Mounting loose steel cogs onto an aluminum freehub using flattened staples...
Awhile back I was gathering all the bits and pieces to convert my bike to disc brakes. My existing wheelset wasn't disc compatible and I had found a really good deal on a used Spinergy Xyclone Enduro wheelset.
I picked up the Xyclones cheap (cheeeap) because they had been ridden hard and not properly maintained. I spent several evenings messing around with them (replacing the bearings) and had them in proper working order.
The tech support people at Spinergy were fantastic. I asked them a ton of questions and they were extremely helpful. Even though I didn't buy the wheels from Spinergy, they answered every question. It was obvious they were very proud of their products and supported them without question. That's saying something about a company...
I hadn't realized this wheelset used an aluminum freehub body which can be damaged if you use a cassette that doesn't utilize a carrier like this:
Well, the previous owner didn't use a cassette of that type and I didn't have one, either.
Here was the condition of the freehub when I bought it:
At the time I was running 8-speed loose cogs I put together because I couldn't find an 8-speed cassette with the gear ratios I wanted. Although this worked fine on a steel freehub, my loose steel cogs would have eaten this aluminum freehub for lunch.
What to do? I could have saved up some more money and upgraded to 9-speed (new shifter, derailleur, cassette, and chain). I planned to do that eventually. I really wanted to continue using what I had at the time. It worked, I liked the ratios, and I didn't mind the weight... Research my options...
Google turned up a thread on the weightweenies website where someone had used flattened staples shimmed between the cogs and the freehub to prevent damage. If you scroll down about half way through the first page you'll see the photos.http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... =1&t=54146
I dug through all of my staples and found some that were long enough. I flattened a few out using my vice. Just opened them by hand, placed them in the vice and compressed.
Here's where the staples will sit.
A test fit showed the staples wouldn't fit between the cog and the edge of the freehub. The cogs came from a cassette that cost me about $15 and they were built like tanks. Cheap and sturdy. I decided to file them down a bit. If I screwed it up, I'd just be upgrading to 9-speed that much sooner.
It took about 25 passes against the side of each tooth to make enough room for the staple. It was still a tight fit. I'd rather have it a bit tight than flopping around on the freehub.
Once I got into the groove (music on and beer nearby), it didn't take long to file the teeth of all the cogs.
All was going great until I tried to put on the last cog. The last cog is a "deep" cog that the lockring rests against. I couldn't file this one so I needed to cut down the staples a bit. I marked the desired height on the freewheel with a pencil, removed the cogs and spacers, and staples. Trimmed the staples and put it back together. I cut two of the staples a bit short. Good enough for government work...
I was able to complete upgrade to disc brakes and keep using my 8-speed drivetrain for the time. No cost, about an hours worth of work, and I got to spend some more time working on my bike in the garage.
I did this late November, 2011. The last ride of that year (New Year's Eve) I caught a stick and destroyed my 8-speed LX derailleur. I upgraded to a 10-speed system in January, 2012.
C'est la vie.