Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proper tools for proper freewheels.

A proper vintage road bike should sound vintage - and that sound is a Regina Oro freewheel whirring away on a white-knuckled descent.

Problem is, few folks understand the fact that Regina's fragile two-prong remover system is not the same as the very similar two-prong system designed by Suntour. The result? A lot of buggered-up freewheels and a lot of mechanics who've learned a painful lesson.

At least, we hope they've learned it.

Finding the proper Regina removers can be tricky though. As common as the two-pronged Regina design is on older roadbikes, Park does not make a removal tool available on the market for the job - requiring purchase of a used or NOS tool if you want to do the job right.

A few variants of the tool exist, one of the best being the Bicycle Research CT-1. Not only does it fit onto the prongs correctly, all but the early production CT-1's are designed with a thin enough centering ring that the tool will clear the small 13t cogs on aluminum Everest freewheels and other odd, late-model two-prong designs.

Shimano's early Dura-Ace freewheels were also made to the two-prong pattern, and Shimano released a similar tool - the TL-FW10 - which is also compatible with the Reginas.

Unfortunately, the Dura-Ace tool isn't small enough to slide through the smaller 13t cogs, but the relative rarity of freewheels with such cogs renders this one small feature of functionality mostly moot.


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