Flossing your free wheel sprocket for ease of removal

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This is just a trick I use when installing my freewheel sprocket on any bike. Everyone knows how hard they are to remove. even when you just put them on finger tight, in a week they have chain wrenched themselves so tight I often takes special tools to get them turning back off to the left.
I have chosen the Vespa rear wheel as the example because it is one model that requires that you remove the freewheel sprocket to do maintenance on the brakes and seals.

slide in transmission

When you are ready to reassemble your rear wheel slide your transmissions output shaft through the knurled hole in the hub till it stops. It will greatly help if you slather the shaft with anti seize paste to ease the slide in.


You can use any type of waxed or unwaxed dental floss for this. I don't recommend the ribbon tape as it is hard to keep uniform wraps going.

Now simply build up about 20 wraps at the area where the shaft threads end keeping the wraps up against the shoulder where the bearing cage will slide on. Dont build up your floss wraps too high or you might have trouble pushing your caged bearing onto it's flat home.

floss bundle

You will end up with something like this. Mine of course is slathered in anti seize paste. The principal is simple, as the freewheel is threaded on, It meets the bundle of floss and begins to compress it before it meets the bearing race. The floss being so strong cant be forced out and acts as a release point so it will be easier to remove the freewheel in the future,

pillar box

Assemble the caged bearing and freewheel.

install freewheel


You might want to try this. It really work good on all types of freewheels.

I am now finished with this Wiki page. If you have any questions about the tips I suggested, or are having trouble with the process or can suggest how I can correct a mistake I have made or to make the page better, contact Cheetahchrome