Using 90s Shimano elements on 70s bike


New Member
Jul 16, 2007
Not being a purist etc, I was rebuilding a beautiful old Rudge road bike and I used Shimano downtube shifters that can be used either in friction or indexing mode with 7 speeds. My rear derailleur is a Sachs Huret that I purchased from Velo-Orange some months ago. I was wondering if I place a SACHS MAILLARD 7 speed index freewheel (13 - 14 - 15 - 17 - 19 - 21 - 24 teeth, British BSA thread) this combination would work with the indexing. The reason behind that is that friction mode on a 6 speed freewheel that i have needs fine adjustment that can take a lot of time when I am trying to accelerate and it can even become a bit dangerous with the chain jumping when I may be applying maximum pressure.
I know it may be a bit awkward to some that I want to use a classic frame and some more contemporary elements, but some of those old cranks and brackets are soooo heavy and as long as my frame carries this old beautiful style with a Brooks saddle, I care about the efficiency of the cranks and the wheels!
The Sachs 7s freewheel will index perfectly with 7s shimano shifters IF you use a Shimano index compatible rear derailleur (except for the 8s Dura-Ace RD which only worked with 8s DA shifters). It will probably not index properly with that Sachs RD (although it would not cost anything to try it) as the actuation ratio (how far each mm of cable moves the RD) is a different than the Shimano.

You should be able to find a used or new old stock Shimano 7s RD for cheap on eBay.