Freewheel Problem - Helicomatic

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Randy Walton, Feb 4, 2004.

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  1. Randy Walton

    Randy Walton Guest

    I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they have no tool to remove it.
    The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    wrong term) that says Helicomatic.

    I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.

    Thanks.

    RW
     
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  2. On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 02:50:40 +0000, Randy Walton wrote:

    > I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    > change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    > flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    > cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they have no tool to remove it.
    > The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    > wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    >
    > I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    > and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.

    There are only a few basic types of freewheel pullers. The shops often have none at all, or only
    Shimano style, unless they regularly deal with old bikes.

    You can help determine what it is by taking the rear wheel off the bike, and looking for a name on
    the nose of the freewheel -- the part of the freewheel inside the smallest sprocket. If there is no
    name, then at least try to figure out the type of puller needed. Most newer freewheels are splined,
    older ones have one type or another of a pair of sizable slots, into which the tool fits. Ignore the
    small round holes in the face plate; those are there to allow removal of the faceplate itself. You
    do not want to do that. There are many, many small bearings inside, and 2-3 small springs that hold
    the pawls (the things that make the clicks of the freewheel) out. They will scatter everywhere.

    If you want more help, take a picture of the freewheel and post it somewhere.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | When you are up to your ass in alligators, it's hard to remember _`\(,_ | that your initial
    objective was to drain the swamp. -- LBJ (_)/ (_) |
     
  3. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 02:50:40 GMT, "Randy Walton"
    <[email protected]> may have said:

    >I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    >change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    >flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    >cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they have no tool to remove it.
    >The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    >wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    >
    >I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    >and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.

    In as few words as are likely to be adequate, you're probably toast.

    Read the description of the Helicomatic here:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.org/gloss_h.html

    You'll have to scroll down the page a bit to get to the entry.

    You can probably find one of the lockring tools that will allow you to get the sprockets off the
    hub, but your chances of finding replacements for the sprockets are near zero.

    My advice: Replace the hub, using either a common freewheel or Shimano freehub type. The latter
    solution will give you the widest range of selections commonly available for gearing...but if the
    shifter you have now is indexed (I believe it's not, but I'll mention the possibility anyway) you're
    going to have to upgrade the shifter to account for the greater number of gears since you almost
    certainly won't find a 6-speed cassette whose spacing matches what's there now. If the current
    shifter's a friction unit (I seem to recall that it would be) then you'll probably be able to get
    away with readjusting the rear der stops and leaving it as is...with more gears.

    Others will probably have other suggestions; there may be someone with a better answer.

    --
    My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
    Yes, I have a killfile. If I don't respond to something,
    it's also possible that I'm busy.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  4. In article <[email protected]_s04>,
    Randy Walton <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    >change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    >flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    >cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they have no tool to remove it.
    >The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    >wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    >
    >I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    >and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.

    The Helicomatic is an early cassette design, it is not a freewheel. You can remove the cogs, however
    you may have difficulty finding any replacement cogs, you can't just thread on a new Shimano
    freewheel. There is a Helicomatic cassette lockring tool which is still hanging on the wall of many
    old bike shops since it doubles as a bottle opener.

    The best solution I can suggest is to either rebuild the wheel with a different hub or replace the
    wheel. Doing this with new parts will quickly exceed the value of the bike, so you should either
    make sure that you really like the bike (how it fits and rides) before spending the money, or
    consider buying a used rear wheel to make the repair economical.

    If you really love the bike, and want to spend money on it, then I would get a rear wheel with a
    Shimano-compatible 8/9-speed freehub and use an 8-speed cassette and a new chain. A correction to
    the rear dropout spacing would also be recommended but not strictly required if you currently have
    126mm spacing.

    --Paul
     
  5. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Randy Walton wrote:

    > I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    > change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    > flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    > cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they have no tool to remove it.
    > The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    > wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    >
    > I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    > and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.

    Easy: http://www.yellowjersey.org/helico.html

    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  6. Randy Walton

    Randy Walton Guest

    Thanks. Very helpful responses from all of you.

    RW

    "Paul Southworth" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    read.news.verio.net...
    > In article <[email protected]_s04>, Randy Walton <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    > >change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    > >flatlands. However, two very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they
    > >cannot help me as it's not a freewheel they are familiar with and they
    have
    > >no tool to remove it. The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear
    > >wheel "axle" (probably the wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    > >
    > >I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this
    and
    > >replace the rear cogs and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do
    so.
    >
    > The Helicomatic is an early cassette design, it is not a freewheel. You can remove the cogs,
    > however you may have difficulty finding any replacement cogs, you can't just thread on a new
    > Shimano freewheel. There is a Helicomatic cassette lockring tool which is still hanging on the
    > wall of many old bike shops since it doubles as a bottle opener.
    >
    > The best solution I can suggest is to either rebuild the wheel with a different hub or replace the
    > wheel. Doing this with new parts will quickly exceed the value of the bike, so you should either
    > make sure that you really like the bike (how it fits and rides) before spending the money, or
    > consider buying a used rear wheel to make the repair economical.
    >
    > If you really love the bike, and want to spend money on it, then I would get a rear wheel with a
    > Shimano-compatible 8/9-speed freehub and use an 8-speed cassette and a new chain. A correction to
    > the rear dropout spacing would also be recommended but not strictly required if you currently have
    > 126mm spacing.
    >
    > --Paul
     
  7. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    If Island Cycle in Minneapolis is still in business, they had a bunch of Helicomatic stuff in the
    back room of their warehouse several years ago. Freewheels, hubs, removal tools, the whole magilla.
     
  8. . Freewheels, hubs, removal tools, the whole magilla.

    Never heard that one before. The whole magilla. Does it hark back to "Magilla the Gorilla" I
    ask myself.
     
  9. Randy Walton wrote:
    > The only indication that I see about the type is a sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the
    > wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    >
    > I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this and replace the rear cogs
    > and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do so.
    >

    If you really like this bike and do not want to replace the rear hub you might contact 'Vitelli
    Velobedarf' in Switzerland. They still have hubs, the removal tool, and 14-32T freewheels listed. Be
    aware that the removal tool exists in two different versions. You will need the cranked one for the
    14-32T version while the 14-24T can be removed with the flat version (spacing is slightly different
    for the cogs). Your rear derailleur might not shift to the 32T cog though.

    best wishes

    Guenther
     
  10. Randy Walton

    Randy Walton Guest

    FYI, I have corresponded with Andrew Muzi, who responded below. Great stuff that totally fits the
    whole Helicomatic need and he has been very helpful. I highly recommend to others who may be looking
    for the same.

    "A Muzi" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Randy Walton wrote:
    >
    > > I have an old (circa 1985) Motobecane Jubilee Sport with a six speed freewheel. I'm looking to
    > > change it out for something a little more suitable for climbing as I no longer live in the
    > > flatlands. However,
    two
    > > very good bike shops near me have both looked at it and stated that they cannot help me as it's
    > > not a freewheel they are familiar with and they
    have
    > > no tool to remove it. The only indication that I see about the type is
    a
    > > sticker on the rear wheel "axle" (probably the wrong term) that says Helicomatic.
    > >
    > > I am looking for anyone who can help me figure out if I can remove this
    and
    > > replace the rear cogs and if so where I can find a suitable tool to do
    so.
    >
    > Easy: http://www.yellowjersey.org/helico.html
    >
    > --
    > Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  11. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    David Reuteler <[email protected]> writes:

    > Carl Fogel <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > : "The whole . . . magilla" appeared in "Buffy, : The Vampire
    > Slayer" with enthusiasts innocently : agreeing with your cartoon theory:
    >
    > do not disrespect buffy, carl.

    Indeed not. Dissing the Buffster puts a lot, ahem, at stake. But do mourn Cordy after last night.
     
  12. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Randy Walton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]_s52...
    > FYI, I have corresponded with Andrew Muzi, who responded below. Great
    stuff
    > that totally fits the whole Helicomatic need and he has been very helpful.
    I
    > highly recommend to others who may be looking for the same.

    Big question is WHY? Why spend money on something that is so outdated that only one shop in the
    nation supports it?

    If you're going to spend money, you're better off with a FW hub and 7sp FW. At least you get
    something that made it to the 90s before it died.

    Cheaper in the long run... Now you've got a 20 year old wheel with a new cassette... Next time you
    need to change cogs, you may not even be able to find them...

    Mike
     
  13. Tom Ace

    Tom Ace Guest

    "Gear=F3id =D3 Laoi/Garry Lee" wrote:
    > =

    > . Freewheels, hubs, removal tools, the whole magilla.
    > =

    > Never heard that one before. The whole magilla. Does it hark back to "Magilla the Gorilla" I
    > ask myself.

    It's "megillah", from Yiddish; see

    http://www.forward.com/issues/2000/00.12.15/arts5.html

    Tom Ace
     
  14. In <[email protected]>,
    "Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" <[email protected]> opined:

    > . Freewheels, hubs, removal tools, the whole magilla.
    >
    > Never heard that one before. The whole magilla. Does it hark back to "Magilla the Gorilla" I
    > ask myself.
    >

    Magilla Gorilla is named after this:

    The real word is "Megillah", Yiddish/Hebrew for "scroll". If you sit down to read a whole scroll - a
    whole book of the OT - you're in for the "gantse Megillah".

    Now you know...

    --
    [email protected] | depending, of course, | REPLACE example WITH Dave Salovesh | on your
    perspective | mindspring TO EMAIL ME (After more than a decade on USENET , it's finally come
    to this ^^^)
     
  15. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    "Gearóid Ó Laoi/Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > . Freewheels, hubs, removal tools, the whole magilla.
    >
    > Never heard that one before. The whole magilla. Does it hark back to "Magilla the Gorilla" I
    > ask myself.

    Dear Garry,

    I fearlessly googled for magilla and etymology.

    "The whole . . . magilla" appeared in "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" with enthusiasts innocently
    agreeing with your cartoon theory:

    http://www.justinleader.com/annotatedbuffy/img.html

    But the origin of Magilla is not the faintly Irish background that Ted might subconsciously expect:

    http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/bulletin_board/11/messages/85.html
    http://phrases.shu.ac.uk/bulletin_board/11/messages/89.html

    Briefly, it's a corruption of a Yiddish phrase meaning an over-long, boring story, too many details
    (you know, like this post). The whole megillah, or sacred scroll, is read aloud on certain holidays
    to a synagogue audience bored stiff, hence "Spare me the whole magilla."

    On the other hand, if everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick's day, we could call it Yiddish-
    Irish when the whole megillah threatens us.

    Frighteningly, the third Google result for magilla and etymology was this:

    Seattle Weekly - diversions: Pervs & skeeves

    ... constantly: We're talking swingers' clubs, rim jobs,

    Or does it have some obscure, yet interesting, etymology? ...

    www.seattleweekly.com/features/ 0132/dategirl-mcguire.shtml

    Being faint of heart, I decided not to pursue linguistics any further. There may be things that man
    was never meant to know.

    Carl Fogel
     
  16. Carl Fogel <[email protected]> wrote:
    : "The whole . . . magilla" appeared in "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" with enthusiasts innocently
    : agreeing with your cartoon theory:

    do not disrespect buffy, carl.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  17. Randy Walton

    Randy Walton Guest

    You make a great point. My only response is that I was a pretty committed rider back in the early
    and mid-80's. I'm just getting back into it and don't want to invest a lot in the bike until I get
    some miles under me and have a better sense for what I want.

    Andrew Muzi and the folks at Yellow Jersey Bikes were able to get me a tool and a single replacement
    cog for next to nothing that suits my need and costs less than $20. Kind of a personal preference
    albeit but I expect to buy an entire new bike in the spring and I just put that investment off for a
    good 2-3 months with a $20. Works for me at least.

    I figure now I can ride the north Georgia hills without killing myself on a more forgiving climbing
    gear and will know better what I want when it's time to make the big investment.

    Thanks for the thoughts though! This community of online cyclists has been extremely helpful.

    Randy

    "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Randy Walton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]_s52...
    > > FYI, I have corresponded with Andrew Muzi, who responded below. Great
    > stuff
    > > that totally fits the whole Helicomatic need and he has been very
    helpful.
    > I
    > > highly recommend to others who may be looking for the same.
    >
    > Big question is WHY? Why spend money on something that is so outdated
    that
    > only one shop in the nation supports it?
    >
    > If you're going to spend money, you're better off with a FW hub and 7sp
    FW.
    > At least you get something that made it to the 90s before it died.
    >
    > Cheaper in the long run... Now you've got a 20 year old wheel with a new cassette... Next time you
    > need to change cogs, you may not even be able
    to
    > find them...
    >
    > Mike
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
  18. Carl Fogel

    Carl Fogel Guest

    Tim McNamara <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > David Reuteler <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > > Carl Fogel <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > : "The whole . . . magilla" appeared in "Buffy, : The Vampire
    > > Slayer" with enthusiasts innocently : agreeing with your cartoon theory:
    > >
    > > do not disrespect buffy, carl.
    >
    > Indeed not. Dissing the Buffster puts a lot, ahem, at stake. But do mourn Cordy after last night.

    Dear David and Tim,

    Upon my honor, I meant no disrespect.

    Indeed, Sheldon Brown can testify that I mentioned Buffy reverently in a recent email concerning
    Nebraska bumper stickers urging "Abajo con los vampiros" (assuming that Sheldon managed to stay
    awake to the end of my babbling).

    True, my tastes are more classical. (Did you know that there's an entire vampire story in miniature
    before the opening title of Hammer Films' "Vampire Circus"?)

    But I am almost as familiar with Buffy's brutal realism as I am with the classical drama of the
    Simpsons. Alas, the two don't seem to have met, but who knows what the Treehouse of Horror will
    bring next Halloween?

    Hopefully,

    Carl Fogel
     
  19. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    -snip helico-
    Mike S. wrote:
    > Big question is WHY? Why spend money on something that is so outdated that only one shop in the
    > nation supports it?
    >
    > If you're going to spend money, you're better off with a FW hub and 7sp FW. At least you get
    > something that made it to the 90s before it died.
    >
    > Cheaper in the long run... Now you've got a 20 year old wheel with a new cassette... Next time you
    > need to change cogs, you may not even be able to find them...

    Because commonly guys buy a tool, a cog or two and a pack of bearings, then get another ten years
    from it. YMMV

    I suppose you think I should remove my Svelto too? Hell, it's just getting smooth!
    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  20. On Wed, 04 Feb 2004 22:31:15 -0500, "David L. Johnson"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >slots, into which the tool fits. Ignore the small round holes in the face plate; those are there to
    >allow removal of the faceplate itself. You do not want to do that. There are many, many small
    >bearings inside, and 2-3 small springs that hold the pawls (the things that make the clicks of the
    >freewheel) out. They will scatter everywhere.

    Of course, if you can't find the right puller, you *do* want to do this. What's left on the wheel is
    the core of the freewheel which you can then take off with pliers. You're not likely to get the
    freewheel back together again after you do that, though.

    Jasper
     
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