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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:36 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
Having posted my numerous queries here about all and sundry, i notice that it is not only me who has queries about problems regarding the retro and the new.

My departure from cycling between 28 years ago and now has left a huge crater in my knowledge. And, the funny bit is, my old knowledge is of no use now as things have changed so much! Try explaining a Helicomatic freehub to someone aged 20 and you will understand.

Tonight's problem is unusual - i have posted previously about my rear Helicomatic freewheel and more recently about my front Campag hub. Whilst at my LBS, i asked about changing one or the other to to something more modern or changing the Helicomatic hub to a matching Campag. My LBS guy advised me that he had two unused Mavic CXP 22 rims on Shimano hubs for sale at £100. After some thinking i have decided to purchase them - it leaves me in a place where i can decide (without time constraints) about what i want to do with my old wheels and, i think, although costly, this is worthwhile. Strangely, these are the same rims which are on my new bike - and they may do as spares should i damage the new wheels.

My query for tonight is - (and for older knowledgeable people) the cassette which i will be supplied with is NEW - unlike my original freewheel/sprockets. It may require spacers and my old freewheel is an ULTRA SEVEN - which (for those of a younger age) is a freewheel which has seven sprockets BUT which takes up the space of SIX sprockets. ie ULTRA means skinny!

Has anyone any experience of doing this and are there any consequences? I am guessing that the new spindle should take 9 sprockets (on a new bike) - although they would be slim; i would be happy with 7 and no change to my chain but the spacers may cause me more sleepless nights. Is it possible to purchase a 'custom' cassette = 12,13,14,15,16,17,18 - and 19,20 if possible to replace my Helicomatic AND still have it work?

Any (and i mean ANY) advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am learning very quickly that trying to keep my bike 'retro' is very, very difficult but should i get items which i cannot use, i am trying to make sure i can get use out of them elsewhere - a pure nightmare.

P.S. If Tel is reading this - your advice is probably the most sound yet - restore to original condition!!!! (keep the incredible polishing up)

P.P.S. If this is confusing anyone, feel free to query anything

Thanks to all who read this - in anticipation.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:32 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2093
Location: Sheffield, top city
I'm not sure about suntour ultra series, but the maillard compact series is identically spaced to shimano 7. Maillard compact was also brought out as 7 cogs in the space of standard 6. So if youre not that bothered about number of gears, I would suggest a shimano 7 speed cassette with some spacers to take up the slack on the cassette body. Shimano 7 is readily available anywhere and is relatively cheap. Try ribble, spa cycles etc


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:54 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:31 pm
Posts: 740
You don't say if you new hubs are cassette or freewheel and if cassette if its 7 pseed or 8 speed.
If its freewheels then they could be built to match your old ones.
Having said that I can't work out exactly what you want to do. You have new wheels, where do the old ones come in?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:32 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
Posts: 3775
Location: Norn Iron
My current plan is to restore the bike back to 1983 condition - probably with Shimano 600ax components. I have the original wheel set - Weinmann hubs and a newer wheelset - Campag front hub, Maillard Helicomatic rear with Mavic rims. The new wheels will let me use the bike whilst i decide what to do with the other wheels.

My options are -
1. Change the second wheels to Campag front and rear or Shimano 600ax
2. Renew the original wheels - complete rebuild and a lot of polishing

In the meantime, i can use the bike with the new wheels as both the above options mean no wheels for a while.


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