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  1. #1
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    Freewheels: Agonizing choices

    Ok, So I'm building up a new SS (RL Monocog flight AL) I have a Phil Wood Kiss-off hub waiting for a new freewheel. So the question is; is WI really worth the cash for a freewheel?? Really? Convince me here. Any other high quality options? I'm thinkinhof just putting on a Shimano DX I have around- talk me out of it, or into it..

  2. #2
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    I understand....I want a WI but just can' t justify it.

    I have several DX'x...they are quiet and I haven't broken one yet....until I do, no absolute need for a WI...

  3. #3
    120
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    This only goes to an 18t but looks interesting:



    Might look around here as well:

    Complete Freewheels

    I'd still probably opt for the WI personally.

  4. #4
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    I use White Industries too. Bombproof. Having said that, I'm a big fan of using what you got until it dies.
    http://teamalchemist.com/
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    Custom Cycling Jerseys, Merino Wool Jerseys, Organic T-shirts

  5. #5
    one chain loop
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    Tensile 60 Click



    uses Shimano BB tool for removal, pretty cool.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  6. #6
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    just get a cheap one and see how it goes. you won't have invested much if you want to up or down in gearing.

    when it starts clunking, upgrade to WI.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    Ok, So I'm building up a new SS (RL Monocog flight AL) I have a Phil Wood Kiss-off hub waiting for a new freewheel. So the question is; is WI really worth the cash for a freewheel?? Really? Convince me here. Any other high quality options? I'm thinkinhof just putting on a Shimano DX I have around- talk me out of it, or into it..
    If you know what gearing you want, a WI is absolutely worth the investment. You simply don't need to worry about, and if something does actually go wrong, it's completely rebuildable and WI will happily sell you spare parts. If you shop around, you can find them for about $70.

    I really enjoy having quality install-and-forget parts on my bike, and the WI FW is definitely one. It's the Chris King hub of free wheels.

  8. #8
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    So with the WI you can even replace the actual cog/teeth? That's wild. My reservations about the WI were basically paying that price for a part that will inevitably wear out (the teeth)

  9. #9
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    I think I might be sold on the WI.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    So with the WI you can even replace the actual cog/teeth? That's wild. My reservations about the WI were basically paying that price for a part that will inevitably wear out (the teeth)
    Everything single part of the freewheel can be purchased separately from WI, and every single part of the freewheel can be replaced.

    Personally, I'd rather fix something than just throw it away and replace it. The WI allows me to do that (not that I've had to yet).

  11. #11
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    Does the White FW take special tools?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    Does the White FW take special tools?
    No.

  13. #13
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    Ride the Shimano to make sure you like the gear ratio then get a WI.

  14. #14
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    Get the White Industries freewheel... They are highly well made works of art that are built to last, and made in the U.S.A. too!

  15. #15
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    The first aftermarket component I put on every single bike I build is a White Industries Eno freewheel. They last forever and they work flawlessly.

    You'll see...

  16. #16
    HHL
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    5 years and no end in sight for my WI freewheel.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    So the question is; is WI really worth the cash for a freewheel??
    When I had a thread-on, I went through 2-3 ACS/Shimano/crap freewheels until I said, "Geesh, for the cost of all these, I could've bought a WI..."

    Sweet freewheel. I had two, gone with some bikes I sold. If I ever need a thread-on, it will be a WI without question.

  18. #18
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    I'm convinced. I know my ratio. The build is in progress, and when I screw the freewheel on it will be a White Industries. I didn't realize they were located in Petaluma... so close to such good beer, how could you go wrong? Thanks for all the feedback, I'll report back with my experience.

  19. #19
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    Please be sure to put a good amount of anti-seize on the threads. Since the WI freewheel tends to stay installed for a long time, it'll make it a lot easier to eventually remove it.

  20. #20
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    So it seems that some of you have rebuilt them, and I had one question....Can you change the gearing on the trials FW after purchase? I really want one as well, but I want the trials in a 20T? I think they're still only doing the trials in 18T still.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesper View Post
    So it seems that some of you have rebuilt them, and I had one question....Can you change the gearing on the trials FW after purchase? I really want one as well, but I want the trials in a 20T? I think they're still only doing the trials in 18T still.
    They only do the trials FW in a 18t. However, it's the FW center portion which provides the added engagement points, so you can change the outer geared portion to change the tooth count. It's definitely been done before. You might not be able to drop it to 16t, however, since the 16t FW doesn't share all it's parts with the larger freewheels due to its small size.

  22. #22
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    Sweet, that answers my question. I wouldn't be going with anything smaller than a 19 or 20 anyways. I was thinking about getting the 18T trials and a White Ind. crank/chainwheel combo in like a 28 or 30T, but since then I have purchased an SLX crank, so the chain ring choices are usually 32 or higher.

    Maybe someone who has done the change can post up some how-to pics????Anyone?

  23. #23
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    Ok. now this is nit-picky but: is there a significant weight difference between an 18t and 16t freewheel? 17t? I'm relatively sure I want to go with a 17t, splitting the difference of the two ratios I've used on the bike before.

  24. #24
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    I'm currently running a trials 108 pt 18t Trialtech brand. Same as Rockman, Try-all, etc...Tensile mentioned above. I also have a Excess Components BMX but it's 20t which I don't ride much. Super affordable but needs its own tool. Probably comes from the same factory as the trials stuff, just has lower engagement and and a different spline.
    The Shimano FWs are pretty cheap quality actually, lots of resistance, uneven ?runout? if that's what you call it. Very quiet though.
    Poster above, trials FW's are mostly 18t and a few 16t. They can have the pawls replaced, but why when they are so cheap. The Excess brand is the equivalent and comes in the range you are looking for.

    I like WI but there are lots of good options.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesper View Post
    Maybe someone who has done the change can post up some how-to pics????Anyone?
    Just follow the WI instructions on disassembling the freewheel to service it, and then just reassemble per their directions, except using the new gear.

    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    Ok. now this is nit-picky but: is there a significant weight difference between an 18t and 16t freewheel? 17t? I'm relatively sure I want to go with a 17t, splitting the difference of the two ratios I've used on the bike before.
    18t - 181g
    16t - 158g

    Select the freewheel based on gearing, not on weight.

    Especially if you're using a 4 arm crankset, it's often not possible to reduce the chainring size to lower your gearing, but it is possible to increase it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubecontinued View Post
    Ok. now this is nit-picky but: is there a significant weight difference between an 18t and 16t freewheel? 17t? I'm relatively sure I want to go with a 17t, splitting the difference of the two ratios I've used on the bike before.
    I would imagine the weight difference is going to be hard to notice.

    When I built up my SS I didn't really care too much about the weight. I focused on stuff that would be bombproof and just plain work all the time. I went with the WI Trials 18t for the extra engagement and couldn't have been happier. To swap ratios I just played around with chainring sizes rather than expensive FW's since I knew the Trials was the only one I wanted.

    Like everyone else says, the WI is totally worth the cost. So if you have a cheap one already, ride it till it locks up and then buy a WI.

    Good riding
    Last edited by coachjon; 01-03-2012 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Spelling fix
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  27. #27
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    I swapped my WI 18t trials to a 19t outer ring. It's a robust piece that handles the Maine winters well. You can't go wrong with this fw.

  28. #28
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    I'm just going to sell or trade the one I have since it's still in the box.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    If you know what gearing you want, a WI is absolutely worth the investment. You simply don't need to worry about, and if something does actually go wrong, it's completely rebuildable and WI will happily sell you spare parts. If you shop around, you can find them for about $70.

    I really enjoy having quality install-and-forget parts on my bike, and the WI FW is definitely one. It's the Chris King hub of free wheels.
    Hi,

    Where's a good place to look for WI at a good price?

    I'm UK based (where they go for about $150) and not familiar with US suppliers

  30. #30
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    Cambria, Pricepoint, Bikeman.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Cambria, Pricepoint, Bikeman.
    Thanks!! Much appreciated

  32. #32
    smalljeans
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    the WI is already on my spring purchase list once our crappy chicago weather ends... although it is going to be in the 50's today. Might need to run to speedgoat
    ...don't worry it's coming...

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