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7-speed Freewheel with 10-speed Spacing?

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7-speed Freewheel with 10-speed Spacing?

Old 08-22-19, 03:00 PM
  #1  
budopo
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7-speed Freewheel with 10-speed Spacing?

A number of years ago, I finally upgraded my wheels from Suntour Superbe Pro 7-speed freewheels to Shimano 10-speed cassette (RS80 wheels, Dura-Ace 7900 rear mech). I still have some of my old wheels with nice tubular rims (and the gorgeous Superbe Pro hubs) that I'd like to put to use. Would it be possible to use the old wheels with a 7-speed freewheel with the Shimano drivetrain? Obviously, I'd have to change to thinner spacers between the cogs, but would this work? If so, what spacers would I need, and where could I get some?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-22-19, 05:01 PM
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If ye olde Suntour cogs fit in a 10s chain, it would work. The trick would be to make the spacers thinner by the appropriate amount. If it was me though, I'd want to get some modern cogs on that old freewheel somehow. Lots of dremeling, I guess.

Actually, if it was me, I'd just rebuild the rear around a Shimano hub.
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Old 08-23-19, 05:46 AM
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Freewheels generally have a stepped diameter.
I think building one up with a different spacing would be quite time consuming to get the stack to tighten up properly.

A comparably easy - but pricey - way forward would be to buy one of these:https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/freewhee...eewheel-1136t/

and use as a parts donor.

Merely replacing spacers might not do the trick. You might need to take sprocket thickness into consideration as well.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Freewheels generally have a stepped diameter.
I think building one up with a different spacing would be quite time consuming to get the stack to tighten up properly.

A comparably easy - but pricey - way forward would be to buy one of these:https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/freewhee...eewheel-1136t/

and use as a parts donor.

Merely replacing spacers might not do the trick. You might need to take sprocket thickness into consideration as well.
and 126 to 130mm spacing

and the notes the freewheel linked above

11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36 Hi-Tensile Steel sprockets gold anodised alloy spacers.
Designed initially for E-bikes this frewheel may give your old bike that needed upgrade.
Shimano and SRAM index compatible.
NB to fit this freewheel to an existing hub may well require a longer axle, more spacers, the frame to be made wider (ie bent out) and the wheel to be re-dished. With a screw on freewheel there is always the chance of a broken rear wheel axle, this chance increases as the length of spacers increases to accommodate more cogs on the frewheel. As of 16.09.2015 we do not currently stock any hubs that this freewheel will fit on.
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Old 08-23-19, 05:23 PM
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Back in the day, I disassembled many freewheels, including taking cogs off the freewheel body. There were no standards. Cogs from one freewheel maker were not going to fit on any other freewheel. The thought that you might be able to create a 10 speed spaced 7 speed freewheel is silly. The freewheel body has steps between the largest and smallest cogs. Reducing the thickness of the spacers will create gaps when the diameter of the freewheel body changes. Freewheels are fundamentally different than cassette freehubs.
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Old 08-25-19, 01:41 PM
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As you have already spread the frame. Get a 10 speed freewheel, a longer CRMO axle and a bearing that fits over the axle and in the end of the freewheel. put it in the spacer stack so it supports the outside end of the freewheel, that should reduce the chance of bending the axle.
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Old 08-25-19, 03:08 PM
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I've done something similar. I have a bike with a Campagnolo 2x10 drivetrain. Someone gave me some wheels with a freewheel hub and a 7-speed freewheel. I plan to renovate the drivetrain to more speeds. The experiment is with 650b wheels replacing 700c wheels. My 10-speed shifters shift over the 7 cogs. At certain shift points, I have to click twice. It works much better than I had expected. There is no undue noise, and there is no noise at all after shifting since the top pulley centers itself.
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Old 08-26-19, 04:09 AM
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Thanks for all of the input, everyone. I did look at that 10-speed freewheel, but it would require a longer axle. In the end, I think the easiest thing would be to swap in a 130mm axle. The frame is 126, but spreading it to fit a 130 won't be a problem (never had trouble fitting my Shimano wheels). The question would be finding an axle that fits the Suntour hub. Suntour tended to have their own dimensions for parts, but I think their hubs were standard size/thread. Or, if the 10-speed freewheel has the smallest two cogs threaded, it may fit well enough if I remove the smallest one.

First, I'll put the 7-speed wheel on it and see how it shifts, just out of curiosity. If nothing else, it should have at least one cog that works. :-)
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