Well, the axle is healthy, but the cassette is broken. The six-gear cassette on the 27-inch rim will work just fine on the 700 mm hybrid bike's rear wheel. And, I got my money's worth out of that 27 inch wheel. It was originally part of a Raleigh steel-frame bicycle I bought for $10, but retired when an REI wizard pointed out the rust in the front fork. If we could see decay on the surface, we had no way of knowing what was going on inside. An unlucky bump on a pothole could cause the fork to collapse, sending the unlucky rider over the handlebars.(1)
Way back when, I didn't know about how stretching chains(2) could wear out cassettes. I just knew that my shifting was getting rougher and rougher, until the day when I put a heel through the rear wheel spokes on my black Schwinn mainstay road bike. Turned out that the rear wheel from the Raleigh bike worked just fine, and I was back on the road, and good for another metric century or two.(3) (last time I checked, I couldn't measure the difference between 27 inch and 700 cm wheels).
This is the third time I've done business with Cardinal Bicycle of Roanoke (click HERE). In 1996, Vicky purchased my birthday moutain bike there. A few months ago, I picked up a USB-chargeable headlight and some gloves there. And today, I walked in with two wheels and a few questions. I like them. Good people, reasonable prices. I should have what I need to be back on the road by Monday. And a new wheel for my road bike. A wizard at REI pointed out that the 27 inch wheel was warped, had been exposed to the weather, and probably woudl snap spokes if we tried to true it. Ah, well. Since the tire was delaminating anyways, let's write it off and move on.
(1) The last time I launched a ride in the rain, the front wheel went squirrely as I tried to keep to the edge of the pavement. Turns out that white line is "slippery when wet." I went off the road to the soft sand on the side of the pavement, found myself airborne, and had time to think that I REALLY didn't want to break my neck. I remember tucking my chin into my chest and reaching up to lace fingers behind my head ... pause .. then I'm on my stomach, hands in front of me. During the missing interval, I'd landed on my right shoulder, incurring a few minor scratches, and rolled completely around, providentially (thank GOD!) unhurt. Since then, I've eschewed rides that begin on rainy days.
(2) Starting at one rivet, measure 12 inches. If the next rivet is 12.125 (12 and one eighth) or more away, replace your chain.
(3) A metric century is 100 km, or about 63 miles. Consider doing the Firecracker 100, a ride that begins with 800+ riders in Cary NC on the Fourth of July and ends with far fewer people 50 km, 100 km, or 100 miles later. So far, I've completed three "English" centuries -- 100 miles -- and a number of metric centuries.