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Old 10-19-07, 04:37 PM   #1
dwainedibbly
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9 of 10 on 7, with a Vitus 979 frame

I originally posted this question on the Classic & Vintage forum but nobody there could answer definitively, so I did a little test on my own. Sorry for the cross-post, but I want to report my experience here in case anyone ever goes looking for the answer to the same question. My results make me think it'll work, but if anyone has tried (and ridden) this setup, please let me know.

First my original post, then my test & results.

I know that using 8 cogs of a 9-speed on a 126mm cassette rear hub works, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried 9 of 10 on a 126mm hub. I have a NOS Vitus 979 frame that I'll be building up soon. (This is a bonded aluminum frame with 126mm rear dropouts so respacing, the simple solution, isn't recommended.) I'd really like more than 8 cogs on the back but I don't have any 10-speed parts for experimenting. From the shimano cassette dimensions that I found somewhere on Sheldon Brown's site it looks like 9 of 10 is just a mm or so wider than a standard 7-speed, but I'd hate to spend a lot of money on shifters and a cassette only to discover that it won't work.

So, has anyone here tried this?

Update in case anyone is ever wondering about this in the future: I found a couple of pieces of sheet metal in my workshop that, stacked, equaled ~1.0mm on my digital calipers, approx the difference between a standard 7 speed vs 9 of 10. I cut hole in them so that they'd fit on a cassette hub, then, using a 9-speed cassette, put on 7 cogs & 6 spacers. I put on the sheet metal parts, then the rest of the cassette. There were fewer turns required to tighten the lockring, certainly, but I do think it will work as there seemed to be enough thread engagement. There was no cassette/chainstay interference.

Comments? Am I missing anything? (I rode one of these frames for thousands of miles 20 years ago, so I'm familiar with the trade-offs.)

Original thread: 9 of 10 on 7 on a Vitus 979?
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Old 10-19-07, 10:50 PM   #2
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im not so sure if i missread or not ok? but are u using the regular downtube friction shifters right???

If u are using regular friction shifters doesnt matter what u put in the back at all, as long as the RD has enought travel u are fine. In a matter of fact u can put a 130 mms wheel in that bike, shimano or campy doesnt matter because u are doing the changes manually using those friction shifters. Are only 2mms per side, no biggie. Friction shifters can virtually work from 5 to 10 speeds w/o any problem and the beauty of it is that u can mix stuff. Probably a 6sp rd wont have enough travel but a cheappo moderm shimano 105 10 sp will do the job fine.

Actually i wouldnt mess trying to get the best fit, what i would do if i had a 9sp campy wheel is to put a 10sp cassette in therem and use it in that bike, again, as long as u r using downtube friction shifters i dont see any single problem. Well use the 10 sp chain and chainrings maybe.

Have fun
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Old 10-20-07, 04:21 AM   #3
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im not so sure if i missread or not ok? but are u using the regular downtube friction shifters right???
Yes, you totally missed the point of his post. The type of shifter is not even relevant to his question. He is simply asking if the stack-height of a 10 speed cassette with one cog removed is close enough to the stack-height of a complete 7 speed cassette to make them interchangeable.

Sounds like his experiment makes it sound promising...let us know how it works!
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Old 10-20-07, 05:14 PM   #4
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pictures of completed build ??? Did you get the NOS from Nashbar ? Seems they only had some really large sizes left.
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Old 10-20-07, 06:11 PM   #5
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Moose: Correct. Its the stack height that interests me. Thanks for clarifying.

Ultraman: the problem with putting a 130mm hub on this frame is that it's aluminum and glued together and doesn't take well to spreading. We're talking about old equipment here, so I really don't want to tempt fate by forcing the dropouts farther apart, even 4mm. The conventional wisdom says not to do it and while I often don't abide by it, I'm going to trust it this time.

Nasbar? No, this NOS frame was on ebay. It sat in a shop in the UK, built up, but never ridden (or so it was claimed). It arrived last week (in 4 days, transatlantic!) and is nearly perfect. Still has the original warranty tags, and the seller included a seatpost, Mavic stem & taped bars, modolo aero brake levers, and a mavic bottom bracket. He even included the brake cables. I'm suspecting the other parts were sold off individually. My wife got it for me as a surprise and probably paid too much, but considering the extras and condition of the frame, I'm not going to complain. Hey! She was trying to do something nice for me, right?

Nashbar had some 60cm NOS frames in pink a couple of years ago. Pink doesn't bother me, but a 60 is too large.

I'll probably use 10-speed indexed bar-end shifters, but I'm considering brifters, too, for this new (to me) frame. They're just SO expensive or there would be no question.

I will post pictures when it's complete, but this is a "take your time" build, so it'll be quite some time before it's finished.


Also, I also have another 979 that I bought new in 1985 or 1986, from Nashbar. It's 8 of 9 on 7 with 9-speed DA downtube shifters. I rode it today on a 56 mile club ride and it was great. I quit riding for 15 years or so and gained quite a bit of weight (getting back into cycling seriously now), so I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about riding any bonded frame until I get my weight down to 170 or so.
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Old 10-20-07, 06:59 PM   #6
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Moose: Correct. Its the stack height that interests me. Thanks for clarifying.

Ultraman: the problem with putting a 130mm hub on this frame is that it's aluminum and glued together and doesn't take well to spreading. We're talking about old equipment here, so I really don't want to tempt fate by forcing the dropouts farther apart, even 4mm. The conventional wisdom says not to do it and while I often don't abide by it, I'm going to trust it this time.

Also, I also have another 979 that I bought new in 1985 or 1986, from Nashbar. It's 8 of 9 on 7 with 9-speed DA downtube shifters. I rode it today on a 56 mile club ride and it was great. I quit riding for 15 years or so and gained quite a bit of weight (getting back into cycling seriously now), so I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about riding any bonded frame until I get my weight down to 170 or so.
I wouldn't worry about spreading the frame, but I wouldn't do it until I had to. See my response in your other thread. If you use a Shimano hub, the locknuts will do the spread each time the wheel is inserted anyway.

Just for perspective, my race weight was about 170 when I was a trackie. Nowadays I'm pretty happy to keep it under 185 and I ride without fear.

Good luck

Mel
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Old 10-21-07, 06:27 AM   #7
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I have to add (nothing to do with the OP, per se) that I have a really tough time reading any post that is not typed in the English language.
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Old 10-21-07, 09:46 AM   #8
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I have to add (nothing to do with the OP, per se) that I have a really tough time reading any post that is not typed in the English language.
To whom is this smack talk directed? It is permissible to name names. Est-ce que vous avez un probleme?
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Old 10-21-07, 05:26 PM   #9
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I know the 979 dude... I had one back in the day, sweet machine, I trashed it because the fork died. so be carefull with it. My advice is to look for another one in carbon to be safer. Usually the fork steerer crack in those frames, and the other common fail is that the fork blades get loose. So be carefull. I have seen bikes still moving around here in the US but its true too that what vitus sent to the US is totally different of what they sent to Latin America and rest of the world, so probably u wont have any problems ever. Just in case, just clean the tube and use loctite to glue it together again Those tubes are glued with loctite from the factory

I dont think u'll have any problem putting the 10 sp wheel at all but yes u are right in obbey your common sense. wonder if u put a thiner bolt (cant remember the word sorry) to the non driver side to make it fit 126 mms probably u'll need to redish the wheel but thats a lot easier if u have a 10 sp wheel and cassete

here in the area i saw a grl with a bike just like yours but in pink... brand new from her mom. The nice about down****fters is that u have a lot of weird ways to make the drive train to work perfectly. Even mix parts w/o any problem.

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Old 10-22-07, 12:10 AM   #10
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Newbie here...
This is a great thread for vintage frame owners...and especially inspiring for this fellow VITUS 979 owner.
I built mine back in '87, the frame/fork and headset from Performance.
Mine is Rose, or pink. I have no problem with that, I picked it. I think the anodizing looks great.
Sadly it got about 200 miles of use before it was hung up in a garage for storage the last 20 years.
This was due to work, then college out of state, then came the women, the career, the marriage, the dot.com bust, the divorce, the midlife crisis.

My weight climbed alarmingly in the 90s to 195 lbs from 155 when I rode the Vitus. I got too heavy for it.

It took my company to go under plus a painful divorce simultaneously to make me rediscover my love of cycling. Fat and in a bad funk, health failing, I dusted off a 1980 Nashbar steel bike I first built in HS, updated it with some clipless pedals. I took my first ride in years. Excited, clumsy and weak, I took a 5-8 mile ride of various grades. I marveled at the clipless pedals, but after the last small climb back home, I collapsed and passed out, feeling like I was having a stroke.
I guess it wasn't wise to do what I did at 40!
Well, I recovered and went on to ride that whole summer. Never felt so good in 10 years. I was down to a fighting weight of 160 lbs. I can now safely ride my Vitus!
I bought a Kestrel carbon fork and plan to install it on her, for just the very reason given above. I'll put that AL fork away for safe keeping. The bike will come out on special days. I don't want to fatigue it or risk crashing it. A Trek 1000 Alpha AL is being assembled with parts for a daily beater.

Here's a few old pics of my Rosie (the girl I had a crush on in grade school was named Rose) as she hung from the ceiling for 20 years.


Last edited by WNG; 02-15-08 at 06:49 AM. Reason: pic links moved
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Old 10-22-07, 12:24 PM   #11
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I'm also doing a 979 build-up- Sounds like I should have no problem with a 7 speed freewheel? I'm looking for a Campy RD that can handle 13-28- can I use a modern Campy such as a Chorus if I'm using friction downtube shifters?
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Old 10-22-07, 02:45 PM   #12
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No problems with 7-speed freewheel....that's what's on mine now since the 80s.
A Suntour WinnerPro 13-21 7spd on Campy Record hub and Super Record RD.
Any modern RD should work with friction shifters.
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