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Old 02-24-11, 09:55 PM   #1
ScottNotBombs
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My Trek came with a 5-speed freewheel and 9-speed RD

and I need to get a new freewheel.. It's a '77 Trek TX770 and it's stock other than the Shimano 105 RD-5500 rear derailleur. Can I swap the freewheel for a 9-speed freewheel if I get a 9-speed chain? Will it work with friction shifters and the stock chainrings? Also, I'm unsure if 9-speed freewheels actually exist. I did a search on google shopping and some showed up, but I'm not sure if it's a freewheel or a cassette that got mislabeled. I've never heard of anything bigger than a 7 speed freewheel.
http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=FW2131
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Old 02-24-11, 10:05 PM   #2
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I figured out that a 9-speed chain won't work on a 5-speed freewheel, so I'm assuming it won't work on my chainrings. Can I use an 8 speed freewheel and chain, with a 9 speed rear derailleur?
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Old 02-24-11, 10:07 PM   #3
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The 5-speed is a freewheel, the 9-speed is a cassette. It would be possible to rebuild the rear wheel with a 9-speed hub and cassette. This would work with friction shifters and 9-speed chain. Might have some problems with the gap between the chainrings but I think it could be done.
Not sure if it's worth the trouble and expense.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:20 PM   #4
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Thanks. I didn't think a 9-speed freewheel existed. I guess I'll just swap from 5 speed to 7 speed. That seems pretty straight forward... just put the freewheel on, add some spacers, and redish and I think the 9 speed derailleur will work with it.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:28 PM   #5
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There actually is a 9-speed freewheel made by Sunrace. There may be axle length and/or spacing issues to look into, perhaps someone knows more about those concerns.

http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ucts_id=502502

Universal has 'em in their Minnesota warehouse. Might be quicker to Chicago than Niagara.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1665
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Old 02-25-11, 01:18 AM   #6
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The 9-speed freewheels are definitely available. The Bionx wheels with the electric motor that I've installed have only taken freewheels and not cassettes, so we've installed a couple 9-speeds on those. I'm not sure how different the hub spacing is for 5-speed versus 9-speed freewheels, though.
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Old 02-25-11, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusHaired View Post
A fixie hub has 2 threaded parts on the one side .
... and how it this relevant to the original post? or to anything else in thie thread for that matter?
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Old 02-25-11, 11:34 AM   #8
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Rear derailleurs are pretty smart

Or maybe they`re pretty dumb - I guess it depends how you look at it. In any case - your rear derailleur can`t tell / doesn`t care how many gears are on your freewheel. It isn`t indexed.

So if you have a friction shifter you can run any number of cogs you want as long as the chain, freewheel and chainrings are compatible.
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Old 02-25-11, 03:01 PM   #9
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Chris W has hinted at the issue with jumping from a 5-speed freewheel to a 9-speed setup: hub spacing. You will want to recenter the hub and redish the wheel, and your axle may not be long enough to do this. Even a 7-speed freewheel will require an additional 6mm of spread at the rear hub and you should redish the wheel, but the axle will probably be long enough to accommodate this.
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Old 02-25-11, 03:14 PM   #10
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You have a very nice frame set there which would have been spaced to 126 mm originally and if the hubs and wheels are in good condition upgrading the freewheel to a 7 speed is more than possible, you will have to res-pace the rear triangle to 130mm, add spacers to the axle, and re-dish the wheel.

You can buy 8 and 9 speed freewheels but these do not work well with conventional threaded hubs as there is too much un-supported axle on the drive side which leads to premature axle fatigue, bending, and breaking. 7 speeds is pushing it fopr a freewheel and if you want 8-9 speeds a casette hub / wheel is the way to go.

A hub like a Phil Wood or Arvon (ours) will support an 8 or 9 speed freewheel because of the different design and increased axle support.

The rear derailleur will not care how many speeds it is shifting as this is controlled by the shifter which needs to match the freewheel if it is indexed.
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Old 02-25-11, 04:38 PM   #11
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You just get more sprockets , better to select a different set of sizes that will work for you
and stick with 6 of them , or you have to pry the frame wider..
speed is an effort on the pedals, not a product.
think of what Ratios you actually use, a gear is a ratio

3 ring cranks have usually 2 overlapping redundancies of the ratio range.

I tried an 8 speed freewheel once
You have to unscrew a cog or 2 to get the removal tool on.
I returned it.
dont need a 12,13,14,15, when just a 13, 15 will do fine..

120 spaced frame? think about an Internal gear hub , simple transportation
and reliable..

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-25-11 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 02-26-11, 12:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
You can buy 8 and 9 speed freewheels but these do not work well with conventional threaded hubs as there is too much un-supported axle on the drive side which leads to premature axle fatigue, bending, and breaking. 7 speeds is pushing it fopr a freewheel and if you want 8-9 speeds a casette hub / wheel is the way to go.
This was my opinion too, that the freewheel system is not as strong as the cassette system, especially with a large number of cogs like 8 or 9. I was therefore surprised to discover that the Bionx wheels that I installed used this weaker system. The Bionx wheel and battery add a serious amount of weight to a bike (maybe 10 kg) and cost a serious amount of money, so why don't they come with a freehub built to take a cassette? It makes no sense to me, so hopefully someone can enlighten me.
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