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  1. #1
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    freehub compatibility

    Right now I have my wheel built with a 1215yr old shimano 600 hub on it. It has the 6 speed cassette and freehub on it. I want to build new wheels tho using new ultegra hubs. Is it possible to use my 6 speed freehubs on the new 9 speed hubs and then just dish the wheel or is the allen bolt or something different.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Interesting question. By reusing the shorter axle, the freehub body, and the driveside cones and seals, and using the new non-driveside bearing parts that come with the hub, I think you could technically get away with it.

    But why bother? If your hub is shot, re-using half of it doesn't make sense. If it's not shot, why not re-use the whole thing? And either way, where will you get new 6sp cassettes when you need them (assuming the bike is going to get used)? What's the full story behind this one? :confused:

  3. #3
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Brian,
    First, go to sheldonbrown.com and read the articles about Shimano cassettes. It has excellent guidance on this subject though not a whole lot about 6sp. Keep in mind that as long as you have the 9sp hub you could use 7 (with a spacer), 8 or 9 sp cassettes with your shifter in friction mode rather than indexed. You will need an appropriate chain. A 9sp chain will work on anything, but 7 will be too wide for 8, 8 too wide for 9.

    The 6sp freehub/cassette setup is a bit of an odd bird. It is probably Uniglide rather than the current Hyperglide (see Sheldon's article). You can actually use your 6sp cassette on the 9sp freehub with spacers on the inside to fill the extra space IF the new freehub body has apprpriate threads for the threaded small cog used on Uniglide (HG uses a separate lock ring). It is quite common to use 7sp cassettes on 9sp bodies with spacers. I have done it. It works like a charm. You just have to readjust your low limit setting on your derailleur. Your LBS can probably tell you exactly what spacers you need. If they can't help, you can call Harris Cyclery. They can confirm exactly the spacers you need and sell them to you for a couple of bucks. If you have an old cassette you can pull it apart and try spacers from it. The problem is that one is probably not enough and two may be too much so you might need 1 plus a thinner spacer of specific width. For that matter, I don't see why you couldn't use a couple of small cogs from an old cassette as spacers next to the large cog.
    FWIW, Nashbar has Shimano 11-24 6sp cassettes for 13 bucks!

    Oh, dropout width for a 6 sp is something like 126 mm. A 9sp, the current standard, is 130 mm. Assuming yours is a steel frame this is no problem. This "clamps" the hub a bit, meaning you have to give the wheel a little tug to get it out and pull the dropouts apart a bit to get the wheel back in. My old Bianchi was a 6 speed, and I run 9sp wheels with no problem. If your frame is aluminum it's not that simple, but not a big problem. You just have to get your LBS to spread the dropouts permanently. Aluminum doesn't tolerate a lot of flexing.

    This is not a difficult topic, but it can be confusing due to all the variables. Read and re read Sheldon's articles until you get a feel for it.
    Regards,
    Raymond
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

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    6 speed cassettes and hubs have a different spline pattern than 7,8, or 9 speed cassettes.

  5. #5
    Canadian eh?
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    hehe none of u understood

    my friend is giving me his wheelset which he never used. its got a 9 speed hub with a 9 speed freehub. i wanted to temporarily put my 6 speed freehub froim my current wheels onto the 9 speed hub and use my 6 speed cassette with it until i upgrade to 9 speed. i will also dish the wheel

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I understood what you wanted to do, but not why, which you have now elaborated upon. May I suggest just setting aside the new wheels until you can complete the 9sp conversion all at once?

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    Canadian eh?
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    hehe i could do that but (in wining voice) "i want them now" so can the conversion thing be done?

  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I think it probably could. If you try it, please do this: when you're taking out the hollow bolt that holds the freehub body to the hub shell, count how many rotations of the allen key are required. When you put it onto the other wheel, count how many rotations as you tighten it. Make sure it's getting a similar amount of thread engagement or you'll be kicking yourself when it rips the threads out. Been there, done that with an old 7sp XT Hyperglide hub, which was a bit unusual in that the freehub-fixing bolt threaded into a steel insert, rather than the hub shell itself.

  9. #9
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WorldIRC
    hehe none of u understood

    my friend is giving me his wheelset which he never used. its got a 9 speed hub with a 9 speed freehub. i wanted to temporarily put my 6 speed freehub froim my current wheels onto the 9 speed hub and use my 6 speed cassette with it until i upgrade to 9 speed. i will also dish the wheel
    Forgive me if this sounds a little testy, but I think I understood exactly what you said and provided a detailed, thorough answer trying to explain and cover all the variables. Read it again.

    Pokey is right, there is a difference in the splines, but if I understood Sheldon's article it sounds like the 6sp cassette will work on the later Hyperglide bodies, assuming the 6sp is Uniglide. You don't need to try to figure that out, though, just try it. Having not actually tried this particular combination myself I can't swear to it. I have used a 7sp cassette on a 9sp body with appropriate spacers, but they cassette and body were both HG so the splines were the same.

    Brian, it would be easy enough and not cost a dime to see if the 6sp cassette will fit and feel secure on the splines of the 9sp body AND whether the 9sp body has the right lockring or small cog threads. If those things seem to work you just need to fill up the extra space between the big cog and the hub with spacers, small cogs, whatever it takes to allow the lockring to snug everything down. Don't forget to adjust your rear derailleur, especially the low limit.
    Last edited by RainmanP; 09-06-02 at 08:14 AM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  10. #10
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I like RainmanP's idea of trying to use the existing freehub body (spline pattern permitting) and filling up the extra room with spacers. Unfortunately, I think they did away with the necessary small-cog threads around the time they introduced 11T small cogs


  11. #11
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Yeah, some got 'em, later ones don't, Mechbgon. Who knows? He might get lucky and have an HG cassette with lockring rather than UG.

    Brian, do you or your friend have a Park FR5 lockring tool? It only takes 30 seconds to pull a cassette off and try this out.

    And you may be able to move the 6sp freehub body to the new wheel with nothing more than a 10mm allen wrench. Sheldon Brown's site explains how. Then you don't even need the spacers.

    There are a number of possible solutions.
    Last edited by RainmanP; 09-06-02 at 02:03 PM.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I just remembered another bit of sage advice on this topic Don't un-build the wheel before removing the cassette body, since you need the rim for counter-leverage.

  13. #13
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Well, that's true when removing a freewheel buy holding the removal tool in a vice, but to remove a cassette you need a chainwhip to hold the cogs because you are trying to turn the lockring in the direction of the freewheel. Since a freewheel remover engages the fixed part of the freewheel that screws directly to the hub, the freewheel mechanism becomes irrelevant. But a cassette lockring remover engages the lockring that is screwed into the freehub body so when you try to unscrew it you just get click click click click click if you don't hold the cassette still with a chainwhip.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  14. #14
    Canadian eh?
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    yup yup i know how to remove a cassette. ill check on the weekend if its HG or UG.. i may just go by mechbgon and keep my wheels until im ready for the full 9 sp upgrade since it seems like its gonna be long and annoying.

  15. #15
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    lol all this to put an old freehub on a new 9 speed hub.

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    Are you using a 600 system with friction levers? Then just use the 9speed wheel as is. As long as it fits the dropouts, it will work.

  17. #17
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    all i wanna do is put my freehub on the new 9 speed hub so i can use my 6 speed cassette on the new wheel.

    spacing is fine as it is. my frame has already had a 9 speed wheel in it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RainmanP
    Well, that's true when removing a freewheel buy holding the removal tool in a vice, but to remove a cassette you need a chainwhip to hold the cogs because you are trying to turn the lockring in the direction of the freewheel. Since a freewheel remover engages the fixed part of the freewheel that screws directly to the hub, the freewheel mechanism becomes irrelevant. But a cassette lockring remover engages the lockring that is screwed into the freehub body so when you try to unscrew it you just get click click click click click if you don't hold the cassette still with a chainwhip.
    I mean when removing the actual freehub body itself from the hub shell, not the cassette from the freehub body. To remove the freehub body, one must remove the cassette, then the axle itself, then slide a 10mm hex key* into the interior of the freehub body and rotate CCW. Without the rim for leverage, one must put a pipe wrench on the hubshell itself or lace a rim to the shell loosely for something to use as leverage.


    *with some older Dura Ace hubs, special Shimano tool TL-FH10 is required instead of a 10mm hex key. edit: these were not cross-compatible with anything else anyway, so it's sort of a moot point.
    Last edited by mechBgon; 09-06-02 at 03:31 PM.

  19. #19
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by WorldIRC
    lol all this to put an old freehub on a new 9 speed hub.
    You should have seen me a little over a year ago. I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out all this freewheel/freehub stuff, which one I had, what would be compatible, how much would I have to change to upgrade, etc., etc.. I got a real education in a relatively short time, primarily from Sheldon's articles and help here at BF. Once you get it figured out, it's all pretty darned simple.

    Don't forget, you can just slap a 9sp cassette on that wheel and use it with your shifters in friction mode. I did that on my 6sp Bianchi for a while before I saved the nickels for STI and new ders. It worked great. Your old der SHOULD have enough range to handle it, my 105 did. Now you will have to put on a new der when you go to STI because the shifters don't move the older rear der quite enough.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  20. #20
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mechBgon


    I mean when removing the actual freehub body itself from the hub shell, not the cassette from the freehub body.
    Sorry, my bad. You are correct, sir!
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  21. #21
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    so if i just get the new wheels, cassette and chain, i should be able to use my shifters in friction. im not using the original 6 speed 600s anymore. i put a new 8 speed one on but am runing it in friction so really i have an 8 speed shifter on there now. and if i adjust the limiter screws i SHOULD be able to get all 9 gears on friction?

  22. #22
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    Sounds good....let us know, OK?
    I can't ride and Frown!

  23. #23
    Canadian eh?
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    i was actually asking (notice the ?) lol

  24. #24
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Friction works with anything Is your chain narrow enough to handle 9sp spacing without nibbling on the next cog constantly? When getting a new cassette, probably you planned to get a new chain anyway.

  25. #25
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    Yes, your derailleur PROBABLY has enough reach to handle 9sp by simply adjusting the limit screws. It's one of those things that's hard to tell without actually trying. The mid-80s 6sp 105 rear der on my Bianchi would reach all 9 with the downtube shifters in friction mode.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

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