Re: [CR] Exploding SunTour Freewheels

Example: Production Builders:Pogliaghi

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 10:37:33 -0500
From: Harvey Sachs <>
To:, Classic Rendezvous <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Exploding SunTour Freewheels

Over the years there's been repeated conversation about the Suntour FW, and I've shared some of my experiences. In general, I think the Suntours were tremendous advance over the Atom/Regina stuff we'd been using, but not w/o problems. My major issue was - like Kevin's - with pawl failure in tandem service. We had a couple of pawl failures on our tandem when we were young and fit. First fix was to grind down Regina pawls just a bit, and they worked fine. Until the stronger pawl caused the body to split... Sent one off to Suntour (w/o the regina pawls), with a nice note that we like the FW, but couldn't recommend them to our young racing friends if they failed under our light touring loads on the tandem. They replaced it with two new ones. Nice. And a while later, there emerged on the market the "T" (for tandem) FW, which didn't fail.

And, I did have a winner loosen up on L'Eroica, which was a bit of a nuisance, too. Had to stop a couple of times to try to hammer the lock ring home. Life happens.

But, in retrospect I think I understand the pawl failures. Regina FW were empirical. Suntour were engineered. But the engineers weren't aware of crazy American tandems with 26 th. chainrings driving 32 or 34 tooth FW cogs. And that ratio with two folks puts more torque on the FW pawls than a racer with his 42x19. Once they understood the design requirements, they responded with the right product. I miss Suntour.

harvey sachs mcLean VA +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Kevin Montgomery wrote: As well as being apalling, those SunTour freewheels were depawling. I had one on my '50s Follis tandem, upgraded to a mix of mid-'70s touring gear, for a ride in about '75. We rode to Border Park, along the Mexican border in southern San Diego County. My comely stoker and I were the last of the group to leave the isolated park. As we rolled off, we found the freewheel fouly flipping forward (take that, alliteration man!). No fall, but stuck miles from a phone, miles from a shop, and dropped from the group. "Hah!" laughed I in the face of adversity. Pulling a pair of needle-nose from a subsaddle bag, I bent and worried?three or four pieces of lashing from the barbly-wire border fence -- the only international divider at the time -- then used them to bind the large freewheel cog to the spokes. We rode out gently on a fixed gear.