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Freewheel hub to cassette?

Old 10-05-19, 06:21 PM
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WGD
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Freewheel hub to cassette?

Is it possible to convert a 126mm freewheel hub to cassette? I ride 40-spoke rear wheels on my touring bikes and I'm thinking this might make them a bit sturdier. I don't think I've ever seen a 126mm 40h cassette hub, although I'm sure there must be a few out there. I haven't had a problem with bent/broken axles but I am a heavyweight (~200 lbs) and you never know...
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Old 10-05-19, 06:27 PM
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Totally different "system". You need a different hub.
Freewheel or Cassette?
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Old 10-05-19, 06:29 PM
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we had a discussion on this earlier. the short answer is NO. The marginal "strength" gain associated with 40 spoke wheels can be approximated by using a heavier rim on a 36 hole hub.

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA
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Old 10-05-19, 06:46 PM
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There are plenty of 130-135mm 40h cassette hubs out there. It's been long enough since the 6/7-speed era that you'll have to do some scouting to find them in 126mm spacing. Adding "vintage" and "tandem" to your searches might get your more hits...

I agree with Mark that using a beefier rim would be a path of much less resistance to a more durable wheel with 36 spokes. The beefier rim would allow slightly higher spoke tensions, helping to keep the stresses of heavily-loaded riding from knocking it out of true.

In my opinion, just moving from a 126mm freewheel hub to a 126mm (7-speed) cassette hub is a no-brainer.
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Old 10-05-19, 08:05 PM
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No, it's not possible. And even if it were possible, you'd lose the primary benefit of a freehub system: locating the drive side bearing closer to the dropout to prevent axle breakage.
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Old 10-06-19, 07:10 AM
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If you can find a 40H, 130 mm OLD 7-speed freehub, you can narrow it to 126 mm by removing a 4 mm NDS spacer, cutting the axle shorter and then lace it to your current rim. An 8/9/10-speed 130 mm freehub can also work but the wider freehub body will increase the wheel dish, probably too much.

Another possibility is use a 130 mm, 40H 8/9/10-speed freehub and cold set your frame to 130 mm. If your current drive train is 7-speed, you can use a 7-speed cassette with a 4.5 mm spacer on the 8/9/10-speed freehub body.
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Old 10-06-19, 08:04 AM
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Thank you for all the answers. I do my own work and I'm pretty good with a wrench. But this question never occurred to me and I was curious. For now, I'll probably just stick with freewheels.

Last edited by WGD; 11-07-19 at 02:54 PM.
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