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Old 10-26-10, 08:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
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Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

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I had typed a long and thoughtful response, which got blown into cyberspace on one false keystroke, so here are the key points in bullet form:
  • changing from a 5 spd to 6 spd freewheel is common, but typically involves changing to a longer axle, longer quick release, and spreading the frame chainstays +6mm. I can donate a quick release, an axle you'll have to find & install in your hub, spreading the chainstays ("cold setting") you should search on and then post back if you have questions.
  • you need a matched 6 spd indexed shifter, derailleur, & freewheel, and probably a 6mm longer axle
  • any 6 spd freewheel except Suntour Ultra spaced should work
  • any Shimano indexed shifter & index-capable derailleur except Dura Ace should work
  • relevant parts vintage to look for is late 80's-early 90's
  • each of these items can be found on Ebay for <$15 apiece shipped
  • if you are lucky you can find a combo and save on shipping
  • other good places to check are local bike co-op & used bike shop if you have them in your town, and the ISO/trade thread on this forum
  • I have a Shimano Exage 6 spd derailleur I can let go cheap if it helps you out
  • the 6 spd cluster you choose should have ratios that compliment the ratios of your crankset and has the range/spacing you need. I suggest you post a separate thread if you need help with this.
  • I'm not an expert on indexed shifting, so take my info with a grain of salt. Since nobody else has responded in detail so far, I figgered I'd try to help.
"There is no Fail without Try" - Yoda Simpson
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