Monday, February 25, 2013

the shed, the schred, and a whole lotta bbs

Spent some time last week fixing the old bike shed. The old concrete slab was literally crumbling under my feet so I busted it out and with help from some friends poured a new one. I personally like to see people's little bike shops so I figured that I'd post some here. I'd never done concrete before but now that it's said and done I give us an C plus.

BB tested

And then a little last minute camping

hobo camp style, tarp city
Sweet 90's mtb splatter paintjob courtesy bird craps!

First use of the Biolite stove. This thing is awesome! It burns twigs and has a little electric motor that powers a fan to keep it hot.  It recharges itself and will charge other devices via usb once it's hot. Pretty rad, a tad heavy.


Heading up to Repack

and up

Coming down Repack, classic style.

fleur de lys
An then, a project long on my mind, the IRD freewheel rebuild. I'd never done this before and couldn't find much good info on the web, but this nearly new freewheel had crapped out on me and I was resolved to fix it.
Here it is opened up topside bearings exposed. The top cap (which is a cone) removes clockwise with a spanner, which I didn't have so I used a hammer and a nail punch.

And here are the guts with the puller installed.You don't need the puller for this, I used it to thread the FW onto a dummy hub that's clamped in the vise. You can see one of the offending pawls stuck down.

one pawl removed

old pawls gave rap a cold call...

This I think is the problem. The spring that pushes the pawls out was too wimpy to do it's job so I needed a replacement, but where to find one?

So I took apart a Suntour FW but no luck there. This is however a much better design, larger pawls and each have their own spring instead of one large one.

Then I tried a Shimano one, Bingo! I also made this little tray to catch all the bearings, it's just a plastic lid with a hole cut so that it goes over the hub threads. It was very helpful in saving all those BBs.

Now we're talking! Shimano spring and pawls installed on IRD guts, halfway through installing the balls.
And it's done. Rebuilt IRD freewheel. Why go through the trouble? Well, there simply are not any high quality 5 speed freewheels out there anymore. I'd be happy to buy cheap shimano ones but they only make super lame 14-28 gear combos. If you want to carry a load in the dirt, 28 is a bummer of a bail out. Why stick to 5 speed? Well, it's a tough one, but you have to change the rear wheel if you want a more modern set up. And to do it right you have to build a 26" rim on a 130mm spaced road hub, because 135mm is too far to stretch.  This thing gets installed this week for testing.


  1. Im really really enjoying these camping/ shed photos!
    I was wondering what year the blue stumpjumper is and what the name of the tires are on it?

  2. That Stumpy is an '85, the first year with the unicrown fork. THe tires I'm running are 2.1" Kenda small block 8's, which I love. They feel great on pavement and sticky enough in the dirt. Only downside seems to be that they wear fast, probably from road use.

  3. I like your blog a lot. If I were you i'd get that road hub and just enjoy riding. Altough I must say that opening a freewheel sprocket is a hardcore maintenance operation, and many people nowadays do not master it. Keep posting!!!

    1. Oh I wholeheartedly agree, and I did! see
      This freewheel was resurrected just to see if I could do it and to fix another buddy's 85 stumpy, and I'm happy report that it's been working great. Thx for reading!