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I will have to change my wheels on my old trusty late-80s Peugeot (PS28) soon. The rear wheel is mounted with a freewheel-type 6-speed hub (not cassette).

I was wondering if all ready-made wheels that you can buy are only cassette compatible (therefore 7-8-9 speeds)?

My derailleur is Shimano 105 with mixed friction/indexed mode, mounted on the tube, I suppose it is only designed to support an indexed 6 speed.

A LBS told me I could only change the rim of the wheel given the hub is in good condition.

What would you suggest would be the best way to approach this?

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You can probably have a wheel built. Peter White charged me a little over $200 for a new front wheel, built to my specs with their parts. I would guess that your wheel would be a hair more expensive but the same ballpark. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 31 '13 at 0:57
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I have seen this great answer. But am I right to say all ready-made wheels are cassette compatible only? – Vincent Aug 31 '13 at 1:04
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I think you should localize your question because here where I live it's no problem to find ready made freewheel wheel (actually, I have problems finding cassette wheel for a similar price). – Mladen Jablanović Aug 31 '13 at 6:15

If your hub is in good condition & you wish to keep it having the wheel rebuilt is the way to go. However if your shop is trying to charge you more then 100$ish dollars for a rebuild, especially on an older hub perhaps consider doing the rebuild yourself. Re/building wheels is not a particularly difficult task with a wheel stand & proper tools all of which are readily available online for reasonable prices. However it can be exceedingly time consuming so consider this aspect as well the reality is that it most likely would take you shop just as long to rebuild the wheel but some times it's more easy to just pay someone.

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To rebuild, at a minimum you should have a basic truing stand, which is likely $25-50. You also need all new spokes, which would be another $25-50. So spending $100 at a shop would be a relative bargain. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 6 '13 at 11:25
    
I built Roger Munson's stand for $15 in parts, plus some cardboard for the dish gauge. – Ritch Melton Sep 6 '13 at 16:39
    
Why would one need new spokes? If the new ring is roughly same depth, you can just tape the rims together and move spokes over one at a time. Much less work than lacing new spokes. – ojs Feb 19 at 18:52

Short answer: NO, there are quite a lot of pre-built wheels made for use on older bikes (or new ones) that come set up for a freewheel rather than a cassette. There is a US based company called Wheel Master that most shops can get. I see you're in Canada but I still think you should be able to get them from a shop.

I would not suggest trying to rebuild your wheel unless you are comfortable doing so as getting the spoke tension and everything dished correctly can be difficult if it's your first time.

I will provide a part number for reference, again this is a US based company but they ship to CA as well as a lot of online retailers. If I had to guess this wheel wouldn't cost more than $40 US currency plus a new freewheel if you want one. Point being they are out there, as that was your original question.

http://www.jbi.bike/web/checking_product_description.php?part_number=73071

However if you want change rims only that would be a viable option, although if you're on a budget having both redone could be almost as expensive as two ready made wheels, depending on labor costs etc

If you go the pre-built route double check the spacing first as the O.L.D. has changed some over the years.

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I have a similarly old 1975 Peugeot Mixte UO18. I replaced the back wheel with a 700C Dimension Road Rear Wheel with Shimano 2200 hub and put a SRAM PG950 9-speed Cassette (SR-PG950-34) on it. Buying a readymade built wheel was much cheaper than trying to reclaim the old hub.

Two things:

  1. I had to stretch the frame a bit to fit the 9-speed hub. Our Peugeot's are steel so that's not a problem.

  2. My derailleur won't reach to the lowest cog because of frame interference from the seat stay. So instead of a 11-34, it's effectively a 14-34. That's ok. If I really wanted the 11-cog, I'd dremel down the rear seatstay but this is just a commuter bike so I don't really feel the loss.

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