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Been away from mountain biking for a loooong time but now that both my kids are on two wheels, my old bike is seeing more use than it has since the early 2000's. All riding is on paved paths around the neighborhood but would like to explore some of the singletracks that are nearby, if I can find the time. Replacing w/ a newer 29er hardtail isn't in the budget and doesn't make sense w/ what I'm currently using it for.

It's a 1995 GT Tempest I bought new back in 1996. About the only things still stock are the wheels, hubs, and cassette....all 7 speed parts of Acera spec. The rest are a mix of parts from over the years, replaced as things wore out or I found a good deal.
-XT 8-speed front derailleur
-XT 9-speed rear derailleur
-LX 9-speed cranks
-STX/Deore 7 speed shifters
-LX V brakes and levers
-heavy bullhorn handlebar->light 6061 flatbar
-threaded rigid fork->threaded Rock Shox Quadra 21R->threadless Marzocchi Bomber Z2

requisite picture of the old gal:



Reason I'm here is my rear derailleur is out of alignment/bent, I think I hear noises coming from the rear freehub (bearings are overdue for a regrease as well), and the cassette is old. It shifts fine and I have all the gears I need but if I have to throw parts at it I figure while I'm in there I'd finally move on from 7 speed and see what the 1x11 fuss is all about as old/vintage 8/9 speed parts are the same price as 11. But looking for a new wheel turns up basically nothing. Whether new or Facebook/craigslist turns up no results that look servicable for a 26" rim brake wheel w/ 8/9/10/11 speed freehub.

I've done all the work on this bike except for tackling a wheel build, so I don't have to pay LBS labor prices for anything. And with the quarantine, I have more time to mess around. Already this spring I've had to clean out the old grease from the right shifter, replace the bottom bracket, replace the headset, and replace the fork seals and fork oil.

So how do I get wider freehub that can fit a 8+ gear cassette?
I figured the easy/cheap path was to find an old rear wheel but that is proving harder than I imagined.
Next idea was to get a new wheel that doesn't need any work, but everything 26" is for discs.
Then I looked at making my wheel work. I read the Sheldon article and have done tons of searches on replacing the freehub body and having my wheel re-dished. But I'm not sure what body is compatible w/ my FH-M290 hub or if I have to remove a left side spacer to accommodate the wider body? If not, where does the other ~4mm come from? My frame does have 135mm spacing already.
 

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Mtn Biker Machinist
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I just picked up a new 26” rear wheel from my LBS. Disc & rim brake compatible, 8/9/10/11spd freehub, $65. It’s a Weinemann rim/no name hub, but it’s for an old Hard Rock I’m throwing together for my daughter to ride. I’d check with your LBS.


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There's gotta be a little Mom & Pop bike shop around you somewhere that you can find a rim-brake wheel at.
Good luck with your search. That bike looks almost brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There's gotta be a little Mom & Pop bike shop around you somewhere that you can find a rim-brake wheel at.
Good luck with your search. That bike looks almost brand new.
Yea, not sure? The stores I used to frequent are all gone. Google says there are a few nearby but with covid I haven't ventured out to see what they have. It is on my to-do list for sure.
I've always taken care of this bike, meaning I never left it out in the rain/snow and kept it indoors when not riding it. Unlike so many of the abandoned bikes in the racks during college. I took it completely apart this spring for a full deep clean and re-lube, new brake pads, new grips.

I just picked up a new 26” rear wheel from my LBS. Disc & rim brake compatible, 8/9/10/11spd freehub, $65. It’s a Weinemann rim/no name hub, but it’s for an old Hard Rock I’m throwing together for my daughter to ride. I’d check with your LBS.
If a local store has something similar, it certainly can't be a lower spec or heavier than the 1995 Acera-X hub currently in there. Stickers for the rims fell off years ago and don't recall what they are. They could use a tru-ing.


On a ride through the neighborhood the other day there was a mid-90's Rockhopper sitting by the curb for free. 7spd freewheel or I might have dragged it home for parts but everything was lower grade than what I already have, clearly worn out or rusted.
 

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Velo orange sells a nice (if expensive) set of wheels with rim brake and tubeless compatible rims. The hubs are also disc compatible which is meh if you wanna keep things retro. https://velo-orange.com/collections/wheels/products/voyager-disc-rear-wheel

To answer the question you had about the extra free-hub width my understanding is that that extra 4 mm comes out of the hub shell. Generally the more speeds the more offset to the non drive side the flanges and hub shell are. A track hub for example has flanges that are set relatively far apart and equidistant from the hubs center. As you start adding more speeds you have to move the drive side flange over to make room.

Ultimately if you can get used or inexpensive components (I.E. a good condition used 11 speed hub) and maybe re-use your rim you can get a wheel built up relatively affordably by a good LBS. I got my 26 wheel-set put together for just a hair over 300.
 

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The velocity cliffhangers are 25mm internal and the atlas rims are 19.8. I have the Cliffhangers on a 1994 mtb with canti's and setting up the brakes to work with the extra width was pretty trivial.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
those velocity wheels are NICE....a little too nice for me. even appears they offer a non-disc hub. which i would prefer as i'm never going disc on this 26er. those wheels cost more than my entire bike did new.

the large local chain near me is closed Sun-Tues, so haven't been able to stop in. there are some smaller shops i am unfamiliar with that are out of the way i need to check out.

but as luck would have it, i checked craigslist this morning and found a set. early 00's Deore spec hubs and included a XT 11-34T 9 speed cassette. Bearings feel good and spins true. Cassette looks gently used. Older gentleman selling them said they were on his Giant for a few years before he went to disc wheels. He had a garage shop w/ Park tools and stand so I'm thinking they were well cared for. i've been looking for weeks/months with nothing and then these pop up as i'd about given up.

so now whether to try and re-use the 9spd cassette. will require a new chain, 9spd right shifter, and non-bent rd.
or go straight to 1x11. math says a 32T or 34T ring will cover the range I use most. my 3x has a middle 32T right now and I spend most of my time there w/ only 7 in back.

i should probably stop throwing parts at this bike, but it has been a learning experience replacing piece by piece. and i have shed lbs of weight at the same time.
 

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Can't help much with your search, but good looking bike. IMO, like others have said, i'd try and find a a newer hub that will work and save the rims. I've had 26" wheels custom built by Chain Reaction cycles in the UK, but never looked for rim brake compatible rims. You might see what they have available. Their prices have always been reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
followup question on tires

the set of WTB Velociprator 2.1's I have still has plenty of life, but as most of my riding is now on paved or packed dirt trails, i feel I could use a less aggressive tire. When the OE Tioga Psyco II's wore out I switched to Velociraptor's and haven't looked back. I don't have any spares.

But I'm not finding much in stock anywhere, and I'm also unfamiliar with the offerings by Maxxis, Conti, etc. I'm in the US East Coast. Tomorrow I'm going to try and stop into a couple local shops to see what they have.
 

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Have a look at these. They may solve your dilemna. I've been looking at these guys for my next wheelset. I ride a GT Avalanche Disc 26er. Discount of 10 or 20% right now I think..
https://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/M...BWW-V-Brake-Wheel-Set-Shimano-Deore-Disc.html

They also say you can run a 4 or 4.5mm spacer at the rear if you aren't ready for the drivetrain upgrade yet.

..oh and I will have a set of Vuelta Zerolite MTB Pro 26" V-brake compatible wheels available that might work for you after I upgrade, but shipping would probably make it not worth it. Or search around for that Vuelta model. There may be some old stock out there still. Great super durable wheel spins nice and hand built if I remember right. 24-spoke too!
https://www.vueltausa.com/vuelta-wheel-parts-56/mountain-wheels-26/zerolite-mtb-pro-wheelset.html

These guys say they're in stock still...
https://www.bikehighway.com/vuelta-zerolite-26-hand-built-pro-mountain-bike-wheelset.html
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks for the links, but it seems those plus the ones I find that are reasonably priced are NOT for rim brakes.

while i did find a used 26" rim brake wheelset locally, i am still surpised that there doesn't appear to be much out there. wasn't this the popular setup for decades? nearly every bike i see being ridden recreationally is still setup this way. if it weren't for COVID i would probably buy a used bike on craigslist JUST for the wheels or spare parts! covid has driven up the cost of even beat up bikes.

anyways, i now have a bontrager rear wheel and bontrager hub, just serviced. front wheel is a mavic and deore hub; just needed one replacement cone. still running as 3x7 as finding a rear 9spd shifter is proving quite difficult as the prices are insane! that and a chain are all i'm missing from a full 9spd drivetrain. might just jump straight to 1x11 and call it a day w/ this bike.
 

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So the "BWW V-Brake Wheel Set Shimano Deore Disc" is not for rim brakes? Or is not reasonably priced at $180-10%? I'm just curious because it looked like a great option to me with easily serviceable dependable hubs.
 

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apologies! i somehow overlooked that link. you're right, that is a fair price for new hoops and hubs. while i don't need the disc mounts, i don't think shimano makes non-disc hubs anymore, or at least not at the deore level?
 

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Although I've been looking for stuff with disc compatibility, non-disc hubs is not something I've noticed in my quest for a new wheel set. I imagine the thinking is why make a hub that isn't disc compatible since it can always be used with rim brakes anyways. Maybe weight savings? But probably not a lot of interest by the big manufacturers considering the market size. New old stock is probably the best if you could find it. Sometimes that stuff shows up on Pinkbike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Although I've been looking for stuff with disc compatibility, non-disc hubs is not something I've noticed in my quest for a new wheel set. I imagine the thinking is why make a hub that isn't disc compatible since it can always be used with rim brakes anyways. Maybe weight savings? But probably not a lot of interest by the big manufacturers considering the market size. New old stock is probably the best if you could find it. Sometimes that stuff shows up on Pinkbike.
yea, not much of a market i guess. or planned obsolescence to force people into 27.5 and 29 bikes.

i do have a saved search on ebay looking for 36H 8+ speed freehubs, as i have a set of 36H wheels w/ a 7spd hub i'd like to use as my first step into wheelbuilding. there is basically nothing out there. 32H pop up periodically.
 

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Hello!

I have just done what you're trying to do with my 2000 GT Tempest. The original rims were sadly written off so had to find a replacement. My LBS found me some black rims for V brakes and the the rear hub takes my 8 speed Shimano HG Cassette. I will be replacing the cassette with 1x11 too, the hub is fully compatible with the new HG 1x11 (Don't recall the model number). The wheelset cost me £110 ($140US), the rims are mach-1 and the hubs both Deore. So the wheels are out there!

Next job for me its to move to full XTR Brake levers and Callipers as my 20 year olds are a bit sucky on the trails! :)

 

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