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  1. #1
    Junior Member lobo241's Avatar
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    Freewheel to Freehub conversion

    I have a 1987 Peugeot Versailles. I want upgrade the wheel set. It has a 7 speed shimano freewheel cassette. I have a used set of Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke with Ultegra 6500 Freehub. The bike has Shimano 600 down tube shifters. What do I need to purchase to make this conversion happen? Any help would be great.

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    7 speed cassette (you may (probably will) need a spacer for this as well), and possibly you will need to bend / cold set the stays from 126mm to 130mm. If everything else on the bike is 7 speed, and the cassette is 7 speed, you should be OK with the shifters. dérailleurs you have.

  3. #3
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Before you start bending anything or buying anything, take a cheap plastic
    vernier caliper (or a better one if you have it),and measure the rear dropout
    width in your frame.. .. Then measure the over lock nut distance for your current
    wheel and that for your replacement wheel.

    In theory, the old for the wheel that goes in should match the dropout width
    for the frame, but you can get away with a few cm difference either way.

    Your bike might require a little resetting, or none at all.

    If you do decide to cold set it bigger or have someone do it, read up on the
    proper way to set up a string from the drops around the head tube so you get
    the stays to go out equally on each side. Otherwise your alignment suffers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  4. #4
    Junior Member lobo241's Avatar
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    What size spacer would I need?

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    "you can get away with a few cm"

    Watch your units, a few mm is more like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lobo241 View Post
    What size spacer would I need?
    It depends. If you have 600 "Tricolor" 7-speed (assuming I'm not hallucinating) indexing DT shifters, and you want to use indexing, you'll need an 8-speed cassette spacer. You'll put the spacer on, then the 7-speed cassette, then the lockring. If you don't have indexing then you don't have to care: just use an 8 or 9 speed cassette and chain, and be happy (after verifying/modifying your drop-out spacing). Some people don't care for friction shifting on 9-speed; I'm not one of them. I find that it works well as long as you shift just as we did back before dirt was invented: ease of on the pedals whenever you shift.

    Good luck, and enjoy your new/old bike. Updating drive trains does wonders for these old machines.

  7. #7
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    If you use a 9-speed cassette and use the shifter in friction mode, you won't need any spacers at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    "you can get away with a few cm"

    Watch your units, a few mm is more like it.
    Yes, it's a very specific 4.5mm for putting a 7 speed cassette on to a 8/9/10 speed Shimano hub. Here is a link to one at Harris Cyclery, any good LBS should have / be able to get them http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=2127 & http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/parts.html

  9. #9
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    If you have friction shifting now, I'd go ahead and get a 8 speed HG50 cassette with a suitable gear range, like 13-26. you'll undoubtably need to readjust your rear derailleur a bit if you're going from old school 7 freewheel to 7 speed on a 8/9/10 freehub anyways.

    if you do have index shifting, well, stick with 7 + the spacer, but yeah, you'll likely need to completely readjust the rear shifting as the new sprocket will likely be about 1/2 cog farther to the right. your old wheel is probably 126mm nut-to-nut, and the new one will undoubtedly be 130mm. a 4mm spread is trivial on a steel frame.

    also, with the 7-speed on the freehub, your chain line might be just a hair too 'in' ... this just means when you're in the small front chain ring, you'll find it will be more likely to scrape the back of the big chain ring when you use the smaller half of the rear cassette. simple solution is, just don't do that. shift to the big ring in front before you get down to the taller/smaller 3-4 cogs in back, and everything will be much happier.

  10. #10
    Junior Member lobo241's Avatar
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    I have indexing shifters.

  11. #11
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lobo241 View Post
    I have indexing shifters.
    k, are you familiar with adjusting them from scratch?

    first, make sure the derailleur is completely square to the cogs.. tweak the hangar if not.

    its easiest if you have a work stand. if its a 3x7, put the chain on the middle chainring in front, otherwise the big chainring. shift to the highest gear (smallest cog), and adjust the 'H" set screw on the derailleur so the idle wheels on the derailleur are centered on the outside edge of that small cog. now put the chain on the largest rear cog (if its a 2x, also shift the front to the small, otherwise 3x leave in middle), and adjjust the "L" screw so the chain is square with that socket when the derailleur is against the stop. you'll probably have to adjust the cable takeup, whever that is on your bike, to reach both extremes. now put the chain on the middle cog, and adjust the cable takeup so the derailleur wheels are centered on that cog. now ride the bike, middle gear, and shift up 1, down 1. if its slow going up 1, then tighten the cable a 1/4 turn. if its slow going down 1, loosen. repeat until perfect.

    (thats all from memory sitting at my keyboard.... you can probably find better instructions with pictures at the Park Tools site)

  12. #12
    Junior Member lobo241's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all of that awesome information. Ill order the parts and give it a go.

  13. #13
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
    "you can get away with a few cm"

    Watch your units, a few mm is more like it.
    .............................oopsie.
    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman View Post
    No wonder everybody hates you.

  14. #14
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    the worst case stretch is from 120mm old 2x5 10 speeds to 135mm hybrid/mountain... thats a 1.5cm (15mm) stretch, which is 7.5mm on each side if you will. if you stick with road axles, its 120->130mm wihc is a 10mm/1cm stretch, 5cm per side. either of these will let you run 8/9/10 speed cassettes.

  15. #15
    Junior Member lobo241's Avatar
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    I bought the HG50 8 speed cassette and put on it on the upgraded wheel. After a few adjustments it works great! Ill put it to the test this weekend. Thanks everyone for the fantastic input.

  16. #16
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierce View Post
    a suitable gear range, like 13-26
    How do you know what's suitable for the OP?

    Maybe he's like me, and would almost never use a 26t, but can't live without a 16t.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    What size spacer would I need?
    width of cassette body minus thickness of 7 speed cassette.. but wait.. the way the 7 speed era
    cassettes were held on, is, by screwing on the small cog outside, thread on the freehub..

    now the 8 speed and more use a lockring, that screws into an inside thread..

  18. #18
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    width of cassette body minus thickness of 7 speed cassette.. but wait.. the way the 7 speed era
    cassettes were held on, is, by screwing on the small cog outside, thread on the freehub..
    ...only if you're talking about Uniglide hubs. There's plenty of 7-speed Hyperglide (with lockrings) stuff out there.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  19. #19
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    a 1987 Peugeot might be freewheel rather than cassette, no?

    that totally changes everything.



    EDIT: oh geez, learn to read, P. (me). he's switching wheels, NEVER mind.

  20. #20
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    The 1989 Versailles came with a 6-speed freewheel, so I doubt the wheels are original.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

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