OK...need some advice. I have an old Cannondale with 8 speed Shimano XT drivetrain. My current wheel has the appropriate Shimano 8 speed cassette.(13-26).

I bought an old Schwinn with the intention of using the 26" wheels to slap some street tires on it to use with my Cannondale from time to time.

The Schwinn wheel has a 7 speed cassette (or freewheel...not sure yet if it's a cassette). I'd like the 2 sets to be interchangeable and I don't want to re-adjust my derailleur all the time. Do I need to bite the bullet and try to swap the 7 speed out for a matching 8 speed cassette or do you think this set up will be good enough?

I have started researching this and I apparently need special tools to remove the cassette and the hub may not even be compatible with an 8 speed. yikes. Your advice is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


You do not want to run a 7 speed cassette with an 8 speed drivetrain. The sprocket spacing is not the same (5mm for 7, 4.8 for 8) so your indexing will be off, and you will run the risk of changing one gear too far and dropping the chain (no matter how careful you are, you will do this eventually).

If the Schwinn wheel is a freewheel type, you can't put an 8 speed cassette on it.

If the Schwinn wheel is a freehub type, you still have a problem. 7 speed freehub bodies (that the cassette fits onto) are narrower than those for 8 speed and above, and a 8 speed cassette will not fit (although apparently this can be hacked, see here https://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html#897).

Something else you want to do is check your frame's rear hub spacing, it's probably 135mm but the schwinn wheels may be 130.

If I were you I'd sell the Schwinn wheels and get a set of 8 speed compatible wheels to avoid the hassle of trying to make them fit.

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