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Trike Freewheel Replacement [Solved]
#1
A neighbor has a trike with 20" wheels. Last weekend the freewheel failed, so she brought the trike to me because she knows I like doing mechanical work on bikes. Another of her neighbors had a look at it and decided it was beyond him. I've never worked on a trike, before, and after looking it over I decided it might be best to take it to a bike shop. Because of the virus problem, a lot of people are buying bikes or having theirs fixed up. I took it to one shop and after checking it over said they can't do it. I think, though, it was more like they didn't want to do it, and I wouldn't blame them if that was the case.

They are extremely busy with repairs, and they are not allowing anyone inside the shop. By the back door they have a canopy and a table, and that's where you take your bike. They took this trike inside, brought it out and said they can't do it. They have a new freewheel, though but I didn't buy it because I didn't know if another bike shop could fix it, or if I'd end up doing it, myself.

A second bike shop was too busy, having thirty bikes lined up for repair, and told me to call back next week. But they might have thirty more lined up by next week. I think when I mentioned 'trike' it makes mechanics cringe.

In the meanwhile my neighbor is really missing her trike. She doesn't drive a car, so the trike is her only transport in our community. So I decided to take the plunge. First of all, I searched the Internet for a trike freewheel. No such thing, at least not what I thought it was supposed to look like. An adapter is available but what good was that?

Sitting with the old one in my office, and examining it closely, I figured out what needed to be done. I knew I could get a single speed 20T freewheel, today, but it would take time to get the adapter. How about using the old adapter if I could get it apart from the old freewheel? That worked, but I had to use an angle grinder to cut the cog, and then use a torch to heat up the threaded part of the old freewheel to remove it. So after putting the freewheel and adapter, and the brake assembly onto the axle, and pushing the axle back into place, while doing bolts up, I saw I hadn't put the chain onto the axle. The axle has two locating split pins which now had to come out, but I had to take the brake apart to get the one split pin out. I thought about breaking the chain but I don't have quick links for a single speed chain. It's a good thing I like pain!

Incidentally, after cutting through the cog, lots of tiny rusty ball bearings fell out. I suspect the trike has been out in the rain a few times. I guess when the rust ate away at the ball bearings they were no longer big enough to do the job.

And in a couple of hours, my neighbor rode away on her trike.

Note: The yellow in the photo wasn't on the tile, and only appeared when I pointed the camera at it. Took a few shots and the yellow was there each time. Strange!


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If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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#2
bravo! well done Wink
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#3
(05-03-2020, 01:31 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  bravo! well done Wink
Thank you, Papa Dom! I was thrilled when I got on it for a test ride. If I'm ever faced with another trike freewheel, I will order the freewheel and adapter, although I think that is unlikely.

I'm wondering how the water got inside the freewheel, to rust the ball bearings out. I suppose the freewheel could be taken apart and serviced before it gets bad, but who's going to do that? It's probably better to just replace it when the time comes.

The trike is made by the Kent bike company, and I see Amazon sells them but they are out of stock and don't know when they'll get any more. The reviews on it were a mixture of good and bad. Some people said they put the bike together in fifteen minutes, while others said two of them spent six hours on it. Some trikes arrived damaged and had to be taken to a bike shop. Obviously, you're not going to get much of a folding trike for $400.
If I knew how to ride a bike properly, I'd do it every time.
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