rockwell c." Apparently that'spretty hard. Kudos to WI for making a great tool! Because the tool has holes cut out already and the fact that's it hardened, the process would basically chew up the bit if my buddy cut it up further - he made a couple of passes and it wasn't working out very well. I wasn't really interested in paying for a bit that cost a couple hundred dollars. So in summary, the WI tool modification part of my plan didn't work!

    SOOOO I put in the new longer bolt and locked the park FW tool to the FW. The area between the hub and freewheel soaked all night in penetrating oil. Crank down on the tool with a 12" cresent wrench and small cheater pipe. The tool slides up the grooves and on to the fw...

    I'm done for now. There comes a time when one has to set his pride to the side and just leave well enough alone. The FW is not broke, the hub is not broke, the bike is not broke, everything works, the FW is a good fit for my riding. If I pursue this any further I feel I'm going to break something. SOOOO,,, I'm done - this freewheel won - for now....

    Sorry to let all my fans down! I really appreciate all the advice and ideas you guys gave me. For what it's worth, when I do need to finally remove this freewheel, I will take it apart and clamp down the internal FW drive in the vice and spin it off that way.

    Hopefully some of you guys (and gals) can learn from my mistake. I'll definitely use lube or anti-siege on any other freewheels I install.

  44. #44
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    good story.

    *anti-seize
    ridin in bmore

  45. #45
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    similar issue: paul hub, copper slip (grease) and a steel freewheel. seemed to chemically weld on somehow. i now never use copper slip. so- same as suggested above 6 foot breaker bar. very stout adjustable and bolted on remover tool. and jerk away (!)

  46. #46
    one chain, two sprockets
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontheclysdale
    My buddy couldn't mill the WI tool because it was hardened to "65 rockwell c." Apparently that'spretty hard.
    Do you think the (axle) hole could be bored out to 14mm?

    I have a White FW on a 14mm axled hub. It's a new wheel, but eventually it will need servicing...

    Tom P.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank
    Do you think the (axle) hole could be bored out to 14mm?

    I have a White FW on a 14mm axled hub. It's a new wheel, but eventually it will need servicing...

    Tom P.
    I would imagine the hole should be NO problem to drill. You're gonna want to lock that thing in a vice or use a drill press. Either way you'll definitely need to lock it in somehow when you start drilling.

  48. #48
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    Damn! What a let down, I was rooting for you!

    I've always been able to get mine off with the ACS freewheel tool and a lot of effort. If someone in your area has that one give it a shot.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo

    I've always been able to get mine off with the ACS freewheel tool and a lot of effort. If someone in your area has that one give it a shot.
    Na, no freewheel tool is going to remove this thing. The freewheel notches where the tool locks in are rounded off. I probably could have muscled it off in the beginning had I just went and bought a longer 10mm bolt. The tool popped off twice and that started the trend. Had I bought the longer bolt in the first place, I imagine things would have turned out different.

  50. #50
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: driver bob's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    NOOOOOOOOO....I hate unhappy endings....and I'll never get that bag o'popcorn back.

    I haven't felt this let down since I (unfortunately) watched "Beowulf".

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