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Freewheel to Cassette

Old 09-08-22, 02:15 PM
  #1  
halfatruck
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Freewheel to Cassette

I have a Felt Verza Speed 50 that I have been happy with except for one problem, I have broken 2 axles (it was after many wheel adjustments by the time I realized it). After buying a replacement axle at the LBS the second time he told me itís due to having a freewheel. The question is can I replace the current freewheel with a cassette hub and cassette? If so is the inside measurement between the rear stays that I have to look for in a replacement hubÖcurrent measurement of the axle is 146mm, so Iím guessing the inside measurement would be about 135mm (havenít checked yet). OrÖ..simpler to just look for a new wheelset or bike (I have laced wheels on vintage bikes)
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Old 09-08-22, 02:27 PM
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How many speeds is the freewheel?
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Old 09-08-22, 02:28 PM
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it's a 7 speed freewheel
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Old 09-08-22, 02:28 PM
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Are you sure it has a freewheel. You dont mention a year but it looks like the rear hub is an 8sp cassette, not freewheel. What is your rear derailleur (brand/model)? Can you post a pic or place one on your profile and someone can do an assist.
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Old 09-08-22, 02:28 PM
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If it is the 2020 model that pops up on google, they claim 8 speeds, so it should already be a cassette.
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Old 09-08-22, 02:42 PM
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no, it's a 2016....and it is a freewheel...I am on the third freewheel
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Old 09-08-22, 02:45 PM
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I should add that I've put a little over 10,000 Mi on it ....so I have replaced chains, freewheel, tires, etc, I like the bike, but the broken axles are a pain
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Old 09-08-22, 02:57 PM
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The 2019 model (https://feltbicycles.com/products/ve...0-fitness-bike) had a 135mm rear hub, 7-sp freewheel. Switched to freehub 2020, same hub width. So upgrading should be straightforward, whether you choose to rebuild on a new hub or get a new wheel.
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Old 09-08-22, 02:58 PM
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Changing a hub(which is what you have to do if you want a cassette) isn't cost effective unless you can do the job yourself. You would need a new rear wheel. You have to measure your rear dropout spacing(from the inside of one dropout to the inside of the other). For a 2016 bike this is likely to be 130mm. . Cassette hubs these days are designed for 8 - 11 speed cassettes, but can be adapted to 7 speed by using a spacer behind the cassette. One of the real challenges these days is that 7 speed cassettes are getting hard to find. Almost all 7 speed rear wheels these days use freewheels. That said, I have a bike here that has a 7 speed cassette and I was able to find a couple of 7 speed replacement cassettes when I wanted to get lower gearing for hill climbing. One other 7 speed bike that I have uses a freewheel, but the hub for that one is 126 mm spaced and very high quality. I have great faith that the axle on that hub won't break
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Old 09-08-22, 03:08 PM
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thanks for the quick input, for now I may look into the newer Felt part (2019) and newer, or maybe 'upgrade' to a newer 50, or 40 model and meanwhile keep a spare axle
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Old 09-09-22, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by halfatruck View Post
I have a Felt Verza Speed 50 that I have been happy with except for one problem, I have broken 2 axles (it was after many wheel adjustments by the time I realized it). After buying a replacement axle at the LBS the second time he told me itís due to having a freewheel. The question is can I replace the current freewheel with a cassette hub and cassette? If so is the inside measurement between the rear stays that I have to look for in a replacement hubÖcurrent measurement of the axle is 146mm, so Iím guessing the inside measurement would be about 135mm (havenít checked yet). OrÖ..simpler to just look for a new wheelset or bike (I have laced wheels on vintage bikes)
Replacing the hub means building a new wheel. It's unlikely that this would be cheaper than buying a new wheel. Measure the width of your dropouts and then buy a wheel that matches that over lock nut distance. These widths are standards so you should have no trouble finding a cassette wheel to fit.
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Old 09-09-22, 10:52 AM
  #12  
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It looks like the msrp of your 2016 Felt Versa Speed 50 was a less than $500. Nothing wrong with that except with 10,000 miles you need to evaluate what needs or will need to be replaced in the near future.

A 2022 Versa Speed 50 is around $700, advertised at $650.

Everything comes down to how much you will need to invest in your current bike vs how much your current bike fails to meet what you want or need. If your current bike lacks nothing, other than the axle issue, you can go to a place like Velomine and get new inexpensive wheels for around $140... https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...f883l4uv68mcs1
I'm not saying this is the wheelset you should buy, but it gives you an idea on what you can find. My only word to the wise on any new wheelset, is to make sure the hubs are correctly lubed and adjusted as cheaper hubs tend to be adjusted too tight.

At some point you can swap out the crank (if chainrings are riveted), or chainrings, and just keep riding your existing bike. I would guess that over time having to replace front and rear derailleurs, crank, bottom bracket, and shifters would probably run a few hundred dollars for entry to lower/mid level components.

If you really want to upgrade, beyond the axle issue, than you can start to look for bikes that have better components, better sizing, weight etc. All of which will come at a greater cost.

John

Last edited by 70sSanO; 09-09-22 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 09-10-22, 04:10 AM
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Besides reliability, I think one of the main reasons for switching to a cassette is the ability to have more gears and to tailor the range for what you want, so I would upgrade the shifter and derailleur as well. Neither are very expensive these days, whether new or used.
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Old 09-10-22, 05:18 PM
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Measure the spacing between dropouts. Most likely, it's 130 mm or 135 mm. If that's the case, you can buy a rear wheel with an 8-9 speed Shimano freehub and an 8-speed cassette. Then you have a choice. You can continue to use your 7-speed shifter with one of the cogs blocked out by the limit screw, or you can buy an 8-speed shifter and enjoy the extra cog. I recommend the latter.

Freewheel hubs worked OK with 120 and 126 mm axle spacing. 130 mm was introduced to accommodate 8-speed freewheels, which didn't last because the axles broke. But because manufacturers didn't want to build separate frames for 7-speed freewheel and 8-speed freehub bikes (usually hybrids and entry-level MTBs), the 130 mm spacing persisted.
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