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  1. #1
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    Updating old freewheel to freehub + SRAM X5

    Howdy,

    I have an older ('83 vintage) 18 speed friction shift road bike with the original shimano components. I'd like to upgrade the rear derailleur to the 2012 SRAM X5 as part of a DIY electric shifting project. The project requires that particular model. Yes, I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the future, bypassing indexed shifting altogether...

    I understand I'll need to replace the freewheel with a freehub, but I'm not sure what would be compatible with my original hub and the X5. I can take some clearance measurements if it helps.

    What else must I replace? I understand friction shifters should work fine, if the e-shift project does not work out. Will the new cassette be compatible with my chain and front gears? Replacing the chain is not a concern (it is due), though I would prefer not to replace the front gears (yet).

    Perhaps a better alternative would be to find a used modern rear wheel? I am still running 27" wheels.

    My impression is either a mid or long cage derailleur should work.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    7,985
    i'll just throw this out there for starters. you current hub is in NO way compatible w/ modern cassettes. there is no way to put one on this hub. you'll need a new rear wheel. which is going to be wider (130mm vs 126mm), but it's no big deal w/ a steel frame.
    secondly, you'll need a new chain to match the drivetrain you install on the rear of the bike. you must match the chain to the cassette.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    Howdy,

    I have an older ('83 vintage) 18 speed friction shift road bike with the original shimano components. I'd like to upgrade the rear derailleur to the 2012 SRAM X5 as part of a DIY electric shifting project. The project requires that particular model. Yes, I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the future, bypassing indexed shifting altogether...

    I understand I'll need to replace the freewheel with a freehub, but I'm not sure what would be compatible with my original hub and the X5. I can take some clearance measurements if it helps.

    What else must I replace? I understand friction shifters should work fine, if the e-shift project does not work out. Will the new cassette be compatible with my chain and front gears? Replacing the chain is not a concern (it is due), though I would prefer not to replace the front gears (yet).

    Perhaps a better alternative would be to find a used modern rear wheel? I am still running 27" wheels.

    My impression is either a mid or long cage derailleur should work.

    Thanks!
    This project can easily be described in four words: "black hole for money." You would in nearly every case be ahead of the game to sell this bike and combine the proceeds with the money you would have spent trying to bring it forward 30 years and buy a few years old used bike. Projects like this often turn into a money pit where "just one more thing" is needed to get things working right. But then things don't work right, so you need "just one more thing." Reconsider your plan.

  4. #4
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
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    Save your money. Your frame is built for 27" wheels.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

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