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9-Speed on a Vintage Steel Bike

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9-Speed on a Vintage Steel Bike

Old 06-20-20, 03:31 PM
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jgcycle
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9-Speed on a Vintage Steel Bike

After all my messing around with vintage bikes I'm left with a Holdsworth frame that looks terrible.
But its all 531 and my idea is to work up a 1x9 friction with thumb shifters.

Rivendale does sell the Sunrace M90 ($32) that does 9 speed friction and the Microshift SL-T09 ($60). Their own is out of stock and would be $65, shifter and mount.
I don't know what the old Suntour XC(?) could do as friction, probably not 9. I really like the way these look, so any rapid-fire is out.

I like 9 speeds, Had it before, good number. I'm old(er) so looking for easy pedaling in this bike, something to tour around the neighborhoods, small rises in roads that I call hills. Maybe 11-28 cassette. Don't know up front chainring yet, I'll check out the gear inches tool.

Rivendale also has some cheap rear deraillers, the Acera and the out of stock Altus are both under $30 and shift 9 at friction.

Now I just need the rear wheel. I'll check out the coop soon, but last time they had freehubs but they only took 7 or 8 speed cassettes.
How can you tell which hub will take a 9-speeder? (Dont say the one that already has a 9 cassette on it).
I've built a few wheels but not interested anymore.

I pretty much have all the other parts and would like opinions on what I'm wanting to do.
If you've done a VERY similar setup please post what you did.

Thanks, Bike Forums has been awesome for me while I was trying to fix vintage bikes for a few years.
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Old 06-20-20, 03:46 PM
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Shimano/SRAM freehubs that take 8 speed cassettes also take 9,10, and even some 11 speed cassettes
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Old 06-20-20, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Shimano/SRAM freehubs that take 8 speed cassettes also take 9,10, and even some 11 speed cassettes
That's not entirely true. 7 speed specific hubs won't take 10, there isn't enough room. The spline pattern is the same across the board though. 8/9/10 hubs will take 10. 11sp is slightly larger still for Shimano but Campy still uses the same spacing. In fact a Shimano 11sp hub exceeds the 130mm spec at 131. They stole that extra MM to make it work better. That plus the slightly narrower cogs and spacing make the 1.8 spacer required to put 10sp on an 11 hub.

I put 10 speed wheels on two old steel bikes. One is Campy and the other Shimano, but it really doesn't matter if you are using friction shifting. Either will work. What I've found is that there is no "in-between" in the gears as the spacing is so narrow, it takes a very light touch to shift and it is very quiet. The trick is that the modern cassettes have ramps on them to make the indexing work smoothly, but it also works with friction shifting. In fact I've always said it works so well that if we didn't get indexing at the same time we may never have thought it necessary. The old 6 speed clunk shifting was bad, and I always hated that kching, kching sound when in between gears. That doesn't happen when you use a 10sp. 9sp is probably much the same. 7/8 was still an in-between step but it was much better than 6.

Between your post and my edit you changed your post? I'm sure that it said 7/8 speed originally.

Last edited by zacster; 06-20-20 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:21 PM
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Probably have to respace the rear triangle.

Retro roadies- old frames with STI's or Ergos
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Old 06-20-20, 05:26 PM
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IIRC a Shimano 7-speed freehub has a spline length of about 30mm, 8-9-10 speed is about 35mm. So if it had an 8-speed cassette it will fit 9.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:36 PM
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I have a 1x9 on a New Albion Privateer frame so no need to respece but the bike is lovely though is indexed. However my old Cilo frame is a 2x9 (though unfinished) and is also 531 and I simply put a wheel in that was 130 spaced and have left it for a while and everything seems to spin fine and the brakes work just great, I just need to finish cabling it (though the cable bosses won't thread on so I have to address that issue). Granted that too will also not be friction shifted as I had some old STI levers that I got functional again and decided go for it.

The New Albion is running a 8 speed XT rear derailleur (M-737) and it works like a dream and the Cilo is running a 105 derailleur at the rear and a 600 Arabesque at the front but again not cabled so unsure if it will all play nice. If it doesn't I might just stick on some down tube shifters and put on some single speed brake levers and call it a day.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:43 PM
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The 8 speed hubs your co-op has will work fine with your 9 speed. The 7 speed will not. However, if all you can find is 7 speed, you can run "8 of 9 on 7." Google for more details. IME it works well.
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Old 06-20-20, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
The 8 speed hubs your co-op has will work fine with your 9 speed. The 7 speed will not. However, if all you can find is 7 speed, you can run "8 of 9 on 7." Google for more details. IME it works well.
9 of 10 will also work. I ran that for a short while and it worked fine but I decided to go full 10sp and swapped the hub. I was lucky in that the 10sp hub was the same spacing as the old 7 and I didn't have to change the spokes. This was on a 135 spaced MTB

As for rear triangle, if you have a 126 steel frame there is no problem at all spreading it to fit a 130 wheel without cold setting it. On aluminum it may work, but it helps if the aluminum is over the spec at 127.8. That's what I'm working with right now in an old C'Dale.
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Old 06-20-20, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
That's not entirely true. 7 speed specific hubs won't take 10, there isn't enough room.
Of course, but then I never mentioned 7 speed freehubs
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Old 06-20-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Of course, but then I never mentioned 7 speed freehubs
I would have sworn you had. Maybe it was from the OP where I saw it.
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Old 06-20-20, 08:47 PM
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The conversion is easy. You just have to decide what you want.

Depending on the rear width of the dropouts, either 120mm or 126mm, you’ll have to spread them to 130mm. You will need to make sure they are parallel, but it is pretty easy stuff.

Any wheels with an 8-10 speed freehub body will work. They don’t have to be vintage as my wife has a set of Fulcrums on her old Univega.

Any Shimano compatible 9 speed cassette will work, depending on rear derailleur, Shimano, Sram, Sunrace.

For index shifting, “nearly” any Shimano index rear derailleur road or mountain up to 9 speed (road 10 speed) except older Dura Ace (kinda). If you want to run a larger rear cog go with a mountain bike derailleur. For index front derailleur, has to be a road front derailleur.

For friction shifting, anything will work.

Don’t ever buy Sunrace index shifters.

eBay is probably your best source for older components.

John
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Old 06-21-20, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
As for rear triangle, if you have a 126 steel frame there is no problem at all spreading it to fit a 130 wheel without cold setting it. On aluminum it may work, but it helps if the aluminum is over the spec at 127.8. That's what I'm working with right now in an old C'Dale.
That’s actually a known ‘feature’ of 6/7/8-speed era Cannondales. They used the same frame for several different models, only differentiated by component specs and badging. They built the frames at 128mm so it could use either 126 FW hubs or 130 cassette wheels depending on which model it was intended for.
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Old 06-21-20, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
That’s actually a known ‘feature’ of 6/7/8-speed era Cannondales. They used the same frame for several different models, only differentiated by component specs and badging. They built the frames at 128mm so it could use either 126 FW hubs or 130 cassette wheels depending on which model it was intended for.
Actually very common with a number of manufacturers in that era of transition.
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Old 06-21-20, 06:44 AM
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If the OP's frame is 126 OLD it is fairly easy to fit the right 8/9/10 speed hub into the frame without cold setting or going to the 8 of 9, 9 of 10 strategy. I had luck converting an old Shimano 105 7 speed Uniglide hub to 9 speed Hyperglide and didn't even have to redish the wheel: 9 speed on Uniglide 126 mm hub . Miamijim had a very good post on using a 10 speed hub with 126 mm spacing: 10-speeds on a 126mm hub SUCCESS . If the frame is 120 mm OLD I have no idea.
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Old 06-21-20, 07:14 AM
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I upgraded an old 531 Trek from six to nine. In my case, I did have to cold set the frame (126 to 130) in order to get the drop-outs perfectly parallel. Otherwise, I couldn't get the new QR tight enough to keep the wheel from shifting off center.

I tried friction shifting, but the nine spacing was a little too narrow for me. Though I grew up with friction shifters, I've gotten spoiled in the last three+ decades. Great comment above about never buying Sunrace indexed shifters--I agree. I ended up salvaging a pair of Shimano brifters (and a rear derailleur) from the coop to finally complete the upgrade.
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Old 06-21-20, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchmellow62 View Post
If the OP's frame is 126 OLD it is fairly easy to fit the right 8/9/10 speed hub into the frame without cold setting or going to the 8 of 9, 9 of 10 strategy. I had luck converting an old Shimano 105 7 speed Uniglide hub to 9 speed Hyperglide and didn't even have to redish the wheel: 9 speed on Uniglide 126 mm hub . Miamijim had a very good post on using a 10 speed hub with 126 mm spacing: 10-speeds on a 126mm hub SUCCESS . If the frame is 120 mm OLD I have no idea.
I have a late 1980s Miele Uno LS that I converted from 27" to 700C wheels. I also went to 9-speed on it. One day I got a flat on the rear wheel. It was a bit hard to get the rear wheel out of the dropouts in order to change the tube. To get the rear wheel back into the dropouts I had to turn the bike upside down on the road, pull the dropouts apart whilst pushing against the wheel with my chest to seat the axle in the dropouts. NOT an easy thing to do at all. After that, I took time at home to coldset the rear triangle.

Cheers
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Old 06-21-20, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mitchmellow62 View Post
If the OP's frame is 126 OLD it is fairly easy to fit the right 8/9/10 speed hub into the frame without cold setting or going to the 8 of 9, 9 of 10 strategy. I had luck converting an old Shimano 105 7 speed Uniglide hub to 9 speed Hyperglide and didn't even have to redish the wheel: 9 speed on Uniglide 126 mm hub . Miamijim had a very good post on using a 10 speed hub with 126 mm spacing: 10-speeds on a 126mm hub SUCCESS . If the frame is 120 mm OLD I have no idea.
Funny that he had a hard time with the .5mm spacers. When I wanted to run Campy spacing on a Shimano splined freehub (on my trainer where a Campy version wasn't available) I needed .2mm spacers. I hand cut them from plastic sheets meant for the old overhead projectors! .2mm thick. It was a PITA but it worked and I got perfect Campy shifting. The smallest and largest cogs are both on a spider but that didn't matter because of the limit screws. It shifts and sounds better than the real Campy cassette on the wheel.
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Old 06-21-20, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I have a late 1980s Miele Uno LS that I converted from 27" to 700C wheels. I also went to 9-speed on it. One day I got a flat on the rear wheel. It was a bit hard to get the rear wheel out of the dropouts in order to change the tube. To get the rear wheel back into the dropouts I had to turn the bike upside down on the road, pull the dropouts apart whilst pushing against the wheel with my chest to seat the axle in the dropouts. NOT an easy thing to do at all. After that, I took time at home to coldset the rear triangle.

Cheers
For the sake of clarity, in my case the 105 uniglide hub started life with 126 mm OLD and remained so when converted to 9 speed hyperglide. In Miamijim's case, he converted a 130 mm OLD shimano hub to 126 mm OLD while retaining the 8/9/10 speed freehub body. In both cases, the hubs slipped into frames with 126 mm spacing easily.
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Old 06-21-20, 12:55 PM
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The Miamijim's thread is very interesting and I've written about it quite a bit recently.

The entire premise is based on the amount of room between the end of the freehub body and the locknut. In reality a 9 or 10 speed is going to fill the same freehub body the same amount regardless of the hub used. The distance from the cassette to the dropout drives what you can use and how much you can do.

It can be as simple as using thinner locknuts to a thinner, or even eliminating, the drive side washer between the cone and locknut. For Shimano freehubs, once the drive side is locked in place you'll never touch it again. The cone adjustments are made on the non-drive side; you can even lock the drive side with the axle in a vise. Shimano washers I have measured are around 1.2mm.

Take the same or slightly more off the non-drive side, (more equals slight redishing), and that will get you to 127mm which is more than close enough.

The entire rub of this process is not having the chain rub on the drive side dropout.

The quick and dirty way to check is to throw a cassette onto a potential hub and put it into a 130mm frame. Measure the clearance to the dropout and go from there. If you only have 1mm clearance it is not going to work. Miamijim has already done a lot of the legwork in his thread.

But... I would never do this with a steel frame I could spread. Unless it was a very highly collectible frame that would lose value if spread.

John
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Old 06-22-20, 08:41 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by jgcycle View Post
After all my messing around with vintage bikes I'm left with a Holdsworth frame that looks terrible.
But its all 531 and my idea is to work up a 1x9 friction with thumb shifters.

Rivendale does sell the Sunrace M90 ($32) that does 9 speed friction and the Microshift SL-T09 ($60). Their own is out of stock and would be $65, shifter and mount.
I don't know what the old Suntour XC(?) could do as friction, probably not 9. I really like the way these look, so any rapid-fire is out.

I like 9 speeds, Had it before, good number. I'm old(er) so looking for easy pedaling in this bike, something to tour around the neighborhoods, small rises in roads that I call hills. Maybe 11-28 cassette. Don't know up front chainring yet, I'll check out the gear inches tool.
As a stronger cyclist than Eddy Merckx who dominated the peloton with a 52x13 big gear and the EPO-powered pros running 53x12 through the 9 speed era, you don't need the 28. 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19 will be fine.

Conversely, with more normal fitness you might be happier with a 13 and smaller gaps in the middle. There are just a few situations where pedaling with an 11 or 12 cog would be faster than tucking because you'e spun out a 13.

Triples cranks are also an option. I rode 50-40-30x13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 in the 8 speed era because that provided a 13-19 straight block for plains rides east of Boulder, CO and low like 42x29 for the Rocky Mountains.
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Old 06-22-20, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
As a stronger cyclist than Eddy Merckx who dominated the peloton with a 52x13 big gear and the EPO-powered pros running 53x12 through the 9 speed era, you don't need the 28. 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19 will be fine.

Conversely, with more normal fitness you might be happier with a 13 and smaller gaps in the middle. There are just a few situations where pedaling with an 11 or 12 cog would be faster than tucking because you'e spun out a 13.

Triples cranks are also an option. I rode 50-40-30x13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21 in the 8 speed era because that provided a 13-19 straight block for plains rides east of Boulder, CO and low like 42x29 for the Rocky Mountains.
Sounds like the OP’s old Holdsworth with the thumb shifter is really going to be put through the paces... lol!

John
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Old 06-22-20, 05:40 PM
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Ha! It sure will.

Thanks for all the replies and comments. I'll have to check out Miamijims post and reread all of this a few times.

I've struggled getting the dropouts straight on the bike as I think the original owner tried spreading but couldn't do it.
So he found a sucker like me on Ebay. I have it close but need to keep an eye on the rear wheel going crooked.

Starting at 13t is a good idea, the way I'll ride this bike is I'll prob never get to 11. But with the emphasis on using lower gears I'll start with that 28.
I have a 600 crank looking for a chainring friend (42 or 44) and also a 600 SIS RD, I wonder if the RD would work in friction.

Getting that smooth thumb shifter action is number one.
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Old 06-22-20, 06:03 PM
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I would advise being very careful with rear wheels that claim 7/8/9 speed compatibility. I bought one of these put on a Shimano 9 speed cassette and thought i as OK until my first ride. When I shifted the rear derailleur to the 2nd innermost gear I got the most awful racket which turned out was the derailleur cage hitting the spokes. I had to have the rear wheel re-dished which added $50 to the cost of the wheel but after that I was fine.
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Old 06-22-20, 06:09 PM
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I've been running Campy 9-speed on my custom since it was built 2008. I love it. Shift it with Superbe DT friction. I like the shifting far more than any SHimano 7-speed FW because (and I know this sounds backwards) it doesn't shift as easily. This means I have to do a real change of lever position to shift. And if I dump the chain on a cog but don't get the derailleur lined up just right, it doesn't shift on its own. I've had Shimanos that loved to shift one way as I pedaled harder. then shift back as I eased up without me ever touching the lever. Yes, I "messed up" not hitting the cog exactly but ... one of the joys of friction is that you can "dump" the chain down (or up) 5, 6, 7 cogs at the bottom (top) of the hill. "Dumps" aren't precise. Good (for friction shifting) cassettes give you a gear that works after the dump (at least to this guy who once raced and counted on those dumps as part of his arsenal).

I said "doesn't shift as easily". Not as quickly or silently as Shimano. But 9-speed Campy is a pure joy to shift. Easy, enough noise and feel that you know exactly what you did. For this guy riding friction sifting since 5-speed FWs, a true joy; shifting the best equipped pro would have died for back in the day. 12 years later and I am not a bit tired of what I've got. I also love Campy's cog choices. I bought 3 cassettes and a 14 tooth outer cog. I can make up anything between 12-28 and 14-25 except Campy doesn't make 20, 22, 24, 26 and 27. Most cassettes have a cluster of 19-21-23. Still a lot of choices. I love running 12, 14 and down. 12 for a nice bike steadying high gear for the downhills of western Oregon, then one tooth steps 14 and down until I open the spacing up to get the low I want.

Ben
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Old 06-22-20, 10:41 PM
  #25  
Camilo
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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I tried 9 speed friction on a vintage frame I was building up. I ran friction shifters for many, many years. But I found it fairly difficult to accurately shift a 9 speed cassette with friction. The spacing requires a lot more accuracy and I got ghost shifts. The ghost shifts were caused by the RD not being quite right on the sprocket, but I didn't hear the noise that would have been associated with that in smaller cassettes and less flexible chains. At least that's what I was thinking. If I heard the noise, I'd trim, but even when I trimmed it to be quiet, I would still occasionally get ghost shifts.

I switched to 8 speed (same hub/wheel) and it was much easier and pleasant to ride, less fiddly. Same range too, in my case 12-28 (or 11? I'd have to go out and count teeth). I don't know, maybe I would have become more proficient and comfortable with the 9 speed, but like I said, it wasn't my first go-round with friction shifting, so I accepted that I didn't like it.

Anyway, something to think about.

In the end, I found and switched to some beautiful Campy (this is a Campy drive train) indexed 8 speed downtube shifters on eBay which weren't very expensive which work very well.
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