Freewheels are one of those magical components of your drivetrain that make bike riding a lot easier. Going up steep terrain will also require you to put a lot of pressure on your drivetrain. This is where freewheels come in, to help you spend less energy.
Single speed freewheels are designed to only turn in one direction. They lock up in the other direction so back pedalling isn’t facilitated like front pedalling is.
Freewheels make your wheels turn faster than your pedals so you have more control over your bike riding without spending too much energy.
Why Does Your Bike Need a Freewheel?
A freewheel helps you ride easier but that’s not the only thing it does. It also prevents accidents. Your bike needs a freewheel to keep you safe while riding.
When you’re riding down from a steep ground, your wheels will turn due to the bike’s inertia of motion, causing your pedals to move by themselves and hurtling you forward. There’s no need to break down why this could be risky, you could crash into something or get badly hurt.
Your freewheel prevents the wheels from moving backwards as the teeth on the inside get caught in between the socket and create a block. Bike freewheels don’t just make riding easier, they also ensure your road safety.
Which Fixie Freewheel Should You Choose?
There’s a variety of freewheels to choose from to make your bike riding more enjoyable. But you need to make your choice based on how long you can use it for and how easy it will be to maintain.
It’s better to look at some freewheels side by side, compare them and to choose the best one from them. Granted, this will take a really long time and a lot of inspection, but that’s where we come in. We’ve got a list of some of the best gears to help you choose.
1. SHIMANO Single-Speed Freewheels
Shimano is one of the best known names in the bike riders world, and for good reason. The manufacturers design quality products that will serve all your bike riding needs. Their single speed freewheels rank amongst the top freewheels in almost every list, as well as ours.
If we’re talking about durability, the sprockets on Shimano’s single speed freewheels are made of high quality steel, further plated with chromium. This makes the gear resistant to corrosion, adding to its rigidity and lengthening its lifespan. If all the drivetrain parts match up and you keep up proper maintenance, this freewheel will last you a long time.
Is this freewheel recommended for long use?
The material used to make Shimano freewheels is firm, sturdy, which makes it last long and perfect for hard use. If you’ve managed to properly match all the drivetrain parts, this freewheel will withstand all your bumpy rides and cover long miles.
Is the freewheel compatible with all bikes?
Shimano single speed freewheel is designed for single speed bikes and is most compatible with BMX bikes. It is best to use a Shimano drivetrain set to match your freewheel and to guarantee best performance.
The freewheel works best with a 3/32 inch and 1/8 inch chain. The freewheel provides easy grip for chains used as it has 16 teeth. Excellent riding experience is guaranteed with Shimano’s single speed freewheel.
Does installation of the freewheel take long?
Shimano’s single speed freewheel is super simple to install and its affordable pricing allows you to upgrade your bike easily. You won’t even need any special installation tools, just screw it on. To get more information on replacing freewheels, you can check out this video.
Why do we recommend Shimano’s single speed freewheel?
Shimano’s freewheels are quieter than other freewheels and are recommended by bike riders and professionals. You’ll enjoy a high quality, stealthy biking experience with Shimano’s freewheel.
2. ZUKKA Single-Speed Bike Freewheel
The bike parts and accessories manufactured by Zukka are always of good quality and affordable for a quick bike upgrade.
Zukka’s freewheel is made with high-quality iron and is designed to deliver the best performance. It is heat resistant and the flywheel is lightweight and compact, making the product easy to install or disassemble. You only need a freewheel tool to help with disassembling and installation of the product.
The freewheel has high-precision internal thread, which keeps it closely connected to the bike hub and it provides stable rotation. It has 18 teeth and is available in silver colour which can be used with 1/2 inches and 1/8 inches chains.
Can I use Zukka’s single speed freewheel with all bikes?
Zukka’s single speed freewheel is ideal for use on single speed city bikes, beach cruiser bikes, tricycles and hybrid bikes.
Why select Zukka’s single speed freewheel?
Its affordability, durability and high quality performance makes this the go-to replacement freewheel.
3. CyclingDeal Single Speed Bike Freewheel
CyclingDeal is a trusted name among bikers and professionals when it comes to bike accessories and components.
They have a wide range of components and gears for all your needs. Their single speed freewheel is made of high quality, hardened steel which gives the product a long life span.
The freewheel is incorporated with high quality ball bearings that facilitate smooth rolling. It is compatible with 1/2×1/8 inch and 1/2×3/32 inch chains and available in 16T, 17T, 18T sizes.
Is this freewheel durable?
CyclingDeal is confident of the quality of their products and offers you a year long warranty. You can test it out yourself and check if it matches what you’re looking for
4. SENQI Bike Sprocket Gear Single Speed Freewheel
SENQI’s single speed freewheel offers you 3 different sizes: 12T, 14T and 16T, which you can choose from to find the size that works for you. This freewheel is cold forged and shaped using CNC machining. SENQI’s freewheel is designed to provide their users optimal performance.
This product is designed to engage every 12 degrees due to its three-pawl engagement feature which gives you stronger hold. Its removable notch pattern offers you better frame clearance. SENQI parts all work together to ensure safety and longevity.
If we’re talking about all the features SENQI offers users, it’s definitely a steal at its affordable price. This freewheel brings you quality, performance, long term warranty and all of that at perfectly reasonable rates. If your bike freewheel needs a replacement, SENQI bike freewheel is the right one to go with.
How much does freewheel size matter?
A larger freewheel offers you more torque for climbing up hills on your bike. Though a larger freewheel means slower top speed, you’ll need freewheels of different sizes for stability on different terrains. SENQI’s freewheel offers you three different sizes: 12T, 14T and 16T which allows you options to pick what works best for your bike.
Does this freewheel need a derailleur?
You’ll need a derailleur to help move the chain, you can also mount a chain tensioner to the derailleur hanger and move it by hand.
How durable is the freewheel?
SEBQI builds their freewheels with CNC machining, hardening them through cold forging technology. The manufacturer also offers a year-long warranty for the product so you can purchase it without too much overthinking. SENQI freewheels can be used on any single speed bike as long as it matches your drivetrain components.
5. Diamond Tri Single Speed Bicycle Freewheel
If you’re on a bit of a tight budget, Diamond Single-speed freewheel is the go to freewheel for you. It is made with cold forge technique, making it resistant to rust and corrosion. A durable product that comes with extensive size options to choose from.
Diamond’s single speed freewheel is great for outdoor use and use in sports. The wheel is made of stainless steel and the cold forge technique makes it long lasting.
It’s also super easy to install and you don’t even need a whole packed toolkit for installing this freewheel. It is quite easy to install with spanners or the right sized wrench. But uninstalling the freewheel is not that easy of a task.
It comes with a special notch pattern for easy removal but still removing the product proves difficult for many buyers. But Diamond’s freewheel doesn’t require much removal unless you’re replacing it with a new one.
Does this product work with all sized chains?
Diamond single speed freewheel offers you an expansive range of sizes to pick from, starting with 13T size and all the way up to 28T, which is their largest size. It is ideal for 1/2 inch and 1/8-inch single speed bike chains but won’t fit a 3/32 inch KMC chain.
You’ll need to keep the teeth per inch(tpi) rate when selecting the freewheel and matching it with your chain.
How do I know what size freewheel to use?
The size of your freewheel depends on what size chain you’re using, the terrain your bike is riding on and the compatibility of your drivetrain parts. If you want to make your bike easier to pedal, try going with a freewheel with more teeth.
This will make your bike slower as the freewheel is bigger in size and you’ll also need a longer chain. You can make your chain longer by connecting more links onto it. If you want to keep your bike chain short and your speed fast, you’ll need a smaller freewheel with less teeth.
6. SHIMANO Single Freewheel Sprocket SF-1200
Like all of Shimano’sproducts, the SF 1200 freewheel is designed to guarantee longevity and durability.
You don’t require a lock-ring to use this sprocket.
The freewheel is suited with 1/8 inch chains and works best with other Shimano components.
It is designed for standard threaded hubs and is available in two colours: black and regular.
Is this product available in multiple sizes?
No, Shimano’s SF 1200 is only available in a single 18T size for now.
Single Speed Freewheel – Buying Guide
While buying a freewheel, you’ll need to consider several aspects and then make the right choice. For example, if you’re on a tight budget and want a quick replacement, it is better to go with SENQI or Zukka freewheel. Matching your new purchase to all your drivetrain components is also important.
The Chain Size
All freewheels on our list are available in different sizes. If you’re using a larger freewheel with more teeth, you’ll need to use a longer chain.
Your chain needs to be changed each time you’re replacing your freewheel terwise, you’ll end up damaging your bike parts. If you’re using a freewheel with less teeth, then your chain needs to be shorter or else it will get caught between bike parts.
Your bike’s chain, chainring, freewheel/cassette, derailleur all together make up your drivetrain. You’ll need to ensure your chain is the right length for the freewheel and the derailleur used fits in with the freewheel. You’ll also need to make sure your selected gears all maintain the ideal gear ratio.
Usually on the chainring there are 44 teeth in front and 18 teeth at the back. The ideal gear ratio is 44:18. This also indicates how much energy needs to be applied for your bike to easily move forward. The higher the gear ratio is, the faster will be your riding speed.
Sometimes freewheels are difficult to remove once they’re installed onto your bike. The cost for changing freewheels again and again is also quite high. So you’ll need to select a freewheel that’ll last long and not get damaged easily, even through your rough riding.
Shimano’s single speed bike gear and CyclingDeal’s single speed sprocket will be the right gears for you in this case. They’ll last long, will be easy to replace when they wear out and will be compatible with other Shimano components.
Since changing your freewheel requires you to change your chain as well, you may need to change your chainring too as incompatible chainrings and chains will damage all your bike components.
But all of these replacements might just cost you an arm and a leg if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re looking for freewheels that are within a reasonable rate, you can try Shimano’s single speed freewheel or Zukka’s single speed freewheel. SENQI single speed freewheels also guarantee quality within a reasonable price range.
Bike parts need to be constantly maintained and repaired to keep them working in top notch condition. But you also need to replace the parts whenever they wear out, to avoid damage to other parts too.
Whether you’re picking out a new derailleur or replacing a chainring, or choosing a new chain, you’ll need to match up all your equipment compatibility and check if they work best for you and your bike. But don’t forget to clean and grease your bike and all its parts regularly for optimal performance and the best riding experience.