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Old 08-05-10, 04:01 PM   #1
ichitz
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question about wheelset and shifters

My friend gave me her 1990 Peugeot Nice about half a year ago. Now after riding the bike for a while, I feel like it could use some repairs and upgrades. I want to swap out the wheelset for something better. Before I put money down on a wheelset, I just want to clarify a few things to make sure whatever I buy will work.

I can't make out the brand, but I can see the rear wheel is a 6 speed cassette on a freehub. Currently, it's easier to find a 8/9 speed rear wheel.

So my question is, if I swap the 6spd rear for another 8/9 spd wheel, I have to swap out the shifters too, correct?
Does the brand matter here? Coz the entire drivetrain is Shimano right now. Does that mean I can't get a Campy rear?
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Old 08-05-10, 04:12 PM   #2
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For indexing, rear shifters and derailleurs need to match in brand and speed unless you use adapters or some other technique (e.g. alternative cable routing). I'm guessing you're running friction now.

Are you sure it is a 6-speed cassette? They are out there, but much less common than freewheels. If it is a hyperglide 6-speed cassette (yes, folks, they exist), you can stick it on a modern 8,9,10-speed freehub with the right amount of spacers. If you have friction shifting, you may be able to stick a 7-speed cassette on. With a modern wheel, the frame will need to be widened to 130mm either permanently or each time you install the wheel.

What exactly do you want to upgrade and why? As you start modernizing parts, you may have to modernize other parts and at some point you should decide if it (i.e. the frame and whatever else that gets kept) is worth it.

Last edited by JiveTurkey; 08-05-10 at 04:14 PM. Reason: added stuff
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Old 08-05-10, 04:20 PM   #3
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Short answer is if you want indexed shifting then the shifter needs to match the number of cogs on the cassette and the shifter needs to be the same brand as the rear derailleur.
Be advised that 8, 9, & 10 speed rear hubs have wider spacing between the dropouts as compared to 6, or 7-speed cassettes or freewheels. To upgrade to 8 or more cogs in back you will have to spread the frame. This may or may not be advisable for your particular frame. What is the frame's rear triangle material? Steel is no problem.
By the time you add up all of the costs of this type of upgrade it may make more sense to buy a later bicycle. A new bicycle costs less than the sum of its parts.
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Old 08-05-10, 04:31 PM   #4
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What exactly do you want to upgrade and why? As you start modernizing parts, you may have to modernize other parts and at some point you should decide if it (i.e. the frame and whatever else that gets kept) is worth it.
This could turn into more of a project than you want. There are several potential issues.

1. Rear dropout spacing. An 8/9 speed rear wheel is going to have 130 mm dropout spacing. Your 6-speed bike probably has 126 mm spacing.

2. Indexing. As has already been mentioned, if you want a 8 or 9 speed cassette to index, you'll have to use shifters that match. As a general rule, the shifter/brake levers that are so popular are the most expensive component to buy.

3. The Suntour disease. I don't have anything against Suntour, but if you want a Suntour derailleur to index you'll have to mate it with Suntour shifters. I wouldn't bet on a shifter/brake lever indexing a Suntour front derailleur or a Shimano front derailleur from that era either.

That's a lot of parts to replace on an old bike.
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Old 08-05-10, 04:39 PM   #5
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Yes, I'm running friction now. I don't mind keeping it friction shifting and sticking with downtube shifters. Does the shifter not need to match the number of cogs if I stick with friction?

And I'm pretty sure it's a 6-speed cassette. Here's a pic I took a while ago.

It's currently on Shimano Sport LX derailleurs and shifters.

I understand at some point the frame might not justify the costs. I was thinking I could have a better frame in the future. Either way, I think keeping the costs low for the time being is optimal.

The frame tubing is Reynolds 501, spreading shouldn't be an issue. I'll go home and measure the dropouts.
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Old 08-05-10, 05:22 PM   #6
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Looks like a freewheel. See that notch on the outside of the last cog, looks kind of like a lockring? It looks the same as on this freewheel (as does the writing on the largest cog):

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File Type: jpg shimano%20mfhg224&.jpg (27.0 KB, 3 views)
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Old 08-05-10, 08:01 PM   #7
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Yes, I'm running friction now. I don't mind keeping it friction shifting and sticking with downtube shifters. Does the shifter not need to match the number of cogs if I stick with friction?
You can run 8, 9, or 10-speed with friction shifters as long as the derailleur can travel all the way across the cassette.
But you will still need a new wheel or at least a new hub that will accept a modern cassette. And the hub will need to be compatible with the cassette brand. And you will still need to spread the frame. And you will need a new chain to match the number of cogs.
If the dropout spacing is now 126 you may be able to just jam the new hub in and ride.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:43 AM   #8
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Are there any good 6 spd wheelsets out there? I have an older trek 420. I like the bike, and don't really want to get a newer bike due to increased potential of it getting stolen.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:58 AM   #9
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Best place to find 6 speed wheelsets is used. Plenty of nice used wheels out there. I bought a used bike once solely for the nice wheels it had: Suntour Superbe Pro hubs and nice Mavic rims. Paid less for the bike than what a wheelset cost, and got two extra set of wheels with it.

Keeping costs low = buy used. Post a WTB wheels in your local C/L under the bicycle for sale section.
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Old 08-06-10, 11:07 AM   #10
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Looks like a freewheel. See that notch on the outside of the last cog, looks kind of like a lockring? It looks the same as on this freewheel (as does the writing on the largest cog)
doh! U're right. It is a freewheel then.

Rear dropout spacing, 126mm:


Basically, I think the bike wasn't well maintained over the years my friend owned it. The brake surface of the rim are quite scratched and messed up. The hubs, I feel like, aren't good enough for me to lace another pair of rims onto. The chain is kinda rusty so that needs to be replaced anyway. 2 of the 6 cogs on the freewheel cluster is worn and sharkfin looking so that'll have to be replaced to match the new chain and other lesser used cogs.

That's why I figured if I need to replace all those, maybe it'll be wise to just make it a 8/9 spd while I'm at it? Or is that silly?

so currently i'm looking at..
bicycle wheel warehouse wheelset $189
cassette $20
rear derailleur $40
chain $15
total to about $264

am I missing something? What can i expect the LBS to charge me to have my frame spread?
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Old 08-06-10, 11:41 AM   #11
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How about shifters and outer cables?
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Old 08-06-10, 12:44 PM   #12
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How about shifters and outer cables?
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You can run 8, 9, or 10-speed with friction shifters as long as the derailleur can travel all the way across the cassette.
?
or am i misunderstanding something?
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Old 08-06-10, 01:33 PM   #13
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Looks like a decent frame and $264 isn't out of the question. You can run the new wheels without problem if you get it spread, but even without being spread, 4mm is easy to get your new wheelset into it.

One other thing you could do is get ahold of an RSX rear 7 speed derailleur with a 7 speed cassette so you can use a 7 speed downtube shifter if you want indexing.

At a later time you could also go with the 7 or 8 speed RSX brifters (and an RSX front derailleur) if you want that type of shifting. The nice thing about the RSX group is that it is a good shifting solid group and if you wanted to switch to 8 or 9 speed with brifters in the future you could do so incrementally. This is the only group that ever had a 7 speed brifter option and they are fairly cheap.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:21 PM   #14
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Do you need a new rear derailleur?
Are you sure you need a new chain? Measure it for stretch. A chain needs to be replaced when any one foot interval has stretched to 12 1/16 inches. Measure carefully with a good steel ruler. A little rust won't hurt if you lubricate the the rollers and pins.
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