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  1. #1
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    Six Speed Cassette?

    Hi,
    I need to replace my old six speed freewheel and hub due to a broken axle and old age. I'd like to avoid replacing the shifters, and just use a six speed Cassette on the new rear Shimano hub. Is it possible to find a six speed Cassette?

  2. #2
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seyfarth
    Hi,
    I need to replace my old six speed freewheel and hub due to a broken axle and old age. I'd like to avoid replacing the shifters, and just use a six speed Cassette on the new rear Shimano hub. Is it possible to find a six speed Cassette?
    You should know that it's not called a six speed "cassette". Cassettes go on freehubs. What you are looking for is a six speed freewheel and freewheel hub. There are plenty of places you can buy the freewheel hubs and six speed freewheels. Harris is a good one:

    for the freewheels - http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/freewheels.html#6

    for the hubs - you should first measure the distance between the dropouts. It's likely 126mm, but may be 130mm. You need a hub that's specific for freewheels.

    One other thing that you might consider is to go to a freehub/cassette type for both. You can get a 126mm freehub. If your shifter is friction type you can easily upgrade to seven or eight speeds. If it's indexed and six speed, then you are probably stuck with a freewheel 6spd, as you stated you don't want to replace your shifters. The point is that if you are going to replace the hub, it's silly to stick with a freewheel type. There is a very nice 126mm Shimano 105 hubset for a 7spd on this page:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/hubs.html#road
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    Hi, Thanks for the feedback. Actually, I no longer have the freewheel hub. The new shimano wheel that I have needs a cassette. If I can find a six speed cassette then I can avoid having to replace the shifters.
    Thanks for any suggestions!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seyfarth
    Hi, Thanks for the feedback. Actually, I no longer have the freewheel hub. The new shimano wheel that I have needs a cassette. If I can find a six speed cassette then I can avoid having to replace the shifters.
    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Pay attention. If you have frction shifter, or can switch to a friction mode, then you can use a 7 speed cassette.
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    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seyfarth
    Hi, Thanks for the feedback. Actually, I no longer have the freewheel hub. The new shimano wheel that I have needs a cassette. If I can find a six speed cassette then I can avoid having to replace the shifters.
    Thanks for any suggestions!
    Ok, but your problem is going to be that cassettes start at 7spd. I don't believe you are going to be able to locate a 6spd cassette for a freehub. The good news is that shifters can be had pretty cheaply.

    What type of shifter do you have now? Is it downtube, bar end, thumb shifter, grip-twist, or what? Are they indexed, or friction (this is important)? Let us know and we can point you at a cheap replacement, if actually needed.

    I would recommend you take some time and read this page before you make any decisions:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html

    Then check out this page about shifters:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/shifters.html

    You will see that some shifters start as low as $6.95. If you call Harris they are great to talk to about this type of upgrade and can likely get you set up with a minimum amount of trouble. I'd venture a guess that upgrading to 8spd might be very easy for you. Since you are installing a new cassette, you should think about a new chain, too.
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  6. #6
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    If you've got a current-production freehub, I believe the lowest you can go is 7-speed with a spacer; 8/9/10-speed without a spacer. If you're sure you've got an old 6-speed freehub, your best bet for a cassette is ebay (or I think I have a wide-range MTB cassette in six-speed I'd be willing to sell - drop me a PM)

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    Senior Member juicemouse's Avatar
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    Nashbar used to have 6-speed cassettes, but I don't see them on their website anymore. Shimano never made 6-speed cassettes, only 7 on up. You could use the Hubbub cable routing on the rear derailleur to enable your 6-speed shifters to work adequately with 6 of the 7 cogs on a 7-speed cassette, but I'd suggest just getting new shifters.
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  8. #8
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Pay attention. If you have frction shifter, or can switch to a friction mode, then you can use a 7 speed cassette.
    Sorry, but I can't pass on this one. It's just a little ironic that you tell him to "pay attention" when in post #2 of this thread I stated - and put in bold letters - that "If your shifter is friction type" he can easily use a 7spd. Do you see the irony?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascade168
    Sorry, but I can't pass on this one. It's just a little ironic that you tell him to "pay attention" when in post #2 of this thread I stated - and put in bold letters - that "If your shifter is friction type" he can easily use a 7spd. Do you see the irony?
    Insert foot. He was telling the OP to pay attention TO YOUR POST. No irony here till YOU lost the thread
    Falling down is not exercising.

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    Thanks! My current shifters are indexed 6 speed bar end shifters. I'd like to stick with the indexing. The closest that I could find on the SheldonBrown site was 7 speed. Ebay saves a little on the 8 speed bar end shifters compared to my local Performance special order, but not much. I suspect that I'm going to have to replace the shifters and go with the 8 speed cassette.

  11. #11
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenrobot
    Insert foot. He was telling the OP to pay attention TO YOUR POST. No irony here till YOU lost the thread
    Oh, so you also are assuming that the OP missed that comment. Where is there any evidence of that? I did not lose the thread. Mine was just a comment that there was no need to bludgeon the OP with something that he's already been told. If you read the whole thread it's obvious that the OP did pay attention from start to finish. Why not just assume that the OP is smart and is paying attention. There was no need to be rude to him.
    Last edited by cascade168; 01-27-06 at 08:01 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Before this all deteriorates into a name-calling contest, there were 6-speed Shimano cassettes at one time. I bought a used '83 trek that had been upgraded by the original owner and came with a 6-speed cassette. The freehub body was mounted to the hub shell with splines and held in place by the axle bearings and cones, not by the current hollow bolt, but it was 6-speed and it was a freehub/cassette system.

    Even though they existed at one time, I think the OP is going to have a very difficult time finding replacements for his cassette and may be forced to upgrade to 7-speed or more by the supply situation.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The OP may not be able to use an old IG 6-speed cassette, as the small cog was the lockring threaded to the outside of the freehub body.
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  14. #14
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Give the guy a break....and here's a possible answer. Pre-Hyperglide was called Uniglide....different set up and splines so different cassettes. And, yes, the smallest cog screws on and locks everything down.

    If you need an "original" mid 80's 6 speed cassette that will fit your older hub body and match old 6 spd index shifters, go to this Loose Screws page: http://loosescrews.com/index.cgi?d=s...d=527994418345

    This is a 13-25, they have others, just root around if need be.
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  15. #15
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    My mistake above.....thought he still had the original hub. Doubt he'll find any 6spd HG cassettes. Might be time to retire the 6spd index shifters and go to more cogs. I assume he still has a 126 rear. Sheldon's selling NOS 7spd 105 hubs (mentioned above somewhere) that will take UG (6spd) or HG 7spd.....or an easily altered 9spd cassette (leave off cog and spacer).

    Should have questioned OP for more info before making suggestions. Oh well.
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  16. #16
    Klaatu barada nikto cascade168's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    My mistake above.....thought he still had the original hub. Doubt he'll find any 6spd HG cassettes. Might be time to retire the 6spd index shifters and go to more cogs. I assume he still has a 126 rear. Sheldon's selling NOS 7spd 105 hubs (mentioned above somewhere) that will take UG (6spd) or HG 7spd.....or an easily altered 9spd cassette (leave off cog and spacer).

    Should have questioned OP for more info before making suggestions. Oh well.
    The 105 hubs I mentioned above have the threads on them for the locking cog, and, the cassette you linked to on LooseScrews can be used on a HG cassette hub (it says "This uniglide cassette fits all Shimano 6 speed cassette hubs EXCEPT FOR Dura Ace hubs). So, you have solved the other part of the equation. Good catch ;-)

    There is one other Shimano 6spd UG cassette, but it is a 12-34. That would likely need a change in RD to account for the 34tooth cog.

    Those 126mm 105 hubs can also be obtained from Loosescrews and Peter White, but Harris has the best price.

    Edit: Ok, he already had a new wheelset with new hubs. The hub body should be able to be switched to the old style with the threaded edges. I am pretty sure these can be had from Harris. It would be a Hyperglide(Uniglide compatible).
    Last edited by cascade168; 01-27-06 at 09:13 PM.
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  17. #17
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    I know this is and older post... but i think i have a similar problem so ill update the post and hijack:

    I have a late 80's 6 speed thread-on freewheel and hub (terminology from Sheldon to be correct) whose distance between dropouts is currently unknown, perhaps 126mm? I am upgrading the wheel-set for my racing bike which is a 10 speed freehub and cassette system. I would like to put on the old freehub and cassette wheel-set of my racing bike onto my 6speed thread-on commuter.

    thats the plan. So far so good, are you still with me? (im a noob....)

    from my understanding, 6 speed cassettes to go onto a freehub (modern) system do not exist (or maybe once did but not anymore). Id have to go with a miniumum of 7 speed, which would not enable me to use my current downtube index shifters unless they are interchangeable index and friction mode, something i am not sure about (they are shimano Light action)

    I would like, as much as possible, to keep the original components.

    Is this possible? whats the worst that can happen? is it that ill have a 7 speed casette of which i can only use 6 speeds providing i ony have index shifting?

    thanks for answering,

    Reno

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    As best as I can understand what you're saying, if you use a 6 speed indexing sifter with a 7 speed cassette you will only be able to shift 6 gears. A friction shifter will shift as many gears as you have without issue. Shifters are cheap though. Ebay is full of friction and 7 speed shifters of your choice.

  19. #19
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    AFAIK, all Shimano downtube indexed shifters have a friction mode. If it were me, I'd switch to friction and get a 10-speed cassette and chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Bob View Post
    I'd switch to friction and get a 10-speed cassette and chain.
    Sounds like a cool plan... but will the RD be able to handle that range? And what about the sensitivity... i mean in the sence that you move the downtube shifter down a tad and you change 2+ cogs at once.....

    just trying to get out of you guys as much as i can....

    Thanks for replying!

  21. #21
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LgReno View Post
    Sounds like a cool plan... but will the RD be able to handle that range? And what about the sensitivity... i mean in the sence that you move the downtube shifter down a tad and you change 2+ cogs at once.....

    just trying to get out of you guys as much as i can....

    Thanks for replying!
    99% likely you'll have more range than you need . . . I had a 122mm rear axle with a 5 speed freewheel, went to 130mm 8 speed cassette with room to spare in RD reach. The friction is very sensitive, but I like it, very responsive. Doesn't skip, you just have to get used to the "micro" adjustments that you will be making on the shifter. After one ride you will have a feel for it.

    I did this upgrade and adjustment in 15 minutes, and now I'm in the proper position to go full 10sp indexed drivetrain as soon as I have the extra cash to do it.

  22. #22
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LgReno View Post
    And what about the sensitivity... i mean in the sence that you move the downtube shifter down a tad and you change 2+ cogs at once.....
    I haven't had friction shifting since 1986, but I'm guessing it'll take a few rides to get the shifting down pat. But HyperGlide stuff should friction-shift much better and much more consistently than the old-school Uniglide and other freewheels which were used before the advent of indexed shifting.

  23. #23
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    Things are getting more complicated now. I went to my LBS and the owner (25+ years in the business) said it was not possible.

    you did this...

    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    . . . I had a 122mm rear axle with a 5 speed freewheel, went to 130mm 8 speed cassette with room to spare in RD reach.
    First off.. i want this too.... i think its awesome. but the LBS owner said thats not a good idea since youll have to fight with the stays each time you have a flat and need to replace the tube. Maybe not...
    will prying the stays out gonna damage the frame... or its functionality?

    but the more problematic issue is that the vertical spokes on the drive side are going to be missalligned with the center of the frame, even with spacers etc. Is this true?

    Can i change the size of my 10speed freehub by getting a shorter part onto which the cassette slips onto?


    Quote Originally Posted by johnknappcc View Post
    I did this upgrade and adjustment in 15 minutes, and now I'm in the proper position to go full 10sp indexed drivetrain as soon as I have the extra cash to do it.
    Moreover.. the guy said that a 10 speed freehub uses a thinner chain since the spacing between cogs is narrower. Did you need to get a new chain along with the new 8speed casette?

    thanks again for your time

    Reno

  24. #24
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Alright, I got a lot of mixed advice also, my trusted LBS (family shop) said no way. My main thing is that I went from 27" wheels to 700C wheels (I wanted a greater choice of tires, and my existing 27"'s were in need of truing in a bad way). Fortunately, you won't have to worry about that part.

    My existing spacing in back was a bit closer to 124mm, so the jump to 130mm was really about 3mm on both sides. I'm going to make the assumption that your bike is steel like mine, if not the deal might be off. Anyway, I wouldn't say "fight" more like "massage". You can easily pull the stays out (a light tug on both stays) the extra 6mm (for you it will probably be less), and it really isn't annoying once you get used to it. If it bothers you, you can cold set the (steel) frame, but to me, it isn't really an issue. I certainly wouldn't consider it "prying". I can pull the stays with the force in my arms (and I've get programmers arms) and two fingers. My 170 pounds bouncing around on the frame would cause more force, lateral or not, than a light tug.

    I'm not sure about the spokes and somebody more knowledgeable might chime in here, but the wheel is dished anyway (to be in alignment) with the center line of the bike. I will take a better picture (camera head on) but here is mine now:



    and



    Obviously, the wheel is properly centered in the frame, the spokes would be dished like that no matter what the dropout spacing. That is just how the wheel is built. They wouldn't be aligned anyway, since the drive side has to compensate for the cassette. Take the wheel out, it would look the very same.

    Not that I'm aware of on the shorter freehub body. 8-10 are all the same length. If you go 10 you will have 130mm spacing no matter what.

    As far as the chain, I did need a new one, but if you follow my link in my signature, you will see that I had other reasons for getting a new chain. You will most likely need one, but yours could be quite worn anyway, and if you are getting a new cassette, it would probably be the best to get a new chain anyway.

    Also, I did see someone say that it might wear the bearings faster (due to increased load on the hubs). But this doesn't make any sense. There will be a lot more force on the hubs from the quick release vs the tighter dropout spacing. And the wheel wouldn't spin like butter installed if this was the case (they are ultegra hubs).

    All in all, this change was probably one of the most gratifying and performance enhancing I could have made. I would highly recommend it, even if you have to go friction shifting, I personally prefer it, but some people don't.

    Hey by the way, I love Montreal! I have family there.

  25. #25
    Senior Member johnknappcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LgReno View Post
    they are shimano Light action
    Mine are also SLA, RD too (original 23 year old RD), if your RD is light action/long cage I can guarantee it will reach 10 cogs, as long as your DT shifter is in friction.

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