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Old 05-14-12, 10:19 AM   #1
cks
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vintage bottecchia upgrade?

I have a friend who inherited a 14 speed full dura ace bottecchia that he refuses to part with. Problem is his easiest gear is 39(?)/21 and he lags in the hills. His bike shop told him that his only option is to swap out the entire drive train which financially doesn't make sense. Are there any other options like swapping out the rear cassette to make it easier for him to climb? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-14-12, 11:01 AM   #2
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A 14 speed road bike likely has a 7 speed freewheel or freehub, which normally would be very easy to replace. However, pre-9-speed dura-ace is an odd duck and it might not be that simple.

I just found this page :http://sheldonbrown.com/dura-ace.html and SHeldon seems to say the 7 speed 'Uniglade' freehub body can only be replaced with other Dura-Ace freehub bodies, as they have a different attachment to the hub than othe SHimano freehub bodies, which I believe are all interchangeable across the line.

So a good idea might be to find a slightly newer (NOS or used) 7 speed wheel (or just a hub and build it into a wheel) with a more moderns 'Hyperglide' freehub body. 7 speed cassettes are still available in many sizes. Or get an 8/9/10 speed wheel and use a 7 speed cassette with a spacer, although this will likely have a different spacing than the stock wheel.
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Old 05-14-12, 11:20 AM   #3
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You haven't identified the gruppo as index or friction and I'm pretty sure you have a freewheel hub, not a freehub. Regardless Dura Ace 7 speed has a max cog of 26T. The freewheels are pripriatory and a little hard to come by but they are still out there..

Last edited by onespeedbiker; 05-14-12 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 05-14-12, 12:04 PM   #4
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DA 7-speed is downtube shifters, right? Just put them in friction mode, put on a mtb cassette or freewheel depending on the hub, and swap out the rear derailleur for one that can handle a 34t sprocket. Bonus - friend can sell the DA derailleur and freewheel/cassette to recoup the cost. Easy upgrade to 9-speed index when he has the money for a new rear wheel and brifters.

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Originally Posted by DCB0 View Post
SHeldon seems to say the 7 speed 'Uniglade' freehub body can only be replaced with other Dura-Ace freehub bodies, as they have a different attachment to the hub than othe SHimano freehub bodies, which I believe are all interchangeable across the line.
.
What matters is if a non DA cassette will fit on a DA freehub body. If not, then the new wheel becomes necessary.

Also, we need photos.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 05-14-12 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 05-14-12, 12:21 PM   #5
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DA 7-speed is downtube shifters, right? Just put them in friction mode, put on a mtb cassette or freewheel depending on the hub, and swap out the rear derailleur for one that can handle a 34t sprocket. Bonus - friend can sell the DA derailleur and freewheel/cassette to recoup the cost. Easy upgrade to 9-speed index when he has the money for a new rear wheel and brifters.



What matters is if a non DA cassette will fit on a DA freehub body. If not, then the new wheel becomes necessary.

Also, we need photos.
First of all, thanks for the replies. He has downtube shifters which I'm pretty sure are index shifters. the bike apparently was hand painted and it is a beauty. Whenever we're on an organized ride, he is constantly being chased down by guys who "used to race that bike" and tells him more about the bike then even he knows. Although $$ matter, I think he'd also be reluctant to make big changes to it since there's a lot of sentimental value. If there are other ideas/suggestions, please keep them coming.
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Old 05-14-12, 02:23 PM   #6
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First of all, thanks for the replies. He has downtube shifters which I'm pretty sure are index shifters. the bike apparently was hand painted and it is a beauty. Whenever we're on an organized ride, he is constantly being chased down by guys who "used to race that bike" and tells him more about the bike then even he knows. Although $$ matter, I think he'd also be reluctant to make big changes to it since there's a lot of sentimental value. If there are other ideas/suggestions, please keep them coming.
Indexed downtube shifters can be switched to friction mode. THere is a little slot screw or D-ring on the right shifter.

A New-Old-Stock Dura-Ace cassette with a less useless range would be a good option, if he can find one.
Or switch to a period correct touring triple crankset to get a small front chainring.

Last edited by DCB0; 05-14-12 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Changed the word 'Friction' to 'indexed' because it didn't make any sense.
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Old 05-14-12, 02:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
What matters is if a non DA cassette will fit on a DA freehub body. If not, then the new wheel becomes necessary.
It is most likely a Uniglide cassette - which is a completely different animal and not compatible with any modern 'hyperglide' cassettes. If he can find any 7 speed Uniglide cassette then it might work, but that might be tough to find, too. Also the smallest cog of a non- D-A UG cassette will not fit on a D-A UG cassette body, so he would have to use the old one.

Options are (from my POV):
NOS or Used Dura-Ace uniglide cassette
NOS or Used non D-A cassette with existing D-A small cog
New hub/wheel
New crank
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Old 05-14-12, 06:59 PM   #8
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I know pre-9-speed Dura Ace used an incompatible rear derailleur and shifters but were the cassettes spaced differently than 105, Ultegra, etc? If not,any 7-speed cassette should work on a suitable hub. So a new 7-speed Hyperglide wheel would be the most cost effective and convenient upgrade. Even a 130 mm hub used with a 7-speed cassette and a 4.5 mm spacer will work and would not be a difficult fit into his frame, even without cold setting it.
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Old 05-15-12, 04:16 AM   #9
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I know pre-9-speed Dura Ace used an incompatible rear derailleur and shifters but were the cassettes spaced differently than 105, Ultegra, etc? If not,any 7-speed cassette should work on a suitable hub. So a new 7-speed Hyperglide wheel would be the most cost effective and convenient upgrade. Even a 130 mm hub used with a 7-speed cassette and a 4.5 mm spacer will work and would not be a difficult fit into his frame, even without cold setting it.
So if he upgraded or got new wheels with 8/10 speed hubs, would it be possible for him to use a 7 speed HG cassette with spacers?
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Old 05-15-12, 08:52 AM   #10
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So if he upgraded or got new wheels with 8/10 speed hubs, would it be possible for him to use a 7 speed HG cassette with spacers?
Should work fine. As I said, i believe 7-speed cassettes, including Dura Ace, were all spaced the same.
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