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  1. #1
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    Changing Freehub from 7 speed to 8/9/10 speed

    Sorry if some of you have seen this already, but I'm cross-posting from the mechanics forum since this has to do with a tandem hub.

    I've got an '83 Schwinn Voyageur SP that has 27" wheels, 36h in front and 40h in back with a 5 speed freewheel. I'd like to keep the 27" rims and go to a 9 speed cassette, but it can be a tough task finding a 40h rear hub without going with Phil Wood, White Industries, Chris King, or something similar that are more than I'd like to spend. That being said, I have found a Shimano HF-05 tandem hub that will accommodate a 7 speed cassette. Are there any issues with just swapping out the freehub with one that will accommodate an 8/9/10 speed cassette? From what I can tell it should work fine, but if anyone has done it it would be nice to have some confirmation.

    I know I'll have to respace the stays (I've done it before), remove spacers from the hub to bring it down to either 130 or 135 (or respace stays all the way out to 145), and either cut or replace the axle with a shorter one (unless respacing to 145).

    Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome too.

    On a similar note...anybody have a used 40h rear tandem hub that will take a 9 speed cassette that you're not using?
    Last edited by brockd15; 05-07-10 at 01:42 PM. Reason: -

  2. #2
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    Drop-out spacing is the issue. I adapted a Shimano HF-08 9 spd hub to my 7 speed Santana Visa. I tried removing the spacers equally and it brought the small cog too close to the drop-out...and the Santana has 140 mm spacing! I, instead, cold-set the spacing to 145 and it works perfectly. I think that 145 mm would be pushing your old frame too far. Pushing your bike to even 140 is a stretch. The chain line might also become a big problem. I don't think that it is worth contemplating. I would sell the bike for whatever I could get, and go for a newer tandem. If you can find even an older bike set up with 8 speed, you could easily upgrade to 9 speed. But, I would think about a late '90's 9 speed. I've seen many for mid teens. There are other advantages...go with 700c wheels and your choice of tires increases dramatically.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bike00's Avatar
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    I upgraded my '94 T100 from 7 speed by replacing the freehub with an 8 speed, moving one washer from the left to the right of the hub, recentering the axle, and redishing the wheel.

    Smallest cog missed the chainstay by plenty. No need to replace the axle or mess with the rear spacing.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike00 View Post
    I upgraded my '94 T100 from 7 speed by replacing the freehub with an 8 speed, moving one washer from the left to the right of the hub, recentering the axle, and redishing the wheel.

    Smallest cog missed the chainstay by plenty. No need to replace the axle or mess with the rear spacing.
    When you made the swap, what 7 speed hub were you using and what freehub body did you replace it with (or what hub did you use as a donor)?

  5. #5
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    Brockd, Isn't your current spacing around 130? (5 speed)

  6. #6
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    I believe its 120 actually. I'm really not considering respacing to 145, but I don't have a problem respacing to 130. If I could switch out the freehub body on that hub and remove spacers to bring it down to 130 then that's what I'd like to do. I'm sure the axle would have to be either cut down or replaced.

  7. #7
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    I can say with some degree of certainty, that the Shimano HF08 9 speed will not work. Even if you remove the spacer and 1 locknut from the left side, you will only save about 4-5 mm. Some of the other types, might have narrower bodies, but it seems a bit unlikely. I have a Suzue 7 speed that fits my old 140 mm spacing, and that does, I believe, have some meat that you could take out. Santana and others speced the 140 mm spacing to allow for less dish. If your bike is 5 speed and you would like to try 6 speed, you might be able to scare up a new old stock Suntour ultra 6 freewheel. They ran on the same spacing as the old 5's, with a slightly narrower chain, but this will not, of course, be indexed. What about going with a 36 hole single road or mountain bike hub, laced 4x with heavy gauge spokes; a more reasonable cold-set stretch?
    It still seems to me to be alot of effort to make this bike into a silk purse. A 10 year newer bike with 140 mm 7 speed spacing, can be gotten for a pretty low number, and you can always find a 32 tooth freewheel (if you can get the old one off) if it is range that you want, and have a much simpler 9-10 speed upgrade at a later date.
    Last edited by steve53mg; 05-11-10 at 02:20 PM.

  8. #8
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    I would spread the stays to 130mm then find a set of strong solo road bike wheels (700c). That way you don't have make things and can use standard (ie common & inexpensive) components. You will also have the choice of using 8, 9, or 10 speed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I do ultimately plan on converting to 700c wheels, but I've got a near new set of Schwalbe Marathons on the 27" wheels that I don't want to have to replace. The upgrade isn't really necessary, I just prefer a 9 speed setup. Since I do plan on going to 700c down the road, I don't really want to put much money into this at the moment. If I don't end up finding a silver 40 hole hub for it then I'll most like just wear out the tires, then replace both wheels with 700c, 36h front and back.

    Here's a needless pic of the bike we're talking about.


  10. #10
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    ...And all along I thought that you were talking about a tandem. Now I see that part of your post was covered by an ad. Not being a youngster, I should have recognised that "voyager" is a single! Just go with a single bike hub and do the stretch! You will have no problem.

  11. #11
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    If only I could find a silver single bike hub with 40 holes that would take a 9 speed cassette and not cost a small fortune!
    Maybe I'm asking too much.

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