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Front Freewheel & Tyres..


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I did a search but can't find anything - surprised at that cos I thought someone would've asked before....

Right, so... I'm curious about front freewheels and wonder if I have the idea right in my head!

Is it a case of swaping a fixed front chainwheel for a freewheel and fitting a fixed/locked hub at rear?

If this is the case ca you do this on both singlespeed setupas and cassette setups?

What are the advantages?

Is it cheaper?

Is it more maintenance friendly?

Does it help with lifetime on rear hubs?

Sorry if this has been covered before!

Also about tyres....

It seems that all bikes come with the rear tyre larger than the front. This makes sense to me....

I've noticed a few pics where people have what looks like a 2.5" tyre up front also and I'm wondering if people see the benefit in this?

Thanks for all your help!


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I'll leave the front freewheel to someone who knows more about it than me.

Tyres..............when riding natural, grip is EVERYTHING so the larger the tyre the more grip. Also it can be run at lower psi and gives a softer ride for your wrists

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*clicks knuckles*


Front freewheel.

At the moment, you have a fixed ring at the front, bolted onto your crank arm/bashguard (if you've got middleburns or Tensiles, I guess). This is joined to a freehub at the back, which allows you to coast or apply power.

The front freewheel system requires you to screw a freewheel on to the threaded section of a freewheel compatible crank, then use a fixed (or locked out freehub) rear hub. You can use gears or singlespeed. With gears, it works out better because the chain continues to turn without you pedalling, so you can change gear without pedaling forwards (just click to change gear, endo, stab of the pedals, chain spins round loads).

With freewheels like the Eno around, front freewheel's a lot better than it used to be. They work well enough for Hermance, and a lot of other UCI stock riders who swear by front freewheel.

Theoretically, a front freewheel system should be lighter. You need less gubbins in the rear hub, and the hub doesn't need to be as 'stout' to support the drive system in the hub (can explain more if you want :sleeping:), so there's just less material needed.

I've got an Eno freewheel on my bike, and that means I've got 72 engagement points from it. However, this is where it falls down a little: If you run an Eno up front like me, you have 72 engagement points. With, say, a CK, that's 72 possible e.p. on the rear. However, if you use, say, 18:16 gearing, you have 81 engagement points, and so on. So you could have fewer engagement points by running front freewheel.

It does seem to largely come down to personal preference as to what riders like, but if you want to try it out, why not, if you've got the money?

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I used to have a small tyre on the front of my zebdi. Mainly because I didnt really give it much abuse. Now I have a control and because of the different style of riding I abuse the front quite abit so I now run el gato's front and rear.

It is so much nicer with a fatter tyre, so I would say go big :sleeping:

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FFW is a good, cheap and easy way of getting 36 engagement points, but still being able to ride with gears.

I have had no major problems with running an ACS Claws freewheel on my Tensile cranks, but fixed hubs are still something that needs taking care of by the big companies. Echo and Try-All hubs are expensive, and cheese, especially the ones of Echo variety, or so I have been told.

I ran a locked out Deore hub for about 10 months. The only downsides are that it's heavy, needs constant tightening, doesn't spin very smoothly and the axles eventually snap. Spare axles are readily avaliable for a fiver from most shops though.

All in all, a great way of trying quicker engagement for not that much cash, if you have a set of threaded cranks like Echo, Tensile or Try-All that is.

I'm going King now though. Gotten fed up with the Deore hub on the back, and want to see how I get along with double the engagement.

ACS are hugely underrated items though. Keep it tight and clean and you'll be laughing.

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Hmmm, chocolate gato!! :-

By the way, mark, you said having

I dont get that one bit?

Think about it - we have gear ratios because, if you ride mod, say: 18:12. This means that per one revolution of the cranks, you get 1.5 rotations of the back wheel. This means it's "easy" to pedal. However, like I said - 1.5 rotations of the back wheel. Therefore, if you have the freehub on the back, you're going to turn it 1.5 times per crank stroke. This means if you run a Profile on mod, you get 48*1.5 engagement points. On the other hand, if you run front freewheel, you just get 72 or 36 (Eno or ACS) because it's on the crank arm, so you have no mechanical advantage :-

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Yeah, but what I meant is that the Eno's are a lot better made. They just feel a lot more solid, and they give you way more confidence. When I had to swap back to my ACS it just felt totally, 100% different, in a really not so good way.

It's just stuff like the fact that the pawls and springs are held in place better, there's greater accuracy in machining (hence none of the driveshell wobble on an Eno like an ACS), etc.

But nah, for a tenner, you can't really go wrong with an ACS...

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especially when i used one for 12+ months with only a strip/clean/relube when i got it. didnt touch it after that, well, only tightened it ever so often.

i would have liked to try an EMO (sic) out for a bit but theyre pricy and stuff.

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I'm on a deore rear hub (as standard with spec 1 Trex) and won't bother changing untill something expensive breaks!

So the full kit would mean:

appropriate cranks,

front freewheel,

A BB that's long enough to take it (what length?)

A locked out freehub or new fixed hub

Am I right with that shopping list!?

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