I spent a good bit of my Sunday afternoon engaged in that favorite task of all classic bike collectors, i.e. removing an old notched Regina Oro FW with hopelessly ruined notches. You know the drill - try futilely to remove with the FW tool, give up and resign yourself to disassembling the FW. Try the pin wrench which you know full well can never really remove the cover plate (why do they bother to sell these?). Drive the cover plater off with a center punch. Watch all the bearing drop out on the floor. Remove the cogs. Clamp the body in a bench vise and turn the wheel to remove the FW body. Drop trashed body in the garbage. Pick up all the bearings off the floor.
The FW cogs are in pretty good shape and a useful range, except the large cog, at 30T, is a bit too much for the Campy NR RD on the 1972 Paramount this FW was mounted on. I'd like to remove the cogs and substitute one or two different sizes. Sutherlin's (1980 edition) makes some vague reference to the fact that some FWs have one or two large cogs that screw on from the back of the FW, while the rest screw on from the front. It's been a while since I did this, but I seem to recall that this is the case with the Regina Oro. Correct? Is it one or two cogs that thread on from the back? Do the cogs thread on counterclockwise on the back and clockwise on the front as would seem logical? What is the general experience as to the difficulty of removing the cogs using a pair of chain whips? Any special tricks to this?
Every couple of years, I'm reminded why notched FWs were replaced by splined ones. Some innovations are good.