If you followed my Coronado children’s bicycle restoration you may know I needed to get the freewheel off and replace some spokes.
Two prong freewheels are notoriously tricky to remove. As with any part installed for 20 years plus, removing it, even with the appropriate tool is often a challenge.
In the case of two prong freewheels, the purchase is fairly poor, relative to a more modern Shimano cassette removing tool, which has many more splines. Having only two prongs on the tool and freewheel places a high tension on these two points, resulting in a greater likelihood of damage, slippage, injury and all that stuff.
Many people suggest tapping the freewheel out with say a screwdriver or a hole punch, rather than bother with a dedicated tool, but this can irreparably damage the freewheel and result in the need for a replacement. Presumably tricky to find one that matches the hub thread etc…
I opted to get the proper tool, on the basis it would increase the chances of my freewheel surviving (on which the teeth are good for thousands more kms), and that it would be useable on all my bikes with Suntour 2 prong freewheels.
So I recently purchased a freewheel remover tool on eBay, made by Icetoolz, and thought I would give a quick overview.
The tool looked decent, and was proposed for a good price. The tool proposed by my local bike shop cost significantly more making it unfeasible for only occasional use.
The seller shipped quickly and it was received within a week or so, from Taiwan. The tool looked well made and solid, but on using it I found a couple of issues.
Firstly, due to the size of the tool, the axle nut cannot be screwed on top of it. This would help to avoid the tool slipping off the freewheel while being loosened. (I know the chain whip is not required, but the photo was taken before I figured that out…!).
Secondly, on applying torque, the tool seemed to deform and lose some metal shavings into the body of my freewheel. Not good. Also the freewheel has been slightly damaged… Photos below.
So, all in, not a great tool from Icetoolz.
In fairness, the eBay seller (superbicycle.shop-uk) did refund me without requiring me to send the tool back to Taiwan. Nonetheless, this leaves me no closer to replacing the spokes!
Of course buying a new wheel would be so much easier….