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Old 09-24-11, 10:03 AM   #1
Mr. DNA
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Upgrading from 5 speed freewheel on a '94 Norco Bigfoot

I bought a used 94 Norco Bigfoot, and noticed afterward that the rear cog had been swapped for a 5 speed freewheel, and the derailleurs and shifters for 70's SunTour friction based ones. I've decided that I like the old SunTour parts, so I'll have to stick with a freewheel hub. But I'm wondering what I should know about upgrading the rear cog for 6 or 7 speed.
Usually the question "can i upgrade from a 5 to 7 speed" is met with "not without a lot of work, because the 5 speed is 6mm narrower" - but the original bike (according to Bikepedia) came with a 7 speed cassette.
Will this be as simple as removing the old freewheel and dropping in a new one? Or am I opening a can of incompatibility if i start monkeying around with it?
Thanks
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Old 09-24-11, 03:49 PM   #2
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Depends on the wheel back there. Did they swap in a different hub with a shorter axle? Or is it a 130 or 135mm long axle which was normal place for MTBs? That will determine what you can do. Measure the space between the locknuts. If it's greater than or equal to 126mm, you're good to go.
Swap your choice of 6 or 7 spd freewheel, adjust the limit screws of your derailleur and verify you have enough chain length for the low gear of the new freewheel.
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Old 09-25-11, 10:14 PM   #3
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thanks. I'm actually starting to think this is an 80's bike. I assumed it was not older than 93 because that was as far back as the model went in Bikepedia. But now i've learned that BIkepedia itself doesn't go back further than 93. I'm having a hard time figuring out what age bike i have - but i'm starting to wonder if its around 1985 or so. If the components are stock, then it old indeed. Changistar brakes, and everything else is Suntour (Perfect freewheel, GT rear der, Alpine Gear front der, mighty shifters). Oh and Sugino crank. I think these are low to mid level parts. I have to say the bike rides beautifully once you get used to friction shifting. after reading up on suntour, I may just keep everything as is. Or upgrade to better suntour stuff .
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Old 09-26-11, 05:12 PM   #4
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Pics?

BTW, nice handle... where's Mr. Kamikaze?
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Old 09-28-11, 08:26 AM   #5
Mr. DNA
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Pics?

BTW, nice handle... where's Mr. Kamikaze?
You are the first person ever to catch that reference. Awesome. I will take a couple pics and post them.
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