I wanted to go Campy 8 speed STI shifting and a 8 speed freewheel (not cassette) because I have good looking high flange hubs.

If I can't get a Campy freewheel what other will work? If none, could I go down tube 'index' shifters (not friction) and then what freewheel could I use?

I have lots of hills here, I need something like 13/28 if possible.

2 Answers 2


It looks like Campagnolo did make an 8 speed freewheel, but it seems like there isn't a good source for old freewheels or compatible cog spacing ones.

There are plenty of Shimano-compatible freewheels in 8 speed that are easy to find (made by sunrace among others), so this is likely what you're going to end up with. So, for the rest of the answer, I'll assume the freewheel is Shimano compatible. The same things would hold if you had a cassette.

In order to adapt the Campagnolo shifters+derailleur to work with the freewheel, you'll need to throw a JTek Shiftmate 1 into the mix. Or, if you're only getting the Campagnolo shifters and using a Shimano derailleur (<= 10 speed road, <9 speed mountain), you can use a JTek Shiftmate 4.

For full details on all configurations supported by JTek Shiftmates see this link.

Now, also note that you may run into some issues with putting the freewheel onto the bike.

While the threading of the freewheel onto the hub is going to be the same, you need 130mm rear spacing (which if you have a steel frame and have less spacing, you'll can spread the frame). You'll also need enough axle length to be long enough. You might also need to re-dish the wheel and maybe play around with some spacers. Also, note that 8 speed freewheels are more prone to breaking axles than lower speeds.

Depending on what you're comfortable doing at home, you may want to leave this job to the bike shop depending on how much needs to be done.

  • Note that Shiftmates aren't cheap. You're looking at 40-60 USD depending on retailer. So, you might find going Shimano rather than Campagnolo to be more economical.
    – Batman
    Sep 19, 2017 at 16:25

Presuming you already have 8 speed Ergos and a matching derailer you want to use on this project, a much better plan is to just use a standard non-Campy 7-speed freewheel, for a bunch of reasons.

As Batman pointed out, Campy 8 freewheels existed, but they're weird, rare, and probably expensive. Campy 8 cog-to-cog is 5mm whereas Shimano and everyone else is 4.8mm, which is a big enough difference to make it not work so great, even indexed off the middle.

8-speed freewheels of any brand suffer from the issue of greatly exacerbating problems with bent and broken axles because of the amount of unsupported axle they require. Conventional wisdom has become they either push past the limit in this regard or come close to it. Dealer-level bike brands have rarely specced them for this reason - there were a few years, say 2000-2002, where some bikes at low price points had them, but there was backlash. Axle problems are just very common with them.

So, another approach you could take is just use a 7-speed Shimano or Shimano-compatible freewheel with your Campy shifter/derailer. The spacing is 5mm, exactly what they expect (Campy 8 kept with 5mm and began requiring a more severely dished wheel). So you'll have one click locked out, no big deal. And the freewheel will be cheap and work well, instead of a vintage part.

With either 7 or 8, you will probably have to set up your hub and wheel for it in terms of dishing and axle spacing.

Another approach would be to use the Hubbub mod with your Ergos on a Shimano derailer with a 1.7mm actuation ratio, which gets you into the right amount of derailer movement for a conventional 5/6speed freewheel, again with some locked out gears. That way if you have a vintage hub/wheel and don't want to bother respacing/redishing, you can just put the the freewheel on and go.

  • Sure thanks for the answers. I will try to find a 7sp Shamino freewheel and also check on the price of these JTek Shiftmate things. I have never heard of them so I need some research on just what they are doing allowing the integration
    – jjc
    Sep 19, 2017 at 20:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.