I have a good set of shimano 105 wheels (36 spoke). They are old but low miles and excellent condition. The rear wheel is the screw on hub type and 5 speed cassette.
I am building a new bike for my son and want to update the cassette to a 9 or ten speed. Am I better off getting a new hub for the rear wheel and rebuilding the wheel or buying a new wheel. Time is not an issue.
'''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
If the cogs are "screw on" and 5-speed they are almost certainly a freewheel, not a cassette, and you can't upgrade to 9 or 10-speed as freewheels were never made that wide. You could get a 7-speed freewheel to replace the 5-speed and these are available. If you want to go to 8,9 or 10-speed you will need a new rear wheel with the appropriate freehub configuration.
The way components are priced these days, buying a complete wheel is almost always cheaper than buying the parts and building your own. In fact, it's often cheaped to buy a complete wheel even if you already have a suitable hub. Such is life.
BTW, your 5-speed hub is probably spaced 120 mm. Any 6 or 7-speed hub (freewheel or cassette) will be 126 mm and 8/9/10-speed hubs are 130 mm so be sure the frame is compatible with what you buy or can be cold-set to a wider spacing. Steel can be. Al and carbon can't.
Thanks for that. I was aware that the hubs were different and not compatible, that is why I asked about changing them. Maybe I will just buy a new rear wheel with the correct hub.
Check out Ebay but, first read Sheldon Brown's tutorial on Shimano hubs and cassettes...very informative. You would do well with a Shimano 105. I am a Campy guy and I recently rebuilt a friend's 105 wheels with new spokes and CPX33 rims...now they are like new. I rebuilt the hubs and they are very well built.