FreeWheel vs Cassette

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Tom, Sep 16, 2003.

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  1. Tom

    Tom Guest

    I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a bit
    confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on which a
    cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using the pedals?

    Thanks.

    Tom

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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Tom <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    >bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    >which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    >the pedals?

    A freewheel is cogs mounted on a ratchet, and the whole assembly screws onto your hub.

    A cassette is just cogs. In a cassette style hub (sometimes called a freehub) the ratchet is
    integrated into the hub, not threaded on separately.

    The cassette design often makes for a stronger hub, less likely to bend or break an axle.
     
  3. Tom wrote:
    > I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    > bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    > which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    > the pedals?

    Not in standard bicycle terminology. This is a common cause of confusion, so I've put up a special
    Web page about exactly this issue:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

    Sheldon "Never The Twain Shall Meet" Brown
    +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | And what are all these mysteries to me, | Whose life is full of indices and surds? | x^2 +
    | 7x + 53 |
    | = 11/3 --Lewis Carroll |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
    Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
    shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    >bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    >which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    >the pedals?

    It can be confusing because some people use the two terms interchangably and that confuses things. A
    cassette is what you call a set of cogs that fit on a hub where the freewheel mechanism is a part of
    the hub. A freewheel is a freewheel mechanism is spearate from the hub, it screws on, and comes with
    the cogs already on it. Older hubs are freewheel hubs and most newer hubs are cassette hubs. There
    are a few reasons that cassette hubs have become so popular. One is that on a freewheel hub you had
    a relatively long length of axle that was not supported. larger riders had problems with bent, and
    sometimes broken, axles. Cassette hubs have a set of bearings right on the outsied of the cassette
    body, so they give the axle plenty of support. Another nice feature of newer, older cassettes did
    not have this feature, cassette hubs is that they use a lockring to keep the cogs in place. This
    means that your pedaling does not tighten the fixing mechanism. If you have ever tried to remove a
    freewheel that has been on a wheel for a while you would know it is very difficult and requires a
    BIG wrench.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  5. Gregr

    Gregr Guest

    On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 15:10:01 -0500, "Tom" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    >bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    >which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    >the pedals?
    >
    >Thanks.
    >
    >Tom

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html

    splains it better than i can
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Thanks fellows. I now see where I was confused.

    To dumb it up, a 'freewheel' is a separate piece with cogs, that screws on to the hub; but has no
    bearings, and is not part of the axle support structure, etc. Is older style, etc.

    Whereas a 'cassette' or 'freehub' has an integated ratchet in the hub, on which cogs can be mounted.
    The bearings are on the 'end' of this, making it stronger and part of the axle support system.
    Shimano started this 'new' style.

    I was just thinking of these as 'old style' and 'new style' freewheels' and I was thinking of a
    'cassette' as just a set of cogs.

    Thanks for the 'article' and the clarification in your comments.

    Tom

    ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom" <[email protected]> Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.tech Sent:
    Tuesday, September 16, 2003 3:10 PM Subject: FreeWheel vs Cassette

    > I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    > bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    > which a cassette is placed,
    and
    > allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using the
    pedals?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Tom
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    > Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----

    "Tom" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    > bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    > which a cassette is placed,
    and
    > allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using the
    pedals?
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Tom
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    > Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----

    -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----
     
  7. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 17:57:27 -0500, Tom <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Thanks fellows. I now see where I was confused.

    I think you're still confused, but I could be wrong. Even in the face of my possible wrong-ness,
    I'll say what I think, and be corrected (and so learn).

    > To dumb it up, a 'freewheel' is a separate piece with cogs, that screws on to the hub; but has no
    > bearings, and is not part of the axle support structure, etc. Is older style, etc.

    Wrong. A freewheel has the cogs, and screws on to the hub, and has the ratchet mechanism; and (I'm
    not so clear on this part) supports the rider's weight too, rather than the axle going through it to
    the frame's dropout.

    > Whereas a 'cassette' or 'freehub' has an integated ratchet in the hub, on which cogs can be
    > mounted. The bearings are on the 'end' of this, making it stronger and part of the axle
    > support system.

    Mostly wrong. A freehub is the hub of the wheel, and has the ratchet mechanism inside it. A cassette
    is the collection of cogs that slides onto the freehub. The freehub axle goes all the way through to
    the dropout.

    > Shimano started this 'new' style.

    True.

    > I was just thinking of these as 'old style' and 'new style' freewheels' and I was thinking of a
    > 'cassette' as just a set of cogs.

    It's confusing. Just look at it this way: Freewheel: Cogs and ratchet mechanism all in one.
    -Apparently prone to axle breakage Cassette: Cogs for use on a freehub. Freehub: Ratchet mechanism
    inside hub for use with cassette.

    I do know that much from experience; I have a few cassettes that have been replaced on my MTB and
    one from my road bike, and they are definately just a bunch of cogs fastened together.

    I also have a freewheel that broke from another bike, and it has the ratchet mechanism inside it,
    and screws on to the hub. It broke in so far as the ratchet mechanism failed. I do remember the axle
    did go right through it to the dropout, so no explanation as to why I seem to have read otherwise on
    this newsfroup...I must have misread something.

    > Thanks for the 'article' and the clarification in your comments.
    >
    > Tom
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  8. Tom wrote:

    > Thanks fellows. I now see where I was confused.
    >
    > To dumb it up, a 'freewheel' is a separate piece with cogs, that screws on to the hub; but has no
    > bearings,

    The freewheel does have bearings, otherwise it couldn't coast. These bearings, however are separate
    from the bearings that hold the bicycle up, and they only turn when coasting.

    > and is not part of the axle support structure, etc. Is older style, etc.
    >
    > Whereas a 'cassette' or 'freehub' has an integated ratchet in the hub, on which cogs can be
    > mounted. The bearings are on the 'end' of this, making it stronger and part of the axle support
    > system. Shimano started this 'new' style.
    >
    > I was just thinking of these as 'old style' and 'new style' freewheels' and I was thinking of a
    > 'cassette' as just a set of cogs.
    >
    > Thanks for the 'article' and the clarification in your comments.

    You're quite welcome...but please seek professional help for your apostrophe abuse poblem... ;-)

    Sheldon "Ellipsis Abuser...No Help For Me...Incurable..." Brown
    +-----------------------------------------+
    | Man invented language to satisfy his | deep need to complain. -- Lily Tomlin |
    +-----------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
    617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  9. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > Tom asked:
    >> I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    >> bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    >> which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    >> the pedals?

    That part is what is commonly described as the freehub body......

    Sheldon Brown replied:
    > Not in standard bicycle terminology.

    It is, almost, in Shimano and Campagnolo terminology. They describe what you call the "freehub body"
    as the "freewheel body" and the whole rear hub as the "freehub".

    > This is a common cause of confusion

    It certainly is.

    ~PB
     
  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tom wrote:
    > To dumb it up, a 'freewheel' is a separate piece with cogs, that screws on to the hub; but has no
    > bearings

    Does have some bearings but not the main wheel bearings

    >, and is not part of the axle support structure, etc. Is older style, etc.
    >
    > Whereas a 'cassette' or 'freehub' has an integated ratchet in the hub, on which cogs can be
    > mounted. The bearings are on the 'end' of this, making it stronger and part of the axle support
    > system. Shimano started this 'new' style.

    Some other brands don't have the bearings at the end, including Campagnolo. They still have very
    reliable axles, and the Campag's ratchet and pawl design is superior.

    > I was just thinking of these as 'old style' and 'new style' freewheels' and I was thinking of a
    > 'cassette' as just a set of cogs.

    I think you've got it all about right and Rick has misunderstood you.

    ~PB
     
  11. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 21:11:51 -0400, Sheldon Brown <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Sheldon "Ellipsis Abuser...No Help For Me...Incurable..." Brown

    You don't abuse them...at least not half as bad as I abuse them...

    --
    Rick...Onanian
     
  12. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 02:37:45 +0100, Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    > I think you've got it all about right and Rick has misunderstood you.

    That's possible too. However, did I also have it right?

    I'd really hate to think I'm riding around confused... <G>

    > ~PB
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  13. meb

    meb New Member

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    You could probably consult John Richards.

    "The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize Winners were honored in a gala ceremony at Harvard on October 4. Seven of the ten attended the ceremony, and two others sent taped acceptance speeches. The prizes were physically handed to the winners by four Nobel Laureates....

    LITERATURE
    John Richards of Boston, England, founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society, for his efforts to protect, promote, and defend the differences between plural and possessive"
     
  14. On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 15:10:01 +0000, Tom wrote:

    > I've read up on the Freewheel but keep hearing or seeing it in contrast to the cassette and am a
    > bit confused by that. Isn't a freewheel simply a device in the hub or attached to the hub; on
    > which a cassette is placed, and allows it to spin freely when the biker is coasting or not using
    > the pedals?

    Not exactly. Well, yes, sort of. A freewheel is a device that allows the wheel to spin freely in
    one direction (forward) when the rider is not pedalling. But the sprockets are not called a
    cassette in general.

    The old style is to have a freewheel on which are installed several sprockets. The freewheel is then
    threaded onto the hub. A "cassette" wheel is slightly different. The "freewheel" part -- called a
    freehub in this case -- is an integral part of the hub itself, still serving the same function as a
    freewheel. The structural difference is that it is not simply threaded onto the hub, but is a part
    of the hub design. The cassette is then the bare sprockets, which usually fit onto a splined portion
    of the freehub.

    The operational difference is that a freewheel system forces the bearing to be inside of the last
    sprocket (almost)-- a long, unsupported distance from the frame. This gives considerable leverage
    from the frame (where the rider weight goes) to the bearing (which takes that force), with only a
    skinny axle to hold you up. It breaks often. A cassette style hub has bearings closer to the frame,
    so there is not so much unsupported axle length, and not the leverage that can break axles.

    Also, in theory a cassette hub allows you to replace worn sprockets easier. In practice, though,
    most people just replace all the sprockets at once. But at least you don't have to replace the
    freewheeling mechanism just because the sprockets are worn out.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all _`\(,_ | mysteries, and all
    knowledge; and though I have all faith, so (_)/ (_) | that I could remove mountains, and have not
    charity, I am nothing. [1 Corinth. 13:2]
     
  15. Tom

    Tom Guest

    > > You're quite welcome...but please seek professional help for your apostrophe abuse poblem...
    > > ;-) Sheldon "Ellipsis Abuser...No Help For Me...Incurable..." Brown
    > > +-----------------------------------------+
    > > | Man invented language to satisfy his | deep need to complain. --
    Lily
    > > | Tomlin |
    > > +-----------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West
    Newton,
    > > Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
    > > http://harriscyclery.com/http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    > > http://captainbike.com/http://captainbike.com[/url]
    > > http://sheldonbrown.com/"]http://sheldonbrown.com
    >
    >
    >
    > You could probably consult John Richards.
    >
    > "The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize Winners were honored in a gala ceremony at Harvard on October 4. Seven of
    > the ten attended the ceremony, and two others sent taped acceptance speeches. The prizes were
    > physically handed to the winners by four Nobel Laureates....
    >
    > LITERATURE John Richards of Boston, England, founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society, for his
    > efforts to protect, promote, and defend the differences between plural and possessive"

    What you fellows don't realize, is I can't talk with my hands on the newsgroup; so I need a little
    help from our ambiguous language. Enjoy.

    Tom
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com

    -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =----- http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1
    Newsgroup Service in the World! -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----
     
  16. In <[email protected]>, "Tom" <[email protected]> opined:

    > What you fellows don't realize, is I can't talk with my hands on the newsgroup; so I need a little
    > help from our ambiguous language. Enjoy.

    Er, you type with your hands, don't you? Isn't that enough?

    You can't put scare quotes around words on the phone either. How DO you cope???

    --
    Dave Salovesh [email protected]
     
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