I've just bought a pair of campagnolo/mavic wheels without a freewheel. I'm finding it very hard to understand what will fit on the rear hub.

It's English thread, does this mean that any 8 speed freewheel will fit (as long as it is an English thread)?

Secondly, what rear derailleur will I have to use (if I buy a Shimano freewheel, can I use a 8 Speed campy derailleur, or does it have to match)?

Thirdly, will this influence what front cranks and chain wheel I get (If I buy a Shimano/Campy freewheel, will I have to get a matching crank/chainset combo)?

I'm trying to understand the whole crankset picture in one go!

Here's a link to the wheels:


Many thanks in advance

1 Answer 1


Freewheel threading is pretty universal. You can put any freewheel which is appropriate for your drivetrain on those wheels.

Regardless of whether you choose Campag or Shimano, stick with gear designed for one system, and as much as possible one gear number. (8 speed, 9speed, etc...)

For instance, if you use an 8 speed Campag freewheel, use 8 speed Campag shifters, chain, derailleurs, and either an 8 or 9 speed Campag crank set. You will need the appropriate bottom bracket to match your crankset.

It is possible to mix and match a bit, mostly the chain could be either Shimano or Campag without major issues. But best to stick with one system, especially if you don't understand the compatibility changes you're making.

By the way, those wheels are tubulars. That is, glue on tires. Were you aware of that?

  • Yeah, I know about them being tubular, many thanks for your help. Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 11:00
  • 1
    Freewheel threading is universal, but the axle length and dishing determine what freewheels the wheel will be compatible with. (Though a known "8" will generally be compatible with all "8s".) Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 11:10
  • As you say. But dishing and axle length differences will indicate design for a different number of gears, so an 8 speed freewheel is an 8 speed freewheel.
    – zenbike
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 12:51
  • Be a little careful with mixing chains. A shimano chain on my Campy 10 speed didn't shift properly.
    – Mac
    Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 21:45
  • @Mac: A Shimano 9 speed chain will work better on Campag 10 speed than a Shimano 10 speed does because it's wider than the Campag 10 speed by .5mm, and the Shimano 10 speed is narrower by .3mm, so it doesn't rest properly on the chain ring teeth. However, it's always better to stick with components that were designed to work together. More info on chain width and compatibility here: sutherlandsbicycle.com/Chapter5.pdf
    – zenbike
    Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 1:56

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