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I have a 5-speed bike with a buckled back wheel. I have found one on the internet cheap, but it is a 6-speed wheel. Will it fit my bike? Will there be any adaptations needed to the bike to use this wheel?

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Just because a wheel is buckled doesn't mean that it can't be fixed. You may want to take it to a bike shop. As for will the wheel fit, first note that you'll need 6 speed shifters unless you're using friction shifters.

As for the wheel actually fitting, you need to check the hub spacing -- for example, 5 speed rear wheels for road bikes normally use 120 mm spacing while 6 speed use 126 mm spacing. Measure your frame's spacing and buy accordingly. If the frame is steel, you can often cold-set it to take the wider wheel (which is what you'll likely need to do if you're going from 5 speed to 6 speed).

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  • It may also be necessary to get a new derailer (if the bike uses one) and, if the shifters are indexed, new shifters. At the very least adjustments will be needed to both of these items. Mar 5 '15 at 17:04
  • I hadn't realized 5 speed indexed gearing even existed, but it seems it did. I'd still expect almost all 5-speeds to be friction shift though. Or at least be switchable to friction shift.
    – armb
    Mar 6 '15 at 12:53
  • You can still get 6 speed BSO's with indexing -- when I was a a pre-teen, BSO's had indexing with 5 speeds.
    – Batman
    Mar 6 '15 at 13:05

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