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Different Wheelsets and Gears?

Hi!.....Can somebody clear this up for me?

I'm currently trying to decide on a new set of wheels and was wondering that if I had a few different makes of rear wheels with different hubs e.t.c. but the same make chainset on them e.g shimano, would I have to adjust the gears everytime I swap the rear wheel?......If so I'll be opting for one rear wheel and a selection of front's! lol

Kind Regards


  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    The only issue will be if its campaganolo or shiminao/ Sram.

    If its SRAM or Shimano then there is no issue and you can change away as both are compatible with one another. Campag is diferent so you can change about with shimano if that makes sense.

    You need a different hub for campag compared to shimano or sram.
  • As Shadow said you need firstly to make sure that you are either fully in the Shimano/SRAM camp or the Campagnolo one. The only issue I can see which is not really a problem is if some of the older wheels are 9 speed, point explained below.

    Because wheels have the same centre line alignment to a frameset and a standard hub width we have got to thye stage of development when the cassetes are taking up all of that space so if you are on a Shimano 10 set up for example all the sprockets on various wheelsets should index well as you swop between them even if the ratios are different 11-23 0r 12-28 for example. The only issue possibly is with 9 speed and 10 speed mixes on wheelsets which you can overcome by using a shim, posh word for a big washer on the freehub before putting the cassette on. You will of course have to have 10 speed indexing on the brake levers. I have done this with old wheels with a trainer tyre on on a newer bike just have to make sure I don't index off the largest rear sprocket when it is a 25 as the derailuer has the capacity for a 28. Indexing is not perfect but you can get it pretty reasonable around the core of the block.
  • Cheers Shadow!.......So in a nut shell I can mix sram with shimano.......and i can mix compag with shimano......please correct me if i'm wrong.

  • You can't mix Campag with Shimano or Campag with SRAM. Shimano and Campag have always purposfully made sure they were not compatable. When SRAM came on the scene they had to make a choice and decide to go with the shimano standard. Ones not better than the other just different.
  • Right!.....Got it lol!

    Thanks for your help!.......Very much Appreciated!

  • jcs356jcs356 Posts: 37
    Oh, and just to add my 2 penneth...
    In addition to the sprocket spacing not being compatible between Shimano/SRAM and Campag, the freehub mounting is different between the two. So a Campag cassette will only fit onto a Campag freehub, but a Shimano or SRAM cassette will fit onto a Shimano freehub.

    Having said that, a fair few wheel manufacturers sell the freehubs separately (e.g. Mavic), so you can actually convert from one standard to another just by swapping the freehubs over. Easy to do DIY (videos on youtube) and a mavic freehub is about £30 IIRC.
  • Nige to be honest mate this is a good post. It might possibly be a bit embarasing asking it on a hardcore cycling forum but not on a Triathlon one, why should you know the answer to this?

    To add to this as a future reference post if people are prepared to search through posts in trying to make it more definative.

    All Shimano and SRAM cassettes are not always compatible on all freewheel bodies as I believe there is an extra spline on one of the bodies on some models which stops compatability unless you have it ground off. As this does not affect me personally I didn't pay maximum attention when talking to a mechanic about possible build options as I thought if I went that way it would be a simple 5 minute job. If someone can clear this up I would appreciate it because I am sitting here thinking I know which way round it is for some products but not absoloutely sure.
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