Can I put a single speed freewheel on a 6 speed hub?

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
hi all.
I have an ancient road bike that I have had since about 1980.
I've just bought a very cheap pair of wheels with a screw on hub, with the plan of using a 5 or 6 speed freewheel using only the 16t cog.
Can I use a 16t single speed freewheel instead and get a decent chainline by changing the bb?
 
Location
Loch side.
Yes you can fit a SS freewheel on their a-la BMX or similar but whether you can tune the chain line enough using different BBs depends on the bike itself. Give it a go.
 
OP
SSmatty

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
I am struggling to visualise where the sprocket will sit on the rear hub.
at the minute I am on the 5th cog of 6 , but have a very lon BB (122.5mm or something)
as the BBs go down to 110mm it looks like I can take the chain line in by up to 7mm so I hope that is enough.
Any views?
 
Location
Loch side.
As a freewheel is pretty cheap I think I will get one and try it on the hub.
Then I will have a better idea.
(yes - second smallest = 16T)
Do not even THINK of tightening it in any way (not even finger tight) if you don't have the removal tool and think you may want to fiddle with this or that. If you don't have the tool, once it is on, it is on. Unlike a sprocket, this baby don't turn backwards. I suppose that's what it is supposed to do, but it catches you out.
 
OP
SSmatty

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
L

Do not even THINK of tightening it in any way (not even finger tight) if you don't have the removal tool and think you may want to fiddle with this or that. If you don't have the tool, once it is on, it is on. Unlike a sprocket, this baby don't turn backwards. I suppose that's what it is supposed to do, but it catches you out.

I am going to screw it on (gently) by hand to get an idea of the chain line, then improvise a removal tool depnding on where the notches or holes are
 
OP
SSmatty

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
It will probably need a 1/8 chain.

Don't screw it on at all. In fact, don't even buy one yet. Just remove the existing freewheel cluster, put the wheel in and sight across the chainring to see where it lies in relation to the thread.
Will the cog be on the centre of the threads?
The wheel is new so I dont need to remove the old.
I've already ordered the freewheel though, mind you at £3.39 I wont lose any sleep over it.
 

jim55

Veteran
Location
glasgow
It will probably need a 1/8 chain.

Don't screw it on at all. In fact, don't even buy one yet. Just remove the existing freewheel cluster, put the wheel in and sight across the chainring to see where it lies in relation to the thread.
Agreed ^^^^^
Do not even put it on at all you will not unscrew it back off( if u need to adjust re spacers and stuff) unless you have a removal tool ,
 
OP
SSmatty

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all your help fellas.
My plan now is:

Fit new wheel into frame and get an idea of chainwheel / freewheel alignment.
Check clearance of chainring against chainstay in case I need to change BB.

Find my spare BBs
Wait for Ss freewheel to arrive

Visually check where freewheel will sit on hub.
see if 6 speed chain will work on SS freewheel.
Work out if I can get it all to line up properly before fitting everything.

Plan B - buy a freewheel removal tool and reuse the existing 6 speed freewheel and/or buy a new 6 speed freewheel.

Are there different types of freewheel removal tool?
 
OP
SSmatty

SSmatty

Well-Known Member
image.jpg

Here she is all done.
Well, nearly.
There's a couple of minor details to sort, but all the important things look fine.
The chain line looks absolutely spot on.
How lucky is that!
Thanks to everyone who has helped, I hope you like the end result

This was a real budget build as well.
I've had the frame since I was 14, wanted a single speed/fixie for a while and converted it by just removing the dérailleur etc.
The wheels were steel though and the front wasn't true, so I looked out for some new ones.
Got the wheels for £5 each from Wilko.
All the other bits were as cheap as possible too, tyres being most expensive.

But - I like the look, and I have less than £100 in it. It's a keeper.
 
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