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Old 11-01-09, 12:28 PM   #1
estasnyc
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Can Use 7-Speed Freehub To Narrow O.L.D. On Modern Rear Road Wheel?

Is narrowing the O.L.D. of a Shimano hub by replacing the freehub possible?

I would like to put a more modern rear wheel, with 7-speed cassette, on a vintage Bottecchia (using friction shifting) but would prefer not to change its current 126mm dropout spacing.

I see that Shimano offers a 7-speed freehub body that is intended for the STX-RC and Acera-X.

Can this freehub replace whatever is on any 8/9/10-speed 130mm O.L.D. Shimano hub to narrow the O.L.D. to my preferred 126mm?

(I have a truing stand and tools for either building or redishing a wheel. This will not be a problem.)

According to what I've read, most all of the current Shimano freehubs are supposed to be interchangeable but I don't want to find out otherwise after I've started spending money.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:35 PM   #2
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Yes, this works as all current Shimano hubs use the same 10 mm hollow bolt to fasten the freehub body to the hub shell. You may have to fudge to get the dust cover and seals to fit the new body as it probably won't be the same as the current 8/9-speed body.

Along with the redishing, you will have to shorten the axle 4 mm to assure it doesn't stick out beyond the dropout faces.

I'd be tempted to just force fit the 130 mm hub into the 126 mm dropouts. Generally this is fairly easy to do and does no harm.
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Old 11-01-09, 06:56 PM   #3
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I don't think that a 7sp freehub body will work on the newer hubs. You need one of the Ultegra 6500's or 105 of that same era.
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Old 11-01-09, 07:27 PM   #4
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I've been able to swap 7-speed and 8-speed freehub bodies on a range of Shimano hubs from Acera-X up through Ultegra pretty much at will.
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Old 11-02-09, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by estasnyc View Post
Can this freehub replace whatever is on any 8/9/10-speed 130mm O.L.D. Shimano hub to narrow the O.L.D. to my preferred 126mm?
No. The aluminum freehubs attach in a completely different method and cannot be replaced by the 7-speed freehub. However, I think the Shimano hubs with steel or titanium freehubs all use the same attachment method (except for the old Dura-Ace 7400 hubs). Scratch that: According to techdocs.shimano.com, some of the new hubs, e.g. FH-7850 and FH-7900, use a "standard" looking freehub spline pattern but use a 14mm fixing bolt instead of a 10mm fixing bolt. I do not know if a 7-speed freehub would fit in those hub bodies (I kinda doubt it).

Last edited by Gonzo Bob; 11-02-09 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 11-02-09, 07:28 PM   #6
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No. The aluminum freehubs attach in a completely different method and cannot be replaced by the 7-speed freehub. However, I think the Shimano hubs with steel or titanium freehubs all use the same attachment method (except for the old Dura-Ace 7400 hubs). Scratch that: According to techdocs.shimano.com, some of the new hubs, e.g. FH-7850 and FH-7900, use a "standard" looking freehub spline pattern but use a 14mm fixing bolt instead of a 10mm fixing bolt. I do not know if a 7-speed freehub would fit in those hub bodies (I kinda doubt it).
Yeah, I knew the Dura Ace 10-speed freehub bodies are different. The 10-speed aluminum freehub bodies are 10-speed ONLY and won't take 8 or 9-speed cassettes but these were on the first 10-speed Dura Ace hubs and on Dura Ace and Ultegra pre-built wheel sets only.

I guess I assumed (dangerous, I realize) the OP was asking about more mundane freehubs.
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Old 11-03-09, 03:36 PM   #7
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Yeah, I knew the Dura Ace 10-speed freehub bodies are different. The 10-speed aluminum freehub bodies are 10-speed ONLY and won't take 8 or 9-speed cassettes but these were on the first 10-speed Dura Ace hubs and on Dura Ace and Ultegra pre-built wheel sets only.

I guess I assumed (dangerous, I realize) the OP was asking about more mundane freehubs.
A more mundane freehub that I'm likely to find for an inexpensive price on Craig's List.

OK, forget 10-speed hubs. Which 8- & 9-speed hubs will be good candidates for this sort of freehub swap?
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Old 11-03-09, 08:09 PM   #8
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Any 8 or 9-speed era 105, Ultegra, Tiagra or most of the Shimano MTB hubs used the same freehub body and attaching system and should accept your 7-speed freehub body just fine. As noted you will have to shorten the axle and recenter it.

For that matter, if you don't already have the wheel, you might find an NOS 7-speed hub, or even a complete wheel, in some older LBS's back room that they would be happy to sell cheap.
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Old 11-04-09, 04:04 AM   #9
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WOW, you guys are making this way harder than necessary. You don't have to shorten the rear hub. Any steel frame will EASILY spread enough to fit a 130mm wheel. When you take the wheel out it springs back to 126mm no problem. First problem solved.

Now for the second problem. Unless your using one of the new oddball 10 sp splined hubs you just put a 4mm spacer on first. Shimano actually sells them as a replacement part. Then put your 7 sp cassette on. Don't waste your time and money with downgrading to a 7 sp cassette hub body. Second problem solved end of thread.

Good luck
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