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5-SPEED FW's: Who is still riding 10-speed?

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5-SPEED FW's: Who is still riding 10-speed?

Old 08-21-22, 07:52 AM
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Lenton58 
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5-SPEED FW's: Who is still riding 10-speed?

Why Fish for Coelacanths When There Are Salmon? Just Wondering!

I'm just wondering if I am alone in going so retro as to ride a 10-speed vintage bike. Has everyone upgraded to 6 or 7 speed freewheels with 126 mm spacing?

I've not had a bike running a 5 cog freewheel since the '80's. My Simplon is single speed. My Gazelle, Vitus and Dawes are on 6-cog freewheels. But, a couple of weeks ago I visited a friend who runs a bike shop here in Sendai. He went through his old bins and dug up two 5-cog freewheels that he sold to me for $10. They are nearly mint!

Shimano 600 SG 5-speed, 2-prong removal: 16,17,19, 22, 24T
Shimano 600 SG 5-speed, 2 prong removal: 14,16,18, 21, 23T

The latter one interests me. I'm intending to mount it on my Vitus. The front end has an SR spider, 170mm cranks with 52-40T chainwheels. (Yes, 40T; I counted twice.) Currently it's running on 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28T. I never use the 28T — not since I was climbing hills to go to work with a backpack full of stuff. No matter what I've done and changed, the Vitus likes to auto-change. I'm curious as to whether the spacing of the 5-cog FW will be a better match for the SunTour friction levers — which BTW are very nice. "The noodle", as the Vitus is sometimes called, flexes its 979 Al normal diameter (same as steel) frame. (Vitus' team racing machines were pinned in the BB and subliminally watermarked on the DT — hence stiffer.) IMHO, there may be no more a silky ride than a Vitus 979, but being unpinned, they flex — at least mine does. (And I'm no powerhouse of a rider.)

Anyway, just for fun, who among us is still riding on 5-cog freewheels? Well, I expect that Randy Jawa has a shed that is heaving with them ))
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Old 08-21-22, 08:00 AM
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One of my regular riders is a 1980 Raleigh Record Ace 10 speed, love riding it. Currently servicing up a 1976 Schwinn Varsity 10 speed. Looking forward to riding it too!
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Old 08-21-22, 08:02 AM
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All my bikes have 115mm spacing, for either a 3-speed or 4-speed. None of those fancy 5-speeds.
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Old 08-21-22, 08:03 AM
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My Viscount Aerospace Pro is still running a 2x5 drivetrain.

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Old 08-21-22, 08:05 AM
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I’m trying to keep most of my bikes 7 spd especially since I removed the integrated 8 Dura Ace RD n shifters from my Proto I may try and sell the cassette with them and go back to 7 on that bike. Then I’ll just have the two Ergo bikes and one of those….

Sorry I digress

In desperately wanting to have a working Portacatena system I turned my Ugly Betty into a 5spd. Since there aren’t a many real hills in the area of Fort Wayne where I live it works out pretty well





It’s a Suntour Perfect 15-something. Oddly combined with the 48t large chain wheel I’m well below what used to USFC Junior gearing limits
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Old 08-21-22, 08:27 AM
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I'm feeling less lonely already! )

And BTW, in case any newbie thinks I'm out of range of "vintage" talking about my aluminum Vitus, the previous owner raced it in the late 1980's.

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Old 08-21-22, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by zookster View Post
One of my regular riders is a 1980 Raleigh Record Ace 10 speed, love riding it. Currently servicing up a 1976 Schwinn Varsity 10 speed. Looking forward to riding it too!
What cog T's do you have on the FW? What about teeth on your chain-wheels? ... and who made the FW?

Perhaps never mind; I had to go to the bike garage and count up mine.
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Old 08-21-22, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
All my bikes have 115mm spacing, for either a 3-speed or 4-speed. None of those fancy 5-speeds.
Dude, I remember ... I can count on you being in coelacanth territory.

Back in the '70's, my Knight was probably 120mm spacing. (I wilt with remorse when remembering the day I sold it. The cambered fork crown itself was to die for. A Canadian named McCrae used as his training bike for the European racing 'tour'. It was geared so high that it nearly killed me. (I was too young, ignorant and dumb to change it.)
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Old 08-21-22, 08:48 AM
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All of my vintage Schwinns are 5 speed or narrow spaced 6 speed. Now that I'm living in a flat coastal area (and not the NH mountains), I'm slowly reverting to 5 speed freewheels which max out at 24T for the largest sprocket.
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Old 08-21-22, 08:49 AM
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Funny you should ask

I actually went from a stock 6 to a five on my 83 Trek700 in full 531 tubing. Mostly flatlands and old rider here, so I don’t need 30 mph gearing. I am kinda picky on even gear spacing and found it difficult to achieve with 6 speeds in back in some cases



83 Trek 700



SR Apex with 34-47 chainrings





I like even gear spacing.
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Old 08-21-22, 08:58 AM
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Nothing wrong with 5-speed freewheels, gives most of what I need.

Some of mine still running 2x5 or 3x5:
  • ’72 raleigh international
  • ’75 raleigh international
  • ’80 centurion pro tour
  • ’81 ross professional
  • ’82 chris pauley tierra
  • ’83 univega specialissima
  • ’84 centurion pro tour

Planned new builds with 2x5:
  • ’69 mondia super special
  • ’72/73 colnago super
  • ’75 mercian

Mind, I do have a smattering of 6-, 7-, and 8-speed bikes from the mid-80s to the early-90s— I like most kinds of seafood.

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Old 08-21-22, 09:02 AM
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My freewheel history since the early 70's

1970 Raleigh Record................................ 5 speed
1974 Motobecane Nomade........................ 5 speed
1974 Raleigh Grand Prix........................... 5 speed
1970 Falcon San Remo............................. 5 speed
1983 Miyata 912....................... 6 speed
1985 Holdsworth Special............ 6 speed
1972 Raleigh Grand Prix........................... 5 speed
1973 Raleigh Sprite................................. 5 speed
1975 Falcon Eddie Merckx......................... 5 speed
1977 Raleigh Grand Prix........................... 5 speed
1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix.................. 5 speed
1976 Falcon Special................................. 5 speed
1974 Raleigh Grand Prix........................... 5 speed
1980 Miyata 912........................ 6 speed
1972 Raleigh Super Course........................5 speed

I'm currently building another 1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix, guess what?............... 5 Speed
.
.
.
.

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Old 08-21-22, 09:05 AM
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I dont' ride it much but the Bott has 10 total
1972 Bottecchia Giro D'Italia (Professional conversion) on Flickr

The recently acquired '71 Bianchi will likely be a 10 as well.
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Old 08-21-22, 09:11 AM
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When I switched to the GP4/NR tubbies on the Guerciotti, I left the 5spd block and switched the shifters to friction. My hips' starting to making riding uncomfortable, but I'm still taking it out a couple times a week.


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Old 08-21-22, 09:13 AM
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My commuter, a 1970s Sekine SHS 271, has 2 x 5 "alpine" gearing. The gearing is stock on the bike (52/42 rings and 14-28 freewheel). My 1972 Schwinn Sports Tourer is pretty much all original and it has interesting, wide ranging 2 x 5 gearing (54/40 rings, 14-34 freewheel). My 1973 Motobecane Grand Record is 2 x 5 but I'm running "compact" gearing to help with hill climbs (50-36 rings and 14-28 freewheel). One of these days, I'm going to set up a bike with half step gearing, 3 x 5 (52/47/32 rings on a TA triple and a 14-32 5 speed freewheel). I have a '68 Schwinn Paramount project that I'm thinking of using this gearing with. And then there is my 1960 Olmo gran sport which is a fine introduction into the joys of 2 x 5 gearing way back in the day (49/46 rings and 14-26 5 speed freewheel). The Olmo and the Sports Tourer are almost all original (different pedals on the Sports Tourer and different saddle, bar and stem on the Olmo).





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Old 08-21-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
All of my vintage Schwinns are 5 speed or narrow spaced 6 speed. Now that I'm living in a flat coastal area (and not the NH mountains), I'm slowly reverting to 5 speed freewheels which max out at 24T for the largest sprocket.
Most of my riding is on the flat too. I ride on local levees and flood plains. I don't need toothy cogs, and when I do, I'll just stand for the limited steep climbs I encounter.

The new FW's I see on the market (Shimano or mainland Chinese units) have big, granny bail-out cogs. One exception seems to be a SunRace model that may becoming rare or extinct leaving only their 28T model. Recently, Rakuten wanted big money for one in 24T, whereas a few years ago I did a build for a friend and didn't pay much over ¥1,200. It had a noisy click, but it smoothed out after breaking in.

I've noted your website and have it "carded" for use if I need it in the future.
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Old 08-21-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
When I switched to the GP4/NR tubbies on the Guerciotti, I left the 5spd block and switched the shifters to friction. My hips' starting to making riding uncomfortable, but I'm still taking it out a couple times a week.

That chainwheel setup is pretty cool.
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Old 08-21-22, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
I actually went from a stock 6 to a five on my 83 Trek700 in full 531 tubing. >>>SNIP>>>
I have a Trek too ... a 530 in Reynolds 501. Maybe a year younger, and it's a bit small for me, but I love the way it rides. (It's just a stripped frame at the moment.) More to the point: do you have an URL link for that gear inches calculator?

And, I don't quite understand by what you mean by "even spacing". I would think a corncob is evenly spaced.
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Old 08-21-22, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Dylansbob View Post
When I switched to the GP4/NR tubbies on the Guerciotti, I left the 5spd block and switched the shifters to friction. My hips' starting to making riding uncomfortable, but I'm still taking it out a couple times a week >>>SNIP>>>.
Sorry to hear about your hips. Have you seen a chiropractor in case your spine is out of alignment. I had sciatica for awhile until I got straightened out.

BTW: I have the same Mavic GP4's on the Vitus, but with skinnier tubs. AND ... what a huge differential on the Campy spider!
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Old 08-21-22, 09:57 AM
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I’m commuting on a 73 PA-10E with 13/21 5 speed, a 52/45 steel cottered crank, and Simplex Criterium shifting.

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Old 08-21-22, 09:59 AM
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Sorta.

I'm not exactly "riding" it, but the wheels that are on my Trek TX700 have a 5 speed FW on. That bike has perpetually been in the "to finish building" queue.
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Old 08-21-22, 10:01 AM
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If I had a rider that had started life as a 10-speed, I'd have no qualms keeping it so. I'm content with a very modest range of gears.

But the only bike in our collection with a 5-speed freewheel is a vintage Schwinn that the wife doesn't love, so...
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Old 08-21-22, 10:06 AM
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I'm still running 5-speed on an Olmo, Gitane, and Fuji Professional. My French "Criterium" is getting a new wheel build and going to be 4-speed. I have another old mystery French frame and an Alcyon that are getting a 3-speed wheel build to share.

A cambio corsa build will likely be getting a 4-speed wheelset, just because I don't think have a 3-speed freewheel with Italian threads. My guess is that I might eventually break down and get a 3-speed freewheel, but I think 4-speed could be reasonable for the estimated age. .
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Old 08-21-22, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
I have a Trek too ... a 530 in Reynolds 501. Maybe a year younger, and it's a bit small for me, but I love the way it rides. (It's just a stripped frame at the moment.) More to the point: do you have an URL link for that gear inches calculator?

And, I don't quite understand by what you mean by "even spacing". I would think a corncob is evenly spaced.
What I mean by “even spaced” is a consistent, even jump in gear ratios. Once you play with the gear calculator and start plugging stuff in, you will see what I mean. After using the calculator, it is hard for me to ride around with redundant gears and odd spacing. This calculator is mentioned here often and is quite popular. I may have taken you to a dark place.

https://www.gear-calculator.com
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Old 08-21-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
All my bikes have 115mm spacing, for either a 3-speed or 4-speed. None of those fancy 5-speeds.
Some Italian cycling manual (might be the CONI/Cinelli book, can't remember) had a diagram instructing the neophyte racer on the proper use of the modern (straight-block/corncob) 4-sprocket freewheel: "big" (49 or so) ring with the outer two sprockets, "small" (46 or so) ring with the inner two sprockets.
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