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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:16 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
I recently got a Maillard Course freewheel from another retrobiker. The freewheel itself is in good condition but there was a lot of slop of the freewheel on its body - about 2mm or so. So I've just opened it up - first time I've opened a freewheel, and shure enough, while the races are in good nick it is down by about 8 or 9 bearings in total.

My digital caliper has long since given up the ghost (cheap Aldi rubbish - don't do it kids) - so can anyone tell me if these are a standard size, and if so, what?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:45 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
Most old freewheels were 1/8 inch balls, and had shims under the end bearing for adjustment.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:49 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:28 am
Posts: 300
Location: Fife
Sheldon Brown says 1/8" but I'm sure all the ones I've seen have been smaller than that. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/freewheels.html#disassembly

I have an Aldi calliper that hasn't broken yet, I'll go out and measure one now.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:50 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
They probably were 1/8 before the rust.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:08 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:28 am
Posts: 300
Location: Fife
Just been out to measure (the first time the Aldi calliper has been used in anger) one of the many that have been rolling around my shed floor since I opened a freewheel last year, 1/8" it is. I think it's more likely to be a shimming issue though, I wouldn't have expected it to be loose with 8 or 9 balls down (assuming that's 4 or 5 per race).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:53 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
I just checked mine with a steel rule... more or less 3mm, so 1/8" it is. There are 3 shims under the lockring, which moved easily so you're probably right. No harm in getting some spare bearings though.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:08 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Posts: 241
Thanks for all the advice... I just finished rebuilding the freewheel... added new bearings and removed the thinnest shim... It's all good now, very very little slop. Don't fear the freewheel, get stuck in!


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