I was looking around for new wheels and thoroughly confused about the common approach to freehubs. Do they usually come with the freehub or do I have to actually put that on? If they do come with it, why in the world do none of the listings actually say anything about sizes?

Specifically, I was looking at this http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product2_10053_10052_541505_-1">listing which shows one in the picture, but does not give any specs.

  • With online vendors, you get what you see. If it is a reputable dealer selling high-end wheels there will be specs and sizes and tolerances up the wazoo. Cheapie machine-built wheels, less so.
    – WTHarper
    Jan 25, 2013 at 21:13
  • @WTHarper You have any examples online? Jan 31, 2013 at 17:45
  • Peter White builds some very handsome wheels (and considering how highly regarded a wheel builder he is, his wheels are affordable. He's also the guru for dynamo hub lighting.) peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.asp
    – WTHarper
    Jan 31, 2013 at 18:13
  • Rich Lesnik (www.handsonwheels.com) is also another builder I've endorsed and I currently own a set built up by him! The point is when you buy from a wheel builder (and not from a warehouse) you generally get more reliable info. (I have to imagine that most large retailers just pull boxes off of shelves.)
    – WTHarper
    Jan 31, 2013 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Wheels that take a cassette (Road, Mountain Bike, etc) generally come with a freewheel hub. Generally these are Shimano/SRAM compatible or Campy compatible. If it doesn't say, you can just about bet on Shimano/SRAM compat.

The wheelset you linked to does and is Shimano/SRAM compat.

Wheels for fixies/tracks/single speeds usually do not have a freewheel sprocket (or a fixed cog). If it doesn't say, chances are it's not included.

  • So pretty much assume 8/9/10 speed Shimano/SRAM compatible cassettes should be assumed when not listed? Jan 25, 2013 at 20:21
  • Probably 8/9 speed, but 10 speed is becoming more and more universal.
    – WTHarper
    Jan 25, 2013 at 21:12
  • 1
    8/9/10, all the same spacing with the exception of a few weirdo high end shimano hubs. Not even sure if Shimano is still doing that spacing these days.
    – joelmdev
    Jan 26, 2013 at 4:49
  • I've seen some single/fixed HUBS (not whole wheels) being sold with freewheel. In one hand, it spares you the trouble to go find a freewheel, you get a "ready to use" part, but some folks (including myself) would like to choose which sprocket size fits best. Usually that's not the included sprocket's size. Jan 26, 2013 at 22:33

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