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Will old friction shifters work with 8 spd wheel?(11 posts)

Will old friction shifters work with 8 spd wheel?jba
Jan 15, 2002 4:35 PM
Hey guys,

Before I get too dirty with grease, I thought I'd clear this with you guys:

I got a beater with shimano 105 friction shifters that was working on a 6-spd wheel until the rim wall gave up.

My question is: Can I pop an 8-spd wheel in there and get the shifters to cover the full range of 8 gears (provided I change the derailleur's limit screw settings)???

Will the old chain work with an 8-spd cassette? (Is there a problem with pitch?)

Forget the bit about the hub vs drop-out spacing because the 8 speed wheel slipped in easily. I just haven't gotten around to tinkering with the derailleur.

I'm just looking to get the beater back on the road until I get a new rim.

Works on my bike... (nm)cory
Jan 15, 2002 5:10 PM
Jan 15, 2002 6:36 PM
The first bike I purchased was a (new) 1980 Fuji Grande SE, 12 spd, and eventually changed out the rear to an 8....never a problem with my Suntour shifters...(brings back fond memories of downtube shifting, and being happy when I hit the gear on the first try :))
Jan 16, 2002 6:14 AM
Did you have a problem with hub/dropout spacing when you put the 8 speed in?
Jan 16, 2002 4:43 PM
nothing was ever an issue; a simple 'tug/stretch' and the wheel slipped right in. Then a couple of years later I changed to Dura-ace STI shifters......that was like going to Heaven....(off-subject: I believe my absolute greatest upgrade experience, is when I installed a DA crank on the Fuji.....I absolutely could not believe that a crank made that much stroke and I was a VERY 'happy camper'.
re: Will old friction shifters work with 8 spd wheel?Woof the dog
Jan 16, 2002 4:53 AM
if you also use an old derailur you may have problems with it hitting the spokes.

Using a friction shifter with more gears can be pretty hard because the spaces between the cogs are small and it would be hard to dial it in properly.


leave the cable a little looserdzrider
Jan 16, 2002 9:02 AM
That way the shift lever works over a wider range and makes the shifts a little easier to feel.
sorryWoof the dog
Jan 16, 2002 11:06 AM
i didn't get that one, what do you mean?


Chain and skillscottfree
Jan 16, 2002 6:12 AM
You'll need a new chain. The chain on your six speed will be too wide.

You'll also need a delicate touch, because the gears will be pretty close to each other as you shift. But developing a fine touch is one of the GOOD things about friction shifting -- it's called skill.
re: Will old friction shifters work with 8 spd wheel?Kurt H
Jan 16, 2002 12:14 PM
Sure. I had the same situation - dead 7 speed wheel. I put an extra 9 speed wheel in my 7 speed frame, flipped the downtube shifters from indexed to friction, tweaked the rear der. adjustment a little, and haven't had a single problem yet. I'm using 7-speed 600 shifters, a 7 speed 105 long cage der., and a 9 speed MTB casette. Looks like frankenstein's monster, but works like a charm. Never having learned how to friction shift before this, it took a couple of times to get used to it. After a few rides, it's gravy!
You can do anything with Friction ShiftersFred the Cross Poser
Jan 17, 2002 7:12 AM

It works and is easy - go for it! You won't go back to 6 speed.

I wanted a cross bike and just happened to have an old Univega SupraSport 6 speed. Today, it has 1983 vintage Shimano 600 double cranks & front deraileur, a XT rear deraileur, and a 2001 Ultegra 9 speed cassette. I originally used the old Shimano 600 rear deraileur (worked fine) but it suffered from a tired spring and rust.

As others mentioned - it takes a really light hand to shift just one cog...

As for the chain, a lot depends on which chain you have. If you have an ancient chain like I did, the links kind of bow out and it is very fat - no way will this work. However, later 6 speed chains will work with an eight speed fine. Try it before buying the new chain.

You will need to adjust the high and low stops on the deraileur but everything should work fine.

BTW, my 9 speed hub slid into the 6 speed dropouts without a problem either.

I hope this helps. Have fun!