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Query for retro wrenches out there ...(9 posts)

Query for retro wrenches out there ...steeveo
Aug 22, 2001 6:11 AM
Normally speaking, will a 7-speed freewheel work OK on a bike set up for a 6-speed freewheel? I DO mean freewheel.
Aug 22, 2001 6:22 AM
They're both designed for use with a 126mm rear axle. If you have indexed shifting, you will need to change the levers and possibly the rear derailleur depending on model. If you go friction, no worries.
Yes, with one modification....Cima Coppi
Aug 22, 2001 6:24 AM
Both 6-speed and 7-speed freewheels mount to hubs w/ 126mm axle lengths, so distance between the drop outs is not an issue. The chains used, however, are slightly narrower for 7-speed and should be used with with the freewheel. I don't know if you can still get 7-speed chains, but Sachs (now SRAM) made the best. I think you can use a SRAM 8 speed chain and it will work fine.

Good luck,

I made that change myself...MrCelloBoy
Aug 22, 2001 6:32 AM
in preparation for my first "Terrible Two" D.C. The closer spacing really helped, and my bar end shifters had a "friction" option so shifting was not a problem. If your shifters are indexed only you may need to change shifters. I don't believe any spacer is needed at the wheel.
A new chain may be a good idea as well.
All correct, good answers men! nmMB1
Aug 22, 2001 6:43 AM
Thanks, and happy freewheeling!steeveo
Aug 22, 2001 7:27 AM
notes:alex the engineer
Aug 22, 2001 8:35 AM
A FEW bikes might have clearance problems with the dropouts, but most won't. An 8-speed chain works just fine, in my experience, with both 6 and 7 speed freewheels. As far as cog selection goes, though, it seems that there are more unusual 6-speed combos out there than 7 speed. I pulled the 7 speed off one bike, so that I could put a nice 13-15-16-17-19-24 freewheel on it.
Aug 22, 2001 8:39 AM
Problem is, finding 6-speed freewheels is getting harder and harder.
Not so fastSpoke Wrench
Aug 22, 2001 3:25 PM
The issue is clearance to the right dropout.

Since the 7 speed freewheel is obviously wider than a 6 speed freewheel, if you just try to screw it onto the same hub, you are apt to have clearance issues, at least I did. In my case, the chain would just tickle the seat stay when I was in the big/little combination.

If I was doing it over today, I would try to switch a washer from the left side of the axle to the right side and move everything to the left just a little. Then I would readjust the dish of the wheel. I think that would result in a cleaner conversion.