Freewheel to Freehub Conversion



lobo241

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Dec 31, 2012
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I have a 1987 Peugeot Versailles. I want upgrade the wheel set. It has a 7 speed shimano freewheel cassette. I have a used set of Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke with Ultegra 6500 Freehub. The bike has Shimano 600 down tube shifters. What do I need to purchase to make this conversion happen? Any help would be great.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Originally Posted by lobo241 .

I have a 1987 Peugeot Versailles. I want upgrade the wheel set. It has a 7 speed shimano freewheel cassette. I have a used set of Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke with Ultegra 6500 Freehub. The bike has Shimano 600 down tube shifters. What do I need to purchase to make this conversion happen? Any help would be great.
Unless someone previously took the time to respace your Peugeot's rear triangle then it has 126mm spacing ...

On the other hand, the 6500 hub has 130mm spacing ...

Ideally, you will take the time to respace the rear to 130mm AND to subsequently align the dropouts ...

  • as a DIY project, spreading and aligning simply requires some time & patience ...
  • while some people suggest using additional leverage, I suggest that unless you have arthritis-or-another-upper-body-limitation that you simply remove the rear wheel, grab the two rear dropouts AND THEN pull apart simultaneously with whatever you think is about 30 lbs of force ... measure [you may only change the width by ~1mm (+/-) with each tug] & repeat until the dropouts are 130mm apart ... THEN align the dropouts by sandwiching them (individually) between two pieces of scrap wood and then use a pipe wrench or large adjustable wrench to tweak them with whatever you think is a modest 5 lbs of force ... tweak as necessary.

Alternatively, you can modify the rear hub by removing the spacer on the non-driveside of the hub AND THEN shortening the axle AND THEN redishing the rear rim ...

FYI. If you look on your RIGHT shifter, you will see that you can 'toggle' the shifter between INDEXED mode & FRICTION mode ... you will probably want to use "friction" mode unless you use a 8-speed Cassette ...

an 8-speed SRAM Cassette will probably be your best option with regard to price​

You can use a 9-speed or 10-speed Shimano-compatible Cassettes if you prefer. Typically, you will want to use a 9-or-10 Shimano-compatible speed chain, accordingly' ...

  • BTW. I have used a 9-speed Shimano chain with 7-/8-/9-speed Shimano Cassettes AND 10-speed Campagnolo Cassettes AND I recently tested a 9-speed Shimano chain with a 10-speed Shimano Cassette and it seems to be 'okay', too!?! However, as noted, indexed Shimano shifters require the correct chain for the particular shifter AND the particular front derailleur.

You will want a Shimano-type Cassette lockring TOOL ... the cost varies widely ... a $5 tool will work as well as a more expensive one.

You will probably want a CHAIN TOOL for breaking-and-joining the links.

Eventually, you can change the Downtube Shifters to the type of shifters you find on the bikes you see in magazines or at your bike shop ...

You can choose ANY brand of shifter, but the other parts typically need to be matched to one another with some precision ...

Ironically, IMO, Campagnolo Shifters are MORE COMPATIBLE with an otherwise Shimano drivetrain than Shimano Shifters because the Campagnolo Shifters can use almost any front derailleur & almost any chain while (as noted above) the indexed Shimano Shifters require the front derailleur & chain to be matched to the front shifter.
 

David Gerchman

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Nov 30, 2012
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I just put a 130mm wheel in mine. I was kind of worried, but she shifts awesomly. Went from 12 to 16 gears no issues. I am pretty sure I could even go to a 9 speed with that rear der. gotta wait for my sram red before 10 speed though. Happy times :)

PS: I replaced the chain cassette and wheel at the same time.
 

lobo241

New Member
Dec 31, 2012
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Thanks for the info. I had no idea how to solve this. I'll give a try this weekend.
 

lobo241

New Member
Dec 31, 2012
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I bought the HG50 8 speed cassette and put on it on the upgraded wheel. After a few adjustments it works great! Ill put it to the test this weekend. Thanks everyone for the fantastic input.