Can someone help me, I currently have a 9 speed cassette on my road bike, I would like to get another pair of wheels with larger tyres so I can swap easy depending on where I'm going without having to take tyre off. I have found a new set with the correct amount of gears and same brakes but the only difference it says its Freewheel gears. If I have the same number of gears will this work? (Cassette on one wheel set and freewheel on the other wheel set being used on the same bike set up)

Thank you in advance

2 Answers 2


If the spacing is the same, it should work, although I wouldn't be surprised if the shifting required adjustment every time you swapped, even if the spacing is nominally the same.

The other problem is that a 9-speed freewheel/hub is an inherently bad design, since more of the axle is unsupported, and more likely to bend or break.

It's also possible that the set you found really does have a cassette and freehub, and was simply mislabelled. None of the majors ever made a 9-speed freewheel, or a thread-on hub for a 9-speed freewheel.

  • 2
    The only maker I can find of 9-speed freewheels is Sunrace, and they label theirs as being for e-bikes, without saying what kind of hub it should fit.
    – Adam Rice
    Jun 14, 2020 at 22:30
  • A non-cassette type rear hub will always mean tweaking the RD indexing as there are major differences between the systems. The cassette hub was designed for being interchangeable because of a higher building precision. The screw-on hub wasn't meant to be indexed but used with friction systems.
    – Carel
    Jun 15, 2020 at 17:39

Yes - in theory this works fine.

I have a 7 speed cassette on some clincher wheels for my `80s race bike for training and commuting, and for events I have a 7 speed freewheel on a mavic hub with tubulars. Swapping wheels is simple.

I have friction shifters so there is no indexing to worry about, but I have to move the lever to slightly different positions. Your bike will need tweaking of the rear gear's indexing at wheel swaps. Once you get it dialed in, simply count the number of turns of the barrel adjuster and this should be a quicker change.

Another gotcha is that your big cogs are likely to be different sizes, so the chain's length will have to be long enough to accommodate the biggest cog. This may limit the choice in big cogs to be "close"

Your brake pads will also need checking for alignment - subtle differences could catch you out. Both Disk brakes and Rim brakes would have similar issues with fine adjustment here.

Lastly, remember this will effectively wear your rear cogs less, and the chain slightly faster. Some people keep a chain with their wheels too, and rethread it when changing wheels, simply to keep the chain and cogs wearing together. Frankly I can't be bothered with that, and simply track my chain's wear closely, changing it before wear becomes an issue.

Own bike
Vince wearing clinchers and cassette, with tubulars and freewheel separate.

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