So you run out of gas on your Puch whatever and you finally have to use your pedals. You quickly discover that the gear ratio is a joke. You're broke down or out of gas and pedaling like a spaz going nowhere fast. Change the freewheel sprocket and put that pedal power to good use. Here are some tips that should help you correct that bad gear ratio, just in case you forgot that you were already running on reserve or your most recent repair only lasted long enough to get you stranded.
Removal of the original freewheel.
- There are three things you can do.
- A. Try to remove the whole assembly in one shot.
- B. Take it apart/destroy it but get if off in the process.
- C. TAKE AN ANGLE GRINDER TO IT!
Removal of the whole freewheel assembly in one shot.
In the above pic you see the freewheel. To remove the whole freewheel in one shot you got to get a Freewheel puller pictured below.
The freewheel puller is a nut that has two raised notches at the base that fit into the two notches on the base of the freewheel. Allowing you to grip the nut with a huge pipe wrench and unscrew the whole assembly. (Standard threading) The problem I ran into was that my freewheel puller was the wrong size and my axle was too thick to go through it to have the axle nuts hold it in place against the freewheel. TIP: If you are going to get the freewheel puller take it to a bike shop so they can get you the right size. (They may also do the whole job for you if you're lucky. If they can't do it, buy what you need and do it yourself.) It was a like 9 bucks. Also a giant pipe wrench helps. That freewheel is tight as hell. I had a big wrench and still no dice. I should have went to home depot and tested one of their huge wrenches. There is more information on the type of tool you might need in this thread.
Turn that right off. Done. Screw the new one on.
Take it apart/Destroy your freewheel.
If you look at the first pic of the freewheel you will see two round dimples on the base plate. Park tools makes a tool just for those. That plate is reverse threaded so to unscrew it you have to turn it clockwise. I picked up that tool after not being able to turn it with my hammer and screw driver.
Here is what it looks like after you get that plate off.
After you get the plate off you will see all of the ball bearings and if you pull off the sprocket they will fall everywhere. Anyway, after that junk is gone all you have is the base of the freewheel on your wheel.
At this point you can test your might by trying to unscrew the base. Remember this is back to standard threading. So counter clockwise on the base to unscrew it. A big wrench will save you a lot of time. I mean BIG. After you get it off get a new freewheel. And screw it on. I went with an 18 tooth shimano freewheel.
I have changed the freewheel on both a puch snowflake and a puch spoke wheel and they both came apart the same way. This gear ratio makes it feel like your on a bmx bike, so its a big improvement. The new sprocket is smaller so after this mod is done you will have to take a few links out of your pedal chain. Enjoy.
Note. Both of the tools pictured above were about 9 dollars. The sprocket was about 17.
WATCH THE VIDEO!