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I've found a set of wheels I would like to put on my bike and have a couple of questions about how easy it is to DIY the job & compatibility. I have a 2010 Allez Sport Triple and want to swap the stock wheels for some Fulcrum 1 Clinchers.

Principally my question regards the rear cassette - on the bike it is a stock Shimano 9 sp (from the Sora range I think). Will I need to change to a 10/11 speed for the new wheels? Will this require changing any other components or can it be just the cassette? **

** Note: This is something I'm considering anyway (probably Shimano 105/Ultegra [one can dream of top-level parts but there is a constraining factor called money in the real world], including a complete overhaul of all components inc. levers, cranks, dérailleurs etc.) because the Sora equipment leaves quite something to be desired and it is now quite worn.

Also grateful for any tips about knowledge or tools necessary for the job and other useful tips to be aware of.

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If you change the cassette to have more speeds, you'll need shifters with more speeds. –  Batman Feb 24 at 16:24
    
an explanation of the downvote would be nice - then I can adjust the question! –  GriffinEvo Mar 2 at 8:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Those wheels come either with a Campagonolo compatible freehub; or a Shimano/SRAM compatible freehub.

If you buy the one for Shimano/SRAM (as of this writing, out of stock in Wiggle), you'll be able to use your existing cassette. To quote @PeteH:

"The 9-speed Shimano cassette that you already have, the total height of it is the same as the total heights of their their 10- and 11-speed cassettes. So any of them will fit onto a wheel, provided as @yivi says you have the correct freehub. Therefore you're not obliged to change from 9-speed."

Otherwise, you'd need to switch to a Campagnolo 10/11 cassette, and presumably change a few more things in your drivetrain for compatibility sake. You can mix and match (compatible) SRAM and Shimano components, but I think that for the most part Campagnolo is not compatible with them.

You do need to have the proper tools to do it though. A cassette lockring tool and a chainwhip

Then, it's as easy as this: cassette removal

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This is a great general description, but worth noting in the Op's specific case, moving to a Campag setup is going to mean a lot more work than sticking with Shimano. Unless you really, really want to make that change, I'd say its quite prohibitive. –  PeteH Feb 25 at 12:53
    
Right @PeteH. I didn't feel it merited commenting, but maybe it is better if all is said. –  yivi Feb 25 at 13:21

The 9-speed Shimano cassette that you already have, the total height of it is the same as the total heights of their their 10- and 11-speed cassettes. So any of them will fit onto a wheel, provided as @yivi says you have the correct freehub. Therefore you're not obliged to change from 9-speed.

In order to fit more gears onto a cassette, each cog is made thinner. In turn, this necessitates a narrower chain. This explains why you have different chains for 9-, 10- and 11-speed cassettes.

Now, you mention that you might want to change the number of gears. This question might be useful - it is one I asked a while back. The long and short of it is that, if you want to do things properly, it is quite a bit of work. All because the parts are designed around the chain widths. You're potentially talking not just cassette, but derailleurs, front rings and of course shifters themselves. There are various corners you can cut, but you'll be left with something workable not optimal.

If you are looking to upgrade parts without going to more gears, you might want to consider Shimano's 6500 series. Although this is an old series, it still has good availability. 6500 was a 9-speed system so you could swap your Sora bits for Ultegra bits - pretty much one by one - and improve things that way. But on the other hand you might decide that, for the cost involved, it isn't worth it.

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Thanks very much for your answers (PeteH and @yivi) - Do you mind if I edit a couple of minor points from this post in to Yivi's? Between the two of you I got a full understanding so I think an accepted answer should have the parts I found useful from both posts. –  GriffinEvo Feb 25 at 8:09
    
@GriffinEvo By all means. I avoided covering the same ground as yivi as they'd already covered it well. As regards the lockring tool, you may want to have a look on Park Tools's site - as opposed to the full tool, they sell a nut which you can use with any old wrench. I suspect you need the FR-5 but double-check this. Might work out cheaper, that's all. That site is also good for vids showing how to use the tools. The whips are universal. –  PeteH Feb 25 at 12:47

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