Sunday, February 20, 2011

Project Mania 1

I've got three bikes I want to modify in some form or fashion, the 70's Lotus, the Panasonic ATB, my Takara touring bike, and my wife's Univega Mixte. I decided to start with the wheels. The Lotus, Takara, and Univega are all currently sporting 27" wheels on 126mm hubs. With this size wheel there doesn't appear to be any tire available wider than 1" 1/4 (32mm). I'm switching to 700c for a better selection in tires and widths. The Panaracer ATB is an early 80's mountain bike which surprisingly uses an old road bike sized 126mm rear hub in a 26" rim.

Chris (Pondero), being the great guy that he is, donated a couple of old wheels to my cause. The donated wheels are 27" with 126mm hubs. I'm not using the hubs that are currently on my bike because-the rear hub on the touring bike has 40 spokes (not many rim choices), the rear hubs on the Lotus and Univega are Shimano Uniglide (obsolete and difficult (expensive!) to find replacement cassettes). The Panasonic was purchased as a frame only, so no hub there. The hubs were remove from Chris' donor wheels and I got to work.

This is the hub shell from one of the donor wheels. It's a Campagnolo Chorus, at least I think it is, I compared it to photos of similar hubs on Ebay. The other hub is stamped "Schwinn approved".

It's hard to see but it's stamped "England" which I'm pretty sure refers to English threading.

The Atom 77 Compact freewheel. This is where I ran into my first problem. To remove this freewheel you need a Park Tool FR-4 for Regina/ Atom freewheels. I didn't have one, and I didn't want to order one, so I ran over to a nearby bike shop that's been in business since the 70's. It took some searching but they eventually found the right tool and removed the Atom freewheels from the Campy and Schwinn hubs.

While I had the hub apart for maintenance, I attacked the shell with some aluminum polish. This old Campy stuff cleans up nicely.

Nice! It looks even better in person.


  1. Trigo's Bike Shop, Sales and Repair. It's off of Trail Lake Drive, isn't it?

  2. I've got an Atom freewheel tool hanging around. Two of my bikes use Atom freewheels. IMO, it is a better system than the Shimano freewheels. That Campy hub sure does look nice!

  3. Ha! Not quite. The guys at Trinity will be bailing me out on a regular basis.

  4. Steve A-I don't know much about the Atom freewheels. I've heard that Suntour was the freewheel brand to use.

    If I plan to continue working on old bikes I should probably buy some of these older tools.

  5. Suntour made a bunch of various combinations of cogs for its clusters. Suntour freewheels also uses the two-tabbed tool which is unlike the one necessary for your Atom freewheel. The tabs, on opposite sides, fit into recesses in the freewheel. It's easy to break the corners off of the tabs, but you can put the skewer through the tool and the hub, keeping the tool "locked" in place as you turn the tool.

    I like that splined tool for the Atom freewheel. It's a much better system for gripping the inside of the freewheel.

  6. I always enjoy seeing an old part get polished up like that. Looking forward to seeing the completed wheel.

  7. Nice work on that hub. Hopefully, it will work well for you. I enjoy your projects, and am looking forward to frequent updates.

  8. My Atom tool will survive the grinding of glaciers in the next ice age. That spline was a superior system, but it was also expensive to make compared to a couple of mealy-mouth tabs like the Japanese used. I broke off a tab on my Japanese freewheel tool and am already on my second...

  9. I looked through all of my wheels and hubs. Everything I have is either 120 or 135, right now. Sorry I couldn't help.