I'm thinking of changing from 8 speed to 9 speed. What are things I should keep in mind before changing free wheel?

  • 3
    You'd need to know if the derailleurs, chain, shifters, hub were compatible. If you post more information about your current bike - (model, age, components) someone may be able to give a more detailed response.
    – KeithWM
    Jan 20, 2017 at 10:51
  • What's the underlying reason? Generally this change is pretty expensive, unless you have most of the spare parts already from something else.
    – Criggie
    Feb 5, 2017 at 9:05
  • Do you actually have a freewheel or a cassette?
    – Batman
    Mar 7, 2017 at 5:47

2 Answers 2


Can the rear axle accommodate a nine speed cassette? Depending on your current equipment, you may have to change the derailer, hanger, and shifters as well.


Rear hubs most of the time will accept anything from 7-9 speeds without modifying. In other words, any hub originally 7,8 or 9 speed should fit 7,8, or 9 speed. Regarding hub to cassette non-compatibility 10, 11 and now 12 speed cassettes are the ones that are not compatible. You will need a new shifter and 9 speed chain.

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One thing to keep in mind after yo determine whether you have a cassette or freehub is to determine whether you have a uniglide, hyperglide or hyperglice C. That will dinnertime what compatible cassette you need.

enter image description here Hyperglide 'C' (on left) Non-Compact hub (on right)

There are maybe a half dozen other things to consider and keep in mind that I can't recall specifically but I can point you to a great source of info wich is where I would refresh my memory at the links below. You may want to review my friend Sheldon's pages where he has a wealth of info on this and many subjects at:




  • There is also the new 11 speed hyperglide, which requires a spacer for an older cassette (8,9, or 10 speed).
    – daaxix
    Apr 6, 2017 at 6:08
  • I have heard of a spacer working for putting a 9 speed onto a 10 speed hub but not a 7,8 or 9 speed onto an 11 speed hub. Mar 15, 2019 at 2:12

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