Keep on climbing
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Marlborough, Massachusetts
Bikes: 2004 Calfee Tetra Pro
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You should be able to slide a 9-speed cassette onto the hub. You'll need one of these
gadgets though as I'm assuming you have 10-speed shifters, and they won't "just work" with a 9-speed cassette.
I don't know what you could do to get to even fewer gears on your cassette. You're going to find that most of the cassette cogs are riveted together, so they don't come apart all that easily. I think you'd have to dismantle a 9-speed cassette, keep the spacing the same, and use spacers to fill in the extra space behind the cassette. Fiddle with the limit adjustment screws and it might work. You're going to wind up with some good-sized tooth jumps between gears; I'm not sure how well modern derailleurs will handle that, as the little pins and ramps that help the shift occur won't be in the expected positions. You'll still have a lot of unused clicks on your shifters.
You can look on www.bikeparts.com
for all kinds of spacers -- if it exists, they have it.
Why do you want to do this? It seems like a lot of trouble.