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3477 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Jul 4, 2009 8:31 AM by gbirch
gbirch Pro 92 posts since
Sep 10, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 1, 2009 8:36 PM

Carbon wheels on older 7-speed road bike

I would like to get some carbon/deep dish wheels (ZIPP, HED, whatever) for my older Specialized 7-spd road bike (Shimano 105 components.) Used would be OK.


My question is, would I have to upgrade to an 8-spd or 9/10spd cassete, or can I find a set of wheels with a 7-speed cassette, or even use the cassette I have?



  • Joe_h1 Community Moderator 1,833 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 2, 2009 8:53 AM (in response to gbirch)
    Re: Carbon wheels on older 7-speed road bike

    have to check w/ my gear head friends but would think you could change out the cassette and put in your 7 speed

    goals for 2011:

    break 19minutes for 5k

    break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic

    break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)

  • TIME LORD Amateur 26 posts since
    Aug 26, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 2, 2009 9:48 PM (in response to gbirch)
    Re: Carbon wheels on older 7-speed road bike

    See sheldon browns's web site for 7 and 8 speed compatability and a whole lot of other interesting information on bikes. Re this link, does your existing 7 speed wheel have a threaded screw on set of sprockets/freewheel or a modern freehub with a cassette ? If you plan to reuse your cassette/freewheel sprockets then you will have to get a deep wheel with the appropriate matching hub. You cannot interchange between screw on freewheels and splined cassettes so you will need to search out an appropriate used** deep dish wheel with matching hub. (** Note  be carefull it is in good serviceable condition.) Unlesss you are really attached to your current cassette/freewheel now might be a good time to upgrade to 8/9/10 speed. I upgraded my last remaining bike from 7 speed to 9 speed fairly recently( more on that later).


    If you have a freehub and cassette on you existing wheel, and continuing down the path of wanting to reuse the cassette , then according to above web site the freehub body for the 7 speed cassette is different to the 8 speed cassette so your best bet would be to search out a used 7 speed wheel that would allow you to reuse your existing cassette. Otherwise it seems you can interchange the freehub bodies. It is really going to depend what you can find , both 7 and 8 speed stuff is getting rarer. Like I said above maybe you should consider upgrtading to 9 speed and just be done with it.


    Per the the link above be aware that 7 speed wheels have a slightly different axle length to 8,9, speed ( 126mm vs 130mm). If you want to fit an 8 speed wheel in your 7 speed frame you can sometimes get away with just prising the frame ends apart but you might want to look at getting the frame ends reset permantently for a wider wheel axle. This is quite easy on an older steel frame but harder I am told on a more modern aluminium frame since steel frames can be set cold with a bit of brute force.


    If you can find a second hand 7 speed wheel with a matching hub to what you havenow that would be your easiest and cheapest bet. Be a bit cautious about buying an old 7 speed wheel complete with a set of used sprockets/cassette as depending on the wear on the sprockets/cassette they may or may not run smoothly (ie without slipping) with your existing chain or a even new chain depending how regularly the previous owner replaced the chain. A


    If you have a steel frame I would seriously consider getting it reset for 8/9/10 speed and upgrade that way with a brand new wheel. Your best bet is to find a sympathetic bike mechanic or knowledgeablke friend who can help you with the upgrade. If you do go down the 8/9/10 speed path you will need to change your gear shifters ( ie the lever you use to change gear not the front and rear gear change mechanisms) if you are using indexed gears, ie 7 speed indexed is 7 speed and you would have to change to an appropriate shifter with right number of indexed positions. If you have old friction ( non indexed shifters) you can reuse that. As regards the chain rings and derailleuers officially they aren't compatble ( ie different spacing between the rings, thickness of the ring etc etc ) but in practice you can do it. You will need a new chain to match the new casstte though.


    I mentioned above I upgraded my last remaining bike from 7 speed to 9 speed. I was luckly to have a steel frame so a local mechanic reset it for me. My old shimano 7 speed 'SG' chain set and 7 speed front and rear mechs work fine with the new Shimano 9 speed cassette. I have old friction gear shifters so I didn't have to change them.

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