Giving old hubs a new breath of life - Part 2

Continuing on from my previous post about adapting old Shimano 600EX hubs.  I have done some riding on them, it's a bit dangerous really as I can't stop staring at the pretty shininess of the front hub whilst I'm riding.  The radial pattern really is so damn sexy, if not the most practical of lacing patterns.  Otherwise the wheels have held up fine other than one minor detail...
The 7 speed cassette only left about 3mm of thread for the lockring, not enough!  You can see a few marks on some of the threads in this pic from the top sprocket slipping off.

In the last post I documented how I used a Dura-Ace track sprocket as the top sprocket/lockring on the rear hub, however it wasn't completely engaged with all the threads on the freehub.  I was riding along and shifted into the top gear and felt it slip and then heard a clack.  The top sprocket had tightened down then popped over a thread - a sign that there wasn't enough thread engagement for it to handle the torque of pedalling.  The normal uniglide lockring threading is somewhat loose anyway which isn't a suprise as it's segmented with the freehub splines.

The root of the problem is that I am running 7 speeds on a freehub only meant for 6 sprockets.  According to a 7 speed cassette with spacers has a stack height of 31.9mm.  My setup is actually an 8 speed cassette with the top two sprockets removed and the dura-ace track sprocket put at the top.
8 speed cassette with top two sprockets removed and my dura-ace track sprocket comes in at 31.4mm

Freehub width measures at about 29mm
This meant that my cassette was 2-3mm too tall for the freehub, 8 speed spacers are 3mm so if I used the thinner 2.5mm 9 speed spacers I could reduce 5 x 0.5mm which  would get the stack height down to 29mm or so which is bang on correct.  The only problem was that I may have to use a narrower 9 speed chain to suit.
with 9 speed spacers it came to 29.2mm stack height

Tightented down properly the top sprocket finishes flush with the freehub, just like the proper uniglide cassettes do.
reducing the cassette stack height gives me more clearance to the drive side which means I can respace the wheel more to the right to reduce the amount of dish.
I was a bit nervous about tightening the lockring because I was afraid of overloading the threads and damaging them.  However since it was now engaging all of the freehub threads this didn't happen and I got it down nice and tight.  I took it for a quick test ride out the back and it worked fine, although the friction shifting was now quite tetchy, trimming was required on most shifts.  This is most likely due to using the wider 8 speed chain (7.2mm pin width) on a cassette with 9 speed spacing.  I've got a 9 speed chain on order so that should fix that, the pin width of it is 6.8mm which is less than half a millimetre, however it should make a big difference. 

 In hindsight, I should have seen that the lockring engaging only half of the threads would not hold, particularly in such a highly stressed part.  It needs to be strong enough to withhold the cranking of a heavy-set cyclist going up a steep hill fully loaded.  Anyway, now I'm quite confident that it's up to the job because it's fitting like how it was intended to.  That's all for now.


  1. Great work. Those are some pretty hubs. Do you think the rear would work on a BMX 110 mm spacing? thank you for any help.

  2. Hey there, probably not as they are spaced for a 126mm road rear. You can probably find some single speed hubs that look similar (high flange) to fit though.

  3. Interesting page. The Uniglide thread is actually a touch smaller in diameter than a standard BSC freewheel or track sprocket thread, which accounts for the loose fit you perceived, Clearly it works well enough given a hardened steel track sprocket and a steel freehub body.

    See the thread here for moe details:

  4. Hey, thanks for the link. That explains a lot and I've updated my post to reflect it. Cheers!