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Four Notch Method

1 Fit the removal tool into the notches and secure it in place by lightly attaching the axle nut over the top of the tool enough prevent the notches of the tool from coming free. Do not overtighten the axle nut, you will need the freewheel and removal tool to move slightly as the freewheel unthreads in Step 2.

2 Clamp the removal tool in a bench vise. Looking down on the wheel as shown and with your hands at roughly 3 and 9 o’clock, turn the wheel counterclockwise just enough to loosen the freewheel. It may take some oomph, but don’t turn the wheel more than a few degrees once it is free or you risk stripping the threads of the hub as the axle nut will not allow the freewheel and tool to move outward away from the hub.

3 With the freewheel now loosely threaded onto the hub you can remove the entire assembly from the bench vise and remove the axle nut. At this point you should be able to unscrew the freewheel the rest of the way with minimal effort.

Destructive Method

With damaged, shallow or non-existent removal notches your only option is to take apart the freewheel and use a wrench or vise on the inner freewheel body, essentially ruining it in the process. Don’t fret—if the freewheel does not have four removal notches it is most likely of the lowest quality available and not worth saving.

1 Using a pin spanner, remove the bearing cone. This is a left-hand thread, so turn it clockwise to loosen. As you remove the cone, tiny bearings will fall everywhere.

2 With the cone removed and the internals of the freewheels exposed you can now pull the toothed outer freewheel body off, hiding another line of tiny bearings behind it that will then fall out everywhere, possibly along with the pawls and springs that make it all work.

3 Clamp the inner freewheel body in a vise or use a pipe wrench as shown to turn the remains of the freewheel counterclockwise on the hub to remove it.

Clean and grease the threads on the hub before installing your new freewheel to make this process that much easier next time.


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