Touring - Respacing 130mm to 140mm
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03-23-10, 12:38 AM
My dad just picked up a used 2005 Fuji Touring for me back home in Milwaukee. It apparently has 36 spoke wheels and has had the rear wheel rebuilt due to broken spoke issues, which apparently were a known problem on Fujis that year. That makes for perhaps questionable wheels, and I'm concerned since I'm planning a cross-country trip. Advice 'round here seems that a rear wheel is a place to pay attention to.
I've gotten my hands on some 40 spoke tandem wheels here in Pittsburgh at the local bike coop which appear to be built really well: 40-spoke DT Hugi hubs, Mavic T520 rims, dead true. They'd make a worthy substitute.
The issue is that the tandem rear wheel appears to have a 140mm OLD. From what I've heard on the internet, the Fuji has 130mm rear spacing. I can't confirm this as the bike is still in Milwaukee.
Would it be a good idea to respace the Fuji to fit a 140mm rear wheel? One local bike shop (Kraynick's, a great place where you can walk in and DIY using the tools in back. It's piled floor-to-ceiling with ancient parts, too. Definitely a place to visit if ever coming through Pittsburgh) apparently has the equipment to do it.
One guy in this thread seems iffy: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?266569-40-spoke-rear-hubs
Alan, Re-setting the rear dropout spacing is not without some risk. In the early '90s I had a custom steel frame re-set from 120mm to 126mm to make the big jump from 5 speed to 6 speed. This was done by a local, professional frame builder. I rode the cross country Trans Am tour that summer and the frame snapped at the dropout on a climb in the western Appalachians. I can't help but suspect that the stress of the re-set, only 6mm, caused the failure. (By the way, a garage mechanic in Boonevile, KY welded it back together and I completed the trip!)
03-23-10, 10:36 AM
Lots of good 130mm wheels and hubs on the market in a variety of price ranges. I, personally, wouldn't risk cracking a perfectly good frame or screwing up the rear wheel alignment unless there was no other option...
03-23-10, 12:35 PM
I think that is too much spread and I would not risk it.
I'm surprised about the 6mm causing a break. I wouldn't bend cast drop outs too much but plate or tubing no problem. There are frames built at 132.5 for 130/135 interchangeability. That means that 2.5 mm (not surprisingly) is not even a cold set, the extra 3mm, 1.5 per side shouldn't have done anything.
The problem with bending a frame 10mm is where the bend occurs. The materials can take it, it is a mater though, of where the bend is imposed. If parts are just spread apart there can be an excess concentration at bridges, etc... The real issue here is whether there is upside to messing with the frame in order to pick up the potential advantages of a stronger and better built wheel. Sounds like what you gain in strength and alignment in the wheel you will loose, more than likely, in the frame. It isn't that it can't be done, just doesn't sound like there is a good enough reason. 130 mm touring wheels are fine.
03-25-10, 06:47 PM
Cold setting a frame is not uncommon. Sheldon Brown discusses it here:
I've cold set several of my frames, the most recent a Surly Long Haul Trucker from 135mm to 145mm for a tandem rear wheel. I've got about 3000 miles -- carrying about 280lbs -- on this frame now after cold setting it.
A 10mm spread is less than 1/2 inch, and only 5mm (1/5 of an inch) per side. That is not much of a spread. If your frame is metal, most likely this spread won't be difficult or problematic. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a go.
I just had a 140mm 40 spoke wheel respaced to 135mm at my LBS. It involved cutting down the axle, replacing the left side spacer with a narrower spacer, and redishing the wheel. It cost me less than $30 to do it.
This, in combination with resetting your frame to 132.5 (if it is steel) should be viable.
If your frame is metal, most likely this spread won't be difficult or problematic. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a go.
Just to clarify here, if your frame is STEEL then you can give it a go. If it's aluminum then very bad things will happen if you attempt to do this. If a magnet won't stick to your bike, don't attempt this...
03-26-10, 09:40 PM
There's a good chance you'll crack the frame....lots of people do this, much of the time it works, but cold setting a frame isn't a great idea. Why do it? It's not going to help you on your trip. Sure, the tandem wheels will be stronger, but the frame may be weaker.....bad trade off.
Relax and ride the bike the way it is. Will it break down? Who knows? Will it matter if it does?
03-27-10, 08:30 AM
Thanks for all the tips. Y'all sound pretty ambivalent so I probably won't do it.
Respacing the Hugi hub to 135mm looks possible, having partially disassembled it, but it looks like it would require access to metalworking tools both to cut down the axle and to cut/grind down parts of the pieces of metal that go on the axle.
http://www.dtswiss.com/Resources/2009/OldDocuments/MAN_HuegiTD_ED_2004.aspx is the tech manual for the hub. It appears the specific model I have is "HR / RW Hügi Tandem Arai 140mm". It would perhaps be possible to remove/modify "Aluminium disc 140/145mm" and "RW adapter (right), complete" in addition to the axle, but that'd be quite a task.
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