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Make a freewheel removal tool
#1
Make your own strong, inexpensive, freewheel removal tool, using a car wheel nut.

The most common bikes with gears, use freewheels. There are other gear systems for bikes, but they are used on less bikes.

The tool I will describe is for the most common type of freewheel, as shown in the picture. There are freewheels which require different tools, particularly on older bikes.

   

To make the tool, you need a 21mm car wheel nut. I used two, which I had welded together. In the future, I hope to find a longer 21mm car wheel nut, so only one will be needed. The 21mm nut is a fraction of a millimeter larger than the inside of the freewheel. To fit, you need to file a fraction of a millimeter off each corner of the nut.

Here is a picture of the wheel nuts as I bought them.

   

Here is a picture of the wheel nuts after welding together.

   

This is used with a 21mm spanner.

   
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#2
(07-13-2022, 05:26 PM)ichitan Wrote:  Make your own strong, inexpensive, freewheel removal tool, using a car wheel nut.

The most common bikes with gears, use freewheels. There are other gear systems for bikes, but they are used on less bikes.

The tool I will describe is for the most common type of freewheel, as shown in the picture. There are freewheels which require different tools, particularly on older bikes.
To make the tool, you need a 21mm car wheel nut. I used two, which I had welded together. In the future, I hope to find a longer 21mm car wheel nut, so only one will be needed. The 21mm nut is a fraction of a millimeter larger than the inside of the freewheel. To fit, you need to file a fraction of a millimeter off each corner of the nut. This is used with a 21mm spanner.

Interesting tool fabrication. I guess the cost of the nuts would be the main consideration in lieu of buying the actual tool sized for that unit. The removal tools aren't that expensive ($10-$20) so if you don't already have a means of welding the nuts it might be cost prohibitive for some folks to buy other tools in order to manufacture one that they probably won't be utilizing too often.
I assume that it doesn't cause any damage to the unit's splines when used since if it does it might make it more and more difficult to remove whether using a fabricated tool or the proprietary fitting tool.
Regardless, Kudos for solving a problem with items at hand!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#3
The 21mm nut is a tiny bit larger than the inside of the freewheel. To fit, it needs a fraction of a millimeter filed off each corner of the nut. If the person making the tool does it well, it will be a tight fit, and will not damage the freewheel.

In the future I hope to find a longer nut, so the tool can be made from one nut, and welding is not necessary. They probably exist. It is just a matter of finding them.
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#4
(07-15-2022, 08:48 AM)ichitan Wrote:  The 21mm nut is a tiny bit larger than the inside of the freewheel. To fit, it needs a fraction of a millimeter filed off each corner of the nut. If the person making the tool does it well, it will be a tight fit, and will not damage the freewheel.

In the future I hope to find a longer nut, so the tool can be made from one nut, and welding is not necessary. They probably exist. It is just a matter of finding them.

Possibly try truck lug nuts; they come in longer sizes. Not sure if they would be available in the 21mm wrench size though.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#5
(07-16-2022, 12:57 AM)Jesper Wrote:  Possibly try truck lug nuts; they come in longer sizes. Not sure if they would be available in the 21mm wrench size though.

Big trucks would not come in 21mm. Small pickup trucks might.

The nuts I used are for alloy wheels, or mag wheels.

There are places that sell accessories that are a bit different, so people can make their cars look impressive. Some of these might sell longer nuts. I might even come across a long 21mm nut in a hardware shop. It does not have to be a car wheel nut. This is not urgent, so I am not in a hurry. If I use what I already have for the rest of my life, it should not be a problem. But if I come across a place that sells long 21mm nuts, i will probably buy some.
  Reply
#6
(07-16-2022, 05:04 AM)ichitan Wrote:  
(07-16-2022, 12:57 AM)Jesper Wrote:  Possibly try truck lug nuts; they come in longer sizes. Not sure if they would be available in the 21mm wrench size though.

Big trucks would not come in 21mm. Small pickup trucks might.

The nuts I used are for alloy wheels, or mag wheels.

There are places that sell accessories that are a bit different, so people can make their cars look impressive. Some of these might sell longer nuts. I might even come across a long 21mm nut in a hardware shop. It does not have to be a car wheel nut. This is not urgent, so I am not in a hurry. If I use what I already have for the rest of my life, it should not be a problem. But if I come across a place that sells long 21mm nuts, I will probably buy some.
I appreciate you providing alternate means of making/using tools. A lot of people would rather do what you're doing as opposed to buying tools they might not use very often.
I only warn folks to be careful of using something that could possibly cause damage to a part; making it either unusable, or not able to be removed at a later time by themselves or at a bike shop.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#7
When doing anything unconventional, if something goes wrong, it is your responsibility and your problem.

Sometimes when doing things the correct way, something goes wrong. It is still your responsibility and your problem.

I actually looked for an alternative because a tool manufactured for the job failed.

https://forums.bikeride.com/thread-7986.html

Car wheel nuts are very strong. I have never seen one break. The inner part of the freewheel is made from hardened steel, so it doesn't wear out too quick. It is also very strong.

My only concern is, if someone files too much off the corners of the nut, and it is not a tight fit, it might not grip the freewheel properly. I believe nobody will break one of these. They are very strong.
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