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  1. #1
    Senior Member acoffin's Avatar
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    Early shimano freehub conversion: What are my options?

    I have an early model shimano freehub with a 6 speed uniglide cassette. I would like to upgrade to a hg cassette. The problem is that, according to Sheldon Brown, this is not possible since my hub body does not have a "bulge"; meaning I cannot swap freehub bodies. I would really like to avoid buying and installing different hubs. Has anyone discovered a work around for this problem, or am I stuck with this lacklustre cassette for the time being?

    Ant

  2. #2
    Senior Member The MAX's Avatar
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    1) You can go buy a 7spd or 8/9spd free hub body, and swap it onto the hub you want to use. Once you remove the axle and bearings, it's just a 10mm allen bolt holding it to the hub (in most cases). Most hubs are compatible with modern FH bodies.

    2) you can modify the FH you have now, or the cassette you which to purchase. What cassette do you want to upgrade to? because no mater what you will be limited by the length of the FH. You can grind one of the notches on the FH off, then it will accept HG cassettes but you will still need a lock ring cog from a UG cassette to hold it on. UG actually has the smallest cog thread on, while HG uses a separate lock ring which threads on the inside, not the outside like UG. Alternatively you can grind the large nub off any HG cassette and it will fit onto a UG body, again you will still need a lock ring from a UG cassette.

    If you are deadset on keeping the hub, I would just buy one of these, http://www.jensonusa.com/Freehub-Bod...G-Freehub-Body, re-space your axle to 130mm, and be done with it.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member acoffin's Avatar
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    ^ I wish it was as simple as swapping out the freehub body. Unfortunately I have an early freehub and the body is not interchangeable (as previously stated, this is according to Sheldon Brown). I guess I'll head to the bike coop and pick up a used cassette to modify. 6 speed is acceptable for now, but I would like to have ramped cogs and maybe some different gearing options.

    Ant

  4. #4
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    If you have a cassette hub, rather than a freewheel, hub, I'd give it a try. What can possibly go wrong ()?

    Seriously, to remove a freehub body, you only have to take out the axle and bearings and insert a 10 mm allen wrench. Sheldon may be right (he usually was) and you may be reading him right (you probably are) but mistakes are always possible; why not give it a try?

  5. #5
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    I just went and broke my old 27" wheel down, replaced the original hub assembly with a more modern 7speed size freehub assembly and rebuilt the wheel. I have done that twice so far, one with the original rim and new spokes/n ipples and the other with original rim and original spokes/nipples. Both time it has worked out well.

    now I can upgrade to whatever cassette I want and if I so desire, I could swap out hub bodies for an 8-9-10 speed sized hub body.

  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I converted an old ultra glide hub body with a hyperglide body off a donor wheel, worked fine for me. Took less than a minute. +1 10mm allen wrench.

  7. #7
    WNG
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    If it is the early version of the freehub, then yes, there is no upgrade option.
    You can file down a HG cassette to fit the Uniglide splines, but you still need the last threaded cog.

    In the long run, it's really best to replace the original hub with a newer HG freehub. If 126mm/7 spd spacing is all you need, hunt down a nice used one from a coop or ebay, and do as stated above...unlace the spokes and swap the hub in.

    I've found several, one being unused, 105-spec, at a LBS parts bin for $3 each!

    Or buy a NOS completed rear wheel with a HG freehub.
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  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    I agree there was a model of 6spd cassette hub that does not interchange witht he UG and HG bodies. I believe they were usually real lowend wheels with a steel hub.
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  9. #9
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    the OP is right, i think. there were early models of uniglide cassette hubs that cannot be upgraded with the now well-know 10mm hex fancy bolt attachment method. you are screwed. i'd buy a new hub.

    i think i know this because i have been set straight by some well informed BF member that i don't recall the name of. thought i knew what i was talking about because i had converted a few of the easily convertible ones and had read the S. Brown article, but dismissed the incompatible ones as inconsequential. live and learn.

    here's a pic of the early shimano 600 hub with the attachment method that can't easily be converted to a hyperglide freehub.





    here's one that CAN be converted.

    i'm desperately trying to regain credibility on this subject if it's not already obvious...
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-02-12 at 05:54 PM.

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