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hmm.. making a 27" wheel a 9 speed.

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hmm.. making a 27" wheel a 9 speed.

Old 03-26-09, 04:43 PM
  #1  
micahjg
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hmm.. making a 27" wheel a 9 speed.

I have a 85 trek 500 that i've been thinking of changing over to a 9 or 10 speed rear cassette.. first off:
1) its a steel frame, so i can flex it or cold set the back spacing for a wider hub
2) i'm on a tight budget
3) it would be nice to keep the 27" wheels I have in order to save money (i think i'd save money....)
4) i'm a newby to this, so if part of this is completely ignorant, just let me know (I am however very mechanical, and have worked on bikes/cars a lot.. the mechanic part i'm not worried about, just the interchangeability (sp?))

what do you all think? is it worth it to get a new hub/freewheel that will take a 9 or 10 speed and rebuild the wheel with what i have? (+new spokes?) i'm going to stick with friction shift for now front and rear, but someday i would like to upgrade to indexed for the back.. i was thinking a newer shimano derailler and shifter.

is there a reason nobody rebuilds 27" wheels? i know the tires are easy to find, i just put a new set on them. and the wheels are true, the whole bike is taken good care of.
any ideas?
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Old 03-26-09, 04:51 PM
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#2 is going to put a stop to this project. To upgrade your drivetrain you would need new shifters, derailleurs, crankset/bottom bracket, chain, cassette and an upgraded wheelset. At that point, it would be far cheaper to buy a new bike.
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Old 03-26-09, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
#2 is going to put a stop to this project. To upgrade your drivetrain you would need new shifters, derailleurs, crankset/bottom bracket, chain, cassette and an upgraded wheelset. At that point, it would be far cheaper to buy a new bike.
He could do it with friction shifters or bar-ends. If he has an LBS nearby with a substantial collection of used parts or patiently scours craigslist, it could be done cheaply. He'd want a new chain for sure.

Personally though if I were to go to all that trouble, I'd want more choices in tires than you get with 27" wheels.
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Old 03-27-09, 04:26 PM
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The old crank, bottom bracket, front derailer, and possibly even the rear derailer would work fine. The only reason to replace the rear derailer would be if he wanted indexed shifting. Despite what the manufacturers tell you, you don't have to buy the whole drivetrain as a matching set. Sheldon Brown used to be quite adamant about that: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/speeds.html

Right now, all that needs to be done is to buy a new hub and lace it into the old rim. A bike shop should be able to do that. Also, a narrower chain would be needed in order to work with the new cassette (but the chainrings in front should work fine with the new chain, because the chain would be narrower on the outside but still have the same clearance on the inside.) The current friction shifting setup should work fine. New derailers and shifters can be bought later if indexed shifting is desired.
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Old 03-27-09, 08:50 PM
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wouldn't an 8spd conversion be more cost-effective?
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Old 03-31-09, 09:08 AM
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thank you Relyt.. i'm doing this to be cost effective, not out of any special attachment to my old trek. i'm in Portland OR so theres plenty of our LBS with extra parts laying around. anyone know how much it might be to get a wheel relaced with a new(er) hub? and also, someone posted more cost effective with 8 speed.. is that because the parts are cheaper because they are older? from what i understand, the spacing is 130mm either way, 8, 9, or 10 speed, so clearance isn't an issue.

oppinions: is this a silly project on this old of a bike? i dont have the money to go get a fancy-schmancy new bike, hence the retro steal frame. however, when i pass people on their $1500 frame with my $200 old steel lugged bike, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment
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Old 03-31-09, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
#2 is going to put a stop to this project. To upgrade your drivetrain you would need new shifters, derailleurs, crankset/bottom bracket, chain, cassette and an upgraded wheelset. At that point, it would be far cheaper to buy a new bike.
well... maybe i'm misinformed, but i gotta disagree here. for sure, the front chainrings/bottom bracket and derailler doesn't need to change. as far as the back, i've seen on the forums that older friction suntour dearaillers have lots of adjustment, so the extra 4 mm shouldn't be a problem. and i'm staying with friction shift for now, so i dont need the rest of it..

all i was thinking of changing in the future (for the indexed shifting) was for the back cogs. I like the old race bike set up with friction front on the down tube and brake/shifter lever for the rear. thats supposed to be light (mood point on a old trek ) but mostly its a whole lot easier to shift when i'm standing up mashing up a hill.
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Old 03-31-09, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by micahjg View Post
oppinions: is this a silly project on this old of a bike? i dont have the money to go get a fancy-schmancy new bike, hence the retro steal frame. however, when i pass people on their $1500 frame with my $200 old steel lugged bike, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment
Not silly at all IMO. Doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with that bike that would necessitate you getting a new one. Your Old Trek might not be a super composite/aluminum featherweight, but Steel is real and IMO (and a number of others) its preferable.

It seems most bike shops (at least around here in NJ) want to charge 1$ a spoke (and they might charge you for nipples too) and something like 35-50 bux labor to build your wheel. So if your Rims are in decent shape, there shouldn't be any issue with your LBS rebuilding that rear wheel....but you could expect to drop around $100 plus the cost of your Hub and Chain....for what its worth, for a little bit more (cost of a wheelbuilding stand and spoke wrench) you could build the rear wheel yourself.



You might consider posting this question in C&V.

Last edited by deez; 03-31-09 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by micahjg View Post
thank you Relyt.. i'm doing this to be cost effective, not out of any special attachment to my old trek. i'm in Portland OR so theres plenty of our LBS with extra parts laying around. anyone know how much it might be to get a wheel relaced with a new(er) hub? and also, someone posted more cost effective with 8 speed.. is that because the parts are cheaper because they are older? from what i understand, the spacing is 130mm either way, 8, 9, or 10 speed, so clearance isn't an issue.

oppinions: is this a silly project on this old of a bike? i dont have the money to go get a fancy-schmancy new bike, hence the retro steal frame. however, when i pass people on their $1500 frame with my $200 old steel lugged bike, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment
It might be silly if you're doing it to be cost effective. How much money do you think you could get for your Trek and how much would it cost you to get a used bike with 8 or 9 speeds in the rear?

I bought a year and half old Specialized Allez for $350. I got $175 for a 30 year old nothing special Peugeot. Your '85 Trek is a much better bike.

If you're doing it partly for the fun of it, then the silliness factor goes down.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:40 AM
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Having an LBS build a new wheel around your existing 27" rim will cost you $40 for the build, plus the price of the 9spd hub and the spokes. Assuming an inexpensive 9spd hub and spokes, that's another $60 in materials. So, you're up to $100 and you haven't purchased a new chain or cassette. If you can get away without replacing your current shifter and derailleur, This conversion is heading towards the $150 - $200 range.

I'm not saying it isn't worth it if you've got a frame you really like. Just that for $100 more you could get a 700c wheelset, inexpensive tires, and some long-reach calipers.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:08 PM
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+1
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Old 03-31-09, 01:21 PM
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The real question is, what do you hope to accomplish with the migration?

There are several advantages of the move, but when people think about more gears, they sometimes get the wrong impression.

More gears will not necessarily give you a higher high or a lower low... more likely you will just get more gears in between the extremes.

If you are looking for lower lows, there are better approaches.

If however, you break rear axles frequently, or you do want tighter spacing between the gears, or want to be able to move to an indexing system at some point in the future, then you can ignore this...
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Old 03-31-09, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Having an LBS build a new wheel around your existing 27" rim will cost you $40 for the build, plus the price of the 9spd hub and the spokes. Assuming an inexpensive 9spd hub and spokes, that's another $60 in materials. So, you're up to $100 and you haven't purchased a new chain or cassette. If you can get away without replacing your current shifter and derailleur, This conversion is heading towards the $150 - $200 range.

I'm not saying it isn't worth it if you've got a frame you really like. Just that for $100 more you could get a 700c wheelset, inexpensive tires, and some long-reach calipers.
And you might be able to do without the long-reach calipers. I have a Univega of the same vintage and I was able to switch from 27" to 700c wheels. The existing calipers allowed me to move the brake pads down far enough. That won't be true of all bikes of course.

There's a bunch of 700c wheelsets of decent quality on ebay right now selling for pretty cheap. Some have 9 speed cassettes, some have tires.

Last edited by tjspiel; 03-31-09 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 03-31-09, 01:46 PM
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Micahjg,

you have gotten both good and bad info in response to your post. I don't think you are misinformed at all.

You can retain the bottom bracket, front der., front shifter, and probably the rear der. if you simply have a 8/9/10 hub laced to your existing rim. Most shops charge 35 to 40 labor to do the work, plus parts (roughly a dollar + per spoke and the hub and cassette). Cause you "can" do it, doesn't mean you necessarily should, as said earlier, evaluate your why.

If I were going to spend money, I would just buy a nicer hub and rim and go ahead and make the conversion to 700C in 8/9/10. 27" tires lack availability in all sizes and styles, and have been on the way out. You can pretty readily find 27 x 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 with wire beads, but not much else. I would go to 700C myself and consider a cheap set of tektro long reach brakes. Here's a set for $34 off of ebay
https://cgi.ebay.com/Tektro-Long-Reac...QQcmdZViewItem
Keep your friction shifter for now, change them when you get some more coin.
Another option might be to simply shop the thrift stores or bike coops, or go to a bike swap. It's likely you can pick up some used stuff and make your transformation on the cheap.
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Old 03-31-09, 02:52 PM
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Stop! You want cost effective? Build the wheel yourself! You can definitely do it. You'll need some patience. I'll teach you if you want, but there are probably web pages and videos that can teach you. If you can buy or borrow The Bicycle Wheel, you won't need my help.

Though the very idea of increasing the number of gears has questionable value. I have bikes with five and six gears on the rear wheel. They're fine for me. I even have a fixed gear bike, and I ride hills on it. But if this is a project to learn from and have fun with, then it's worth it just for that. And you CAN build your own wheel!
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Old 03-31-09, 03:10 PM
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what is this myth of 27" tires being hard to find? The guy is talking about an 85 trek, maybe he doesn't need access to 120 tpi race tires. And as for sizes, the people on here complain if you run anything but a 23 or maybe a 25mm, so is a wide size selection a realistic reason? I mean, money is one thing, but to base a decision on a perceived lack of 27" tires doesn't make sense. I've never been able to NOT find 27" tires. ever.

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Old 03-31-09, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
#2 is going to put a stop to this project. To upgrade your drivetrain you would need new shifters, derailleurs, crankset/bottom bracket, chain, cassette and an upgraded wheelset. At that point, it would be far cheaper to buy a new bike.
Maybe if such new bikes existed.

I retrofitted my lugged steel 86' Univega to 9 speed and this is what it took:

Neuvation Wheelset $200
Dura Ace 9 speed Downtube Shifters $50
Ultegra 9 speed cassette $60
Shimano 9 speed chain $20
Tekto Long Reach Brakes $80
New Cables $20
Used Ultegra Crank $9
Used Ultegra BB $10
Used Ultegra Derailliuers $18

So around $450. Seems silly to sink that into a bike I bought for $125. Then I think to myself, where can I find a bike that rides this nice for $575... ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE.
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Old 03-31-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by clancy98 View Post
what is this myth of 27" tires being hard to find? The guy is talking about an 85 trek, maybe he doesn't need access to 120 tpi race tires. And as for sizes, the people on here complain if you run anything but a 23 or maybe a 25mm, so is a wide size selection a realistic reason? I mean, money is one thing, but to base a decision on a perceived lack of 27" tires doesn't make sense. I've never been able to NOT find 27" tires. ever.
It's not a question of not being able to find 27" tires, it's a question of dwindling choices. You may be able to get the tire you want in a 27" size today, but what about next year, or the year after that? Which tires are best is an ongoing topic here. If a manufacturer comes out with a new tire that has better flat resistance and a smoother ride, there's a very good chance that there won't be a 27" version.

I'm not saying that anyone with 27" wheels should replace them. I have a bike with 27" wheels myself. However it makes no sense to me to spend the time and money putting a new hub on a 27" wheel when you can buy a complete 700c wheelset for about the same cost.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by micahjg View Post
well... maybe i'm misinformed, but i gotta disagree here. for sure, the front chainrings/bottom bracket and derailler doesn't need to change. as far as the back, i've seen on the forums that older friction suntour dearaillers have lots of adjustment, so the extra 4 mm shouldn't be a problem. and i'm staying with friction shift for now, so i dont need the rest of it..
You're not misinformed. I've done a couple of conversions like this. The friction shifters will work fine. I set up a bike with old Suntour bar end shifters, the only thing I changed was the hub, cassette and chain. It works like a charm.
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Old 03-31-09, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Stop! You want cost effective? Build the wheel yourself! You can definitely do it. You'll need some patience. I'll teach you if you want, but there are probably web pages and videos that can teach you. If you can buy or borrow The Bicycle Wheel, you won't need my help.

Though the very idea of increasing the number of gears has questionable value. I have bikes with five and six gears on the rear wheel. They're fine for me. I even have a fixed gear bike, and I ride hills on it. But if this is a project to learn from and have fun with, then it's worth it just for that. And you CAN build your own wheel!
+1
A good wheelbuilding website.

I also found the Brandt book at my public library, so don't forget to check there.
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Old 04-01-09, 09:20 AM
  #21  
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Thanks everyone for the info. It looks like its definately not that hard, and not really that expensive. and +1 industrial, yes, i probobly could go buy a $400 bike on craigslist, but odds are good it wont ride as well as putting good componants on mine for the same price.

It does seem, however, that even if i were to build the wheel myself, which i have no experiance, its probobly a better idea to just go with the 700c rims.. if it comes down to a $50 differance to find a good used 700c wheelset as opposed to rebuilding some older heavy wheels, the newer wheels seem the way to go.

seems its time for me to go search the forums for what to look for in new-used wheels now, eh?
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Old 04-01-09, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by micahjg View Post
It does seem, however, that even if i were to build the wheel myself, which i have no experiance, its probobly a better idea to just go with the 700c rims.. if it comes down to a $50 differance to find a good used 700c wheelset as opposed to rebuilding some older heavy wheels, the newer wheels seem the way to go.

seems its time for me to go search the forums for what to look for in new-used wheels now, eh?
These wheels are an excellent deal if you're going to buy a set. I have them, tightened up the tension a little bit, and they work great for me. You will not beat that price.
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Old 04-01-09, 12:20 PM
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Wow. That really is a good deal. At prices like that, one might never learn to build wheels.
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Old 04-01-09, 12:37 PM
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I've got two old (1978 and 1980) Schwinns, 67cm frames with 27" wheels. I built new rear wheels for both of them using 7-speed freehubs. I'd have been fine with 6 or 7 speed freewheels on these bikes, but I'm a big guy and always bend the axles on normal freewheel hubs, so I wanted a cassette hub. 7-speed because I can space the hub to 126mm which works easier with the frame than 130mm-spaced 8/9/10-speed hub.

Schwinn commuter
rear wheel built for the bike

This is easy enough if you know how to build wheels. But as pointed out above, could be expensive if you're having a shop do it for you.
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Old 04-01-09, 09:21 PM
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Tim, you've done a heck of a job with that bike. I thought you were kidding when you said 67cm, but no. Excellent pictures, too.
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