Converting from Freewheel to Freehub

russyh
russyh Posts: 1,375
edited April 2012 in Workshop
Hi,
Coudl someone tell me if there are any complications or what i need to do when upgrading from a 7 speed Freewheel to an 8 or 9 speed free hub? Apart from upgrading my shifters etc. Will it just be a case of swapping wheels and settign the bike up? Or am i over simplifying the process. I am not after more gears really, but i would like a better (Used) wheelset, which by the looks of it would mean more gears on a cassetter set up?

Sorry if the above is a stupid question i am very new to all this. :roll:

Thanks

Comments

  • schweiz
    schweiz Posts: 1,644
    You'll need a new derailleur as well. 7 speed derailleurs don't have the range of movement that a 8/9/10 speed derailleur has.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    Gap between the dropouts in a 7 speed frame is ~120mm for and 130mm for 8,9 & 10.
  • schweiz
    schweiz Posts: 1,644
    craker wrote:
    Gap between the dropouts in a 7 speed frame is ~120mm for and 130mm for 8,9 & 10.

    Is that always the case? My old Gary Fisher Mountain Bike is 7 speed and it has a OLN spacing of 135 mm the same as an 8/9/10 speed MTB?
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    craker wrote:
    Gap between the dropouts in a 7 speed frame is ~120mm for and 130mm for 8,9 & 10.
    Does that mean it is not possible to d othe upgrade then? Or do you have to buy a 7 speed Freehub??
  • schweiz
    schweiz Posts: 1,644
    Russyh wrote:
    craker wrote:
    Gap between the dropouts in a 7 speed frame is ~120mm for and 130mm for 8,9 & 10.
    Does that mean it is not possible to d othe upgrade then? Or do you have to buy a 7 speed Freehub??

    I'm not sure that all frames that had a 7 speed freehub/freewheel are 120mm, a quick google shows that 130mm 7 speed hubs were and are available. Measure the distance between the rear drop-outs if it's 130 mm (+/- 2 mm) then a 8/9/10 speed freehub wheel will fit. Then you will need new shifters, a new rear derailleur, a new cassette, a new chain and new chain rings.
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    Thanks Schweiz, i will measure my dropout distance tonight. I am hoping to upgrade the components on my current bike until i can then afford a better frame. If i cannot fit an upgrade wheel it will be a big kick in the nuts as it will restict my plan.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    There is a bit of confusion here.

    7 speed road freewheel was 126 mm
    8 speed and more road is 130 mm
    MTB is 135 mm

    The OP frame is likely 126 mm... it can be cold set to 130 mm, but it's not as simple and straightforward as Sheldon Brown suggests... it can be done, but then the dropouts need to be realigned and so the rear mech hanger, otherwise the indexed shifting will always be bad, defying the point of the upgrade. My advice is to stay on 7 speed freewheel, Ebay is still full of spares
    left the forum March 2023
  • andrewjoseph
    andrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought a freewheel screwed onto the hub and was incompatible with bolt/push on freehubs?
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • schweiz
    schweiz Posts: 1,644
    you're not wrong but the OP is talking about getting a new wheel with an 8/9/10 speed freehub and using it to replace a wheel that had a 7 speed freewheel
  • andrewjoseph
    andrewjoseph Posts: 2,165
    schweiz wrote:
    you're not wrong but the OP is talking about getting a new wheel with an 8/9/10 speed freehub and using it to replace a wheel that had a 7 speed freewheel

    thank you, must have misread that. thought it didn't make sense.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    schweiz wrote:
    you're not wrong but the OP is talking about getting a new wheel with an 8/9/10 speed freehub and using it to replace a wheel that had a 7 speed freewheel

    Spot on, i will measure my drop outs distance tonight and then report back. Its not a case of life and death my current bike works for me as its my first introduction to road cycling. However i would like to use it as a test bed and upgrade parts slowly before upgrading the frame. If i can't upgrade the wheelset i will wait for some good lightly used freehub wheels and buy them in preperation for my project. I am learning so much from this forum!
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    Right i have measured the gap between my dropouts and its 130mm. Could someone confirm i measure the distance from the inside to the inside as if its outside to outside its 145mm.

    I am sorry if this is a stupid question again, but i am learning!
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Inside to inside. (technically it is the OLN -over lock nut- dimension of the hub, but that should be the same as the internal gap between the dropouts)
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    So with a drop out measurement of 130mm I am ok upgrade my wheel set? Which is fantastic news! I guess te next question is what wheel set should I be buying? I can't afford new, so what should I be looking for?
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'd decide whether you want a Campag or Shimano type system then look on Ebay or even the For Sale section of the forum here.

    In terms of 8 / 9 / 10 speed stuff, the shifters, chain and cassette should be the same speed

    What budget?? You can get a set of factory wheels for under £100
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    keef66 wrote:
    I'd decide whether you want a Campag or Shimano type system then look on Ebay or even the For Sale section of the forum here.

    In terms of 8 / 9 / 10 speed stuff, the shifters, chain and cassette should be the same speed

    What budget?? You can get a set of factory wheels for under £100

    that will probably be a downgrade though... no matter what wheels he has now on, they will be better than a set of sub 100 pounds ones.

    Let's not think that anything that is old is worse that anything that is new. We used to have light and fast wheels even in the 1980s and there was far less junk around than there is now!
    left the forum March 2023
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I was thinking of the state of the 7 speed freewheel based wheels on the Peugeot my son and I just tarted up. Low end Campag originals, but the hubs are worn out and the rims needed quite a lot of persuading and some very odd spoke tensions before they'd run true-ish.

    Those budget Shimanos would be an improvement!
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    keef66 wrote:
    I was thinking of the state of the 7 speed freewheel based wheels on the Peugeot my son and I just tarted up. Low end Campag originals, but the hubs are worn out and the rims needed quite a lot of persuading and some very odd spoke tensions before they'd run true-ish.

    Those budget Shimanos would be an improvement!

    OLd rims and hubs are a bit more difficult to rebuild... it takes patience, but then they get another 20 years of life, before the next rebuild... :D
    I love old Peugeot... they are underestimated, they were there before Mr Colnago was even born. Few know that Peugeot made bicycles before they made cars
    left the forum March 2023
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    So what would people recommend then? A good entry level wheel set? This is the trouble with being a newbie you don't know what the hell is good and what's crap! I now know how Newbies feel when they start out in my sport!

    I must say thanks for all the advice guys its fantastic, keep it coming!
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Russyh wrote:
    So what would people recommend then? A good entry level wheel set? This is the trouble with being a newbie you don't know what the hell is good and what's crap! I now know how Newbies feel when they start out in my sport!

    I must say thanks for all the advice guys its fantastic, keep it coming!

    I recommend a set of handbuilts by me, tastefully tailored to suit your old bike... something with Ambrosio Zenith hubs, for instance on light rims.
    Of course we are talking higher end components, so around 200 or just over faces of QE2... :D
    left the forum March 2023
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    Interesting is that for a both wheels or each?
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Russyh wrote:
    Interesting is that for a both wheels or each?

    Both wheels of course. If you plan on doing some massive charity event, I might even sponsor you and take half the labour off in exchange for an equivalent donation to your charity and a little mention in your diary
    left the forum March 2023
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    That would be very kind, but no plans for anything like this yet. Although we are starting to talk about it.

    In an ideal world i would be looking at spending less the £200, do use wheels run as a risk? I.E. damaged etc. What would be a decent off the shelf brand/Model
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Russyh wrote:
    That would be very kind, but no plans for anything like this yet. Although we are starting to talk about it.

    In an ideal world i would be looking at spending less the £200, do use wheels run as a risk? I.E. damaged etc. What would be a decent off the shelf brand/Model

    Less than 200 is possible even on hand builds, ambrosio evolution rims... That would come at 170 coins sacryfying around 100grams over lighter rims
    left the forum March 2023
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Or for £70 you could have the Shimano R500's :D
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    keef66 wrote:
    Or for £70 you could have the Shimano R500's :D
    ... A downgrade... :D
    left the forum March 2023
  • russyh
    russyh Posts: 1,375
    What rs500's?? Are they a decent set of off shelf wheels is that delivered ??
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/Bike+Shop ... O-R500.htm

    These ones

    Merlin charge £6.50 for wheel delivery
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Russyh wrote:
    What rs500's?? Are they a decent set of off shelf wheels is that delivered ??

    No, they are like anchors
    left the forum March 2023