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Replace cassette wheel with freewheel wheel

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Replace cassette wheel with freewheel wheel

Old 03-16-18, 02:12 AM
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Replace cassette wheel with freewheel wheel

Hi all,

I have an old Peugeot racebike that has a rear wheel with a Hyperglide 7-speed cassette. The wheel got a 'little' beat up and I want to replace it with a new wheel that has a freewheel 7-speed (because I can get it cheap-ish).

My question: is this OK? Will it fit and shift normally? The shifters are not indexed btw. Do you think I should replace the chain?

Thanks a bunch,
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Old 03-16-18, 02:21 AM
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The first question would be the size of the rim/tires on the bike, and the spare wheel?

27", 700c, 26"? Or something else? Your Peugeot is probably 700c or 27", but there are some obscure 26" sizes that don't match MTBs.

Ok, now that you're sure you have matched the rim, also check the dropout spacing. Your Peugeot is probably 120mm, 126mm, or 130mm. But, your cassette wheel may well be 130mm???

or, rather than measuring, just check if the new wheel fits.

If the dropout spacing is close, and the rim size is right, then you're good to go.

You will need to adjust the high/low derailleur stops on your rear derailleur.

As far as replacing the chain, go by chain wear, but if the wheel is "old", then it probably couldn't hurt to replace the chain with a new one. The general rule is to never use a worn chain on a brand new cassette/freewheel. A worn freewheel?
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Old 03-16-18, 08:29 AM
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All other factors being equal, yes, you can go from a 7-speed cassette wheel to a 7-speed freewheel wheel. Even if you used indexed shifting, so long as the freewheel and cassette were spaced the same (and they commonly are).

Things you should match from the old wheel to the new one:
  • Wheel size. If you go from 27" to 700c or vice versa, your brakes might not reach the rim.
  • Axle length. I'd guess your original is 126 mm, but being 7-speed, it could also be 130 mm. If your bike is spaced for 126 and it's a steel frame, it's no big deal to move up to 130. You could 'cold set' (bend) the frame to re-space it permanently, or just spread the dropouts by hand a little bit when inserting the wheel.
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Old 03-16-18, 08:39 AM
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know that changing a cassette into a freewheel is a downgrade

ask yourself is the current wheel being 'beat up' a big enough problem to make a downgrade worth it

(as opposed to repairing what you've got? just what is wrong with yours right now?)
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Old 03-16-18, 09:52 AM
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Will have potentials of broken axles, the cassette hub was made to solve..

get an Internal gear hub.. rear wheel ? a one time buy that will last a lifetime..
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