I have a 2005 Specialized Transition Elite that I am converting to a standard road bike by replacing the handlebars/shifters and replacing the entire drivetrain with the R8000 Ultegra group set. The Transition Elite is a 9-speed Shimano 6500 set. Take special note of the cassette which is CS-6500.

Admittedly, my knowledge is limited at the freehub level. I am assuming that the 9-speed freehub that is currently holding the CS-6500 isn't compatible with my incoming CS-R8000. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course.

If the current 9-speed freehub is incompatible with the CS-R8000, could someone direct me to the exact freehub I need? A link to the part would be incredibly helpful.

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, you will probably need a new rear wheel (or at least a new rear hub). In the 2005 era, the width between the flanges were as wide as possible while still accommodating the width of an 8/9/10 speed Shimano freehub. The 11-speed road cassette requires a wider freehub, and with very few exceptions, there is no ability to swap in the wider freehub on an 8/9/10-speed era rear hub.

One notable exception to this era were Mavic wheels. These had a wider freehub to accommodate a specific Campy(?) cassette, and in a somewhat prophetic stroke of luck, these old Mavic hubs would take an 11-speed cassette. Just remove the additional spacer and go 11-speed (I actually did this with a set of Mavic Ksyrium wheels that I bought back in the early 2000’s).

There is one option to purchasing a new rear wheel/hub. The Shimano 11-34 (11-speed) cassette (CS-HG8000-11) is an Ultegra-branded item that is compatible with the 8/9/10 speed freehub you have. The 11-34 comes with a spacer (that you would not use) to fit on the wider 11-speed freehub. You are limited to that one cassette however. The 11-32 and smaller need the 11-speed freehub. ALSO, you would require the longer cage rear derailleur to work with the 11-34 cassette. It would be the RD-R8000-GS I believe (the -SS is the shorter cage that would not have the capacity for the 11-34). The RD-R8000-GS is usable down to an 11-28 11-speed cassette if in the future you were to invest in a new wheelset that has an 11-speed freehub.

SHIMANO - 11-Speed - HG-EV - 11-34T Road Cassette Sprocket

SHIMANO ULTEGRA - Rear Derailleur - Medium Cage - SHIMANO SHADOW RD - 11-speed

  • 1
    CS-HG7k also exists, fyi
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 12 at 19:47
  • 1
    I ended up buying new wheels. :) Thanks for the info and support, Ted. Commented May 14 at 15:50
  • 1
    Glad I could offer up some options. Enjoy the new wheels!
    – Ted Hohl
    Commented May 15 at 5:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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