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Which would you choose for 126 Rear Hub, Freewheel or Cassette?

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Which would you choose for 126 Rear Hub, Freewheel or Cassette?

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Old 02-03-19, 03:21 PM
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Which would you choose for 126 Rear Hub, Freewheel or Cassette?

After doing some research, Im planning on doing a 7 speed hub + 8 speed Campagnolo Ergo + 8 speed Campagnolo rear derailleur for my 126mm road bike.
Not many Campagnolo 7 speed (126) cassette hubs are available which is leaning me towards the freewheel version as it would be nice to keep all Campagnolo.
On the other hand, Shimano has many 7 speed (126) hubs both in cassette and freewheel versions available. Both in uniglide, hyperglide and or both UG/HG compatible.
So question is,
Do either one (cassette or freewheel) offer any advantages/disadvantages or are they literally the same (since its 7 speed, literally).
And if I were to go with Shimano cassette, Im guessing UG/HG compatible one would be best? Why are Shimano 1055 and other models more popular than Dura-Ace 7 speed cassette/freewheel hubs?
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Old 02-03-19, 03:26 PM
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Cassette, at 126 spacing and 7 cogs FWs were obsolete.
If you don't want a stronger axle and easy to change gearing go FW, otherwise Shimano cassette.

105 or Ultegra cassettes vs DA, much lower price and indistinguishable shifting performance.

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Old 02-03-19, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
After doing some research, Im planning on doing a 7 speed hub + 8 speed Campagnolo Ergo + 8 speed Campagnolo rear derailleur for my 126mm road bike.
Not many Campagnolo 7 speed (126) cassette hubs are available which is leaning me towards the freewheel version as it would be nice to keep all Campagnolo.
On the other hand, Shimano has many 7 speed (126) hubs both in cassette and freewheel versions available. Both in uniglide, hyperglide and or both UG/HG compatible.
So question is,
Do either one (cassette or freewheel) offer any advantages/disadvantages or are they literally the same (since its 7 speed, literally).
And if I were to go with Shimano cassette, Im guessing UG/HG compatible one would be best? Why are Shimano 1055 and other models more popular than Dura-Ace 7 speed cassette/freewheel hubs?
I would look for a nice Shimano 7 speed UG/HG rear hub. The wheel bearings ride in the outer part of the freehub body moving the bearings further out for increased strength. The advantage of having a combination freehub body is that you can use inexpensive HG 7 speed cassettes. The Uniglide 7 speed cassettes still shift quite nice in my opinion and you never know, you might find a source for some - just keep your eyes open. The shift ramps on HG cassettes are usually considered better performing than the UG. Both styles use individual cogs, so building up custom combinations is possible. I’ve also read that UG cogs are the longest lasting since all but the threaded smallest sprocket is flip-able for double the life (any scalloping of the tooth profile would not cause skipping if the cog was flipped and the damage was on the trailing edge and no longer critical for chain engagement.

You mention that the 1055 and other HG ready 7 speed freehubs are more popular than the gorgeous, polished Dura Ace 7400 7-speed freehub. The good news is that this perception exists, yes. For you, this means that if you keep your eyes open you might come across a deal on a Dura Ace 7400 Uniglide hub. These are Uniglide only though which is another reason for the decreased demand. Used ones pop up pretty often on eBay, and sometimes the seller will include the matching Dura Ace cassette. I built up my 126mm Saint Tropez commuter bike wheels with the Dura Ace 7400 28 hole hub onto some DT Swiss RR1.1 rims and it built a nice, strong wheel. The 7-speed Uniglide cassette indexes well with a used 105SC GS rear derailleur and 105SC down-tube braze-on shift levers that I have mounted on MicroShift (now called Gevenalle) shift pods for a very reliable 3x7 drivetrain.

There were Shimano mountain hubs that could be outfitted with 137mm Wheels Manufacturing chromoly replacement axles, effectively converting them to 126 space road use. Deore, Deore LX, and Deore XT all came out with combo UG/HG freehub bodies for a year or two and are worth seeking out. I would have to look up the version numbers of these 7 speed Deore versions. The Deore XT hubs we’re near Dura Ace quality and came in polished silver or black anodized. They used the same design of bearing seals as Dura Ace. These bearing seals permit using a micro grease gun to service the bearings a bit without a full rebuild.

So with regard to your Campagnolo shifter/rear derailleur choice are you using 8 speed Campy? I heard that these pull 5mm per click which is the same as the Shimano 7 speed spacing (5.0mm).
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Old 02-03-19, 04:02 PM
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I built up a 7-speed cassette on a 126 hub so I could have the smaller 12-tooth cog as the highest gear, allowing smaller chainrings for similar gearing. New and affordable freewheels will most commonly get you a 14-tooth small cog, sometimes 13.
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Old 02-03-19, 04:54 PM
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UG = big mistake. Early HG, which still has UG threads on it, would be fine. Check out what NOS UG cassettes are going for on eBay. Its only going to get worse. Never build a wheel with totally obsolete sizing for consumables.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:00 PM
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Cassettes are a better design as others have pointed out. The advantage of freewheels with a 126 mm rear wheel is that is the way most of them came and there is a lot of supply out there in terms of old parts.
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Old 02-03-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
UG = big mistake. Early HG, which still has UG threads on it, would be fine.
This. They can be had high-end (Dura Ace FH-7402)) or low end (Exage HG 50). I run both.

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Old 02-03-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
UG = big mistake. Early HG, which still has UG threads on it, would be fine. Check out what NOS UG cassettes are going for on eBay. Its only going to get worse. Never build a wheel with totally obsolete sizing for consumables.
Cogs can be modified to fit the earlier hubs, but agreed, don't buy into a problem.
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Old 02-03-19, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
There were Shimano mountain hubs that could be outfitted with 137mm Wheels Manufacturing chromoly replacement axles, effectively converting them to 126 space road use. Deore, Deore LX, and Deore XT all came out with combo UG/HG freehub bodies for a year or two and are worth seeking out. I would have to look up the version numbers of these 7 speed Deore versions. The Deore XT hubs we’re near Dura Ace quality and came in polished silver or black anodized. They used the same design of bearing seals as Dura Ace. These bearing seals permit using a micro grease gun to service the bearings a bit without a full rebuild.

So with regard to your Campagnolo shifter/rear derailleur choice are you using 8 speed Campy? I heard that these pull 5mm per click which is the same as the Shimano 7 speed spacing (5.0mm).
Its interesting you brought up the Deore freehub bodies..
There is a a wheelset which is Shimano RX100 with Deore freehub body and I wondered why this was..he is asking 100 for it which had me thinking it might be a great/cost effective option, and you are also clarifying the positives in this 'hub body change' method. Should I buy it and run new rims on it?

And yes, I am planning on running 8 speed Campy with 7 speed Shimano cassette because of the compatibility.
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Old 02-04-19, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by top506 View Post
This. They can be had high-end (Dura Ace FH-7402)) or low end (Exage HG 50). I run both.

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They were available in HG for the Dura Ace FH-7402??\
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Old 02-04-19, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by shuru421 View Post
They were available in HG for the Dura Ace FH-7402??\
The 7402 was Uniglide only. You’ll need a 7403 freehub body in order to run HG cassettes in 8,9 or 10 speeds. Unfortunately these are becoming hard to find. Someone on these forums called them a white Unicorn. They swap out easily using the correct splined Shimano removal tool. The 7402/7403 rear hubs were made with something like 128.5mm locknut to locknut spacing. These were a transitional design to the current 130mm standard. The thinking was that you could spread the dropouts slightly on your 126mm frame to fit. The non-driveside locknut was domed slightly to permit slightly skewed clamping in the dropouts for less than perfect fits. This was to prevent axle flexing for less than perfect fits.
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Old 02-04-19, 12:06 PM
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Yeah, 7403. My bad.

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Old 02-04-19, 12:23 PM
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It looks like our pal at loose screws is making 12t uniglide threaded cogs (34.6mm)

the others can be easily made to fit with a dremel - I’m running uniglide on 120 old bikes
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Old 02-04-19, 01:04 PM
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I'll go on record saying that Shimano freehubs were offered in 126mm and 130mm, but nothing in between.
The 8s hubs of the transition era had cone-shaped locknuts however, to facilitate installation into narrower frame spacings, and many frames from that era did spec at 128mm dropout spacing.

Uniglide is the best thing for friction-shifting. Where it becomes a problem is when any kind of indexed handlebar-mounted shifter is used, since the unpredictable slippage under load during shifting while off of the saddle can stress one's legs and can be hazardous in terms of controlling the bike. Thus Hyperglide became a necessity when STI and Ergo levers came into use on road bikes.

The smallest threaded Uniglide cog is a critical wear item that can turn up scarce on the market. Great to hear that someone might be producing these again!

I did many HG freehub-body swaps back in the day. All cones, seals and related hardware from the driveside of the axle should be replaced with those intended for use with the new freehub body.
Note there are many freehub body variants that position the cogs differently relative to the hub flange, this because the hubshells have their own differences in this regard. Not something to be ignored as it's not trivial at all, canbe a couple of millimeters at least and will affect wheel dish and even the overall width across the dropouts. So any change-outs must be measured up carefully or test-fitted and checked out before final assembly.
Dura-Ace cassettes, at least in the early 8s era, used a smaller threading diameter to fit on a stepped-down threaded snout on the freehub body. This as I recall was to allow use of 11t cogs that today are most scarce. Even the 12t and 13t smallest cogs can be hard to find.

Freehubs are superior to any freewheel hub that uses a 10mm axle since the flexing axle can break your frame's dropout (a common end-of-life scenario for many a frame).
Don't use 10mm axle freewheel hubs on any frame that is dear and precious if you (combined effects) 1) have heavy total load on rear wheel, 2) use your bike in tough conditions such as off-road, 3) use small chainring sizes and 4) use wider freewheels.

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Old 02-04-19, 01:15 PM
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I have used a Phil Wood Freewheel hub with 126 axle assemblies , on my Touring Bike .. very reliable.. I built up wheels from that 48 hole hub..

increasing its reliability..




....
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Old 02-04-19, 01:34 PM
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Freewheel for me at 126... that said, I've been known to spread 126 to 130, and go with the cheap and ubiquitous 9 speed cassette. I think I'm up to 4 bikes that were initially 126, but are now 130.
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Old 02-04-19, 03:39 PM
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If this is a steel bike, why not just use a Campy 8 speed cassette hub? I have 2 bikes that are 126 spaced with Campy 8 speed groups, including a near and dear to me De Rosa. You would get the benefits of IMO the best all around looking and performing Campy groups and not have to worry about kludging together different compatibilities.
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Old 02-04-19, 04:29 PM
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Look what the wind blew in..(it was pretty windy over in my area..)
I went through my garage and found these wheelsets just hanging around.
So I did some research but can't figure out if these were the 126mm or the 130mm versions..
Its currently laced so my measurements with a measuring tape is a bit hard to distinguish 100% 126..
But what I do see that this is HG Shimano hub (which Ive been looking for) and also a 7 speed cassette (which Ive also been looking for).
From the pictures, could anyone confirm if this is indeed 126mm or a 130mm?





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Old 02-04-19, 04:37 PM
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Well, couldn't be better -- Velobase says these are 126mm hyperglide.

VeloBase.com - Component: Shimano FH-1055 / HB-1055, 105SC
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Old 02-04-19, 04:41 PM
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I also found these as well..
Ironically, Ive been debating a freewheel or cassette..
So Im assuming (if its true) the freewheel is a Shimano Dura-Ace threaded on an Italian thread freewheel and not just a Dura-Ace last cog threaded on?
I remember buying these years ago, I believe it was Record hubs(?) laced to Omega Tubulars. No idea which year the hubs are from..
So given all checks out, I can potentially also use these with provided 7 speed Dura-Ace freewheel yes?




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Old 02-04-19, 04:43 PM
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I’m gonna be sorry I asked but I’d like to see more of that green Rossin!
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Old 02-04-19, 06:55 PM
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Old 02-04-19, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61 View Post
...The shift ramps on HG cassettes are usually considered better performing than the UG. Both styles use individual cogs, so building up custom combinations is possible...
For what it's worth, this is not an advantage for cassettes (vs. freewheels).
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Old 02-04-19, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
For what it's worth, this is not an advantage for cassettes (vs. freewheels).
In my shop(s) we had ST Perfect/Pro Compe and later Winner cog boards to replace individual cogs,both supplemented by a Shimano 6/7 FW cog boards and replaced by Shimano cassette cog boards.
Try to find any of that on demand now: Good Luck.

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Old 02-04-19, 08:41 PM
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Although the selection isn't what it once was, 7-speed cassette system gets my vote for a 126mm bike.
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